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10 Best Italian restaurants on Kauai bring traditional dishes to a Pacific paradise



Do you love Italian food? We do too, and that's why we dedicate ourselves to finding the best places to enjoy Italian cuisine in Kauai. We've diligently scouted out the top eateries, and we've listened to our readers and their reviews of Kauai restaurants. We share the places that get great buzz, like Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano, and we showcase the ones that have proven themselves over time, like Brick Oven Pizza. We also point out good neighborhoods for Italian restaurants in Kauai - Poipu, for instance. When the craving hits, we'll make sure you get your fix!

For a tiny island in the Pacific, Kauai has a wide array of amazing Italian restaurants. And true to Hawaiian style, some restaurants that aren't Italian, but are still known for serving up great Italian dishes, such as Wrangler's Steakhouse in Waimea. Here, among the steaks and seafood dishes, you can enjoy great pasta dishes surrounded by western decor.

If you're looking for a more traditional Italian experience, drop by Kauai Pasta or Casa Di Amici for some of the best loved Italian food on the island. While the former is fit for a hip night out, the latter is one of the more elegant Italian places around.

So enjoy your Italian food while dining in a Pacific Paradise, thanks to our list.


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The allure of the Old West runs strong at Wrangler's, at least as it was interpreted by the cattle ranchers of the North Pacific! The establishment features a cowboy-themed decor, letting you know that the food is going to be both rustic and authentic. Steaks of all sorts satisfy most folks; try a T-bone or a sirloin, sizzling hot and flavored with herbs and spices. If that's not your style, opt for a fresh fish special, a local specialty, or even a Southwestern-styled treat. Outdoor seating is available, and the place is especially convenient for travelers to Kauai's west coast.

Recommended for Italian because: It may be a steakhouse, but this west side eatery offers an array of delicious pastas.

Local Expert tip: Stop in after a day exploring the West Side before heading back to your hotel.

Read more about Wrangler's Steakhouse →




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 Italian because: The sleek and modern ambiance combined with delicious food makes for a fun night out.

Local Expert tip: Try the chocolate creme brulee.

Read more about Kauai Pasta →


Plantation Gardens


The name essentially tells the story of this place, which includes a historic home and tropical gardens that once belonged to a sugar cane plantation manager. These days, diners have access to the estate, with its exotic wood detailing and gracious verandah. The cuisine offers fare such as island stir fry and sugarcane skewered pork tenderloin, along with exotic pasta dishes. Seafood also makes a terrific option at the celebrated establishment, which is perfect for a romantic rendezvous. The surroundings here are absolutely beautiful, and this is one of the most romantic places to dine or hold and event on Kauai.

Recommended for Italian because: The gardens and yard surrounding the restaurant are a gorgeous accent to the delicious food.

Local Expert tip: Reservations are a good idea.

Read more about Plantation Gardens →


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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 Italian because: The owners warm welcome and truly amazing Italian food make it one of the islands best eateries.

Local Expert tip: Ask if there's a dessert special.

Read more about Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano →




Should you be in the mood for a leisurely meal, surrounded by tropical foliage and the charm of a restored home-turned-restaurant, this winsome cafe is a wonderful destination. The creative menu gains inspiration from island produce and seafood and is eminently healthy. No red meat is served, but you'll find plenty of local fish (grilled with local fruit, dressed with wasabi cream), poultry, and vegetarian dishes along with pastas and other Italian dishes. Daily specials, fashioned from what's freshest, are consistently top-quality. The pace is rather relaxed, so plan accordingly. It's casual but offers a local style elegance in a very unique setting.

Recommended for Italian because: This small bistro combines elegance and nature with an outdoor setting of tiki torches and tropical plants, and offers great food.

Read more about Eat Healthy Cafe →


Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza


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 Italian because: Kilauea Bakery serves up good pizza in the lovely town of Kilauea.

Local Expert tip: Lovely array of sweet and savory pastries and great local coffee in the morning.

Read more about Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza →


Dondero's


Elegance is paramount at this refined restaurant, which pays tribute to its Italian culinary inspiration via beautifully detailed murals and exquisite tiles. The food itself is spectacular – everything is homemade, composed of impeccably fresh ingredients, and artistically presented. Delicate, lightly-dressed pastas and ocean-fresh seafood pave the way for lush desserts, and service is second to none. For true island ambiance, dine on the outdoor terrace and drink in the surrounding beauty. Known as one of the more elegant restaurants on the island, this is the spot for a rather fancy night out, whether you're looking for Italian food or not.

Recommended for Italian because: The food and ambiance are spectacular, and the overall experience is that of elegance.

Local Expert tip: Make reservations.

Read more about Dondero's →




Awarded for creating some of the island's best cuisine, Cafe Portofino also graces diners with an open air setting and soothing views of Kalapaki Bay and the Kauai landscape. The menu focuses on northern Italian dishes, and you'll find sweetbreads, rabbit, osso bucco, and fresh seafood to tempt your palate. The range of pastas is also satisfying, as is the substantial antipasti selection. An outdoor deck affords the best vantage point for the beautiful scenery, and live music adds a pleasant detail to a terrific dinner. The owner and chef is a genuine Italian, which shines through on the quality of food.

Recommended for Italian because: With an amazing wine selection and pairing recommendations for the wonderful food, this shouldn't be missed.

Local Expert tip: Try the filet mignon and a homemade gelato.

Read more about Cafe Portofino →


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 Italian because: Great pizza, good local beer, and big portions at a good price. What more could we want?

Local Expert tip: Catch the buffet on Thursday.

Read more about Brick Oven Pizza →


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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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