This venerable diner entrances everyone who visits, bar none. Its old-school charm, people-watching opportunities, and affordable prices bolster its appeal, and the food isn't too shabby either. Saimin, the Hawaiian broth-and-noodle mainstay, is prepared with aromatic stock and filled with pork, vegetables, egg, and wontons. It's addictive and satisfying. Make sure to accompany a steaming bowl with barbecue sticks (skewered chicken or beef) and a slice of refreshing lilikoi (passionfruit) pie. Lines often form for the fabulous treat, but you won't wait too long before you're slurping away. Ideal for a late-night snack too.
Local Expert tip: Try a classic and simple saimin.
One of Kauai's most celebrated Asian establishments, Kintaro has built its reputation on sublime cuisine and unobtrusive service. Amid serene Asian decor, folks dive into sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, tempura, yakitori, and hot pot dishes. Chefs are eminently capable, crafting incredible fare from the freshest fish, vegetables, seafood, and meats. Tatami and table seating are both available, and dinners come with miso soup, pickled vegetables, rice, and tea. The sushi bar makes for a fun hangout, too. You'll want reservations here, but just make sure to stop in at this unassuming roadside restaurant in Kapaa. This is no doubt the best sushi on the island.
Recommended for Asian because: Restaurant Kintaro is known for serving up sushi and other Japanese food with beautifully fresh local fish.
Local Expert tip: Restaurant Kintaro is only open for dinner and reservations are necessary.
Delectable cuisine, mingling the flavors of Thailand and Hawaii, awaits at this charming establishment, sheltered in an old homestead. Fresh ingredients figure prominently on the menu, and fish and seafood are especially appealing, whether in sushi rolls, in sautés, or simply cooked to perfection. If you're in the mood for meat, you'll find that pork, chicken, and lamb are also skillfully prepared. A relaxed, tropical ambience colors the place, providing an appropriate cap to a day of fun and leisure.
This understated restaurant offers a wealth of Thai dishes and provides choices from other culinary traditions as well, including Vietnamese- and Chinese-inspired fare. Naturally, you'll find a variety of curries, and noodles also make a strong appearance, both on their own and incorporated into broth soups like pho and the Hawaiian specialty, saimin. The family-owned establishment also treats vegetarian customers well, offering a wide selection of fresh, savory, meatless dishes.