A hit with locals and visitors, the Hanalei Taro & Juice Co. is a spot that all visitors need to stop at and enjoy. Very local style, the restaurant is a local style lunch wagon resting roadside in Hanalei. Serving traditional Hawaiian food, but with a modern twist, this is your best bet to fill up on taro, the root crop that sustained Hawaiians for generations. Here you can find taro and many other healthy ingredients prepared with a modern twist, such as a taro smoothie, Hawaiian plate lunches, taro hummus, taro veggie burgers, and even taro acai bowls- the list goes on.
Recommended for Best Value because: Hanalei Taro & Juice Co. is well known for serving up quick yet healthy meals.
Local Expert tip: Try the taro smoothie.
This small and quaint eatery in the heart of historic Hanalei is a friendly place that opens early and pulls in crowds of locals who enjoy its uncomplicated atmosphere and laid-back clientele. Adorned with surf-themed artwork and photographs, the bright eatery serves up all sorts of breakfast foods, from healthy to just plain good. Coconut-custard French toast is terrific, and the omelets are filled with all sorts of tasty ingredients, a perfect preface to a day on the beach. Fresh fruit and yogurt will satisfy light eaters. This is a truly local spot where residents and visitors alike come to enjoy a unique an quick breakfast before a day around the island.
Local Expert tip: They don't take credit cards.
Big portions of tasty food is what you'll get at Island Taco. The roadside eatery is simple, and resembles a Mexico taco stand, but totally clean, safe and awesome! It's order at the counter, where you can get a tiny peak into the kitchen, and enjoy at one of the roadside tables or take it to go. You can take it to go and enjoy at a nearby white sand beach, but with the big portions that can get a little messy. Vegetarians will fare very well here while meat eaters will find fresh fish, beef and chicken. All of the food is great, but tacos are a highlight. They add of unique elements such as cabbage and wasabi aioli sauce. A must stop while on the west side.
Local Expert tip: Two people can share the double taco plate.
Simple, unaffected fare is the name of the game at this easy-going spot. There's nothing fancy about the place, and that's a big part of its appeal. If you like being in control of things, create your own omelet from their selection of fillings. If you just like being served, order up eggs, French toast, pancakes, and the sort of dishes that come complete and without much diner input. Make it a point to try the Portuguese sausage, a local favorite. This is the place where you'll go and notice that everyone knows each other's name. Sandwiches and burgers can be had for lunch.
Local Expert tip: Check the board for specials.
Sunny and comfortable, with French doors thrown open to the street, this pleasant cafe invites patrons to stop in for a bite to eat or just a sweet snack. Full-bodied espressos serve as a nice counterpoint to the variety of pastries (including muffins fragrant with pineapple and coconut), while breakfast features French toast, egg dishes, and omelets. Later in the day, you'll find fresh seafood, burgers, chicken, kalua pork, and other local favorites. Kick back for a while and enjoy the food and ambiance. Located in historic Kapa`a town on the eastern shore, the eatery is very close to many other restaurants and shops.
Local Expert tip: Big servings and a big selection.
This is a local style spot that serves up fresh fish and seafood to take home and cook as well as eat there and take out dishes. Very local and Hawaiian food like lau lau, kalua pig, and other local favorites that can be pretty darn good. There's a good chance you'll be the only visitors in line here, but there's nothing wrong with that. You know the the quality of the seafood is good for locals, it must be good. A great place for a plate lunch to eat on site or take home a slab of fish if you have a kitchenette at the hotel.
Local Expert tip: Try the kalua pic, it's really good and always a great idea to try truly local dishes.
Down in southern Kauai, this wonderful cafe makes for a terrific respite any time of day. The good size portions are affordable and high quality and tasty. Coffee options are legion and feature blends from South and Central America, Africa, Indonesia, and the islands of Hawaii themselves. Hot or chilled, undiluted or laced with cream and sugar, the java is fantastic. To accompany it, go for a muffin or fresh pastry, or indulge in a slice of cake, pie, or cheesecake. Creative breakfast and lunch fare consists of burritos, omelets, sandwiches, burgers, and salads � perfect sustenance when hunger pangs strike.
Recommended for Best Value because: Kalaheo Coffe Co. is Kauai's quintessential breakfast cafe, offering simple yet delicious meals and local coffee.
Local Expert tip: Breakfast is affordable and well portioned.
This irreverent place eschews anything that reeks of pretense or formality, so come with a light heart and a fun spirit. The fantastic burgers, made from Kauai beef, have gained a large measure of local fame; the basic is 1/6 of a pound, while the Big Bubba pushes the 1/2 pound mark. Both grilled fish filet and chicken breast sandwiches can also be had, along with hot dogs, Italian sausages, and chili. There's even a ginger/teriyaki tempeh burger for vegetarians to savor. With locations island wide, Bubba's is an easy burger to grab and go or enjoy on the porch each location has.
Local Expert tip: Try the Hanalei location.