Where to Find the Best Hawaiian Food on Kauai

Ono (OH-no) is the Hawaiian word for delicious. The local food in Hawaii is influenced by the mixed plate of cultures and cuisines dating back to the plantation era — pork adobo, loco moco, lomi lomi salmon and lau lau are a few staple dishes. Here’s a list of “ono-licious” restaurants that are serving up hearty local favorites.

But wait, there’s more. We’re here to help demystify some of the unusual words you might see on menus like furikake, laulau and lilikoi — and explain which meat is being served and why. And possibly most importantly of all, provide the fun facts on the origins of local dishes

If you’re happy with your meal, tag us @HawaiiIslander on Instagram to share the love.

Hawaiian Food on Kauai's South Shore

Hawaiian food Kauai
Photo: @keoikisparadise

Keoki’s Paradise

Located on the south shore of Kauai, Keoki’s offers tasty Hawaiian fare in a tropical setting, with live hula almost every night. The menu features locally sourced ingredients, and the fresh fish varies according to season, and can be prepared kalo crusted, baked in garlic, or miso glazed, just to name a few of the ono choices. There are also veggie, gluten-free, and local meats options. Open Monday through Friday 11am to 10pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 10pm. 

Hawaiian Food in Central Kauai

Hukilau Lanai
Photo: @d2dhawaii

Hukilau Lanai

Hukilau Lanai sources only sustainably caught fish and is part of The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. The views here are great, and everything is made on site from scratch. There are several gluten-free options on the menu, and every night there’s a five-course tasting menu for $65, offered from 5-5:45pm. Reservations are recommended. Open Tuesday through Saturday 5pm to 9pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Photo: @jo2restaurant

Jo2 Restaurant

Chef Jean-Marie Josselin has created a menu that merges the culinary influences of his native France, the clean flavors of Japanese cooking, and Hawaii’s multi-ethnic community. Jo2 focuses on using local organic produce and freshly caught fish. Our recommended dishes include ono ceviche with coconut water foam, tempura lobster tail ramen, and sake cured steelhead salmon. Open Tuesday through Saturday 5pm to 9pm. Closed Tuesday.

Hawaiian Food on Kauai's North Shore

Hawaiian food Kauai
Photo: @indulgenteats


Kalypso features a bamboo bar and outdoor patio, and is serving up local favorites like huli huli chicken, kalua pork sandwich and loco moco. Make sure to save room for the house-made ice cream cakes. Bonus — there’s a daily happy hour from 3pm to 5:30pm. Open Monday and Wednesday 2:30pm to 8:30pm, Thursday and Friday 11am to 8:30 pm, Saturday 10am to 8:30pm, and Sunday 8am to 8:30pm. Closed Tuesday. 

tahiti Nui
Photo: @tahitinuihanalei

Tahiti Nui

This little tiki bar’s been featured on Eater.com and was a filming location for The Descendants. Maybe it’s the old school Kauai vibe, maybe it’s the live music, but whatever it is, it’s a great place to enjoy local flavors. Tahiti Nui is open Monday and Wednesday 3pm to 9 pm, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 11am to 9pm, and Sunday 9am to 9pm. Closed Saturday.

Did we miss your favorite restaurant?

Our always-hungry team of foodies have compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite eat@localgetaways.com.

Clean Plate Club

Clean Plate Club

The job of delivering the best possible content for our restaurant recommendations can not be left to one person. Click here to meet the team behind the Bay Area Clean Plate Club.
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