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Kauai, Hawaii

Lilikoi Pie, Taro Chips, and Feral Chickens

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With no giant high rise resorts like Oahu and a handful of flight arrivals from the mainland, the island of Kauai only has about 10% of all the visitors to the 50th state.

This gives Kauai a more laid back feel than its more famous neighbor isles. The Garden Isle also boasts an abundance of eateries, from high-end and beach shacks, with local and organic produce on their menus.

Quick links:

Transportation in Kauai

Entertainment in Kauai

Food and Drink in Kauai

Shopping in Kauai

Accommodations in Kauai

A Short History

Kauai, like all the Hawaiian islands, was formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Kauai is the oldest Hawaiian island at about 5.1 million years, followed by Oahu which is 2.2-3.4 million years old.

Lonely Planet Kauai (Travel Guide)
By Lonely Planet, Adam Karlin, Greg Benchwick, Adam Skolnick

The first settlers were the Marquesans, who arrived between 1400 and 1800 years ago. Tahitians arrived 500 years later.

Kaumualii, the ruler of Kauai, fought King Kamehameha’s attempt to unite the Hawaiian islands. Kamehameha’s military invasions failed twice, but in 1810, Kaumualii voluntarily handed over Kauai.

The Russian American Company, a scheme of the Russian crown to gain a trading foothold in Hawaii, built Fort Elizabeth in 1816. The Russians were expelled the following year.

American businesses built sugar plantations on Kauai. As these plantations became more and more valuable, American business interests leveraged their power and overthrew the monarchy on Hawaii in 1893. Sugar production continued to be big business through the first half of the 20th century, but business slowly declined as cheaper labor was found in places like Brazil and India.

Many of the old sugar plantations were razed and the fields were sold off as developers built resorts for the millions of tourists who flock to Hawaii each year.

Foodie Kauai

Kauai, perhaps more than the other Hawaiian Islands, has a big focus on local food, especially produce. Even small, hole-in-the-wall joints seem to brag about their farm-to-table and organic offerings. All these fresh items mean that even the simplest dishes can be flavorful.

Shave Ice, a Hawaiian Sno Cone, is often overly sweet and made with artificial ingredients. But, at Wailua Shave Ice, they make their syrups and foams with real fruit. The coconut foam is a revelation.

Avocado on toasted sourdough with fresh sprouts at Hanalei Bread Co., Kauai

Avocado on toasted sourdough with fresh sprouts at Hanalei Bread Co., Kauai

Even the open-air restaurant Hanalei Bread Co. offers items with local honey and eggs, housemade jam, and bread made with organic flour. Don’t be put off by the long lines, the staff keeps things moving and you can almost always find a seat at one of the picnic tables on the lawn.

Hukulau Lanai not only features local ingredients on their menu, but also practices sustainability by recycling their vegetable oil, donating food to a local soup kitchen, and donating used coffee grounds and kitchen scraps to local farmers. Their five course wine and food tasting menu (available 5-5:45 only) is $50. The Swiss chard and mushroom tart is fantastic.

To get an overview of what Kauai has to offer, Tasting Kauai offers five different food tours of the island.

Loco Moco

Loco Moco, even though it has a Spanish name, is a true Hawaiian creation, first served on the Big Island at the Lincoln Grill 70 years ago.

The dish features a scoop of rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg, and gravy. With a dish so simple you know there have to be a lot of variations of Loco Moco. You’ll find Loco Moco made with sausage, chicken, seafood, and, of course, Spam. This is Hawaii, after all, and it seems like Spam is everywhere.

Don’t expect to find Loco Moco on fancy restaurant menus. Loco Moco is strictly served in diners, beach huts, and snack shops. The best might be at Mark’s Place in Lihue. They also have the popular Spam Musibi.

Oh, and if you speak Spanish, you might be put off by the name Loco Moco. Literally translated, it means Crazy Mucus. But, the name has nothing to do with nasal congestion. It was simply chosen because it sounded cool.

Spam Musibi

Like I said, Spam is crazy popular in Hawaii. Locals adopted the processed meat into their diet because of all the American soldiers stationed in Hawaii during and after WWII. Soldiers were fed Spam regularly, much to their chagrin, but the Hawaiians loved it.

One of the most famous dishes to arise from the Hawaiian love affair with Spam was Spam Musibi. Slices of Spam are fried and placed outside a scoop of rice. The Spam and rice is then wrapped in Nori to make a sort of Spam sushi.

