Favorite Eats in Kauai

fruit stand in Hanalei Bay - ultimate guide to kauai

Kauai is an island that highlights local, local, local!  You won’t find the Hawaiian equivalent of Nobu on this island, but you’ll experience native dishes that focus on regional flavors and a laid back-island style of cooking.  Think farm-stands, fresh fruit, smoothies, taco trucks, and seafood galore!


Most of my foodie favorites were located on the North Shore.  We consumed our morning calories at Hanalei Bread Company, which is an open air coffee shop cafe. They offer refreshing smoothies, creative toasts, and freshly baked warm pastries. They even own a small organic farm, and use their own produce for menu items -- a true farm to table eatery!  Be prepared for a line out the door, but you’re on island time so it’s all good.  


If you’re planning to hike the Nepali Coast trail (Kalalau Trail), pack snacks, plenty of water, a big lunch, and more water.  We stopped at an all natural grocery store to stock up on supplies.  I never seem to pack enough food when I go hiking, and this time around, I did not make that mistake.  After you complete your long day of hiking the Nepali Coast Trail, head back into Hanalei for a well deserved taco feast at Tropical TacoThe fish tacos really hit the spot after a 10 mile hike!  

tropical taco fish tacos kauai

If you’re in the mood for a more festive night out, hop in the car for a quick drive over to The Dolphin, serving sushi and surf 'n’ turf cuisine. The sushi is the star of the show at this eatery, but they offer plenty of other options if raw fish isn’t your cup of tea.  They do not take reservations; however, if you have to wait for a table, they have an open lawn area where you can enjoy a drink.  There are also a few shops nearby to browse while you wait.  


You’ll find more upscale restaurants on the Southern Shore of Kauai.  Our favorite was Red Salt at Ko’a Kea Hotel.  Arrive a few minutes early to check out the beach -- if you’re lucky, you’ll spot some sea turtles or seals lounging around.


Lastly, a food review of Kauai would not be complete without a proper shaved ice recommendation.  Shaved ice is a big deal on this tiny island, and we found our favorite at JoJo’s Shaved Ice.

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