One of the perks of being on a tropical island is the overabundance of fresh fish. And where there is fresh fish, there is (or at least darn well should be) sushi! There are so many sushi places on the islands. We hope you try one of these Kauai sushi joints and love it!
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.
Feature Photo: Sushi Bushido
Poipu - Koloa - Waimea
Family-owned and -operated for more than 20 years, Dolphin Poipu serves “over the top” gourmet sushi, fresh fish, steak and specialty cocktails, all with a bit of Hawaiian flare. Be sure to snag a table on the fabulous lanai if you’re there around sunset. Open daily from 5pm to 8pm.
Poipu Rock n' Roll Sushi
Poipu Rock n’ Roll Sushi is a laid-back sushi restaurant in southern Kauai that features everything from sushi to teriyaki to Thai noodles to beer. Poipu Rock n’ Roll Sushi combines sushi and flavorful Thai cuisine into one great Asian-style restaurant. Many of their menu offerings are named after famous Rock n’ Roll musicians/bands such as the Jimi Hendrix Roll or the Rolling Stones Roll. Come enjoy some delicious sushi and Thai food while listening to nightly live music and sipping on some great specialty drinks. sushikauai.com
Stevenson’s is committed to using only sustainably caught fish. They offer artistic sushi rolls, sashimi, and miso soup, and also have must-try dishes like sushi pizza and hamachi blossoms. Enjoy the view from the 24-foot koa wood bar or the lanai. Bonus — the keiki menu has tasty selections. Open 5:30pm to 10pm.
Lihue - Kapa'a - Hokuala
The concept here is simple — sushi and burgers. Kenji Burger’s menu is Japanese fusion, and it’s not your typical way to enjoy sushi, but it’s definitely worth a try! Sushi burritos, sushi bowls and teriyaki burgers all make for a great meal. Kenji Burger is open Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 11am to 8:30pm and Friday and Saturday 11am to 9pm. Closed Tuesdays.
House of Sushi Food Truck Kapa'a
Looking for a great sushi food truck in the northeast of Kauai? Look no further than House of Sushi Food Truck Kapa’a. The food is centered right alongside the ocean, so customers can enjoy their sushi with a view of the Pacific Ocean waves hitting the coastline. The staff is one of the friendliest on the island, making sure each customer gets their fish the freshest and fastest it can be. Some of their special house sushi rolls include the Poipu Rainbow Roll, Spiderman Roll, and the Crunchy Paradise Roll along with many other delicious rolls.
Sensei Sushi is the ultimate sushi restaurant for anyone who lives or is traveling in the northeast section of Kauai. They serve everything from salads, sushi, nigiri, sashimi, maki rolls, and hand rolls, just to name a few. Customers can even order food online at their website for pickup. Some of their most popular menu options are the spider roll, which is a soft shell crab tempura that comes with cucumber, avocado, and eel sauce, along with the Kauai roll which is stuffed with spicy tuna, spicy crab stick, avocado wrapped in pink soybean Pepper, salmon on top with eel, spicy mayo, hot chili, and tobiko. senseisushihi.com
Chef Victor Heresa Jr. was born and raised on Kauai, and his Sushi Bushido is not your average sushi bar. Heresa has blended contemporary, new wave and traditional sushi style to create a distinctive menu that both locals and visitors love. Nigiri and sashimi combos are always a good way to go, but don’t miss the house specialties like the Golden Roll, the Butter Me Up and the Full Moon rolls. The menu also features teriyaki and tempura dishes. Open Monday to Saturday 4pm to 9pm. Closed Sunday.
Princeville - Hanalei - Kilauea
The second-floor balcony of this “downtown” Hanalei spot has great views and a sushi bar! The separate sushi menu fetures maki rolls, specialty rolls, nigiri, and sake — all the things you need for a tasty sushi meal. Northside Grill is open Wednesday through Sunday 4pm to 8:30pm. Sushi service begins at 5pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Sushi Girl Kauai
Sushi Girl is the place you’re looking for if you’d like made to order sushi to go. It’s a delicious and creative menu with friendly service & daily specials. There’s the maki rolls, poke bowls and sushi burritos. The Sushi Beach Roll will hit the spot with cooked salmon. green onions and topped with macadamia nuts. Yes, please! Open Monday 4pm to 8pm and Tuesday through Sunday 11am to 3pm and 4pm to 8pm.