Are you wondering where to eat in Kauai? Here's all the best food in Kauai and where to get it!
Best Kauai Restaurants
We've spent over 6 weeks in Kauai during the past few years including living there with our family of 6 (4 young kids) during Covid and a getaway with just my husband and I.
Needless to say, we have tried a lot of Kauai restaurants!
If you are heading to the Garden Island, this post is for you! I shared our favorite Kauai activities here but this post is dedicated to our favorite restaurants in Kauai.
How to save money on food in Kauai
Truth be told, Kauai is expensive and food is no different. Thankfully many of the activities are free, but plan to spend a good chunk of your budget on food.
With that said, there's a way to try out yummy food while still not spending a fortune.
Tip To Save $ On Food
If you have a kitchen, make a stop at Costco or Walmart in Lihue after you leave the airport to stock up on snacks, breakfast items, and some easy dinners.
I was surprised that many of the Costco food prices in Kauai were very similar to the prices in Utah where we live.
If you are staying at an Airbnb or condo with a kitchen, I highly recommend taking your Costco card and buying stuff for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and even some easy dinners.
On the days when we were out hiking or playing at the beach and didn't want to drive all the way back to Poipu, we would pack a lunch or grab food from a taco truck or something casual.
Another way to save money in Kauai is by eating out for lunch and then cooking dinner at your place.
Here's some of our favorite restaurants in Kauai we tried!
North Shore Kauai Restaurants
Nourish Hanalei (Princeville)
We postponed our Na Pali coast hike to wait until Nourish Hanaeli opened for the day at noon, but to our dismay, they decided to not open at all the day we were there.
I have heard such good things about the beautiful and nourishing food, but unfortunately I will have to try it on my next trip to Kauai.
Moral of the story: check their Instagram page or website for daily hours so you aren't dissapointed like we were.
Jojo's Shave Ice (Hanalei)
Not only does Jojo's have delicious shave ice, their mission to share the proceeds from every sale is so inspiring. You can never eat too many shave ice, so if you are in Hanalei, be sure to grab a shave ice for a refreshing treat.
Hideaways Pizza Pub (Princeville)
After hiking 8 miles on the Na Pali coast, we were starving. We went straight to Hideaways to indulge in some well-earned pizza and it was so tasty. If you want some fresh Hawaiian pizza in Princeville, this is a great option. The prices were reasonable, too.
For an affordable Kauai restaurants Princeville, we were super happy.
Kileaua Bakery (Kileaua)
Are you looking for the best bakery in Hawaii? Kileaua Bakery is top of our list!
This cute Kauai bakery is tucked back behind a few shops, creating a darling atmosphere to sit down and enjoy pastries, cake, cookies, and more. They even have a cute little library that kids can enjoy while you're there!
The fact they they sell out early of all their most popular baked goods like Macadamia Nut Sticky Buns says something. (We have still yet to try them since they are always gone by the time we get there.)
Needless to say, get there early if you want to have the best options!
I adored this reminder posted at the Kauai bakery:
Pat's Taqueria (Hanalei)
Pat's Taco Truck is usually right at Hanalei Pier parking lot, so it made for a quick and convenient lunch one day. They have $6 tacos or $12 burritos, which are big enough to share for lunch (especially if you are planning to get a Jojo's afterward.)
Holey Grail Donuts (Hanalei)
Holey Grail Donuts was closed on our first trip, so this was top on our list going back. These unique donuts are made with Taro flour, a root local to Kauai. We loved them for the unique flavors and the fact that they didn't taste overly greasy or sweet. When in Kauai, try the Kauai donuts at Holey Grail.
We saved $5 on our order by signing up for their app when we got there. If you want to save a few bucks on your order, get the app, too!
Fresh Bite (Hanalei)
We filled up at Fresh Bite right before hiking the Na Pali coast and their wraps were so fresh and filling. I would definitely eat here again.
Fresh Bite is in the Hanalei food truck park so there are plenty of options for everyone to find something.
East Side Kauai Restaurants
Kountry Kitchen (Kapaa)
Brunch lovers unite at this Kauai restaurant. We ordered Kountry Kitchen pancakes and talk about the biggest pancake ever! This will easily feed a few people. So if you want to eat out for breakfast, this is a good option.
