With a cultural focus on sustainability, a long growing season, and abundant rainfall, it’s not surprising that the regional cuisine of Hawai‘i – especially Kauai – is focused on using only the freshest local ingredients. As an intersection of cultures and a crossroads for world travelers, the cuisine of the islands gets the added benefit of infusions of flavor from around the world, with the end result being some of the most delicious dishes you’ve ever come across. From the beachside cafes to the world-famous chefs who call Kauai home, there is no shortage of outstanding Kauai restaurants to explore during your visit.
High End Dining in Kauai
With a bevy of resort hotels and luxury vacation properties, there are plenty of award-winning and fancy Kauai restaurants for a special occasion or romantic meal. Perhaps none of them has as beautiful a setting as Tidepools, with its open-air thatched huts perched on the banks of a tranquil Koi pond at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Dine on some of the freshest seafood and tasty local steaks while cool breezes bring the scent of tropical flowers and the sounds of soft Hawaiian music. If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Kauai, the Hukilau Lanai in Kapaa offers a diverse selection of island inspired dishes with plenty of fresh local ingredients in a charming seaside setting. They serve an excellent array of fresh seafood, bountiful salads, and delicious steaks including plenty of cuts from local ranches. The Hukilau features vegetarian selections and a gluten-free menu for diners with dietary restrictions.
North Shore Gems
The restaurants at the iconic St. Regis Hotel never disappoint, even if they can stretch the wallet. For incredible cocktails with a view try the Makana Terrace (get the ginger margarita), or for a full meal check out the tropical Mediterranean inspired Nalu Kai Grill and Bar or the posh and sophisticated Kaua‘i Grill with its wide selection of steakhouse classics and fresh seafood appetizers.
In Hanalei you won’t want to miss Bar Acuda, award-winning Chef Jim Moffat’s tribute to local ingredients, hand crafted dishes made with love, and tapas meant for sharing with friends. The innovative small plates like Spiced Quail with jalapenos and Ethiopian butter, Honeycomb with goat cheese and apple, or seared scallops with preserved lemon gremolata butter and shallots will dazzle with flavors of Hawaii, the Pacific Rim, the Mediterranean, and beyond. Cool yet casual, you’ll be tempted to try everything on the menu (which changes often). We won’t stop you!
From beachside favorites like Keoki’s Grill and Brennecke’s Beach Broiler offering casual, family fare with great views to simple Mom and Pop diners or shave ice stands, the food of Kauai is reason enough to visit this paradise. So whether you tour the island’s finest, from greasy spoons to 5-star Kauai restaurants, or if you simply prefer to cook as a family in your stocked kitchen at your Arrived vacation rental, you can be sure you’ll be eating well with some of the best ingredients on Earth.