Spam Musibi is so popular that you can find it wrapped and ready to eat next to cash registers at 7-11 in Hawaii. If you don’t trust how long the Spam has been sitting there, you can get the dish at diners and take out joints all over Hawaii. Mark’s Place, once again, is a good choice.

Malasadas

In the late 1800s, workers from Portugal came to work on the sugar and fruit plantations of Hawaii, bringing their cuisine with them. Once of the most popular dishes was the Malasada, a donut like treat made of fried yeast dough and rolled in sugar.

The Malasada proved so popular, in fact, that Hawaiian bakeries soon adopted the donut as their own. Today, bakeries throughout the island chain have big signs in their windows advertising the Portuguese sweet.

VIP Treats and Sweets, Kauai

VIP Treats and Sweets, Kauai

But, the best Malasadas come fresh out of the fryer. VIP Treats & Sweets, hidden in a shop at the back of the Kauai Mall, only makes Malasadas on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Get there early to get them hot and fresh.

Lilikoi Pie

Lilikoi Mango Pie at the Right Slice, Lihue, Kauai

Lilikoi Mango Pie at the Right Slice, Lihue, Kauai

Lilikoi is the Hawaiian word for Passion Fruit and is a favorite on the islands. You can find Lilikoi Malasadas, cookies, and jams and jellies. Shave Ice (like a Sno Cone but waaaay better) will often be topped with Lilikoi syrup or foam.

Lilikoi pies are also extremely popular. Lilikoi Cheesecake is particularly good, but my favorite is Lilikoi Mango Pie. The Right Slice makes an outstanding version and you get it at their bakery in Kalaheo.

The Right Slice, Lihue, Kauai

The Right Slice, Lihue, Kauai

The Right Slice also has an automated shop in Lihue that is simultaneously modern and a throwback. If you’re old enough to remember the old automats of the 1950s, The Right Slice has updated this concept with vending machines that are stocked daily with fresh slices and full pies. It’s also modern because they accept only credit cards, there are no humans on site, and there is a video screen that plays a tutorial on how to operate the machines.

Taro Chips

The Polynesians brought Taro with them when they settled the Hawaiian Islands over 1,000 years ago. Taro root is a staple in the Hawaiian diet and Taro fields are found in Kauai, especially on the northern part of the island near Princeville.

Traditionally, Taro root is hand pounded into a paste called poi. But, my favorite way to enjoy Taro is as a chip. Like potato chips, Taro root is thinly sliced, fried, and salted.

Fruit and a cacao tree for sale outside the Taro Ko Chips Factory, Hanapepe, Kauai

Fruit and a cacao tree for sale outside the Taro Ko Chips Factory, Hanapepe, Kauai

In Hanapepe, there is a unique shop called Taro Ko Chips Factory. Outside, it doesn’t look like much, just a ramshackle building down the road from the art galleries of Hanapepe.

Despite the “Factory” name, this is a tiny one-man operation, making Taro and Sweet Potato Chips for those in the know. Don’t expect regular hours, the place is only open when the door is open. As a bonus, there are often mangoes from the owner’s farm on sale outside the building for the ridiculously low price of fifty cents!

Drinking in Kauai

Happy Hour

Happy hour is a big deal on Kauai. And why not? Everyone is on vacation, right? At least that’s how it seems.

When picking a spot it’s wise to keep a few things in mind. Most importantly, no drinking and driving. With Uber available on Kauai, there’s no excuse.

Also, think about what kind of bar you’re looking for. If it’s strictly a beach vibe, Duke’s is right on the water and has what they call an Aloha Hour from 4-6. Of course, it’s also quite touristy. If you want to really feel like you’re in Hawaii, try the La Pina served in a pineapple. This is a great spot for a cocktail before dinner and a stroll on the beach.

Mai Tais at the Lava Lava Club, Kapaa, Kauai

Mai Tais at the Lava Lava Club, Kapaa, Kauai

There’s a long stretch of beach resorts and hotels on the Kapaa waterfront and each of them has a bar and restaurant. Lava Lava has $5 Mai Tais during their Happy Hour, though the food is pedestrian.

Tahiti Nui, Hanalei, Kauai

Tahiti Nui, Hanalei, Kauai

Tahiti Nui has been around for almost 70 years but it became famous as a location in the 2011 George Clooney movie The Descendants. This spot in Hanalei is a local favorite and has $3 domestic beers during happy hour. Good music and food, too.

