While writing about my 4 day trip to Kauai I decided to deep dive into the best places to eat, drink and snack while visiting the Garden Island!
Here’s the list of my TOP Recommendations (in no particular order)!
Breakfast + Coffee Shops + Juice
- Java Kai | KAPA’A | 6am-7pm
- Kauai Juice Co. | KAPA’A | 8am-5pm
- Little Fish Coffee | HANAPEPE | 7am-3pm & POIPU | 6:30am-3pm
- Aloha Juice Bar | HANALEI
- Kalaheo Café & Coffee Company | KALAHEO | 6:30am-2:30pm & 5pm-8:30pm
Shave Ice | Ice Cream
- Wishing Well Shave Ice | HANALEI | 9:30am-5pm
- Wailua Shave Ice | KAPA’A | 11am-8pm
- Lappert’s Hawaii – @ The Shops at Kukui’ula | POIPU | 6am-10pm
- Da Crack Tacos | KOLOA/POIPU | 11am-8pm
- Mermaids Café | KAPA’A | Mon-Thurs 9am-3pm & Fri-Sun 11:30am-8pm
- Bar Acuda | HANALEI | 5:30pm-9:15pm | Reservations HIGHLY Recommended
- The Dolphin – @ The Shops at Kukui’ula | POIPU | 11:30am-9:30pm
- Beach House | POIPU | 11am-10pm | Reservations Recommended
- Eating House 1849 – @ The Shops at Kukui’ula | POIPU | 5pm-9:30pm
- The Lanai – @ The Shops at Kukui’ula | POIPU | 11:30am-9pm | Happy Hour 3pm-5pm
Breakfast + Coffee Shops + Juice
Java Kai | KAPA’A | 6am-7pm
Such an awesome place in Kapa’a! They have a bunch of vegan and vegetarian options if that’s what you’re into! They roast their own coffee and bake all of their own pastries (also, free wifi!) Super cool vibe and delicious food! Check out the menu here! They also have tons of merch for sale and you can buy some stuff from their website.
Before you leave the area, stop into Kauai Juice Co. right around the corner and grab an incredible juice or wellness shot and take a picture in front of the vibrant pineapple mural!
Kauai Juice Co. | KAPA’A | 8am-5pm
Honestly, I knew I wanted to go to Kauai Juice Co. before I’d even made it over to Kauai mostly just because of a few friends who’d been and from seeing it on social media. They do have a few food options like the Marinated Kelp Noodle Salad and the Quinoa with Fresh Mac-Nut Pesto, but I really just went for the juice. They have tons of options that they’re constantly switching out – and they’re incredible! I wanted something fruity so I got the “starburst” which is strawberry, pineapple and orange. They also sell hand pressed nut milk, Kombucha, elixirs, and a little merch. Check out their menu here!
Little Fish Coffee | HANAPEPE | 7am-3pm & POIPU | 6:30am-3pm
There are two things in life you should never sacrifice: great food and a good beach day on Kauai. We stopped at Little Fish Coffee in Hanapepe between our Na Pali Coast Zodiac adventure and our drive up to Waimea Canyon (Read about the whole trip here). We mostly just went for coffee (because the wake up was SO early!) but we were also pretty hungry. I just got the house coffee and added some cream and sugar and ordered the Turkey Bagelwich which was so good! It was $8, not too bad and definitely hit the spot before the drive up to the canyon! Check out the rest of their menu here.
Aloha Juice Bar | HANALEI | Hours?
Cute little hut up on the North Shore of Kauai in Hanalei! We chose to go to Wishing Well Shave Ice (see below) instead, but if you’re staying up in Hanalei or Princeville this would be a great breakfast stop! I couldn’t find their hours online, but you can check out the menu on Yelp!
Kalaheo Café & Coffee Company | KALAHEO | 6:30am-2:30pm & 5pm-8:30pm
This incredible café and coffee company, established in 1994, is located in the lush mountains of upcountry Kalaheo in acres of coffee farms. It is a casual restaurant and coffee bar with fresh baked goods. They serve breakfast from 6:30-11:30am Monday-Saturday, Sunday is breakfast ALL DAY. They also serve dinner Tuesday-Saturday from 5pm-8:30pm. Check out their different menu options here!
