Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Dining in Kauai

Recommended Posts

I have been looking at the threads regarding dining in Kauai and noticed that most of them are at least a couple of years old. I am hoping someone can update the recommendations. My husband and I along with my sister-in-law will be there the beginning of April and look forward to experiencing the island. Any dining recommendations (as well as ":not to miss" suggestions) for our visit will be welcome. We are staying at the Marriott Kauai Lagoons in Lihue and will have a rental car.

Thanks in advance

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately I can't speak to restaurants as I have not been there in some years.

But it is an island that is well worth a good helicopter flight if you can do one. Doesn't have quite the variety of the Big Island with the active volcanoes and such but it is rugged and wet and lush with vegetation and the Na Pali coast is hard to fully appreciate without seeing it from the air.

Also great for hiking if you are in to that sort of thing, both on the Na Pali trail at the base of the cliffs and along the trails from Waimea Canyon State Park that can take you to splendid views from the top of the cliffs.

Used to be you could also still find long expanses of empty beach on the west shore along barking sands. Might still be able to as it is well away from the more developed resort areas but is mostly a military facility and I understand access is limited (the one exception to the rule about beaches in Hawaii being open to all if you can get access to them). Polihale State Park beach is just north of that and is open to the public but a bit tricky to get to and may be better to go in a 4WD vehicle. Both are beautiful remote beaches but generally not good for swimming.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try the Hamura Saimin stand in Lihue. Not fancy, but fantastic noodles and a very "local" place. Typically a long line to get in, but definitely worth the wait. Can't beat the low prices either! On the higher end (and definitely more "touristy" is Plantation Gardens Restaurant in Poipu. Good food and a beautiful setting.

Have fun.

Franklin G.

"Life itself is the proper binge!"

- Julia Child

Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I were in Kauai a few years back for our honeymoon, and it was utter paradise!

One thing you are NOT going to Kauai for is the food...hehe

While we had a few decent meals in the northern town (the name eludes me) at a small asian 'food stand' the food (besides the fruit) is not why you go to Kauai.

The one exception to this rule was that in a few of the supermarkets, they sold prepared Poke, which was fresh and quite good.

There are a few farmers markets in the north (where we stayed, and preferred) of the island, the best mangoes you will ever have, as well as the best and cheapest passion fruit! The papaya were also fantastic.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been to Kauai many times and was just there for a 10 day vacation. Kauai isnt known for its great cuisine choices but here are some of my thoughts and recommendations.

Best high-end restaurant in Kauai is in Princeville at the St. Regis Hotel. Jean-Georges Kauai Grill is divine. Some of the best prepared high-end food you can have in all of Hawaii. Expensive but worth it if you want a special dinner. We ate there on their opening night a few years ago and recently tried it again and it was just as good the second time around. I also recommend the Makana Terrace for lunch at the St. Regis. Incredible views.

There is a restaurant north of Hanalei which seem to get good recommendations called the Mediterranean Gourmet, I would skip it at all cost. Food is highly overrated and is a big tourist trap.

In Hanalei, your choices are limited but if you are looking for great sushi, try the Dolphin. Bar Acuda is also a nice place for interesting flavors with a great wine list.

in Lihue, I highly recommend 22North. interesting little restaurant that only uses local farm fresh ingredients. Great place for lunch or dinner.

In Poipu, Merrimans has the best food on this side of the island but the decor is not the greatest compared to their Maui and Big Island venues. Red Salt is interesting but a bit too trendy for me. Flavors did not add up.

Roys is always a safe bet but the decor and location isnt the greatest. Josselin's Tapas Bar and Grill is actually quite good but has spotty service. Whatever you do or whatever your concierge tells you, skip the Beach House for food. It is a great place to watch the sunset and have a drink but the food and service caters to tourist to the extreme. awful food.

if you drive up to Princevillle there is a small outdoor restaurant in Anahola called Ono Burger. I highly recommend it for a quick burger even though the flies and chickens can be annoying.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We've been to Kauai many times but always stay in the South. If I could, I'd at least eat lunch at Garden Island Barbeque on Rice St every week, and I hope that I will, someday. You do have to know what to order though. Some things are outstanding, like the giant wonton soup. There are not too many choices in Kauai, though one commenter mentioned the excellent poke found at every Big Save. What a delicious and fresh treat. The Camp House Grill is closed, sadly. Kauai's better eateries are often little holes in the wall, and variable in quality. Dondero's at The Hyatt in Poipu is pricy, but has a fine menu. I cannot really recommend Brennecke's except it has a perfect view and is reasonably priced, though we always go there when I am on Kauai. It is a fine place for a drink. Roy's was good, though very expensive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...