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The Best restaurants in Kauai
If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Kauai, you’re in the right place! Many people wrongly assume that Kauai won’t have many dining options, but that is far from the truth.
Kauai is my favorite island in Hawaii, which made it extra fun to compile all of these places to eat in Kauai. So, whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on Kauai, this list of the best restaurants in Kauai will have something for you.
This list is currently up-to-date, and I’ll add new favorites as they pop up. Everything that closed for good during Kauai’s closure is not mentioned here.
If you want to know about the best happy hours in Kauai, I have a blog post dedicated to just that! Kauai has some amazing Happy Hour options, too, so make sure to check that out next.
If you’re planning a Kauai vacation, you’ll need a rental car! The island is made for adventure, and public transportation is scarce. I recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental. You’ll find the best deals and don’t have to pay until arrival at the airport.
The Best Places to Eat in Kauai
Here are the best restaurants in Kauai, in no particular order!
Red Salt at Koa Kea
One of the best places to eat breakfast in Kauai is Red Salt at Koa Kea Resort. Traditional Poipu dishes are served at this restaurant. Favorite dishes include the lemon-pineapple souffle pancakes and the Lobster Benedict.
This restaurant in Kauai is also open for dinner. The food is just as tasty. Especially if you order their layered Red Salt burger or ahi tartare, Ko’a Kea is my favorite Kauai resort for couples, so check it out if you’re planning a Kauai honeymoon or anniversary trip!
Address: 2251 Poipu Rd, Koloa, HI
It is all about the tacos and Mexican food at Tiki Taco in Kapa’a. They call it “Mexico food with a Hawaiian flair.” This is one of the best places to eat lunch in Kauai and my personal favorite. There are pork, chicken, fish, and vegetarian taco option.
Tiki Taco is Brandon-approved.
Best of all (for me, having Celiac disease), everything is naturally gluten-free. It’s also affordable too and easy to make your taco vegan (just hold the cheese!)
Address: 4-971 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI
Lava Lava Beach Club
You can get a grab-and-go breakfast or lunch, but the best time to visit in my opinion is dinner or Happy Hour! Dine with your toes in the sand and enjoy some of the best food and best happy hour on the island!
Address: 420 Papaloa Rd, Kapaʻa, HI 96746
The Bull Shed Restaurant
One of the best fine dining restaurants in Kauai is The Bull Shed Restaurant. In addition to the delicious food, you can enjoy spectacular ocean views along the Coconut Coast. The Bull Shed is located at the ISO, an excellent Kauai hotel for anyone on a budget who wants stunning views!
Check out my full review of the ISO Kauai here.
They have a short one-hour happy hour each day. But that is perfect for relaxing with a drink until it is time to eat dinner. Again, you can’t beat the view!
The menu at The Bull Shed is full of steak and seafood. You can also order chicken and ribs. Make sure you save room for dessert. The Holy Shed cake is big enough for two people!
Address: 4-796 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI
Duke’s Kauai is located right on the beach and is consistently voted one of the best restaurants in Kauai. So, gorgeous views of Nawiliwili Bay are served with every meal.
The menu at this restaurant in Kauai is filled with fish and seafood. However, you can also find prime rib, chicken, and burgers. You definitely can’t go wrong when you order the hula pie shake to go with your meal.
Address: 3610 Rice St, Lihue, HI
Kauai Juice Co
Kauai Juice Co. is another one of my personal favorites. I end up going every day when I am visiting Kauai! It is all about cold-pressed juices at the Kauai Juice Co.
All their juices are made with locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. My personal favorites are Akala, Omega, Ali’i, and Avatar. The signs are also pretty intsta-worthy!
You can also grab a salad during your visit. They offer a few different healthy varieties, as well as a tropical parfait. The “I am a rainbow goddess” is filled with healthy ingredients and macadamia nuts. The marinated kelp noodle salad is another popular option.
Address: 4-1384 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI
One of the best places to grab a cup of coffee in Kauai is Rainbeau Jo’s. If you’re hungry, you can also grab a bagel or another snack to go.
