The Best Restaurants on Kauai

Kauai may have fewer fancy, five-star dining options than other islands, but it’s the epicenter of food trucks, taco stands and plate lunch outlets with wait-worthy cuisine. The James Beard Foundation has even honored diner-style Hamura Saimin Stand in Lihue as an American classic, thanks to its hearty noodle soups (saimin) and tangy lilikoi chiffon pie. Some food trucks eventually make the leap to a restaurant storefront, a la Savage Shrimp, Kiawe Roots and Nom Kauai, but don’t discount the value of side-of-the-road noshing, especially with some of Kauai’s famous chickens milling about.

Wherever you’re cruising the menu, look for dishes made with local specialties like Hanalei taro (try it in burgers, hummus and smoothies if you’re not a fan of poi); sweet, super-sized  Kauai shrimp, raised on the West Side; juicy, deep-hued papaya from  Moloa‘a or creamy goat cheese from Kauai Kunana Dairy. With hundreds of dining options on Kauai, we’ve broken it down for you by destination.  If we missed your favorite let us know.

Photo: @eatinghouse1849

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