Coffee

Cute sign at Kauai Coffee

Cute sign at Kauai Coffee

Hawaii is the only state in the US with commercial coffee production. The best coffee in Hawaii comes from the Big Island of Hawaii. You may have seen Kona coffee in your specialty coffee shop, although Hawaiian coffee is relatively rare in mainland coffee joints.

There’s also a large coffee farm on Kauai, the Kauai Coffee Company. They offer free tastings and tours in Kalaheo.

Things to do in Kauai

As of this writing, the area past Hanalei is closed to everyone except local residents. This is due to the historic flooding in April, 2018 and was made worse by Hurricane Lane in August of that year. Currently, there is no timeline for reopening. Kalalau Trail, Ke’e Beach, and Lumahai Beach are all off limits.

Plane Tour

Kauai by plane

Kauai by plane

Much of Kauai is inaccessible due to lack of roads or spots being located on private land. But, you can still see much of Kauai’s magnificent beauty on a tour.

One of Kauai’s beautiful waterfalls viewed from a plane

One of Kauai’s beautiful waterfalls viewed from a plane

There are boat tours that will take you to the rugged Napali Coast, but everyone I talked to who went on these boat tours complained of rough seas and rocking boats.

Another option is a helicopter tour. Helicopter tours are a good idea because the chopper can get closer to the waterfalls and other attractions. But, they are also more costly than plane rides and not for those who are subject to motion sickness.

Plane rides can be more economical. For about $125-150 pp, you can see most of the island in a quick one hour ride. You’ll also get lots of great pictures. We’ve done the Wings Over Kauai tour and enjoyed it a great deal.

Jurassic Park

Much of Jurassic Park and its series of sequels was filmed on Kauai. You can see some of the sites, although they are often difficult to get to. The folks at Legendary Day Trips and Culture Trip have done a good job of outlining the locations for Dino-heads.

The Descendants

Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, Downsizing) directed the George Clooney movie The Descendants in Hawaii. Much of the movie was shot on Kauai, and there is a pricey tour that takes you to locations where many movies were shot in Kauai (Blue Hawaii, South Pacific, and others) but you can visit many of the Descendants filming locations on your own.

Tahiti Nui was the bar where Beau Bridges’ character hung out in the movie. It’s a great local spot with a good happy hour.

The family land from the movie is the privately owned Kipu Ranch. Here you can book ATV rides and zipline tours. Not exactly what George Clooney’s character had in mind…

The family cottage from the movie is available for rent at eye popping rates ($3,000 a night!!), but you can wander along the gorgeous Hanalei Bay for free.

Hiking

Unfortunately, the record rainfall in April 2018 and Hurricane Lane in August 2018 caused massive damage on Kauai and several of the most spectacular hiking trails on the island remain closed indefinitely. These include the Kalalau Trail and the Hanakapiai Trail, two of the best trails for hiking along the Napali Coast.

To see the Napali Coast, the Awaawapuhi Trail might be a good alternative. This is an extremely challenging hike not for beginners. Check kauai.com for updates on the trails before heading out.

Waimea Canyon, nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is one of the most beautiful natural spots on the planet. You can hike a very difficult five mile trail in the canyon or the less strenuous nature loop. Camping is also allowed by permit.

One of the best things about hiking in Kauai is the many waterfalls. Some are remote, but the short Ho’opi’i Falls hike is fairly easy to access and lets you see two waterfalls in a single hike. You might recognize the first fall as the Amber Mine from Jurassic Park. Note that the trailhead is in a residential neighborhood. Don’t park on someone’s property or you will be towed. Also, jumping from the falls or swings is very dangerous! Do not attempt.

Journey Era has done an excellent job detailing several hikes in Kauai. Remember, check to see if the trails are open before heading out.

Beaches

Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii

Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii

You’re in Hawaii, you have to visit the beach, right? Luckily there are lots to choose from. Some are more crowded than others, but you’ll never see the mass of humanity like you will at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. As of this writing, beaches like Ke’e and several others past Hanalei are closed because of 2018’s flooding.

Hanalei Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii. There’s two miles of sand and the beach is rarely crowded. Experienced surfers are often hitting the waves here.

Poipu Beach is a great spot for snorkeling and you might even spot sea turtles and monk seals here. Nearby Shipwreck Beach is more secluded and surfers ride the waves off the shore.

