9 stellar Kauai restaurants

Travelers coming to Kauai are in for a treat when it comes to their dining experience. The island is full of restaurants offering all types of cuisine, so everyone can find their new favorite here. Whether you’re dining in or bringing the food back to your Kauai beach rental, you’re sure to be impressed. Here are nine restaurants you might want to try on your trip:

1. Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co.

If you’re looking for a delicious breakfast, this cafe is the perfect spot. Located in the mountainous Kalaheo region, the cozy cafe is known for its signature “Bagel Benny,” a delightful take on the traditional eggs Benedict. It also serves lunch and dinner – however, savvy visitors know to try a cup of coffee. This cafe is located right in the heart of acres of coffee fields – it doesn’t get much fresher than that.

This cafe will get you up and going in the morning. This cafe will get you up and going in the morning.

2. JO2 Natural Cuisine

If you didn’t know to look for it, you might miss this incredible restaurant located in an unassuming strip mall. Chef Jean-Marie Josselin has traveled the world, and he’s picked up some serious skills along the way. He uses locally grown produce to create unique dishes that bring in the influences of the cuisines he has studied. Notes of French, Chinese, Thai and Japanese cooking can be found on the JO2 menu, and the result is absolutely delicious.

3. The Fresh Shave

Hawaiian shaved ice is the quintessential sweet treat for your island getaway, and The Fresh Shave is your place to find it. The popular food truck’s ice syrups are made in house with local ingredients, so you’re getting way more than your average snow cone. It offers fun facial-hair-themed flavors, like the Fu Manchu (strawberry, banana and cream), and the Caterpillar (orange and creamsicle). To top it all, your straw comes with your very own mustache.

4. Hamura’s Saimin Stand

Fans of ramen will love saimin, the Hawaiian take on the Japanese dish. If you’ve never tried saimin (or if your experience with ramen has always included a Styrofoam cup) then you should make a point to stop at Hamura’s Saimin Stand. Be prepared for a long line – don’t be discouraged, though, because it usually moves pretty quickly. Make sure you match pace and figure out your order before it’s your turn.

5. La Spezia

This Italian restaurant and wine bar makes for the perfect date night or fancy evening out. It has a robust menu full of tantalizing appetizers and entrees, and it also has a rotating dessert menu. If you’re traveling with a large group, the restaurant does take reservations for six or more – if not, head in early to avoid a long wait for a table.

6. Da Crack

If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, check out Da Crack. This is a walk-up Mexican restaurant with huge servings and lots of personality. The ordering process is a familiar one – pick your dish, protein, toppings, etc. Once you’ve got your food, you can settle down in the outdoor seating area, or take it with you as you continue on your way.

7. Tidepools

If Tidepools’ appeal had to be summed up in one word, it would be atmosphere. This restaurant fully embraces the natural beauty of Kauai, and you’ll get to experience that beauty when you dine there. Located in a lagoon beside a waterfall, Tidepools gives you the authentic tropical experience you’re looking for when you visit Hawaii.

8. The Beach House

“Check out all the cool moves happening on the waves.”

Heading to The Beach House for dinner will give you a front-row seat to Hawaii’s most characteristic sport: surfing. This restaurant offers a spectacular view of a popular surfing beach, so as you eat you can check out all the cool moves happening on the nearby waves. Who knows – you might even get inspired to try your hand at surfing yourself. Even if you don’t, the great view and incredible food will make a visit to The Beach House well worth your while.

9. Makai Sushi

This sushi spot is the ultimate in unexpected locations – it’s inside a family-owned grocery store. That may seem strange, but don’t let it put you off – the sushi here is divine. Served with a full sheet of nori (seaweed) instead of the traditional half sheet, these sushi rolls are as substantial as they are delicious. On top of that, they’re made with health in mind. That means even though the rolls are big, they’re also good for you. So eat up!