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Kauai restaurants

Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.
- Paul Theroux

€1 - $1.1
Photo courtesy of Makai Sushi

Bar Acuda

  • North Shore, Mediterranean, $$$$ $$
  • 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy
  • Hanalei, HI, 96714
  • +1-808-826-7081
  • Website

Classy, locally sourced small plates (inspired by France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal) are the name of the game (be sure to order the honeycomb). Make reservations by phone a month in advance.

Da Crack

  • South Shore, Mexican, $$$$ $
  • 2827 Poipu Rd.
  • Koloa, HI, 96756
  • +1-808-742-9505

Delicous, quick-serve burritos are hearty and happening at this notable local hole-in-the-wall. The staff is friendly and the portions are very generous (good thing you spent all morning paddling waves).

Fehring Family Farm

  • North Shore, Healthy, Ice Pops, $$$$ $
  • 4320 Wailapa Rd.
  • Kilauea, HI, 96754
  • +1-808-652-5874
  • Website

Drop by the bright farm stand on the way to Kahili Bay Beach for organic popsicles (mango tango, soursop coconut, piña colada) or fresh smoothies. You can also find them every Saturday at the morning Kilauea Farmers Market.

The Fresh Shave

  • North Shore, Food Cart/Truck, Ice Pops, $$$$ $
  • 3540 Koloa Rd.
  • Kalaheo, HI, 96741
  • +1-808-631-2222
  • Website

There are plenty of sugar-laden, overhyped ices around. They are no match for the smooth, cool joy found in a fresh shaved ice with organic fruit juice combos like The Handle Bar (pineapple topped with shredded coconut), The Lip Luggage (chai tea topped with sweet cream), or The Professor (local honey, apples, bananas, and acaÍ).

Koloa Fish Market

  • South Shore, Hawaiian, Seafood, $$$$ $
  • 5482 Koloa Rd.
  • Koloa, HI, 96756
  • +1-808-742-6199

It's poke time! Wasabi-infused, Korean-style, eaten with rice or an ocean salad. It's pure Hawaii in your lunch bowl.

Makai Sushi

  • South Shore, Japanese, $$$$ $$
  • 2827 Poipu Rd.
  • Koloa, HI, 96756
  • +1-808-639-7219

Sushi in a hut inside Inside Kukuiula Market (look for the yellow submarine). You're here, so you better order the gorilla bowl: ahi, ono, salmon, cucumber, and sweet Maui onion.

Tiki Tacos

  • East Side, Mexican, $$$$ $
  • 4-971 Kuhio Hwy
  • Kapaa, HI
  • +1-808-823-8226
  • Website

It's a Mexican fiesta with a Hawaiian flair. This somewhat secret taco spot wraps its spicy steak and fire-roased veggies in handmade, blue corn tortillas — hot and fresh. Tamales are also made daily and should not be missed.

Tropical Taco

  • North Shore, Mexican, Seafood, $$$$ $
  • 5-5088 Kuhio Hwy
  • Hanalei, HI, 96714
  • +1-808-827-8226
  • Website

A casual little joint on the North Shore serves everyone's favorite beach food — tacos! — and they are excellent. Crispy tostadas piled high with the fresh catch are also totally tubular. Get everything with a side of taro.

Yamato's Ice-Cream Truck

  • Lihue, Food Cart/Truck, Ice Cream Parlor, $$$$ $
  • 4385 Pahee St.
  • Lihue, HI, 96766
  • +1-808-554-1698
  • Website

The island's best homemade ice-cream and sorbet is served from a humble ice-cream truck. But the couple behind the counter have also expanded the menu to include savory bites in the form of their favorite Japanese homecooked foods. 

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