Kauai Restaurants and Dining

Food trucks to fine dining, there are Kauai restaurants to suit your taste

fresh sushi at the Hanalei Dolphin

North Shore

*Hanalei Gourmet (Hanalei) serves one of the best fish-and-chips meals you'll get anywhere in the world.  Fresh and delicious.  With a full bar and plenty of small town charm.  

*Bar Acuda (Hanalei): Great bar and restaurant for a date night or fun night with friends.  The food is upscale, Mediterranean influenced, and the wine and tapas are a great way to wind down after a long day of sight-seeing.  Reservations recommended.  

*The Dolphin (Hanalei and Poipu):  Since the early 1970s, The Dolphin Restaurant has welcomed visitor and locals alike to its Hanalei riverside location.  Known for the freshest cuts in seafood, second-to-none service, and ambiance, one can enjoy a peaceful riverside lunch on umbrella-shaded tables, outstanding dinner fare in a tropical, romantic setting, or just hang out in the stylish world-class sushi lounge.  You'll find a fish market inside too! On the pricey side, but worth it.  A second location on the south shore in Poipu. 

*Postcards Café (Hanalei):  Enjoy touches of Old Hawaii with vintage Kauai photographs and postcards featured in their decor.  Fresh seafood and island-grown produce.  Many vegan dishes or they’ll customize your meal to make it vegan for you. Reservations recommended.  

Sign in front of Tiki Iniki Princeville bar and grill

*Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza (Kilauea) is one of the best places on Kauai to get fresh baked goods.  They have a variety of sweet and savory temptations.  If you are looking for more meal like items, you can try one of the gourmet pizzas topped with everything from prawns to gorgonzola.  

*Hideaways Pizza Pub (Located at Pali Ke Kua in Princeville) is a family-friendly Italian restaurant that serves pizzas, pasta dishes, and cocktails.  

*Princeville Shopping Center has numerous dining options and is very convenient to all of our north shore condos.  Dine al fresco while enjoying Thai/Chinese cuisine (and often live music).  Crave Mexican food?  Try Federico's.  If you're feeling sociable, visit Tiki Iniki's for a lively bar and grill atmosphere with tasty food and an extensive drinks menu.

glasses of beer on the bar at Kauai Beer Company

 East Shore

* Coconut's Fish Cafe (Safeway shopping center in Kapa'a), serving stellar fish tacos.  If you're not a fan of the fish, give the kalua pork tacos a try.  Great fish and chips for the kids, lots of gluten free options, and the seared ahi and spicy poke bowl make it more than worth the effort of braving Kapa'a traffic!

Bubba's Burgers (Kapa'a) not only offers great burgers and fries, but indoor and outdoor dining with an oceanfront view.  Man up and try the double bubba burger with an order of onion rings, and don't forget the ranch dip.  You can't go home until you've tried a Bubba Burger.

*Kauai Beer Company (Lihue) is a local microbrewery crafting artisan beers.  Even if you’re not a beer drinker, the menu is creative and tasty enough to be worth a visit.  

*Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau (Kapaa) is a traditional Hawaiian version of a buffet with a feast of Polynesian food.  There is a full bar available.  A dramatic production follows the feast with music and dance representing the whole Pacific world.  Fun fun fun!  

outdoor dining at Duke's Kauai on Kalapaki beach

*Lemongrass Grill and Seafood & Sushi Bar (Kapaa) is a restaurant with a combination of Thai and Hawaiian flavors.  Yummy!  Most nights are okay without reservations, but on the weekends, it is recommended.  

*Oasis (Kapaa) is a full bar and restaurant with breathtaking ocean views that can be enjoyed from outdoor and indoor seating.  We’re talking right on the beach, gorgeous setting, very romantic in the evening.  Go for lunch and try the Hanalei Buffalo Loco Moco (yep, buffalo raised right on Kauai’s north shore) or the quinoa wrap if you’re not a meat eater.  Moderately pricey.  

*Sam's Ocean View (Kapaa) gives you exactly as promised, a really fabulous ocean view while you dine.  Be prepared to spend some money, but we think once  you've sample the ahi poke nachos or wild boar jalapeno sausage, you'll consider it money well spent!  They also offer a full bar, and a lovely brunch on Sundays.

*Mermaids Café (Kapaa): Stop and grab a healthy lunch or take a break and sit down at the few tables that are set up along the sidewalk.  Meals are prepared with local Kauai produce and fish, and you won’t have any trouble finding a vegetarian or vegan option. 

*Small Town Coffee Co (Kapaa): Serves organic free-trade coffee, tea, smoothies, and organic gluten-free pastries.  Perfect place to take a break if you’re strolling the Kapaa shops. 

*Kalapaki Shave Ice (Lihue): Okay, this is not technically a restaurant, but with its large selection of flavors and great location at Kalapaki Beach, it’s worth including on the list, and it’s definitely worth a taste.  

*Duke’s Kauai (Lihue): Festive beachside eatery at the Kauai Marriott serves both island favorites & American eats.  Frequently features live music.  It can get crowded, so reservations are recommended.  

street view of Brennecke's Beach Broiler | Poipu Restaurants

South Shore

*Lava’s on Poipu Beach (inside of Sheraton Kauai in Poipu) is a popular place to go for a bit of nightlife which includes beachside dining and cocktails.  The atmosphere is casual, the beach just steps away.  Not cheap, but if you hit it up at happy hour or for the breakfast buffet, you won’t regret it.  There is also an east shore location in Kapa's where you can dine at a shaded table directly on the beach!  The sizzling shrimp appetizer is to die for!!!

*Brennecke’s Beach Broiler (Poipu) has a lot going on…live music every Thurs/Fri/Sat, daily happy hour, an activities center to help you pick and book your events, varied menu, and best of all it’s right on the beach.  Be sure to try the shaved ice, so refreshing!   

*Dondero’s (Poipu) is a perfect fancy night out restaurant with homemade Italian food.  

*Merriman’s Poipu (Poipu) is a restaurant that combines gourmet food with sustainability.  Nice views, romantic atmosphere, and live music nightly.  Pricey, and reservations are recommended.  

*Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau (Poipu), Luaus are Hawaiian tradition of combining a big meal along with a celebration and festivities.  There is authentic Hawaiian food along with an evening show which showcases crafts, costumes, music and dance performances from different cultures throughout the Pacific.  

street view of Kauai shave ice Hanalei


*Ilima Terrace (Poipu) is a lovely open-air venue that is great to enjoy breakfast or lunch.  The breakfast buffet is good…even better since you can enjoy it while admiring the serene koi pond and ocean views.  Located inside the Grand Hyatt.  

*Bubba’s Burgers (Poipu and Kapa’a):  Bubba Burgers is known for authentic old-fashioned burger joints since 1936. Family owned and operated, Bubba's serves fresh ground Kauai "grass-fed" beef, chicken, fish and vegan items. Gluten free burgers are available.  Give the taro burger a try, it’s a fun and tasty experience! 

*Brick Oven Pizza (Kalaheo) is where you can find an all you can eat Italian buffet every Thursday night.  Pizza every night of the week.  Convenient location right at the Wailua River along the main road. 



Got a local favorite to suggest?  Please send it to us, along with your comments, and we’ll be happy to add it to the list!  We encourage you to include a photograph, as there’s nothing we like more than to see our guests having fun! Send us an email about your favorite Kauai restaurant.