best restauruants on Kauai?

Jan 9th, 2019, 02:01 PM
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best restauruants on Kauai?

Hoping for recommendations for the best restaurants in Kauai?

not interested in fancy or international cuisine.

looking for 'proper' Hawaiian food: locally owned, locally sourced "only in Hawaii" 'foodie' food

also any particular dishes at each particular restaurant that are a must-try: full meals or just snacks
Ty520 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2019, 09:34 AM
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I have no idea what you mean by "proper" Hawaiian food, and I can't imagine any local using that term. So I'll do my best to give you ideas abut local foods. The usual term for Hawaii food eaten by locals is the "plate lunch." I've seen that term more on Oahu than on Kauai.

Since we always stay in the Koloa/Poipu area, that this my area of expertise. There are additional options in other areas, Kapa'a and Hanalei, for instance.

The fish Market in Lihue has quite a following of locals who stop in for lunch or dinner (all take out). Poke, fresh fish, some salads. It is across the street from the hospital.

In Koloa, there is a also a fish market with similar offerings. There is a window on the side of Sueoka's (a Philippine grocery store) that always has a long
line of locals.

In the "old" Poipu shopping center: Puka Dog.

Poipu: in the "new" shopping center, The shops at Kukuilula: Lanai (right next to Living Foods), a sit-down place with locally-sourced ingredients. Savage Shrimp, formerly a food truck, now a sit-down place in the shopping center; Bubba's, for burgers. Upscale places with local seafood also in the shopping center: Merriman's, and the Dolphin. There is also a Merriman's Downstairs, casual dining, also locally sourced. Another Kauai institution, 1849 Eating House, (a Roy's restaurant) also upscale is also in the shopping center.

We also like Plantation Gardens, fresh local fish and locally sourced vegetables. Lovely setting in a botanical garden.

On the beach at Poipu State Park,, Brenneke's Broiler, a local institution with perfectly cooked fish, also excellent salads.

In Waimea, The Shrimp Station.

In HanaPepe try out Grandma's for Japanese food.

Enjoy your time on Kauai. We are headed there soon for a month.

Best Special Occasion Restaurant, Red Salt.

Last edited by Kathie; Jan 10th, 2019 at 09:46 AM. Reason: edited to add best special occasion restaurant
Kathie is offline  
Jan 10th, 2019, 10:01 AM
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by "proper" Hawaiian food, i mean legitimate; authentic - no paninis, burgers, italian food, etc that can be found in every other city in every other state...unless they do some sort of good hawaiian twist on it
Ty520 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2019, 12:49 PM
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Mark's Place
jamie99 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2019, 03:41 PM
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attend a luau?
suze is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 09:50 AM
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What area will you be staying in?

Hamura's Saimin (in Lihue) would be at the top of my list. I'd second Mark's Place and the Shrimp Station (Waimea and Kapaa).

For breakfasts: Tip Top (Lihue) and Kountry Kitchen (Kapaa).

Plate lunches: Pono Market (Kapaa)
Songdoc is offline  
Jan 12th, 2019, 01:21 PM
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When we go to Kauai’s North Shore, as we will be doing again in early March, we get our car, stop at CostCo, and then have a late lunch (still on CA time). at Shrimp Station. TipTop is on our way home. This trip we will also have a few nights in Poipu, looking forward to trying Grandma’s in Hanapepe.
socaltraveler is online now  
Jan 14th, 2019, 10:14 AM
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we'll (probably) be staying in Kapaa since it's in the middle, which will allow us to explore both north or south more easily, and will make a point of extensively traveling all over the island, so feel free to recommend anything, regardless of where it is on the island!
Ty520 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2019, 11:21 PM
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We are American here just like the rest of the states so there is lots of "non local" food under your definition. However, we are also more an Asian culture in most ways than anywhere on the Mainland. So, you can find lots of good real Japanese, chinese, Korean, Filippino, Hawaiian and Samoan food on Kauai. Just have to look a little harder. Lihue town is a good start as suggested above for Hamura Saimin, Tip Top, etc. Plate lunches are local and are really cross cultural or fusion developed long before that label existed. I would suggest you talk to some locals, real locals, not transplants when you are there and ask them. I go over from Oahu a couple of times a year but its usually for parties with home cooking, baby luaus, etc which are probably not accessible to you. I would also ask about places that inlcuded local type food on their menus. There are some like say Eggberts which does a good Loco Moco for breakfast, Portuguese bread French toast, etc. There are a couple of local places in Kapaa town that I have eaten at but dont recall the names...just ask around. Lots have closed in recent years as most tourists dont go there and over time the chains have won out. Kids rather have an egg mcmuffin than something"exotic" so the parents get dragged along and volume drops. Add in an aging workforce, kids that dont want to take over the family business, high costs of land and supplies and even Kauai, like other places, is getting homogenized.
KonaJoe is offline  
Jan 29th, 2019, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Ty520 View Post
by "proper" Hawaiian food, i mean legitimate; authentic - no paninis, burgers, italian food, etc that can be found in every other city in every other state...unless they do some sort of good hawaiian twist on it
Buy some cans of Spam.

We thought Hamura Saimin was okay and it is definitely a local place. And there was a counter service poke place that we liked but canít remember the name. In general, though, I was underwhelmed by the food in Kauai.
travelgourmet is online now  
Jan 31st, 2019, 07:08 PM
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Our best meals from our recent trip:
In Poipu: The Lanai, Merrimans, The Dolphin, Da Crack
In Hanalei: AMA, Trucking Delicious, Pat's Taqueria, Kauai Ono 560
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