11 Best Restaurants in The North Shore, Kauai

Bar Acuda

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Hip and pricey, this tapas bar is a top place in Hanalei in terms of flavor and creativity, with food that's often organic and consistently remarkable. The dining room is super-casual but chic, with a welcoming bar and a nice porch for outdoor dining. Owner-chef Jim Moffat's brief menu changes regularly, but favorites include honeycomb with goat cheese and sea scallops or Hawaiian ahi with pineapple and scallions. The adjacent sister restaurant, Ama, serves ramen and other Asian-style dishes in an upscale outdoor setting.

5--5161 Kuhio Hwy., Hanalei, Hawaii, 96714, USA
Known For
  • sophisticated, eclectic cuisine
  • short, often-changing menu with innovative specials
  • interesting wine list
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch. Closed Sun. and Mon.

The Hanalei Dolphin

$$$ Fodor's choice

Fresh fish caught in local waters by local fishers take star billing at this upscale, tropical-theme restaurant and sushi lounge on the banks of the Hanalei River. There are also many land-based dishes on the menu, including Hawaiian and haole (white-person) chicken, beef tenderloin, and steaks. The Dolphin doesn’t take reservations—if there’s a wait, order a cocktail or glass of wine and hang out in the lush riverside garden. The on-site market sells fish and seafood as well as sushi rolls, steaks, and organic greens.

5--5016 Kuhio Hwy., Hanalei, Hawaii, 96714, USA
Known For
  • fresh local ingredients
  • extensive wine and sake list
  • on-site fish market also carries cheeses and steaks
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch Mon.–Sat.

Kilauea Bakery & Pizzeria


Open from 6:30 am, the bakery serves coffee drinks, delicious fresh pastries, bagels, and breads in the morning, but late risers should beware: breads and pastries sell out quickly. Pizza (including a gluten-free dough option), soup, and salads can be ordered for lunch or dinner. Service is leisurely. There's free Wi-Fi and a cute courtyard with covered tables.

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Kilauea Market + Café


Order freshly prepared Hawaiian and American meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—snacks, beer, and wine at the counter at this casual, contemporary restaurant, coffee bar, and beer and wine bar in an upscale grocery store. The extensive and eclectic menus include something for everyone, from loco moco (white rice topped with a hamburger patty, brown gravy, and fried egg), plate lunches, and fresh-catch fish-and-chips to pizzas, burgers, salads, and sandwiches.

Moloaa Sunrise Juice Bar & Fruit Stand


Don't let the name fool you; they don't open at sunrise (more like 7:30 am, so come here after you watch the sunrise elsewhere). And it's not just a fruit stand: fill up on bagels, pancakes, smoothies, and coffee drinks in the morning; homemade salads, burritos, panini, and sandwiches for lunch; and tropical-style fresh juices, such as pineapple, carrot, watermelon, and guava, anytime.

Nanea Restaurant & Bar


The signature restaurant of the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas has casual, open-air seating that perfectly complements an island-style menu sure to please a wide range of diners. Grilled rib eye is served with bacon and sour cream mashed potatoes, while the chicken—smoked kalua style—is accompanied by Molokai sweet potatoes. Lunch options include a plate lunch. At this writing, the restaurant was serving its pool bar menu but may transition to a fuller menu. The food is well executed and service is friendly. 

North Shore General Store


Attached to a gas station and small-items store, this classic hole-in-the-wall has the best deals for a take-out breakfast or lunch on the North Shore. Darron's local-beef burgers have a loyal following, and you may have to get in line for his lunchtime favorite, chili-pepper chicken. He also parks his food truck at Anini Beach every weekday from 11 am to 2 pm.

5--4280 Kuhio Hwy., Princeville, Hawaii, 96722, USA
Known For
  • espresso bar and homestyle breakfast and lunch plates
  • closes at 6:30 pm
  • food truck at Anini Beach on weekdays
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No dinner

Postcards Café


This plantation-cottage restaurant has a menu full of seafood but also offers additive-free vegetarian and vegan options. Top menu picks include crispy leek salad with buckwheat noodles, miso-chocolate beef short ribs, and grilled yucca. Desserts are made without refined sugar. Try the chocolate Marquesa with berries and pistachios or the chèvre cheesecake, topped with lilikoi (passion fruit) gel and apple-pear compote.

5--5075A Kuhio Hwy., Hanalei, Hawaii, 96714, USA
Known For
  • meat-free options, local-market fish
  • cozy dining room in historic setting
  • desserts with no refined sugar
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch. Closed Sun. and Mon.

Sushigirl Kauai


Pick up some of Kauai’s tastiest made-to-order rolls, sushi burritos, and poke bowls with ahi, smoked salmon, and (sometimes) ono at this modest trailer. Dine in the adjacent courtyard (snag a table with an umbrella) or picnic at the beach. This is a popular place, so be prepared to wait in line.

The Hanalei Gourmet


Hanalei's restored old schoolhouse holds an airy restaurant offering dolphin-safe tuna, low-sodium meats, fresh-baked breads, and house-made desserts, as well as a casual atmosphere where both families and the sports-watching crowd can feel equally comfortable. Lunch and dinner menus feature sandwiches, burgers, hearty salads, a variety of pupus (appetizers), and nightly specials of fresh local fish. They also will prepare a picnic and give it to you in an insulated backpack. A full bar and frequent live entertainment keep things hopping even after the kitchen closes. Monday and Thursday evenings fill up for fish taco night, which begins at 6:30.



A tiny café with a huge local following, Trilogy serves artisanal coffee, tea, chai, adaptogenic elixirs (with ingredients that may reduce the effects of stress on the body), and other blends, plus an array of sweet and savory treats, from avocado toast with macadamia nut pesto and za’atar seasoning to cakes and cookies.