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.
If you're the sort who likes to ease into the morning, this North Shore cafe is just the ticket. Cozy ambience and friendly service ensure that you're well provided for, and the wonderful coffee capitalizes on rich beans of the Hawaiian islands. Regulars often sit on the lanai, sipping blends from Maui, Molokai, Kauai, and the Big Island while they munch on aloha bars, a house specialty that combines coconut, macadamia nuts, and chocolate chips. Other options include cakes, pies, cheesecakes, cookies, and even bagels, along with standard breakfast dishes. There's another Java Kai in Kapa`a, making their great coffee easily accessible.
Local Expert tip: Try the Kauai waffle.
Great coffee, breakfast bagels, and an array of pastries can be found in the quaint Kapaa coffee house. The tasty coffee is organically grown and they open bright and early at 5:30 a.m. to serve it to you. There seems to be a tattoo theme going on with all of the workers, and it adds to the hip coffee house feeling. Bring a computer and get comfortable or run in and out to get back on the road for a day of exploring. There's a small porch out front enabling you to enjoy an ocean view and people watching.
Local Expert tip: Free wi-fi can be found here along with one computer you can pay to go on.
Hawaii's favorite ice cream, Lappert's is the brainchild of Walter Lappert, who retired only to build this frozen business almost as an afterthought. Insisting on premium ingredients (including practically all of Kauai's island fruits, along with nuts, chocolate, and even coffee), Lappert's also packs in nearly double the butterfat that other competitors use. This renders the ice cream absolutely decadent and irresistible. Also available at the island's four locations are sorbets (for calorie counters), coffee drinks, and baked items. You can find Lappert's all around the island at various locations. This is perfect for an after dinner treat or for a break during a hot Hawaiian day.
Local Expert tip: Coffee and ice cram. What more could you want?
Renowned for its baked goods, this enterprise crafts top-quality ingredients into an array of sweet and savory temptations. If you're going for a cup of espresso or chai tea, combine it with a scone, macadamia nut cookie, or danish. If you're looking for meal-like items, you can't go wrong with their innovative gourmet pizzas, topped with everything from prawns to gorgonzola. You'll also want to try the selection of sourdough breads and maybe even pick up a lush smoothie, laden with fruit, for a cool pick-me-up. The food can be enjoyed as take out or at one of the outdoor tables in the shopping center.
Local Expert tip: Lovely array of sweet and savory pastries and great local coffee in the morning.
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: Lots of coffee, and big desserts at dinnertime.
Down in southern Kauai, this wonderful cafe makes for a terrific respite any time of day. Coffee options are legion and feature blends from South and Central America, Africa, Indonesia, and the islands of Hawaii themselves. Locally grown coffee is usually the highlight here, and the extensive menus offer it in varied forms. 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 Dessert because: Kalaheo Coffe Co. is Kauai's quintessential breakfast cafe, offering simple yet delicious meals and local coffee.
Local Expert tip: They don't advertise it, but you can find free wifi here.