Dining on Kauai

No matter what part of the island you’ve chosen to stay during your tropical vacation, there are a variety of dining options from food trucks with International fare to local establishments that have been serving traditional grinds for decades.

Authentic island-style meals consist of a pan-Asian influence. Almost any order you make in this genre will come with a large portion of white rice like the loco moco where the starch is layered with a hamburger patty, fried eggs and gravy. This meal is what kama‘aina (Hawai‘i residents) like to have for breakfast and popular spots to try this are the no frills Tip Top Café and Bakery in Lihu‘e or Wake Up Café in Hanalei. If you’re looking for something to fill you up a little later in the day, then other local plate lunch options might be right up your alley. These dishes consists of another whopping portion of white rice topped with your choice of meat like Kalua Pig or Chicken Katsu and typically come with a side of potato salad. Pono Market in Kapa‘a and Mark’s Place in Lihu‘e are almost always bursting at the seams with customers and are excellent choices for local cuisine. Read more

Perhaps you’re looking for something a little lighter and healthier. There is an array of fruit and smoothie stands around the island, especially on the North Shore where the majority of produce is grown, that also have grab-and-go fresh meals like Banana Joe’s and the Moloa‘a Sunrise Juice Bar. On the other hand, if you want to stick with tradition, try Hamura Saimin in Lihu‘e which provides a host of their famously flavorful noodles and broth.There are also plenty of full service Kauai restaurants that have menus with an assortment of dietary options for its patrons like KP Lihu‘e, a contemporary Italian eatery and bar that offers gluten-free pasta as well as an abundance of vegetarian selections. The Shops at Kukui‘ula in Po‘ipu is also a great place if you’re seeking something specific as it has plenty of modern restaurants with unique flair like Josselin’s Tapas Bar and Grill. And you can’t go wrong at Merriman’s Fish House if you’re looking for fresh, locally-caught fish.

Food trucks are another dining option that is gaining popularity on Kaua‘i, particularly in Kapa‘a where you will discover a number of these meals on wheels. For the best eclectic experience, check out Kaua‘i Beer Company on Thursday evenings for its crowd-pleasing Truck Stop Thursday where at least two food trucks park in front of the local brewery on Rice Street in Lihu‘e every week. You can imbibe in local beer while feasting on food truck specialties – a winning combination.