Java Kai (Kapaa)
We don't drink coffee, but head to Java Kai coffee for their Tropical Waffles. You won't be disappointed. You don't get as much bang for your buck compared to the Kountry Kitchen breakfast portions, but if I had to choose just one, I would hands down get the Tropical Waffles.
While you are at Java Kai Kauai, head to the back of the restaurant to get an Instagram worthy picture at the Pineapple Wall.
Bubba's Burgers (Kapa'a)
For all you burger lovers, Bubba's Burgers Kauai is a must. They use only Kauai grass-fed beef and the side of "frings" (half fries, half onion rings) is a hit for everyone.
There are 2 locations, making this cheap spot to eat a great option whether you are in Kapa'a or Poipu.
Kenji's Burgers (Kauai Restaurants Lihue)
Kenji's Burgers is another great choice if you like grass-fed burgers.They are famous for teriyaki-style burgers that you won't find anywhere else.
Kenji's is near the airport which is a convenient place to grab a bite to eat before you take off or when first land in paradise.
Hukilau Lanai (Kapa'a)
Hukilau Lanai in Kapaa will not win any awards for the cheap food Kauai, but it is definitely worth a splurge for a nice dinner out. The ambience is incredible with tiki torches, and live music (check for availability), and the food is is wow. Amazing. I had the homemade pasta with edible flowers and it was something I would eat again in a heartbeat.
Be sure to make reservations if you want a spot at the table, otherwise you will need to be lucky to snag a spot at the bar.
Tiki Taco's (Kapaa)
Tiki Tacos is a quick and tasty option if you just need something fast and cheap.
This plant-based restaurant Kauai is delicious! I only ate here once, but it was yummy and I cannot wait to try more when I go back. Kauai vegan restaurants that was so yummy.
Ah, the famous Duke's restaurant you've probably heard about. Duke's is a higher end restaurant, but if you want to see the incredible indoor waterfall, just go for dessert and get their famous Hula Pie. It's a fun treat.
While you're there, play at Kalapaki Beach and walk the grounds at the Marriott. You'll be in awe.
If you prefer a casual experience, you can also visit their barefoot bar with great options.
South Side Kauai Restaurants
Waikomo Shave Ice (Koloa)
This best shave ice Kauai won't win any awards for ambience, but the shave is spectacular and our very favorite on the island.
You have to be careful not to miss it since it is tucked inside a parking lot in Koloa.
Waikomo Shave Ice uses all-natural ingredients and adds fresh fruit on top. Seriously, try it and you won't be disappointed.
Little Fish Coffee (Poipu)
The Pakala bowl from Little Fish Coffee was my absolute favorite. I've tried a lot of acai bowls, but this one is the best I've ever had. It's about $12 per bowl, but it will fill you up for most of the day.
Skip the long line and order online.
Lappert's Ice Cream (Koloa)
For ice cream flavors you won't find anyone else, a stop at Lappert's Ice Cream Koloa is a must.
Bubba's Burgers (Koloa Kauai Restaurants)
Another location of the famous Bubba's Burgers.
Keoki's Paradise (Poipu)
This Poipu Kauai restaurant is similar to Duke's (owned by the same company), but the wait is usually shorter and easier to get a seat.
You will find the same famous Hula Pie plus a broad range of dishes for everyone in the family.
Check the schedule for live music and you have dinner and entertainment in one.
Da Crack (Koloa)
For another Kauai restaurants Poipu is this no-frills taco shop in Koloa, but delicious. Da Crack Mexican is a great spot to grab a quick lunch to take on the go since there is no seating here. It's also right next to our favorite shave ice in Kauai- Waikomo Shave Ice.
West Side Kauai Restaurants
Porky's Kauai is famous for their Hawaiian pulled pork. They make ordering food very simple with just 4 different options plus kids options, too. The #3 grilled cheese with pulled pork, fresh pineapple and grilled onions was my husband's favorite. I got a side of rice with pineapple which was yummy. If you have kids with you, ask for their grilled cheese for kids without the pork.
Jojo's Shave Ice (Waimea)
You want to try Jojo's Shave Ice but you won't be in Hanalei? No worries!
There is another Jojo's location in Waimea, making this a great treat for after hiking or exploring Waimea Canyon. They have tons of different flavors to choose from. Be sure to get their macadamia nut ice cream in one of your shave ices!
There you have it! All the Hawaii Kauai restaurants we've tried and liked! We hope this helps and you enjoy your time in Kauai!