Hawaii is smack dab in the middle of the Pacific, so the islands rely heavily upon imported food. But the year-round mild weather and the need for locally grown produce and beef have led to big changes in the meat industry, and Kauai is leading the way for locally raised cattle. Kunoa Cattle has transformed the game by creating local facilities. Trust us, a burger here is not the same as a burger back home!
Lihue - Kapa'a - Hokuala
Located on Kauai’s east side, Bubba Burgers has been serving tasty burgers since 1936. They don’t recommend lettuce and tomato; they want the meat to do all the talking. Bubba’s serves only Kauai grass-fed beef, on a toasted bun with mustard, Bubba relish and chopped onions. Enjoy your burger on the large lanai with the classic rock music pumping on the speakers. Open daily 10:30am to 8pm and would be happy to flip some burgers for you.
The concept at Kenji Burger is a fusion of sushi and burgers — think burritos and burgers dressed with teriyaki sauce and ponzu aioli. It’s strictly 100% Kauai grass-fed beef between these buns, and it’s best accompanied by some furikake fries. As the locals say, this is some ono grindz! Open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11am to 8:30pm and Friday and Saturday 11am to 9pm. Closed Tuesday.
Shaka Burgers Hawaii
Shaka Burgers Hawaii is a food truck located in south central Kauai serving delicious, all-American burgers with a Hawaiian twist. The food truck is a local favorite, as all the ingredients are locally sourced, beef is grass-fed, and has many Asian-infused options. Shaka Burgers Hawaii’s most wanted burger is the Da Shaka Burger, which comes with a shaka-seasoned makaweli ranch beef patty, cheddar Cheese, local lettuce, pickles, tomato, onions 2 ways (crispy and raw), Bacon Jam and Shaka Sauce. You have to check out Shaka Burgers Hawaii as it’s the ultimate burger food truck experience for anyone traveling to the island of Kauai. hawaiianfoodco.wixsite.com
Princeville - Hanalei - Kilauea
For more than 30 years this family-run business has been serving fresh and delicious food in Hanalei. They’ve got burgers, they’ve got booze, and they’ve got a lovely open-air venue. It’s just the place to sink your teeth into a burger! Hanalei Gourmet is open Sunday through Thursday 11am to 8 pm and Friday 11am to 3 pm.
This old-school Kauai dive bar has been featured on Eater.com and was used as a set location for The Descendants. Maybe it’s the decor, maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the live music, but whatever “it” is, Tahiti Nui is a great place to enjoy a burger and a beer. Open Monday and Wednesday 11am to 3 pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11am to 9pm, and Sundays 9am to 9pm. Closed Saturdays.
Self-proclaimed as Kauai’s most exotic Tiki bar, Tiki Iniki is a perfect place to enjoy Tiki Cocktails and Island Cuisine. The restaurant is decorated with Vintage Tiki, Hawaiiana, and Exoctica decor dating all the way back to the 1940s up until today. The owners of Tiki Iniki say that it is the place to eat, drink and be le’a le’a. Their most famous burger is the Iniki Burger, which comes with mixed crispy fried spam with beef, pickled veggies, provolone, cabbage slaw, and shoyu mayo. So stop by at Tiki Iniki if you’re looking for a great burger, great drinks, or somewhere to wind down for the day. tikiiniki.com
Poipu - Koloa - Waimea
This is not your average food truck — Kickshaws has a gourmet twist. Owner/chef (and former organic farmer) Seth Peterson uses sous vide cooking and other avant garde techniques to create unique burgers. The 30-hour cured burger is a staple, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try the camel burger. The truck is located just across from Sueoka’s Market in Koloa. Open Wednesday through Saturday 11am to 3pm. Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.
Lava’s on Poipu Beach
Lava’s on Poipu Beach is one of the many restaurants located at Sheraton Kauai Resort. Guests can enjoy a taste of aloha whether it’s at breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, their lunch menu features some of the best burgers in Kauai including the Paniolo Burger which comes with a 4oz wagyu beef, American cheese, bacon, onion rings, bibb lettuce, and lava’s special sauce, all on a toasted brioche bun. You’ll feel like you’re in heaven enjoying one of these tasty burgers while watching the picturesque waves of the Pacific Ocean ooze onto Poipu Beach. Lavasonpoipubeach.com
Holoholo Grill, Koloa Landing Resort
Holoholo Grill is an on-site, poolside restaurant at Koloa Landing Resort in Kauai. The burgers at Holoholo Grill are known for their top-quality ingredients all while being crafted by celebrity chef Sam Choy, who’s written over 11 top-selling cookbooks and appeared on the Food Network numerous times. When you go there, you have to try the Holoholo burger which is filled with wagyu beef, tomato jam, burger sauce, lettuce, and crispy onions all assembled onto a toasted brioche bun. Holoholo itself means “a pleasurable journey of discovery” in Hawaiian, and Holoholo Grill certainly earns that title. koloalandingresort.com