Looking for an unusual way to spend the afternoon while tasting some of the best that Kauai has to offer? Try taking a food tour with Tasting Kauai. I knew little about this company until Stephanie Michel (photo above), a fabulous concierge that I recommend to my Honu Point guests, raved about the experience she had while taking each of the five food tours around the island.
This is what stephanie posted on her Facebook page: “This is new FAVORITE TOUR!!! It’s a FOOD TOUR! They have several tours and I DID THEM ALL. They have them Saturdays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays and Fridays. NO EXCUSES! 5 TOURS TO CHOOSE FROM. (FIVE!) This is the best way to meet locals/See places there’s NO WAY you could otherwise see and get an insiders EDUCATION on what is going on here on Kauai. AND THE FOOD IS THE CHERRY ON TOP. IT’S ALL DELICIOUS! Not to mention the sweetest most knowledgeable guides I HAVE EVER MET ON KAUAI. I am going to scream this tour off my roof top!” Yes, Stephanie tends to get very excited about Kauai activities.
On March 18th, a popular Kauai brewery, Kauai Beer Company, will be hosting “Beers For A Cause.” Not that most people need a reason to have a beer or two, on this day $1.00 spent on every pint or goblet will go to help Kauai’s animals in need. The Kauai Humane Society and Kauai Beer Company have joined forces to support this important cause.
Kauai Beer Company, in Lihue, is a social place to be, with locally made craft brews, good food and friendly people. From the website we learn, “Opened in Fall 2013, the Kauai Beer Company has become a destination for residents and guests. Our neighborhood microbrewery produces artisan batches of high-quality craft beer, served in a relaxed atmosphere, making all our friends feel completely at home. The creative food menu rivals the brew and stands on its own as a reason to visit.” Hear about this family’s passion for making beer directly from the father and son owners:
The Spot has been a popular organic frozen yogurt shop in the heart of Kapaa for several years. Recently they opened their second store right in the Princeville Shopping Center! Now visitors to the north shore can treat themselves to this unique twist on a frozen treat. Create your own or choose from a wide variety of Signature Bowls. Following is a short video describing what makes this yogurt shop different from others:
Tucked in the middle of a small strip-mall this tiny ice cream shop on Kauai is becoming a very popular spot in Hanalei town. Pink’s is a hole-in-the-wall creamery which claims to sell “comfort food by the bay.” According to my friends, they are doing a great job of just that.
Matt and Yvonne drove over from their vacation rental in Poipu to spend the day on the north shore. They stopped for lunch at Pink’s and enjoyed a custom-made milkshake with one of their famous Hawaiian Grilled Cheese sandwiches. When they stopped by our vacation rental, Honu Point, to say hi they were still talking about their delicious lunch.
With the exception of the Saint Regis Hotel, you will not find a restaurant in Princeville with a better view than the Happy Talk Lounge. Whether you are in need of an island cocktail, a light dinner or a place to watch the game, this sports bar overlooking the grounds of Hanalei Bay Resort is the perfect spot to witness a Kauai sunset (other than from Honu Point, of course).
The Happy Talk Lounge also offers live entertainment every night of the week. Local musicians perform from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. While the music can be a bit loud, depending on the kind of music and number of musicians, it definitely adds to the ambiance and keeps the place lively. One of my favorites is Michael Ruff who plays the keyboard and sings.
When I picked up a friend from the airport recently I suggested we eat lunch at Cafe Hemingway in Kapaa. Another friend had just recommended it to me and it was a chance for me to check it out. The restaurant has been open since 2011 but it has gone through several reiterations since then. I always thought it was simply a coffee shop with some breakfast items. I discovered there is much more to Cafe Hemingway than coffee.
Walking into the restaurant one might think you have been dropped into a European bistro. Antique furniture and cozy settings are a welcome relief from the busy highway just outside its doors.
I must admit that I am not a sushi aficionado, but I trust that Sushi Girl has the best sushi on the north shore of Kauai because I have heard it from so many people. Starting out in a tiny hole-in-the-wall space in Wainiha, Sushi Girl relocated to a cute kiosk in the Kong Lung Market Center a couple of years ago.
One of my favorite bakeries on the north shore of Kauai is the Kilauea Bakery. Nestled in the courtyard of the Kong Lung Shopping center, it is a perfect stop before or after your trip to the Kilauea Lighthouse.
For breakfast, the Kilauea Bakery has a wide selection of Hawaiian style Danish and French pastries. Choose from lilikoi, guava, coconut, chocolate or cinnamon croissants, scones, or eclairs. Their macadamia nut sticky buns are a local favorite. Or, have a toasted fresh bagel with one of their specialty spreads (olive tapenade, sun-dried tomato pesto, salmon cream cheese, ulu (breadfruit) hummus, artichoke blue cheese) for a savory choice. The breakfast stromboli, fritatta or ham cheddar rolls are other options from which to choose.
If you are looking for an authentic Kauaian experience, look no further than dining at the Tahiti Nui Restaurant in Hanalei. I use the word dining VERY loosely, however. The building is old with no air conditioning, the food is just okay and the service is inconsistent. Why, then, am I writing a blog about it? Because it has a lot to offer despite these things. After all, George Clooney made an appearance there in the movie, The Descendants!
Looking for a Friday night happy hour for tourists and locals alike? Try Pau Hana (work complete) Fridays at Anaina Hou in Kilauea, Kauai. Anaina Hou is a community park area which includes the unique, botanical Mini Golf one can see from the highway between Kilauea and Princeville. This Friday night event is held, rain or shine, under a covered patio and features live music and happy hour specials. Skinny B’s Island Smoke House offers $10 Slider Trios and $5 Shrimp Cocktails! Draft beer is just $3.00!
Other food items are available as well. Once a month Trivia Night with Katie happens from 6:00 to 8:00 during this gathering.
Pau Hana Fridays runs from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and is family friendly. Try a round of miniature golf beforehand or stop by on your way home from the south shore and reward yourself for a week well-spent.