You might want to add a smoothie to your order as well. They are delicious and an excellent way to get your daily fruits and veggies.
Address: 3215 Oihana St, Lihue, HI
Merriman’s Kauai is one of the best places to eat dinner on Kauai, especially when you dine there on nights when live music is playing.
The dinner menu is filled with appetizers, salads, and entrees. The locals love the mac nut-crusted local fish and the Kua aina ranch filet of beef.
I recommend adding a bottle of wine to your order. And saving room for the Hawaiian molten chocolate purse. It’s made with Kauai coffee caramel and candied macadamia nuts before being covered with vanilla ice cream.
Address: 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Ste 42, Poipu, HI
Eat Healthy Kauai
One of the best places to eat vegan food in Kauai is Eat Healthy Kauai. This restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, they are only open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
So, planning your dining experience there is a must!
All their dishes are packed with protein and plant-based ingredients. My non-vegetarian husband liked the food too!
Whether you order a wrap, salad, veggie burger, or breakfast burrito, your taste buds will be happy. I recommend adding a smoothie to go with your meal. They have many varieties, but I think the monkey milk smoothie is the best.
Address: 4-369 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI
Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt
Hawaiian cuisine is served inside thatched-roof bungalows that float above the lagoon. A waterfall is nearby, which adds to the romantic ambiance.
The menu is filled with plenty of steak and seafood. You will also find chicken and vegetarian options to choose from.
Address: 1571 Poipu Rd, Koloa, HI
Beach House Restaurant
Pacific Rim cuisine is served to guests sitting at tables overlooking the beach and the water at the Beach House Restaurant in Kauai. This is the perfect place to watch the sunset (keep in mind the sun likely sets earlier in Kauai than what you’re used to!)
The menus are seasonal at the Beach House Restaurant. While they change frequently, there is always a favorite dish available. A couple of the favorites include fish and lobster pasta, pumpkin patch ravioli, and filet mignon.
Address: 5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI
Hualani’s is a farm-to-table restaurant in Kauai. Their menu changes regularly because they serve dishes made with ingredients in season. How cool is that?!
You will find it easy to relax and unwind while eating at Hualani’s. It is best to get a table that overlooks the water. This is most of them, but some have better views than others.
Start your night with a specialty cocktail. Then order dishes like the Kalo green curry, lobster tempura, or steak watson.
Address: 3770 Ala Oli Way, Lihue, HI
You know you are already in paradise when you vacation in Kauai. So, how about heading to paradise for dinner at Keoki’s Paradise?
This open-air restaurant is loved by locals and tourists alike. Arrive early to mingle, dine, and enjoy the live Hula.
The dinner menu is expansive, with dishes made from local ingredients. You might also be interested in their Taco Tuesday or Burger and Beer Wednesday. And who could forget about their weekend brunch!
Address: 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr, Koloa, HI
Oasis on the Beach
Oasis on the Beach is a stunning oceanfront restaurant with open-air seating. This is an excellent destination for both happy hour and dinner. The pineapple martini has a purple hue thanks to the blackberry drizzle. And the Kauaiian punch is their most popular cocktail.
Pair either of those with the farmer’s market curry, mauka burger, or sakura pork chop for a meal you will remember forever.
Address: 4-820 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI
Coconut Fish Cafe
Coconut Fish Cafe began over on the island of Maui. It has finally arrived in Kauai, though! This is excellent news for those days when you search for the best place to eat lunch in Kauai.
Seafood is on the majority of the menu, whether in tacos, on a bun, or served over pasta. Yet you can order chicken, steak, and veggie options too.
Arrive early at this lunch destination. The lines can get long quickly.
Address: 4-831 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI
Flavors from around the world are showcased on the menu at Postcards Cafe. This restaurant can be found inside a plantation beach house, adding to the ambiance.
Vegetarian options, fish, beef, and lamb are all featured on the menu. Although, you may be more interested in the chevre cheesecake or the Lappert’s Kauai ice cream pie.
