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Best Restaurants for a Homestyle Experience on Kauai



Perhaps the best way to experience the true feel of a locale and its culture is through homestyle meals in a homey environment. And in Hawaii, food is used to express comfort, love, and warmth, and seeking out the best homestyle restaurants on the island can offer a unique experience. In order to guide travelers not only to great food, but to friendly service and a warm environment, we've compiled a list of the top ten homestyle restaurants on Kauai. So read on, eat, and relax.

At the Kountry Kitchen in Kapa'a, hungry diners will be happy to discover a menu of traditional breakfast fare. Pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, it's all there in the name of homestyle breakfast. True to its name, the decor and food make you feel like you're in a home kitchen.

Also in Kapa'a is Mermaids Cafe, where a different sort of homestyle food is offered. At this hole-in-the-wall eatery, you'll find the sort of delicious food cooked in the homes of health nuts and hippies. Healthy, fresh, and locally sourced, these dishes will make health conscious folks happy.

For a true local homestyle experience, Koloa Fish Market will introduce your palate to what islanders eat at home. From fish and poi, to meats and seaweed salad, this will be an entirely new experience.


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Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza


Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza has that small town, homey feel that will keep you coming back. 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.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Kilauea Bakery is the quintessential homestyle breakfast place, offering fresh baked goods, coffee, and other quick breakfast meals.

Jade's expert tip: Lovely array of sweet and savory pastries and great local coffee in the morning.

Read more about Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza →




Italian favorites served at reasonable prices make this caterer-run restaurant an enticing choice. Friendly servers start you off with delicious homemade garlic bread; after that, select from generously-sized pastas with rustic sauces, classics like chicken parmesan, and even fresh shrimp, given a smoky allure on the grill. The ambiance is sleek and modern, but not over the top. Take-home fare is a great convenience, and whether you dine in or out, don't neglect the chocolate cr�me br�l�e � a just-right indulgence. Kauai Pasta has two locations on the east side of the island, in both Kapa'a and Lihue. You can go casual or dress up for fun.

Recommended for Homestyle because: The atmosphere is chic and fun, the Italian cooking is homestyle and delicious.

Jade's expert tip: There are two locations, one in Kapa'a and one in Lihue.

Read more about Kauai Pasta →




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.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Friendly service and a homestyle breakfast menu have made the cafe a local favorite.

Jade's expert tip: They don't take credit cards.

Read more about Hanalei Wake-Up Cafe →


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If you're looking for an intimate, low-key place where you can enjoy good conversation and fabulous pastas, Pomodoro is ideal. Family-owned and operated by "real" New York Italians, this great restaurant offers well-prepared food at reasonable prices. The selection of pastas is substantial, whether you're looking for something dressed (fettuccine Alfredo) or stuffed (manicotti). If you're open to other possibilities, look to veal parmigiana, chicken saltimbocca, or one of the seafood dishes. The signature lasagne is also not-to-be-missed, and special requests can be accommodated as well. Although the restaurant is small and quiet, the owners welcome families and children with open arms.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Warm and friendly owners and a delicious menu of classic Italian comfort food have made Pomodoro a a true homestyle eatery.

Jade's expert tip: Ask if there's a dessert special.

Read more about Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano →


Brick Oven Pizza
Photo courtesy of kauai cottage


Travelers and locals alike lift up Brick Oven's as the best pizza on the island, and you will too once you sample the fragrant, hearth-baked pies. The family-owned establishment has honed its craft well over the past decades, and crisp crusts (white or whole-wheat), succulent sauces, and authentic toppings conspire to test your resolve. Local seafood, real cheeses, fresh vegetables, and even homemade sausage number among the options – and that's just to start! The menu also offers salads and sandwiches made with fresh-baked breads. They offer a good selection of local beer to accompany pizza or other classic Italian dishes.

Recommended for Homestyle because: At Brick Oven regulars enjoy the laid back atmosphere and comfort food, which come together to offer a homestyle experience.

Jade's expert tip: If you've got kids, ask for a ball of dough for them to play with.

Read more about Brick Oven Pizza →




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.

Recommended for Homestyle because: You won't get any more of a local homestyle experience than at the Koloa Fish Market.

Jade's expert tip: Try the kalua pig, it's really good and always a great idea to try truly local dishes.

Read more about Koloa Fish Market →




Owned and operated by two local friends who have a knack for making a great steak, Killah Steaks quickly became a local favorite as soon as the road side steak wagon opened. Very casual, and pretty quick, this eatery is a low key, low priced option for a great steak. They have expanded from a simple two item menu and now offer fresh local fish, shrimp, and multiple steak plates. Enjoy at the onsite and road side picnic table or take to eat at a nearby beach. Each plate comes with local side staples such as mac salad, a simple green salad, or rice. Sometimes they sell out and close early.

Recommended for Homestyle because: The owners took their favorite recipes from their home kitchens and turned them into a menu. What could be more homestyle?

Jade's expert tip: Get there right when they open to guarantee availability.

Read more about Killah Steaks →




Healthy is the goal here with unique meals such as fish or tofu wraps, tacos, salads, satays and sandwiches. You'll find lots of veggies mixed in with the vegetarian options or the fresh local fish. They also make really great unique drinks such as hibiscus lemonade, as well as a regular and really good lemonade. It's pretty simple, order at the counter and take out or enjoy at one of the few sidewalk tables or tiny bar in the back. Great, healthy food that is quite different than anywhere else. Mermaid's is an easy place to stop and grab lunch to go or enjoy it at their few tables along the sidewalk.

Recommended for Homestyle because: Mermaid's Cafe serves up the type of healthy homestyle food that the health conscious culture of Kauai loves.

Jade's expert tip: Try the ahi wrap and check out the specials.

Read more about Mermaids Cafe →


Kountry Kitchen
Photo courtesy of pdxbreakfast


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.

Recommended for Homestyle because: The decor and menu fit the name perfectly. Need we say more?

Jade's expert tip: Check the board for specials.

Read more about Kountry Kitchen →


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Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade

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