Not far from Poipu Beach is the Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard. A natural rock formation has eroded to cause a hole where waves rush through the rock and shoot up to fifty feet in the air. The rushing water also causes a deep “groaning” sound.

The Hawaiian legend of the Spouting Horn says that a giant lizard guarded the shore at Poipu attacking anyone who came nearby. A man named Liko was swimming in the water when the lizard attacked him, but Liko escaped by swimming up through the hole in the rocks. The lizard followed but got stuck in the hole where he remains to this day. The “groaning” sound is the lizards cries of pain.

Hanapepe

Kauai Hanapepe  .jpg

One of my favorite towns on Kauai is Hanapepe. A single road holds most of the shops, many of which are art galleries, in tiny Hanapepe town. This is also where you can get your Taro chips (see above).

Hanapepe’s Swinging Bridge, Kauai

Hanapepe’s Swinging Bridge, Kauai

The only attraction, per se, is the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. This rickety pedestrian-only structure spans the Hanapepe River and gets its name from the swaying motion of the span. Crossing the bridge is good fun and from the other side you’ll get a nice picture of the structure.

The best time to visit Hanapepe is Friday evening for Art Night. The town’s many galleries open their doors and lots of other vendors line the street while musicians keep the atmosphere lively.

Hawaiian Sovereignty

The issue of Hawaiian sovereignty was recently in the news when five members of the Polynesian Kingdom of Atooi group were arrested for assault and harassment after storming and attempting to occupy a government building in Honolulu. The men are part of the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement which does not recognize the United States Federal Government’s authority over the islands.

A truck in Hanapepe,Kauai with signs advocating for Hawaiian independence.

A truck in Hanapepe,Kauai with signs advocating for Hawaiian independence.

The issue of Hawaiian Sovereignty is difficult to unpack and is made all the more complicated by the many groups and differing viewpoints, even among Native Hawaiians. In a nutshell, the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement says that the U.S. government was complicit in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the subsequent occupation of the islands. And, they point out that the article 73 of the United Nations charter says that Hawaii was to be placed under the administration of the United States with the purpose of making the islands self-governing. Hawaiian nationalists claim this “sacred trust obligation” was never carried out and that Hawaii was always intended to be independent. On the other hand, it is important to note that over 94% of the residents of Hawaii voted for statehood in 1959.

Another truck in Hanapepe,Kauai with signs advocating for Hawaiian independence.

Another truck in Hanapepe,Kauai with signs advocating for Hawaiian independence.

In the 70s and 80s, when the indigenous peoples’ movements gained traction, Hawaiian Sovereignty came to the forefront of island politics. In 1987, activists occupied the land near Makapu'u Lighthouse on Oahu, claiming it as ancestral land. Eventually the dispute was resolved and the group was granted nearby land called Pu`uhonua O Waimanalo. They cleared the mosquito infested property and built homes where a couple hundred people live today. Most are Native Hawaiian and formerly homeless.

On Kauai, Hawaiian Sovereignty became an issue when a couple dozen Native Hawaiians began camping on the abandoned Coco Palms Resort (this is where much of Elvis’ movie Blue Hawaii was filmed). They claimed ownership of the land and said they had proof to support their position. Lawsuits were filed and in 2018 the Native group lost and was removed from the resort which was due to be renovated and reopened (it has been vacant since Hurricane Inika in 1992) but the current owner recently defaulted on a loan, so the property’s future is in doubt.

You can’t visit Coco Palms Resort, it is fenced off as a construction site. Although some folks, like the guy in the video below, ignore the signs and enter anyway. You can take pictures from the street.

Mark Zuckerberg became the face neo-colonialism in Kauai when he bought a 700 acre estate and used a third party shill to file lawsuit against fractional landowners of adjacent property which had been handed down over generations. The lawsuit was dropped after public outcry, but sale of the parcels was done amid protest in March, 2019.

Around Kauai you can still see symbols of Hawaiian Sovereignty. An upside down Hawaiian flag is one. Or, these signs proclaiming independence on these trucks we saw in Hanapepe.

Chickens

Not an attraction, but a local oddity. Feral chickens are everywhere on Kauai; all over Hawaii actually, but especially on Kauai.

Chickens were originally brought to Hawaii by the native Polynesians over 1,000 years ago as a food source. With no natural predators, chicken populations surged. But, when Hurricane Iniki hit in 1992 and destroyed many structures on Kauai, including the cages where the chickens were kept, the feral chicken population exploded and now you can find the cluckers everywhere. And I mean everywhere. We saw them in the parking lot at the airport, at the beach, and even at outdoor dining restaurants.

