Mahina Kai

4933 Aliomanu Rd
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
I absolutely could not rave enough about the Mahina Kai or it's owner, Joe. In fact, I've put off writing this review for a whole year because I just couldn't imagine having to write everything I loved about it. Firstly, it's absolutely gorgeous. My partner and I were nervous on our way, not sure what we were in store for, and just driving from the road we were in love. Lush greenery, a lovely pool, Japanese style structure up the property, stunning. Joe was there to greet us and was incredibly accommodating and friendly. Our room, which was really more than one room, was lovely, spacious, comfortable, and had a great view. The clothing optional pool was a treat, so nice to hop in at the end of the day and stare up at the stars while listening to the sounds of nature. Magical and romantic. Joe provides you with any information you need about places to go and what to do, and gives you a real local perspective. If I could afford to fly to Kauai on a monthly basis, I would stay here every month of the year! It's not a resort, it's not a hotel, it's a beautiful gay (and straight friendly) fantasy getaway that you would be crazy to pass up on. Enjoy.
Mahina Kai is a one of a kind B&B! It is set on a hillside in a very quiet part of Anahola. It's lush, and green, with fresh flowers blooming all over the property. I personally love the pool, and spent hours an hours there. It's quiet and private and you feel like you have the place all to yourself. The rooms are each uniquely set up, with a cozy feel. Yes you won't find TV's which really adds to your stay, and forces relaxation. Besides you don't come to Kauai to sit and watch TV. And if you need access to the outside world, there's free WIFI, so you can connect when you want to. The best part of staying there is Joe, he runs the place and is full of Aloha, which actually seems like Southern Charm! I swear he's from the South. He's so warm and friendly, and greets you with a smile and makes you instantly feel like family. He truly makes the place special! The views are wonderful, and you are literally steps away from the water, and it's a lovely area to take walks, with very little traffic nearby. You can even hear the ocean from your room which is so soothing. Yes, it's the best of the outdoors, with lovely furnishings, and a roof over your head. (If you want a/c this isn't the place for you, but if you like cool breezes, and the fresh air of the ocean nearby then this is it!). And just spend some time with Joe and he can make your experience, one you'll never forget.
My partner and I just got back from Oahu & Kauai including a FABULOUS 2 nights stay at Mahina Kai in Kapaa, HI. Joe is an absolute sweetheart with a southern hospitality that makes you feel like you're at home. He offers the most loving accommodations in a fabulous Japanese-style home. We will never forget our stay here and plan on coming back whenever we decide to visit Kauai again. The views are stunningly amazing with trees in the forefront and the ocean in the back. Thanks so much for a wonderful time, Joe!!! :-)

(808) 822-9451

Bed & Breakfast

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JO2 Natural Cuisine

4-971 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
It's my 2nd time here and I am still blown away with the food they present... I ordered more food than I usually do, and I actually ate all of it, we didn't bring home any leftovers! This place make look like a regular fast food spot from the outside, but once u step inside, it's a whole new level of fine dining, Don't judge a book by its cover I would say. The waitresses were very attentive and explain a good amount of info if every single menu item! I love this place. Totally a recommendation for people who are looking for a great place to eat... Especially if they love fine dining like me!
I went there with friends to have dinner. We ended up sharing appetizers. 6 apps to be exact. They were so good that I need to go back for dinner and deserts! Great wine list and the service was spot on. I recommend the short rib with Vietnamese crepe, clams ( the sauce is off the charts good) and on the entree menu the miso butter fish. As I stated we shared apps but we also shared the fish! Go there with friends and enjoy the culinary journey. You won't be disappointed!
Fine dinning at its best on Kauai. Amazing food, and super friendly service from famed chef Josselin. If you like Josselin's Tapas Bar & Grill at Poipu, you will love JO2. Complimentary house-made root chips and dip was fun and exciting. The chicken dumplings with truffles were so flavorful. We had the butterfish & lamb chops. The butterfish was so moist and tender. Yum! The chops were perfectly grilled and the spices used were unexpected and delicious. Food was world class. Excellent job!!

(808) 212-1627

Asian Fusion, Vegetarian

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Art Café Hemingway

4-1495 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
Very charming cafe with reasonable prices. Carrot soup with coconut creme foam was shockingly fresh tasting and original. Entrees were strong. Friendly service. Don't miss the lilikoi daquiri if you are in the mood for a cocktail, it's in another league compared to your hotel's mai tai. Dessert trio was nice (tiramisu was my favorite)
Little hesitant when seeing the menu but the food was awesome, one of the best omelettes I've ever had. Fun artsy cafe in the midst of more usual Hawaiian fare. Great service as well.
Perfect. Went twice during our vacation. Had True at First light the first day and loved the exquisite flavor of a simple combination of local ingredients. Had Old Man of the Sea on our second go and it was just as delightful. A thin slice of salmon smoked to perfection. Not too dry. Not too smokey. Paired with scrambled eggs and a small serving of crab meat. Loved it. Make a point of eating at Hemingway's at least once.

