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.
Looking for a place to grab a great tasting pizza or some local food, give the North Shore General Store a try. Unbelievably you will find the store/restaurant at the Princeville Gas Station in the Princeville Shopping Center. Enjoy your meal on their outside tables, take your choices to the beach or park, or bring them back to Honu Point where you can savor the flavor while watching the ocean view! Tom and I often order pizza when friends stop by to watch the sunset with us.
Here is the video North Shore General Store uses to promote their business:
If you are looking for an urban-chic eatery, offering handcrafted, locally-sourced burgers, hand-cut fries, and the Eastside’s largest selection of local and craft beers on tap, then Street Burger is just for you. It is not on the North Shore, but surely sometime during your vacation you will be heading to the south shore or the Waimea Canyon and a stop here for lunch or dinner should be listed in the itinerary.
We stopped recently for lunch after picking up our friends from the airport. This time I resisted the urge to have a burger and ordered their generous green salad with fries. But the rest of the group ordered burgers and this is what our table looked like when the food arrived.
There are so many unusual burger offerings it is hard to choose. They are made with 100% Kauai grass-fed beef (with the exception of the lamb, pork belly and veggie burger). There are classics, like the Bacon Blue Burger which is made with hardwood smoked bacon and Point Reyes blue cheese. But, more interesting and unusual are the twelve “Different” burgers. Try the Greek Burger which consists of olive tapenade, feta, cucumber, tzatziki and spinach. Or the Southern Burger with fried green tomato, pimento cheese, greens and buttermilk-chive dressing. Each burger is piled so high it is hard to get your mouth around it!
There’s a new restaurant in Kapaa town called Coconut’s Fish Cafe and you might definitely want to stop by if you are coming from, or going to, the north shore. After hearing about it from two of my friends, one of which claimed the fish tacos to be the best she had ever eaten, I decided to give it a try.
Coconut’s Fish Cafe opened just two weeks ago in the Safeway Shopping Center. It is a franchise from the original restaurant opened in 2009 on Maui. I met the owner who was graciously chatting with customers and helping the staff out wherever she could. She seems dedicated to serving delicious, healthy food to locals and tourists.
At Coconut’s Fish Cafe, one orders at the counter. I was told about the menu and given suggestions for customer favorites by these two smiling faces. I couldn’t resist ordering the fish tacos (two for $13.99).
Looking for a hole-in-the-wall, local hangout with great pastries, then head to the Village Snack and Bake Shop in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii. I have to admit, I haven’t actually eaten a meal at the shop because it is just too close to home, but I have ordered and purchased their pies – many times!
Looking for where to eat breakfast or lunch in Kauai, try Hanalei Bread Company in the heart of Hanalei town. The bakers first started selling their pastries and breads out of the Baracuda Restaurant next door but when the opportunity arose to open their own place they took it. Now it’s a hot spot in Hanalei which sometimes leads to long lines at the counter. For most, the wait is worthwhile. A friend and I had lunch there recently and the sandwiches were delicious; turkey on a fresh baguette.
Other lunch items on the menu are: four different kinds of pizzetta and four other sandwiches, including a roasted vegetable medley, salami and ham, classic B.L.T and grilled cheese. There are also daily specials which are listed on a chalkboard to the side of the menu on the wall.
If you are looking for a unique farm-to-table dining experience, why not try Kauai Ono, just outside the Princeville Resort. First, I must make the disclaimer that I have never forked over the money for this five course meal. You must remember, however, that I am not the one on vacation. 🙂 But several nights a week I do see the large tent alive with mingling guests set up across the highway from where I live. I’ve also read many 5 Star reviews on Tripadvisor, especially over the last year. Here is the latest from six days ago:
We just dined with Kauai ONO 560 for the first time. We are regular visitors to the North Shore and for some reason have just heard about this “pop up” dining experience. Normally, we look for something special for one night when we’re on the island…this is so much more fun (and better food) than our most recent experiences at the St. Regis. So, many reviews already exist with all the upsides – what can I add? Well, if you want a “white table cloth” experience with a beautiful sunset view, then your choice should be the St. Regis. If you want a more rustic experience, but still obviously delivered by a well trained chef + farm to table then this is the choice. Yes, there are bugs (but they didn’t bother us). Yes it’s BYOB, but I prefer it to the high mark ups for wine at restaurants. Yes, it’s communal seating – but we got to know a family from Switzerland. Definitely our new go to “event” venue for our dinners.
Kauai Ono is a boutique food services troop with an emphasis on fresh and balanced dishes constructed of as many local and organic products as possible. Guests sit outdoors, under a tent, at two long tables constructed of recycled pallets. The environment is rustic and the menu is set, based on weekly and seasonal availability. The portions tend to be small but there are five courses. No alcohol is provided however guests are invited to bring their own bottles. The cost is $60 per person. Reservations may be made for Tuesday or Wednesday evenings only.
Kauai Ono is centered around owner and chef Justin Smith. His formal culinary training in Europe along with many other travels have left him culturally aware and able to incorporate the local flare into his own approach to food. After having worked in Michelin 3 Starred restaurants in Spain, as well as foodie hot spots in Costa Rica and the west coast of the US, Justin and his family are now semi-settled in Kauai, with an occasional work stint in snowy Alta Utah, or the Namotu Island Resort in Fiji.
Kauai Ono is located at the Princeville Ranch Adventures property at 5-5086 Kuhio Hwy, directly across from the Church of the Pacific, at the intersection of Kapaka Street and the Kuhio Highway. It is a 5 minute drive from Honu Point Vacation Rental.
Phone Number: (808) 634-3244
Email Address: Justin@Kauaiono.com
Kauai Ono is also available for a Private Chef home evening or as a catering service for parties and weddings. Their web address is: http://www.kauaiono.com/home.
For more of my blogs, go to the right-hand side of this page. Mahalo!