Locals try to keep the population in check by asking tourists not to feed the chickens, but it seems to be a losing battle. Tourists find the birds irresistible and their presence charming. And, chickens do a lot of good for the ecosystem, mainly by eating a lot of insects.

Locals try everything to keep the chickens away

Locals try everything to keep the chickens away

But, there’s a downside to all these chickens. They can be aggressive towards humans, especially when they feel their offspring might be threatened. Also, traffic accidents have been reported due to drivers trying to avoid hitting the fowl.

Lastly, the barbaric activity of cock fighting is still practiced on Kauai. There was even a bill in the Hawaii legislature which would have recognized cock fighting as a cultural activity. Luckily, it did not pass. Still, this violent venture continues.

Transportation

Lihue Airport (LIH)

Kauai’s airport with flights to other islands and the mainland.

Kauai airport.png

http://airports.hawaii.gov/lih/

3901 Mokulele Loop, Lihue, HI

Local Transportation

Uber is widely available on Kauai. Renting a car is the best choice if you’re going to be seeing a lot of the island.

Kauai Bus

The Kauai Bus is reliable with service all over the island. However, service can be infrequent, leaving you waiting for the next bus.

https://www.kauai.gov/BusSchedules

Entertainment

Tasting Kauai

Tasting Kauai offers several food tours of the island.

https://www.tastingkauai.com/

Kauai Movie Tours

Expensive tour of Kauai movie sites (including Blue Hawaii, South Pacific and many others).

http://adventureinhawaii.com/kauai/kauai-movie-tours/

Wings Over Kauai

Plane tour of Kauai.

https://www.wingsoverkauai.com/

3651 Ahukini Rd, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Waimea Canyon

The “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” offers hiking, waterfalls, and rainbows.

https://hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/waimea-canyon-state-park/

Waimea Canyon Dr., Uninc Kauai County, HI

Napali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii

Napali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii

Napali Coast

Rugged hiking and high cliffs offer spectacular views for experienced trekkers.

https://hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/napali-coast-state-wilderness-park/

Kapaa, HI

Polihale State Park

Beautiful sandy beach, difficult to reach, must have a 4x4.

https://hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/polihale-state-park/

Lower Saki Mana Rd., Waimea, HI

Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii

Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii

Hanalei Bay

Beautiful beach that attracts surfers.

Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Ke’e Beach

Very popular beach on the far north of the island. As of this writing the beach is closed due to 2018 flooding.

Highway 560 Kauai, North Shore, Kauai, HI

Tunnels Beach

Great for snorkeling and scuba diving. As of this writing, the beach is closed due to 2018 flooding.

7640 Kuhio Hwy, Kauai, HI 96714

Ancient Lizard at the Spouting Horn

Rocks and erosion cause natural “geysers” to spout with ocean waves.

South Shore, Poipu, Kauai, HI

Poipu Beach

Good beach for swimming and spotting sea turtles and monk seals.

https://poipubeach.org/beaches/poipu-beach/#pagecontent

Hoona Rd, Poipu, Kauai, HI

Shipwreck Beach

Secluded beach near Poipu Beach.

End of Ainakoa St, Poipu, Kauai, HI

Wailua River State Park

Great spot for kayaking and paddleboarding.

https://hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/wailua-river-state-park/

Highway 56, Wailua, Kauai, HI

Kilauea Lighthouse, Kauai, Hawaii

Kilauea Lighthouse, Kauai, Hawaii

Kilauea Lighthouse

Beautiful spot. Later in the afternoon is less busy and the best time to go.

3580 Kilauea Rd, Kilauea, HI

Kealia Beach

Huge beach. Tons of parking (though the lot has tons of potholes)

Highway 56, North of Kapaa, Kealia, Kauai, HI

Kauai Coffee Company

Massive coffee farm with tastings and tours.

https://kauaicoffee.com/

870 Halewili Road, Kalaheo, Kauai, HI

Coco Palms Resort

Closed since 1992, this is where Elvis filmed much of Blue Hawaii and was ground zero for a Hawaiian Sovereignty land case 2016-18. Site is not open to the public.

https://www.cocopalmskauai.com/

Russian Fort Elizabeth, Kauai, Hawaii

Russian Fort Elizabeth, Kauai, Hawaii

4-1219 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI

Russian Fort Elizabeth

Ruins of an abandoned 19th century Russian fort.

