Kauai recommendations?

Places I should consider for an upcoming trip? High-end, low-end I’ll take all and any recommendations.

Aloha Sgee!
Where are you staying in Kauai…North Shore or Poipu area?
Here are my faves…married at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, so, it is a very special place for this chica.

Love Red Salt at the Koa Kea Hotel in Poipu area for break/lunch or dinner…fantastic and high end but not really expensive.

Josselin’s for tapas…love!
Hamura Saimin in Lihue…the best Saimin and lilikoi pie…lunch and won James Beard…divey goodness.

Happy Hour at Duke’s near airport/Marriott is fantastic and a really good time…Keoki’s paradise in Poipu is very fun also for HH/Aloha hour.

North Shore…I like Dolphins for some sushi and Tahiti Nui for mai tai’s…Princeville St. Regis for drinks or lunch at the pool…Tiki Iniki in Princeville for drinks and apps…it is owned by da man, Todd Rundgren.

It’s been several years, but these are my go to places and we always hit up the Costco for drinks and gas for the rental car.

One of the most beautiful islands evah. .
Have a great trip and report back!

:ocean: :sun_with_face:

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Aloha Plumeria,

Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll be staying in north shore - Princeville area.

Do you have any recommendations for poke and plate lunch joints? Any thoughts on visiting the Blair Estate coffee farm?

Looking forward to a leisurely break!

North Shore, I go to Hanalei Dolphin for poke…they have a fish market.
Bar Acuda and Med gourmet.
Have not been to Blair Estate Coffee Farm.

I usually spend most of my time in Poipu but hopefully, others will chime in.

I don’t remember whose list this is but its very comprehensive. I want to say its either Beach Chick from SD or Kathryn from the NY CH board. Feel terrible for not remembering but they posted this once on CH and its updated frequently. North Shore stuff on the bottom. If you’re staying in Waikiki there are a lot of good recommendations.

Aloha js76!
Wow…that is quite a list…
I’m Beach Chick but going incognito as Plumeria on FTC…
I wish I could claim that list…Kathryn is beyond knowledgeable on the islands…especially, since she lives in NYC.

:palm_tree: :cherry_blossom: :tropical_drink:

Aloha Plumeria.
OK then it must have been Kathryn.
It’s a great list and she updates quite frequently.

Quick report on my recent trip.

The scenery in Kauai is definitely the highlight. We got a chance to take the “open door” helicopter tour, highly recommended, great way to see the inaccessible Na Pali coasts. You are literally flying by the seat of your pants!

As for the dining scene, unfortunately I think it’s probably the weakest of all the islands. However we did enjoy the following places:

  • Josselin’s - great service and food. Hawaiian fusion well executed

  • Kountry Kitchen in Kapaa - Breakfast

  • Pono Market in Kapaa - Good lunch plates - very nice Lau Lau pork and poi. Poke just Ok… they use frozen seafood :confounded: .

  • The Right Slice in Lihue - very good pies. Got the mango & lilikoi and macadamia pies, both were delicious.

  • The North Shore General Store aka the Chevron station in Princeville - Get the chilli pepper chicken. Basically kara-age style fried chicken doused in chili pepper water. Heartburn inducing guilty pleasure.

  • Chicken in A Barrel, multiple locations - Tasty and smoky bbq chicken. Good for a quick bite.

  • Moloa’a Bay Coffee, store is in Kapaa - lovely couple who grow and roast their own local coffee

  • Local Agriculture - Definitely get some Poi, Kauai is the largest producer of tapioca in Hawaii (pics of poi farms in Hanalei). Fruits! Puchased some excellent longans, papayas and mangoes from the farmers’ market

Some misses:

  • St. Regis breakfast - my most lackluster daily buffet and service in a resort setting. Our room rate included a 30% dining discount which softened the $38/person price. Lovely view though.

  • Wailua Shave Ice in Kapaa - I prefer the more toxic concoctions ala Masumoto. Felt that this did not have enough flavor, my choice of the muted poi and coconut flavor probably didn’t help.

  • Poke - Most places run out early! Did not have much luck on this front.