Address: 5-5075 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
One of the best places for happy hour in Kauai is Bar Acuda. This bar is located directly on the mountainside of Hanalei. The wine, beer, and cocktails all pair perfectly with all the tapas on the menu.
Popular options include honeycomb with goat cheese, apples, bread, steamed clams, and banderillas. You won’t be able to resist the salted caramel pot de creme either.
Address: 5161 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
Hanalei Bread is one of the best places for coffee and breakfast in Kauai. The owner of this restaurant also owns Bar Acuda.
You must grab a pastry or frittata when you pick up your morning coffee. Then sit outside and eat as you enjoy the ocean views.
Address: 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
Garden Island Grille
The Garden Island Grille is located within Old Koloa Town. It is a family-friendly establishment where laughter can be heard all day long. Live music plays in the background as you dine on some delicious dishes from the menu.
Address: 5404 Koloa Rd, Koloa, HI
Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co
This is one of the best places to eat in Kauai. Kalaheo Cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although, many people prefer to dine there for breakfast.
Omelets, wraps, pancakes, waffles, and croissants are on the menu. So is plenty of coffee, tea, and smoothies.
Address: 2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy, Kalaheo, HI
The Shrimp Station
When craving shrimp on the island of Kauai, you must head over to The Shrimp Station. You can order coconut shrimp, garlic shrimp, and Cajun shrimp. There are even shrimp tacos and burgers on the menu!
Address: 9652 Kamuali’i Hwy, Waimea, HI
The main house’s mansion courtyard at the Kilohana Plantation was turned into Gaylord’s in the 1980s. They have been serving up Hawaiian favorites ever since.
This is one of the best places to eat dinner in Kauai. Chicken, beef, seafood, and vegetarian options fill the menu. Gluten and dairy-free options are also available to those guests who require special diets.
Address: 3-2087 Kaumuali’i Hwy, Lihue, HI
One of the best places to eat breakfast in Kauai is the Kountry Kitchen. Their loco moco is one of the best on the island. You may want to visit multiple days in a row to try numerous menu items.
After all, you know you won’t be able to resist French toast stuffed with blueberry cream cheese, macadamia pancakes, and breakfast sandwiches.
Address: 4-1489 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI
Eating House 1849
Eating House 1849 is only open for dinner. It is a fine dining restaurant that is more appropriate for romantic dinners. You probably won’t want to take younger children there.
Start with a tapas order before deciding on the steak, noodle, or rice bowls. The warm apple volcano is the perfect way to end any meal at this restaurant.
Address: 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Rd #A-201, Koloa, HI
Tahiti Nui has been serving delicious Hawaiian cuisine since the 1960s. They know how to create a relaxing atmosphere inside the restaurant with Hawaiian music playing in the background.
Address: 5-5134 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
The best place to eat a burger in Kauai is Tiki Iniki. Their iniki burger is crispy Spam and beef covered with provolone, pickled vegetables, cabbage slaw, and shoyu mayo.
Don’t feel like a burger? They have quite a few salads on the menu too.
Address: 5-4280 Kuhio Hwy, Princeville, HI
Seafood dishes packed with flavors are all on the menu at Hukilau Lanai. They also have an extensive wine list, so there is always something to pair with the meal you order.
The Wally’s steak crown royal is their most popular dish. You can slowly eat that as you listen to live entertainment in the evening. Add the macadamia nut tart if you want a complete experience at this Kauai restaurant.
Address: 520 Aleka Loop, Kapaa, HI
Food Trucks in Hanalei Town
Some of the best restaurants in Kauai are not restaurants at all, but food trucks. Some of the best food trucks in Kauai are found in Hanalei!
There are so many food trucks to choose from over in Hanalei Town. If you struggle to figure out what you want to eat, head over to this part of Kauai. I guarantee you will find something you are craving!
Aloha Juice Bar
The Aloha Juice Bar is one of the best places for lunch or a snack in Kauai. A visit to this food truck will have you enjoying smoothies, cold-pressed juices, acai bowls, and chocolate-dipped bananas.
