Kauai is the oldest island of Hawaii, earning the nickname of "the Garden Isle" due to the miles and miles of thick tropical forest. You can spend every day on this island exploring the jungle, hiking to the cliffs on the coast, or relaxing on quiet beaches. But, in between all this adventure, you're going to need to take some time for food. That's why we've found the six best restaurants you need to visit on Kauai. From restaurants with stunning views to inexpensive options, there's something on this list for everyone.
1. Beach House Restaurant
Kauai has some of the world's most beautiful natural landscapes. The Beach House Restaurant isn't the most budget-friendly choice, but it has stunning ocean views that make you understand the price tag. Plus, you can't go to Kauai and not indulge in at least one fine-dining experience!
This award-winning restaurant is popular with both locals and visitors for its delicious food that is both creative and comforting. The Beach House sources all its fish from Island fishermen. Additionally, the beef and coffee are sourced from nearby providers.
The menu frequently changes to reflect in-season ingredients, but you can't go wrong with trying a little bit of seafood, meat, and a couple of cocktails! The Beach House is perfect for a romantic date night to start or end your vacation.
2. Keoki’s Paradise
If you’re ready to embrace the tourist life while in Kauai, go for this over-the-top tiki bar experience. After all, nothing quite makes you feel like you’re on vacation like drinking tropical cocktails with a jungle backdrop. Keoki’s Paradise specializes in family-style dining, fantastic Hawaiian-inspired cuisine, and an unbelievable drink menu. The restaurant believes in providing quality dishes by sourcing ingredients from local farmers and suppliers as much as possible.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the “Ahi Sashimi While It Lasts.” Locally caught and fresh ahi is served but consistently runs out every day before dinner service is finished. We recommend also trying the panko and mac nut-crusted fish-of-the-day and roasted lobster’s tails. And, you have to order some signature cocktails, such as the Mai Tai and the Makule “Old Timer.” Don’t be surprised if you spend a few hours here before you even realize it.
3. Eating House 1849
Eating House 1849 is one of famous chef Roy Yamaguchi’s many establishments. As is the trend with Kauai restaurants, Eating House 1849 focuses on using local, sustainably sourced ingredients. Chef Yamaguchi pays tribute to the original Eating House, which is thought to be one of Hawaii’s first restaurants, opened in the mid-1800s. The menu is concise and mixes inspiration from Hawaiin, American, and Southeast Asian cuisine. The setting is intimate and simple, making it perfect for a date night or a special occasion.
The menu changes frequently, but some of the most popular dishes are the pork and shrimp potstickers, beef short ribs, and the blackened island ahi.
4. Bar Acuda
After reading about three fine-dining experiences, you’re probably ready for some options that don’t break the bank. Kauai does delicious, affordable food just as well as it does luxury dining. Bar Acuda is a fun tapas-style bar that has been operating as a Kauai staple for 15 years now.
Come here with a group and enjoy the menu as you’re supposed to – by sharing and trying it all! The menu changes frequently based on local ingredient availability. But expect to be able to order some vegetable-forward dishes, various meat and seafood dishes, and even some delightful desserts!
Look up the best restaurants of Kauai, and you’ll probably find Duke’s on every single list. Duke’s is named after Duke Paoa Kahanamoku – a native Hawaiian who won his first Olympic gold medal at just 21 years old. Duke is credited with introducing surfing to the US Atlantic Coast, Australia, and New Zealand in 1914. The restaurant is a tribute to Duke, who holds the prestigious title of “Ambassador of Aloha.”
The restaurant is waterfront with colorful Hawaiian decorations. The drinks are strong, the atmosphere is fun and family-friendly, and all the fresh is fish. If you come to Duke’s, you have to order one of “Duke’s favorite dishes.” Choose between the slow-roasted prime rib or the sauteed mac nut and herb-crusted fresh fish. Come here and celebrate one of Kauai’s infamous celebrities with good food and a fun time.
6. Little Fish Coffee Poipu
If you come to Kauai, you’ll probably have acai bowls every day (or every second day). Acai bowls are a refreshing, healthy treat that will cool you off in the Hawaiin heat. And, the best acai bowls in Kauai are from Little Fish Coffee Poipu’s. This casual cafe offers a simple menu made with locally grown fruits and vegetables. Come here for breakfast or a light lunch so you can get an acai bowl, Hawaiian coffee, and bagels. It’s simple, delicious, and inexpensive.
You know Kauai is a fantastic food city when every restaurant on our list – big or small – focuses on using local, fresh ingredients. Make the most of your trip and visit all six of these places!