Ever since I was little, I would frequently vacation to Kauai, Hawaii to visit my family with my mom and brother. My mom’s siblings, her parents, & her cousins all lived in Kilauea and we could literally walk to each others house. However, some of her siblings has moved to Vegas for better job opportunities, but my family still reside in Kauai.
Anyway, Erick and I continue to visit as much as we can to see my family and of course R E L A X from the busy-ness that is San Diego. When we do visit and vacation, we have a few favorite places to eat. Here is a list of some of our favorite places. We are going back at the end of July, so look out for another post of more eateries.
Pono Market is located in Kapaa right along the highway and it is one of our favorite GO TO’s for poke! Usually right when we land, I ask whoever is picking us up, which is usually my cousin Guia, to get us a poke bowl and a musubi ready for us in the car. LOL. At Pono Market, Erick & I usually get it with rice, but sometimes we get the rice on the side so the poke doesn’t get ‘cooked’ by the steam. My two favorites at Pono Market is the spicy mayo poke and spicy baby lobster. Erick’s favorite is also the spicy baby lobster, but he loves loves LOVES their tako poke!
Pono Market also has plate lunches and some bomb ass musubis. Musubi’s are a block of rice and a meat dish wrapped in nori (or also known as seaweed). Their spam musubi’s are good and i also like their chicken musubi’s! A tip for Pono Market: Go as early as you can because they well sell out of certain itemes. Spam musubis, various poke, & some of the plate lunch items will be sold out as the day goes. Their hours are Monday – Saturday 6a-4p and they are closed on Sunday. Parking is usually crappy along the highway, but if you go along the back way there is usually parking & you could get lucky at the little parking lot near the shaved ice & bike rentals
Another favorite of ours to get poke is the one and only Foodland! Although it is a grocery store, their poke is so good! They have lots of variety, and you can also get poke bowls there. Think of it as going to Vons or Albertsons and going straight to the deli section. It’s something just like that. My favorite at Foodland is the cali avocado poke & the spicy mayo, but once in awhile ill get shoyu (soy sauce) poke. Erick and I usually stay in Princeville when were vacationing, so Foodland is an easy access for us. Its just a 2 minute drive from our house and if we decided to stop by the beach right after Foodland, its just another 5 minute drive to Hanalei. (Hanalei is our FAVORITE area and beach to go too).
If you do end up going to Foodland in Princeville, 10/1 you’ll run into my family members at the check out 🙂 There is Foodland along the island, but Princeville is usually our go to place when we try to stay ‘local’ haha… aka North Shore area.
Lappert’s Ice Cream
Lappert’s Ice Cream is a dessert place right next door to Foodland in Princeville, but there are a two more locations along the island. We usually go to the one in Princeville, only because its convenient for us. A favorite that i love getting is their Kauai Pie ice cream. Kauai Pie ice cream is Kona coffee ice cream, with coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, vanilla cake crunch, and chocolate fudge. They also have sorbets, shakes, cookies, and coffee. The location in Princeville is pretty small, but don’t be fooled, it is worth the wait! Sometimes Erick & I will share, but that’s only on occasion when I want dessert but I’m too stuffed to have one for myself lol.
If you live in the San Diego area, there is a Lappert’s location in Poway in a small shopping center. The ice cream & sorbet selection is practically the same, depending on their delivery and inventory.
Wishing Well Shave Ice
Wishing Well Shave Ice we tried in our most recent trip back to Kauai, which was this past January/February. It is by far one of my favorite shaved ice on the island. We have tried both shaved ice next to Pono Market, but Wishing Well is by far my favorite! Wishing Well is a white truck and located in Hanalei along the highway on the right side next to the Hanalei Dophin. They have options for organic shaved ice or traditional kind. They are open every day from 9:30a-5:30p and they are just a few minutes drive from Hanalei bay & pier.
In my opinion, a regular shaved ice is good to share with two adults, however I got one regular for myself and Erick got one for himself as well LOL. I even saw keiki’s with their own, and im looking at them like, “How can you finish that when I can barely finish my own.” omg! lol. Anyway, i wanted to try their organic “Hanalei Sweetie”, but since Erick got that, I tried “The Local”. The Local is is Li hing mui, stawberry, & blue vanilla over vanilla ice cream and a snow cap. Omg, it was sooooo gooooddd, especially with the vanilla ice cream with the snow cap. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The Hanalei Sweetie is organic shaved ice with lilikoi over vanilla ice cream.
Olympic Cafe is located in Kapaa along the highway and can be spotted from the light entering Kapaa from the North Shore on the left side , or can be seen as you leave Kapaa on the right side. We tried this place for breakfast since I failed to realize Tip Top Motel & Cafe (another favorite breakfast place located in Lihue) was closed.
Parking for Olympic Cafe is located in the back as well as the entrance, however there is parking along the highway. What I liked about Olympic Cafe is the option to sit along the outside to get a view of the Kapaa highway.
Their coffee is served in those big ol coffe mugs that could be considered a venti size at Starbucks. When in Kauai, I am a sucker for (flavored) pancakes, Portuguese sausage and a side of rice. If i could I would get them all as sides and make my own breakfast, which i do at Dani’s Resturant, which is also a breakfast place in Lihue. Anyways, at Olympic Cafe, i got myself the 3 staked banana mac nut pancake which is topped with banana slices and macadamia nuts, and i drizzled it with mango syrup and coconut syrup. Omg, it was the most delicious pancake ever! I was only able to eat one stake, but that is because i had a side of rice and Portuguese sausage on the side hahaha. What I should’ve done was eat the pancakes first and save the rice ans Portuguese sausage for later. Oh whale! Erick got a 2-2-3 which is 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 2 Portuguese sausage. Olympic Cafe also serves lunch and dinner, but we only tried their breakfast. Overall, good place with a great Kapaa view.
Shrimp Station is located all over the island, but the one we particularly ate at is located in Kapaa. Its across the street from chevron and you kinda cant miss it since the building is a bright yellowish green and their sign is bright pink with a shrimp on it. Their shrimp dishes are so good! Erick got the ‘Cajun Shrimp’ and i got the ‘Got Garlic’ and their sauce is everything! The shrimps are cooked with their shells on, but they’e easy to peel. I like them with the shell only because i feel like when shrimps are cooked with it, the flavor is more intense than without it. Being Filipino, I looovee dipping the shrimp in the sauce and sucking the shrimp before peeling the shrimp. It may sound gross, but OhMyGawd it is soo good! I hope to try more of their dishes in July.
Although this isnt a place to eat, this is a nice place to kick back and relax and munch on a little bit of food. Erick and I are very big beer lovers, especially coming from San Diego with a lot of microbreweries and breweries. Kauai Beer is located in Lihue on Rice Street across the street from this Chinese restaurant, Garden Island, my family LOVES to eat it LOL. It was our first time going to Kauai beer, since we needed to kill some time before dinner with my family… at of course, Garden Island. Kauai is known for their roosters all over the island, so inside the place, it is of course, the rooster as its staple. The only beer I’ll drink are stouts and Hefs. I cannot do IPA’s or sours. Those beers are not part of my taste buds, however they also carry wine and ciders for those who dont drink beer. They also have a selected food menu, as well as outdoor seating. They’re open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00am – 10:00pm and closed Sunday’s and Mondays. They are family friendly and they even have games that you can play at your table.
Well, that is all for now! I’ll be posting more tips about Kauai, so stay tuned! 🙂
xo, the mrs.