Highway 50, Waimea, Kauai, HI

Food and Drink

The Fresh Shave

Organic syrups are used in their shave ice.

https://www.thefreshshave.com/

3540 Koloa Road, Lawai, Kauai, HI

Plantation Gardens

Good happy hour.

https://www.pgrestaurant.com/

2253 Poipu Rd, Poipu, Kauai, HI

Kauai Culinary Market

Kauai Culinary Market

Kauai Culinary Market

Wednesday farmers market

2829 Ala Kalani Kaumaka St, Kukui'ula Village Shopping Center, Poipu, Kauai, HI

La Spezia

Italian restaurant and wine bar.

http://www.laspeziakauai.com/

Breakfast at Kalaheo Cafe, Kauai, Hawaii

Breakfast at Kalaheo Cafe, Kauai, Hawaii

5492 Koloa Rd, Koloa, Kauai, HI

Kalaheo Cafe

Great breakfast menu.

http://kalaheo.com/

2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy, Kalaheo, Kauai, HI

Kauai+The+Right+Slice.jpg

The Right Slice

Mango Lilikoi Pie and Lilikoi Cheesecake.

https://rightslice.com/

Two locations:

2-2459 Kaumualii Hwy., Kalaheo, HI

3501 Rice Street, Harbor Mall, Lihue, HI (vending machines only)

Wailua Shave Ice

Fresh fruit shave ice.

https://www.wailuashaveice.com/

4-1306 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI

Scorpacciata, Kauai, Hawaii

Scorpacciata, Kauai, Hawaii

Scorpacciata

Food truck with great pizza. Next to Wailua Shave Ice.

https://www.facebook.com/scorpacciata/

4-1306 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Hawaii

Eat Healthy Kauai

Healthy vegan food.

http://eathealthykauai.com/

4-369 Kuhio Hwy, Ste 110, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

VIP Treats and Sweets

Fresh malasadas Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday only.

http://www.viptreatsandsweets.com/

Lava Lava Beach Club, Kauai, Hawaii

Lava Lava Beach Club, Kauai, Hawaii

4-831 Kuhio Hwy., Ste. 439, Kapaa, HI

Lava Lava Beach Club

Good happy hour, great beachside location.

https://lavalavabeachclub.com/kauai/

420 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

Passion Bakery Cafe

Croisscones, cross between a croissant and a scone.

http://www.passionbakeries.com/

4-356 Kuhio Hwy, Ste 121, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

Papayas Natural Foods, Kauai, Hawaii

Papayas Natural Foods, Kauai, Hawaii

Papayas Natural Foods

Salad bar and wraps hidden in the back of this natural food grocery.

https://www.facebook.com/PapayasNaturalFoods/

4-901 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

The Local, Kauai, Hawaii

The Local, Kauai, Hawaii

The Local Kauai

Lots of local ingredients on the menu.

http://www.thelocalkauai.com/

4-1380 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

JO2 Natural Cuisine

Local and heirloom ingredients featured on the menu.

http://www.jotwo.com/

4-971 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

Kauai+Java+Kai.jpg

Java Kai

Busy coffee shop and cafe.

https://javakai.com/

4-1384 Kuhio Hwy # 105, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

Hukilau Lanai

Fine dining with lots of local ingredients.

https://hukilaukauai.com/

Greenery Cafe, Kauai, Hawaii

Greenery Cafe, Kauai, Hawaii

520 Aleka Loop, Kapaa, Kauai, HI

Greenery Cafe

Charming little restaurant with great wraps.

http://www.thegreenerycafe.com/

3146 Akahi St, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Duke’s Kauai

Touristy, yes, but a good salad beer and Alaho Hour.

https://www.dukeskauai.com/

3610 Rice St, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Mark’s Place, Kauai, Hawaii

Mark’s Place, Kauai, Hawaii

Mark’s Place

The place for Loco Moco and Spam Musibi.

http://www.marksplacekauai.com/

1610 Haleukana St Ste A, Puhi, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Kauai Bakery

Great spot for Malasadas.

https://www.mykauaibakery.com/

3-2600 Kaumualii Hwy., Ste. 1526, Lihue, HI

Koloa Rum Co., Kauai, Hawaii

Koloa Rum Co., Kauai, Hawaii

Koloa Rum Company

Hawaiian rum distillery with tasting room.

https://koloarum.com/

3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Verde

Mexican food. Veg options.

http://www.verdehawaii.com/

4454 Nuhou St, #501, Lihue, HI 96766

Hamura Saimin Stand

Unpretentious cafeteria-style Japanese restaurant with lilikoi pie.