Shave Ice | Ice Cream
Wishing Well Shave Ice | HANALEI | 9:30am-5pm
This was another place I knew I wanted to visit before coming to Kauai. I’d been wanting to visit this shaved ice shop ever since I watched the movie “Given.” The movie features the Goodwin’s (who co-own the shop) as they travel the world surfing, and its narrated by their first-born son, Given. The movie used to be on Netflix, but you can find it on Amazon Prime Video, Youtube and iTunes now. Their shaved ice and iced coffee is incredible and they have a bunch of cool hats, stickers and apparel (you can shop online here). I think I ended up buying every sticker option they had while I was there!
Lappert’s Hawaii – @ The Shops at Kukui’ula | POIPU | 6am-10pm
Handmade, artisan ice cream, gelato, sorbets, cookies, pastries and micro-roasted coffees with a full espresso bar. Voted “Best of Kauai,” all Lappert’s products are made fresh daily in small batches right in Hanapepe, Kauai and feature the freshest island flavors and ingredients. We went to Lappert’s every single night for a sweet treat after dinner–it was that good! They have a lot more than just ice cream, but that was all we had time to try.
Da Crack Mexican Grinds | KOLOA | 11am-8pm
If you’re feeling like tacos, this is the place to go! They have tacos, burritos and even veggies burritos! I would stop here for lunch or dinner on your way in or out of Poipu! Check out their website and menu here.
Mermaids Cafe | KAPAA | 11:30am-8pm
It is right next to Java Kai and Kauai Juice Co. Honestly I would just stop in the area, walk around and grab something from all three places. Grab a delicious wrap or some tacos and enjoy the chill atmosphere! Check out their website and menu here.
Bar Acuda | HANALEI | 5:30pm-9:15pm | Reservations Highly Recommended
Super classy and trendy restaurant and bar up in Hanalei. We didn’t make it to this restaurant, but it comes with high praises and you should definitely check it out if you’re staying up in Hanalei for dinner time or drinks after. Check out their website here.
The Dolphin | @ The Shops at Kukui’ula | POIPU | 11:30am-9:30pm
Dive into local cuisine from Kaua’i for an unforgettable taste of the island. With exotic sushi, local fish, and tender steaks for land-lovers, there’s a dish for everyone. If you’re the chef of the evening, take home some fresh fish to impress your guests. I believe there are two locations on Kauai, one in Poipu and the other up in Hanalei. It was a great stop for some sushi that we had been craving and of course, we walked to Lappert’s for ice cream after 😉 Here’s the link for the Hanalei location.
Beach House | POIPU | Reservations Recommended
The Beach House was only a 5 minute walk from our condo and I already knew it was going to be good because there is one on Oahu! It’s on the pricier side, but the atmosphere is great and the view is incredible! We watched the sunset from our table inside, and it would have been amazing to sit outside on the patio and enjoy the weather and the view. I cannot recommend this place more!! Check out their menu here.
Eating House 1849 | @ The Shops at Kukui’ula | POIPU | 5pm-9:30pm
The Eating House 1849 pays homage to Hawaii’s vibrant culinary heritage, a nod to restaurateurs like Peter Fernandez who, the story goes, opened one of the first restaurants in Hawaii, called the Eating House, back in the mid-1800s, using what was available from local farmers, ranchers, foragers and fishermen. We didn’t make it to this restaurant either, but walked by it multiple times around The Shops. It looked like a super cool place to eat if you’re in the Poipu area! Check out their menu here.
The Lanai | @ The Shops at Kukui’ula | POIPU | 11:30am-9:00pm | Happy Hour 3pm-5pm
The Lanai restaurant and bar is a spot for friends and family to enjoy great drinks, even better food, and the best of company while reveling in the spectacular setting that is the island of Kauai. Open-aired, The Lanai combines an enchanting dining experience with the beautiful breeze and elegant ease of the Garden Island. This is another outdoor/indoor restaurant with great vibes at The Shops in Poipu. It would be great to stop at for drinks during happy hour and then head over to The Eating House, The Dolphin or even to the Beach House. Check out their menu here.
You will not go wrong by visiting any of these restaurants during your vacation in Kauai! Comment below if you’ve been to any and what your favorite dish was! And let me know if you love Lappert’s as much as I did!
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