  • Dolphin House in Hanalei- Very popular place and also highly recommended by the locals. Very fresh fish, but just didn’t do it for me. Very boring preparation and overpriced for what you get.


Aloha and outstanding report back!

Every island has a different vibe and strength…Kauai is its sheer beauty.
Food is good but in a different caliber than O’ahu or Maui.
Looks like you had a blast.
You didn’t get to hit up Red Salt?


Unfortunately did not make it to red salt, we were only in the Poipu area for one afternoon and ended up in Josselin’s instead for dinner.

Aloha. .
Josselin’s is very good and you made a good choice.
Red Salt is wonderful but if you’re only hanging in Poipu for one afternoon…the snorkeling at the Poipu State Beach is very good and I prefer it than North Shore (Tunnels).
IMO, no one can beat Matsumoto’s for shave ice!!

:palm_tree: :hibiscus:

FWIW, Plumeria, we were at Hamura’s the day she was receiving her award. She blew it off for two reasons: first, she barely knew who this Beard guy was and didn’t really care, but (second) more importantly, if she’s not there the place has to close, because she’s the one who takes the bowls of broth and noodles she’s handed and adds what each customer has asked for, then hands them off to the server.

Unless it’s burned down or turned into a Starbucks I would also recommend the Lihue Barbecue across the street. Nice plain diner-grade Island cooking and damn good lilikoi pie WHEN they have it. Reading recently about the island’s boom in fish tacos I immediately thought of Lihue BBQ’s fried mani-mahi in a tortilla and drooled a bit …

Aloha Will. .
That must of been so cool to have been there when she was awarded the coveted James Beard Nominee Award.
The lilikoi pie is da bomb there too.

Plus, one of the best Goodwill’s is across the street for great Aloha Reyn Spooner wear et al.


It was of course awarded in absentia. We’ve not been back there since, so I don’t know whether she’s got a plaque or whatever …

Talk about coincidences, though – right after I posted this I got an email from Mrs. O saying we’re going over sometime this year. Family business for sure, but mostly fun. “I’m dreaming about saimin,” she said …

Yes, found a lot of Reyn Spooners at the Goodwill. Unfortunately, Spooner’s L and XL shirts are a good full-size smaller than anyone else’s, and I couldn’t even find an XL anyway. Had to wait until I ran into a dealer at the PCC flea market in Pasadena; not such bargains, but $25 ain’t bad.

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Aloha Will…
No such thing as a coincidence!
I love how the serendipitous nature of the universe works its mystical magic.

You have family business in da islands…sweet bruddha!

Aloha Will…
Headed out soon and craving big time Hamura’s lilikoi pie but you stated Lihue BBQ is mo better?

Staying Princeville area this time…be curious to see how the locals feel about lawsuit with FB Zuck.


I somehow didn’t even know Hamura had lilikoi pie, but I’d think it would have to be super or she’d not be selling it. Right now I’d be happy for ANYbody’s!! No, Lihue BBQ is a place we like with decent food, even very satisfying food, but except for a few bright spots (such as Hamura’s) Kauai offers few blockbusters. I did recently get a rec for a burger etcetera place in Kapa’a, from my Subaru mechanic of all people! But her dad, who mentored her and then sold her the shop, has retired there. I haven’t got the name though, dammit.

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Aloha Will…
Many Mahalos to you…

Hamura’s has one of the best lilikoi pies evah. .

Bump. Heading to Poipu this week.

Josselin’s and the tapas restaurant that followed closed as well.

Not that I respect Yelp that much, but reviews are tepid.

Any updates for Kauai specifically would be appreciated.

In Poipu, where I usually stay, my faves…

Keoki’s paradise for daily happy hour…
Red Salt for breakfast/lunch or dinner
Marriott Waiohai has a great place on the water that is a bar/shack that makes great fish tacos…
Hamura Saimin’s in Lihue for the best saimin and lilikoi pie
Duke’s in Lihue for happy hour
Drinks at Grand Hyatt
Koloa Fish market
Bar Acuda

Going in a couple of months…staying in Princeville…looking forward to Tiki Iniki and drinks at St. Regis
Make sure you go zip lining!

Aloha and report back!

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