The food in Kauai reminded me of a combination of Japanese food and fancy campfire food. There was a lot of seafood options on the island. What I mean by fancy camping food was the fresh ingredients cooked with minimal seasoning. The dishes were seasoned lightly in order to let the ingredients be the main star. Masking things in salt and other seasoning wasn’t the style there.
On our stay there, we tried other types of food other than Hawaiian food, except Italian. We had two reasons for that: they were expensive and we wanted to eat light so we didn’t feel the need to take naps after meals.
Here’s the highlight of our favorite places: (This list is not in any order)
- Kintaro – Japanese – I ordered the sushi bowl and Jason ordered sushi plate. They were both good. Fresh fish was their thing. We also tried a Lychee sake that was really good. The service was blunt. If you ask, you will get service. Also, get there early or call for reservation. The place was really busy, even parking space was limited. Price range: $15-$25/person.
- Mark’s Place – Hawaiian – not a fancy place for eating, but the combo plate was the bomb-diggity. It was my favorite place to get cooked pork. The seasoning was great. They do have some picnic-style seating, but we took ours to go and ate in our hotel room while watching the scenic Hawaii channel. Price range: $8-$15/person.
- Da Crack – Mexican – really good and fast service Mexican place. It was literally a crack on the wall. They had no seating so we took ours to the beach and ate on the picnic table there. This place had great flavor and big portion. Price range: $8-$15/person.
- Hanalei Dolphin – Seafood/American/Hawaiian. We both tried their poke dish, and it was very good. A poke bowl is basically sushi in a bowl. We liked it so much that I added poke to the Warrens menu at home. Price range: $10-$15/person for lunch.
- Skinny Mike’s – Ice Cream – if you have traveled with me, you’d knew how much I like ice cream. My family loves it to, too. We could be the family who buys ice cream in Alaska. This restraurant had unique ice cream flavors. We tried a lot before deciding. Jason’s favorite was the peanut butter and guava jelly. My favorite was the Kona coffee. I also liked the location of this place because it had free parking and a yarn shop right next door. There was also a beach nearby to visit. Price range: $4-$8/person.
We tried other food places while we were there, such as another Mexican restaurant called Verde and a typical beach restaurant called Brenneke’s. They were both good. I tried their Mai Tai also. However, the best Mai Tai we tried was at the Smith’s Family Luau. That one was a dinner and show plus a garden to walk through while waiting for the food to be served.
If you ever go and try some of these places, I hope you get the same great experience that we did. If these aren’t your cup of tea, there are other restaurants to try in Kauai. We even gave our wallet some break by eating at a McDonald’s and Taco Bell for some of our meals. If you do go to a McDonald’s in Hawaii, try the Haupia Pie. I liked it better than their regular apple fritters. As I said before, we tried all kinds of food except Italian. The food in Kauai was different and we were glad to try them.