Fine DINING with fresh, island-grown ingredients can be found at restaurants throughout Kaua‘i.
EATING HOUSE 1849 is new to the Kaua‘i culinary scene; helmed by ROY YAMAGUCHI, one of the founders of HAWAI‘I REGIONAL CUISINE (HRC) who co-founded the annual HAWAI‘I FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL, this restaurant at The Shops at Kukui‘ula is causing quite a buzz. You’ll also find HRC cohort Peter Merriman’s MERRIMAN’S RESTAURANT, which serves farm-to-table food, and his MERRIMAN’S GOURMET PIZZA & BURGERS, just downstairs.
GAYLORD’S RESTAURANT & LOUNGE at Kilohana Plantation (an institution on the Garden Isle) relies on its own gardens to provide homegrown ingredients. HUKILAU LANAI, at Coconut Marketplace, also grows herbs and vegetables for the kitchen in an on-site garden.
Similar locavore fare can be found on the menu at BAR ACUDA, a tapas bar in Hanalei, as well as at KALAHEO CAFE & COFFEE CO. in Kalaheo, and the BEACH HOUSE RESTAURANT in Po‘ipu.
Another noteworthy restaurants include KAUAI GRILL, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s signature restaurant, at ST. REGIS PRINCEVILLE and the award-winning TIDEPOOLS at GRAND HYATT KAUAI.
HAMURA’S SAIMIN STAND, off Rice Street in Lihu‘e, is a humble neighborhood eatery with a prestigious reputation. The James Beard Foundation has singled it out for its diversity and dedication to America’s culinary heritage. Good bets are saimin and liliko‘i pie.
Kapa‘a’s eclectic selection of casual dining restaurants includes OLYMPIC CAFE, ISLAND PALM ISLAND STYLE BAR & GRILL, LEMONGRASS GRILL SEAFOOD & BAR, local favorite THE BULL SHED and BOBBY V’S Italian pizza. In downtown Kapa‘a, vegetarians will love MERMAIDS CAFE, a tiny outdoor eatery overflowing with customers.
In Waimea, pit stop at WRANGLER’S STEAKHOUSE for sizzling steaks, THE SHRIMP STATION serves up garlic and spicy shrimp, while ISLAND TACO’S fish tacos and gourmet tortillas are a hit. Those on the go can pull over in Koloa to pit stop at SUEOKA’S SNACK SHOP for a treat.
POSTCARDS CAFE in Hanalei is also well respected for its mostly organic, healthy gourmet menu. Likewise, KILAUEA BAKERY & PAU HANA PIZZA, in the Kong Lung Center on Kilauea Road, has found a perfect match in good food and pleasant courtyard seating.
Heading back toward Po‘ipu, diners can find delicious sushi at STEVENSON’S LIBRARY and classic Italian fare at DONDERO’S, both located at GRAND HYATT KAUAI. While fresh fish dishes are what you’ll savor at BRENNECKE’S BEACH-FRONT RESTAURANT.
• Brennecke’s Beachfront Restaurant (808) 742-7588
• Gaylord’s Restaurant & Lounge (808) 245-9593
• Island Palm Island Style Grill & Bar (808) 823-8828
• Island Taco (808) 338-9895
• Lemongrass Grill Seafood & Bar (808) 821-2288
• Postcards Cafe (808) 826-1191
• Sueoka’s Snack Shop (808) 742-1112
• Wrangler’s Steakhouse (808) 338-1218