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The Best Restaurants on Kauai

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If you drive the 30 miles from the airport in Lihue to Hanalei in less than an hour, you’re doing it wrong. The coastal route around Kauai’s northeast corner is made for snack stops. Here’s how to take it slow and eat well, starting in Lihue.
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5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756, USA
Boasting some of the best views in Kauai, this dreamy eatery serves up spectacular sunsets alongside splurgeworthy lunches and dinners. Start with the signature Monkeypod Mai Tai: A potent blend of Old Lahaina rums and orange curaçao,...
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3343 Kuhio Hwy #3, Lihue, HI 96766, USA

Famous for its poke (raw fish salad), this bustling lunchtime hotspot also serves Hawaiian plates and gourmet bento boxes packed with goodies like grilled salmon and baked teriyaki chicken. Other standouts include a Cajun fish sandwich with honey...

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2956 Kress St, Lihue, HI 96766, USA
The local answer to ramen, saimin is a broth noodle bowl uniquely Hawaiian in its melding of Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and Korean immigrant cuisines. Hamura is a likably divey lunch-counter kind of place. Don’t miss the lilikoi...
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Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing, once visited and enjoyed Nawiliwili Bay, which this restaurant now overlooks. Grab Korean street tacos and fire-roasted-veggie flatbread at the Barefoot Bar (especially fun at Aloha Hour from...

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4-1384 Kuhio Hwy B1, Kapaa, HI 96746, USA
This colorful old hippie spot has a happy vibe and a terrific ahi nori wrap—a sushi burrito, essentially. Pair it with the hibiscus lemonade. 4-1384 Kuhio Hwy., Kapaa, 808-821-2026 This appeared in the May 2015 issue.
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2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Rd A-201, Koloa, HI 96756, USA
Iconic chef Roy Yamaguchi helped popularize Hawaiian-fusion food a generation ago, but at Eating House 1849 he takes a delicious detour with dishes inspired by Portuguese, Spanish, and Filipino flavors. This "plantation cuisine" evokes the...
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2251 Poipu Rd, Koloa, HI 96756, USA

Lounge poolside and enjoy casual fare like an ahi melt with Dubliner cheddar cheese or a kalua pork flatbread topped by cucumbers and macadamia nuts. Or dine oceanfront on beet-cured ono, Kula sweet onion and saffron soup with a manchego tuile or...

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5-5088 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714, USA
When a sunny day on Hanalei Bay calls out for fish tacos, this little spot does the trick. Island prices but also island freshness. 5-5088 Kuhio Hwy., Hanalei, 808-827-8226 This appeared in the May 2015 issue.
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This adorable structure built in 1930 shelters a microbrew pub. Start with one of its classic beers, like a malty lager or a dark Bavarian-style brew called Black Limousine. Kauai Beer Company (KBC) also serves kombucha on tap and root beer, both...
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5482 Koloa Rd, Koloa, HI 96756, USA
I rarely get fooled when I follow the local lead and the Koloa Fish Market has my attention. It's easy to start talking about this little fish palace across the street from the post office. Nondescript is telling it like it is. Observing the...
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In the heart of old town Kapaa, the Olympic overlooks Main Street with laid-back Hawaiian style. Upstairs in an old building that's been converted into a collection of ragtag shops, the cafe has a commanding presence. Park and wander along the...
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For an early breakfast treat, get some malasadas at the Village Snack and Bakery Shop (a hole-in-the-wall eatery) located in the Ching Young Village Shopping Center. They sell out of them fast every morning, so you need to roll out of bed early....
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A once sugar baron estate and plantation, the Kilohana Plantation and its restaurant, Gaylord's, put on a Sunday Brunch of Fun. Enjoy a lazy Sunday with mimosas, live local music, the estate's mascots (aka roosters), and views of Kauai's natural...
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5-5161 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714, USA
Every evening on the North Shore of Kauai, diners pack Bar Acuda for Mediterranean-inspired tapas that highlight local products. “The key is taking the finest ingredients and not doing much with them,” says chef Jim Moffat. He frequently changes...
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3474 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766, USA
The beef is local and grass-fed, the french fries and french toast are good, the people are nice, and it's got views of a little bay. We ate one meal here, then another, and another. Sometimes when you find a good thing, you stick with it....
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There are some things no matter how touristy one must do. After all, these things became "touristy" for a reason, usually because they're good. Eating shave ice in Hawaii is one of those things. It's not your typical snow cone, the array of...
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After passing Anahola on the Kealia Road on the way to the North Shore of Kauai, be sure to pull over a the Moloa'a juice bar for a smoothie, juice, or other fresh snack made from local tropical deliciousness. Whether starting your day with a...
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Great slice of Hawaii. Charming breakfast spot here in Kalahena. Try bottomless coffee, the "knuckle" bun, delicious omelettes and local favorites.
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5-5080 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714, USA
Cool off in the Hawaii heat with a classic Hawaiian treat. Shave ice is topped with nearly any tropical flavored syrup you can think of.