Molokai Restaurants

During a week’s stay, you might easily hit all the dining spots worth a visit and then return to your favorites for a second round. The dining scene is fun, because it’s a microcosm of Hawaii’s diverse cultures. You can find locally grown vegetarian foods, spicy Filipino cuisine, or Hawaiian fish with a Japanese influence—such as tuna, mullet, and moonfish that’s grilled, sautéed, or mixed with seaweed to make poke (salted and seasoned raw fish).

Most eating establishments are on Ala Malama Street in Kaunakakai. If you’re heading to West Molokai for the day, be sure to stock up on provisions, as there is no place to eat there. If you are on the east end, stop by Manae Goods & Grindz (808/558–8186) near mile marker 16 for good local seafood plates, burgers, and ice cream.

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  • 1. Hiro's Ohana Grill

    $$$

    Located in Hotel Molokai, the Island's only oceanfront restaurant is also its fanciest and best place to grab a drink or watch the game on TV. Enjoy pasta, steak, shrimp, or fish while watching the sunset and listening to live music, and don't be surprised if the couple you saw hiking is seated at the table right next to you. Try hearty burgers for lunch, local favorite plates like kalbi ribs for dinner, and for a real treat, plan for breakfast on Sunday.

    1300 Kamehameha V Hwy., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748, USA
    808-660–3400

    Known For

    • Shrimp pesto over linguini
    • Live music and hula
    • Whale-watching from your table in winter

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Breakfast available on Sundays
  • 2. Kanemitsu's Bakery and Coffee Shop

    $ | Coffee

    Stop at this James Beard–nominated Molokai institution for morning coffee, a loco moco (white rice, burger patty, fried egg, and brown sauce), and some Molokai bread—a sweet, pan-style white loaf that makes excellent cinnamon toast. Prices are nice and portions are large; breakfast can easily carry you through lunch. By night, the famous "Hot Bread Lane" is a Molokai institution—sniff your way down the alley behind the store around 7:30 pm to find the hidden bakery window and grab a loaf of tomorrow's bread right out of the oven. This quest is a crucial Molokai experience—your reward is fresh, warm, tasty bread full of your choice of toppings like tropical jelly, cream cheese, cinnamon, and more.

    79 Ala Malama St., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748, USA
    808-553–5855

    Known For

    • Fast and friendly service
    • Taro pancakes
    • Poi donuts

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Tues.
  • 3. Paddlers Restaurant and Bar

    $$

    New owners breathed new life—and a new menu—into this popular Molokai standout, and the result is a laid-back setting and a fusion of gourmet cuisine that stays true to the Island's roots, highlighted by excellent burgers, garlic shrimp, and nightly specials. The bar has the Island's only draft beer, there's live music and dancing most nights, and produce is locally sourced when available—especially with daily fish specials.

    10 S. Mohala St., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748, USA
    808-553–3300

    Known For

    • An umami explosion in the Paddler Fries
    • Tomato jam burger
    • Live music at night

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 4. Kamoi Snack-n-Go

    $

    The old school interior at this "Molokai rest stop" feels a bit like a time warp, making it the perfect place to try one (or two) of the 30 or more flavors of Dave's Hawaiian Ice Cream; it's the only place that serves it on the Island. Sit in the refreshing breeze on one of the benches outside to enjoy your cone and pick up snacks, crack seed, water, and cold drinks.

    28 Kamoi St., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748, USA
    808-553–3742

    Known For

    • Unique, tropical flavors of Dave's Hawaiian Ice Cream
    • Icees
    • Grab-n-go snacks and drinks
  • 5. Manae Goods & Grindz

    $

    The best place to grab a snack or picnic supplies is this store, 16 miles east of Kaunakakai. It's the only place on the east end where you can find essentials such as ice and bread, and not-so-essentials such as seafood plate lunches, bentos, burgers, shakes, and refreshing smoothies. It can get hopping at lunch; call ahead to place an order if you can.  

    8615 Kamehameha V Hwy., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748, USA
    808-558–8498

    Known For

    • Famous macaroni salad
    • Hurricane chips with seaweed and spicy mayo
    • Loco moco (white rice and a burger patty topped with a fried egg and gravy) and plate lunches

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Lunch counter closed Wed.; no dinner
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Molokai Burger

    $

    Clean and cheery, Molokai Burger offers both drive-through and eat-in options. Often compared to In-n-Out, this is the Island's version of fast food, and the tasty burger buns and super crispy fries (including enormous waffle fries as an option) help to elevate this past a typical experience.

    20 W. Kamehameha V Hwy., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748, USA
    808-553–3533

    Known For

    • Affordable burgers
    • Twofer Tuesdays
    • Air-conditioning and Wi-Fi

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 7. Molokai Pizza Cafe

    $

    This is a popular gathering spot for local families and a good place to pick up food for a picnic. Pizza, sandwiches, burgers, salads, pasta, and chicken are simply prepared and served without fuss. Kids keep busy at the arcade games, and art by local artists decorates the lavender walls.

    15 Kaunakakai Pl., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748, USA
    808-553–3288

    Known For

    • Vegetarian options
    • Linguine alfredo
    • Open Sundays
  • 8. Sundown Deli

    $

    A Molokai staple for more than 20 years, this small deli focuses on freshly made takeout food. Sandwiches come on a half dozen types of bread, and the homemade soups are outstanding. This is a great option for catering for large groups if it's a family affair.

    145 Puali Pl., Kaunakakai, Hawaii, 96748, USA
    808-553–3713

    Known For

    • Super friendly owner
    • Homemade soups
    • Small but lovely breakfast menu

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed weekends. No dinner.
  • 9. Kualapuu Cookhouse

    $
    Closed Permanently

    Across the street from Kualapuu Market, this laid-back diner is a local favorite set in a classic, refurbished, green-and-white plantation house that's decorated with local photography and artwork and accented with a shady lanai. Typical fare at Kualapuu's only restaurant is a plate of chicken, pork, or hamburger steak served with rice, but there's also the more expensive spicy crusted ahi (yellowfin tuna) at dinner and daily specials. This is a small operation, so don't be in a rush when you come in—and be sure to bring cash.

    102 Farrington Ave., Kualapuu, Hawaii, 96757, USA
    808-567–9655

    Known For

    • Chicken katsu
    • BYOB
    • Thursday night prime rib

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed for dinner Sun. and Mon.

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