Address: 5-5190 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
Indian comfort foods are what this Cafe Turmeric in Hanalei Town is known for. Local favorites include coconut shrimp curry, chana palak, and Naan. They have gluten-free and vegetarian options too! This is my favorite food truck; everything I’ve tried has been so good!
Photo is property of Cafe Turmeric.
Address: 5-5100 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
Fresh Bite Kauai
Fresh Bite Kauai is a farm-to-table food truck. This family-owned truck offers wraps, sandwiches, salads, and poi bowls. Each dish will fill you up. I recommend you arrive hungry, so you have room for their ice cream for dessert.
Address: 5100 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
Ingredients in the dishes on this food truck’s menu are sourced from a 6-generation farm in the area. The regular menu features dishes that include kalua pig, kulolo, lomi salmon, and poi.
You can’t go wrong with ordering any of the Taro products. The most popular ones are the Taro fruit smoothies and Taro veggie burgers. Just don’t skip the daily specials when ordering. You never know what option will have your taste buds dancing the most.
Address: 5-5070 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
The Hawaiian Islands are known for their poke bowls. If you are looking for the best poke bowls in Kauai, you must head to Kealia Poke. This food truck in Hanalei Town offers custom-made poke bowls you will love.
You can always order a poke salad if you don’t want a poke bowl.
Address: 5-5190 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
A day at the beach is always better when you decide to grab a bite to eat at Pat’s Taqueria. The menu is simple, with only tacos and burritos. One bite of either of those filled with Kalua pork, carne asada, or fish, and you will realize the taste is anything but simple.
Address: Black Pot Beach, Hanalei Pier
Saenz Ohana Breakfast
The portions are enormous at the Saenz Ohana Breakfast food truck. This is great if you are one of those people who are starving in the morning! The chef prepares everything from scratch.
You can find almost anything on the menu. However, if you are like everyone else, you will find yourself ordering the Kalua pig eggs Benedict. It is served on homemade English muffins.
Address: 5-5100 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
One of the best places to eat lunch in Kauai is the Trucking Delicious food truck. Plate lunches are their specialty. The most popular items include the ahi poke, sweet and spicy coconut shrimp, and Kalua pork.
Check out the desserts during your visit. If they have the Lilikoi coconut cream pie, grab a slice or two to go.
Address: 5-5144 Kuhio Highway Cross Street Aku Rd, Hanalei, HI
Wishing Well Shave Ice
You can’t spend time on any of the Hawaiian Islands and not try shave ice at least once. In Kauai, one of the best places to get shave ice is the Wishing Well Shave Ice food truck. They also have special dog-friendly shave ice if you take a Kauai shelter dog on a field trip!
Taking a shelter dog on a field trip is one of my favorite things to do in Kauai, learn more and find other things to do in Kauai at 25 free things to do on Kauai.
Their menu also includes coffee, fruit bowls, and acai.
Address: 5-5080 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI
The best restaurants in Kauai
These are the best restaurants in Kauai; from breakfast to coffee to food trucks, there’s something for everyone! Did your favorite Kauai restaurant make the list?
Don’t forget that many favorites closed down during the shutdowns in Hawaii. If your current favorite isn’t on the list, please share it in the comments below! Maybe I’ll even check it out and add it to the best places to eat in Kauai.
Kauai travel tips
Are you planning a Kauai vacation? Kauai is my FAVORITE island, and this blog is full of Kauai vacation ideas.
- The best Kauai honeymoon resorts
- The best waterfalls in Kauai
- The best beaches in Kauai
- The best things to do in Hanalei
- Maui vs. Kauai
- 4-day Kauai Itinerary
- The top 10 Best Hikes on Kauai
- 10 best adventure activities on Kauai
- 7-day Kauai Itinerary
- 25 things to do on Kauai
The best restaurants in Kauai
If you need some help planning your Big Island vacation, reach out! I am a Hawaii Travel Agent, and that is what I do. I am selective about how many clients I work with, so reach out as soon as possible for the best availability. You can contact me to learn more.
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