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!
There are lots of reasons for using the personalized shopping service of Kauai Kiss (Kauai Island Shopping Service). Kauai Kiss is an island wide delivery service set up for guests and locals alike. Whenever you have the need for others to do your shopping, they are the go to service.
Often times arrivals are late in the afternoon or at night. After traveling for most of the day the last thing some people want to do is go to a grocery store. Once you place your order with Kauai Kiss, they will arrange for someone to shop your grocery list and have the food waiting for you when you arrive at Honu Point.
If you are celebrating a special occasion and can’t quite figure out how to surprise someone with something special, Kauai Kiss will shop for what you have in mind and arrange to get it to you prior to or during your stay. This week I had a family who wanted Easter baskets for their two daughters. Kauai Kiss made up the baskets and delivered them to Honu Point ahead of their arrival.
I will leave it to your imagination as to what other surprises might be kind of fun.
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!