2956 Kress St, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Kalalea Juice Hale, Kauai, Hawaii

Kalalea Juice Hale, Kauai, Hawaii

Kalalea Juice Hale

Great acai bowls.

https://www.facebook.com/Kalaleajuice/

4390 Pu'u hale Loop, Anahola, Kauai, HI 96703

Banana Joe’s

Fruit stand with local fruit, smoothies, and frosties.

http://bananajoekauai.com/

5-2719 Kuhio Hwy, Kilauea, Kauai, HI

Hanalei Bread Co.

Good sourdough at this cafe in Hanalei.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hanalei-Bread-Co/1710709225825155

Postcards Cafe, Kauai, Hawaii

Postcards Cafe, Kauai, Hawaii

5-5161 Kuhio Highway, Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Postcards Cafe

Seafood and vegetarian cafe.

http://www.postcardscafe.com/

5 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Tahiti Nui

Old time Hawaiian restaurant.

https://thenui.com/

5 Kuhio Hwy # 5134, Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Hanalei Street Eats, Kauai, Hawaii

Hanalei Street Eats, Kauai, Hawaii

Hanalei Street Eats

Food truck court with many choices.

5-5100 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Little Fish Coffee

Funky coffee spot in Hanapepe.

https://littlefishcoffee.com/

3900 Hanapepe Rd #D, Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Midnight Bear Bakery, Kauai, Hawaii

Midnight Bear Bakery, Kauai, Hawaii

Midnight Bear Bakery

Good breads and pastries.

http://www.midnightbearbreads.com/

Japanese Grandma, Kauai, Hawaii

Japanese Grandma, Kauai, Hawaii

3830 Hanapepe Rd, Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Japanese Grandma

Lots of seafood, sushi, and tempura.

http://www.japanesegrandma.com/

3871 Hanapepe Road, Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Taro Ko Chips Factory, Kauai, Hawaii

Taro Ko Chips Factory, Kauai, Hawaii

Shopping

Taro Ko Chips Factory

Tiny shack where they make Taro chips. They’re open when the door is open.

3940 Hanapepe Rd, Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Talk Story Bookstore

New books, used books, vinyl.

https://www.talkstorybookstore.com/

3785 Hanapepe Road, Hanapepe, HI

Hanapepe Art Night

Weekly event with open galleries, vendors, and musicians.

http://www.hanapepe.org/friday-art-night

Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Jacqueline on Kauai, Hawaii

Jacqueline on Kauai, Hawaii

Jacqueline on Kauai

Boutique handmade clothing shop.

https://kauaimade.net/

3837 Hanapepe Road, Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Kauai Fine Arts

Antique maps and artwork.

http://www.macusi.com/shop/

Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art, Kauai, Hawaii

Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art, Kauai, Hawaii

3905 Hanapepe Rd, Hanapepe, Kauai, HI

Havaiki Oceanic and Tribal Art

Museum quality tribal artwork from Polynesia with local made pieces as well.

https://www.havaikiart.com/

5-5161 Kuhio Highway, Bldg G, Hanalei Center, Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Monkeypod Jam

Tiny shop and cafe with great jams and scones.

https://monkeypodjam.com/

2-3687 Kaumualii Highway, Lawai, Kauai, HI

Accommodations

Kauai Shores Hotel

Reasonably priced (by Kauai standards) and right on the beach.

https://www.kauaishoreshotel.com/

420 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa, HI 96746

Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, Hawaii

Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, Hawaii

Aqua Kauai Beach Resort

Mid priced hotel in Lihue.

https://www.kauaibeachresorthawaii.com/

4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue, Kauai, HI

Ocean View Studio

Less expensive AirBnB option.

Website

Kilauea Treetop Studio

Lovely AirBnB studio in Kilauea.

AirBnB renovated studio near Hanalei, Hawaii

AirBnB renovated studio near Hanalei, Hawaii

Website

Renovated Studio near Hanalei

AirBnb Studio

Website

Hanalei Hale Nalu

The cottage from the movie The Descendants is available for rent at wallet-draining prices.

https://houseofdreamskauai.com/House_Of_Dreams_Kauai/Kauai_Vacation_Rentals/Pages/Hanalei_Nalu_Hale.html