(808) 822-2250

Cafes, Art Galleries

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Fern Grotto Inn

4561 Kuamoo Rd
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
I can't say enough good things about the owner, and the inn - what a gem! The rooms are all as clean and well-decorated as the photos show, and the grounds are beautiful. It is so well located, just a short walk to the beach or the boat launch for kayaking down the river. The owner was a complete sweetheart. I would return in a heartbeat.
Stayed here with my girlfriend and her family in January. Great place. The location is awesome. Plenty of room. Everything thats included is the best. Hosts were super friendly. Don't forget to try the oranges growing on the tree!
Wonderful set of homes / cottages on the Wailua river. I stayed here with a work team and it was perfect for us. If your going to Kauai for a family reunion, photo shoot or other team type event the Fern Grotto offers a very unique lodging situation of a community of homes that are in a great location and affordable. Paul was extremely attentive to our needs and always available.

(808) 821-9836

Hotels, Vacation Rentals, Bed & Breakfast

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Chicken in a Barrel

4-1586 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
My wife and I had lunch at Chicken In A Barrel BBQ on Sunday 10 May - Mother's Day. We ordered the Sampler Plate: chicken, beef, pulled pork, pork rib, brown rice and chili beans. We also had a coupon from one of the many tourists books/pamphlets for a free chicken sandwich with purchase of an entrée. Or plan going in was to split the Sampler Plate for lunch and then decide what we wanted as take-away for dinner later. The Sampler Plate was easily enough for two people to split - and we were both hungry. All the meats were tender and juicy. I preferred the beef to the pork; rather unusual for me as I am an Anthony Bourdain kind of guy that likes pork in all of its magnificent forms. I thought the pork could have had a better smoked flavor. I am not a big fan of chicken, but the wing/breast piece we had was moist and tasty. The rib was OK, but I like my ribs to be crispy and that is not the Barrel style of BBQ. The sides were brown rice and chili beans. Fortunately my wife did not care for the chili beans, so I chowed down on what was my overall favorite item. My wife said the beans had too much vinegar, but I thought they were quit spicy - more spicy than the hot BBQ sauce. My wife liked the brown rice as it had soaked up much of the juice from the pulled pork next to it. Back to the plan - with well satiated appetites we decided to order another sandwich - beef hoagie - to accompany the afore mentioned free chicken sandwich as our dinner, along with the Costco Caesar salad we bought a few days ago. The service was prompt, especially as there was only one young lady taking and making orders. Parking may be limited near the shack, but there are more places down toward the beach. There are several shaded picnic tables next to the shack. After knowingly driving by this highly rated Kappa eatery for years, I will not be driving past again without fond memories of that Sampler Plate. Chicken In A Barrel BBQ is now on the list of must stops for every visit to Kauai. Be advised, the online menu prices are about $3 less than current prices, e.g. the beef hoagie online lists for $11.45 but I paid $15.75 - with tax and the included macaroni salad that is not mentioned online.
We kept hearing about this place, and finally stopped for lunch. Decided to split the Sampler - 1 rib, some chicken, pulled beef and pulled pork, along with brown rice and beans. I love anything smoked, but don't care for barbecue sauce, so had everything naked. It was plenty of food, but didn't have a lot of taste, even smokey taste. Could have used at least salt. The beans were delicious, the chicken was moist. But not a place I'll go back to.
Sampler plate can easily feed 2 people! Especially when the 2 people have been trying to stuff their faces with all the deliciousness of Kauai before their 5pm flight! The beans could be better... They were out of cornbread when we went on a Sunday which seemed to be a frequent occurrence. The pulled pork, chicken and ribs were great! The shredded beef was good but I wouldn't order that over the others! The spicy BBQ sauce was very nice. Very friendly customer service! Definitely want to go back!

(808) 823-0780

Barbeque

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Hukilau Lanai

Kauai Coast Resort,520 Aleka Lp
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
Hukilau Lanai was located near our hotel, so we decided to give this place a try. We attempted to make a reservation over the phone but they didn't have a table at our requested time. Instead, we walked over and took a seat at the bar. The server brought over some complimentary bread, which tasted great. It was some tomato-herb-cheese crusted bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We definitely enjoyed it. We ordered the lobster and goat cheese wontons for an appetizer. They were not as amazing as one of the other Yelp reviews mentioned. They tasted more like what you'd expect from crab rangoons at other restaurants. Lots of cheese on the inside, with small pieces of protein. I didn't think it was worth it. We also ordered the mahi mahi and the Hakilau mixed grill, which included a shrimp skewer, two types of fish, and orzo pasta. The shrimp and pasta were tasty. I don't recall which fish I tried, but I only liked one of the two. The mahi mahi was really good -- fresh and flaky. We didn't have room for dessert.
This is definitely one of the best restaurants on the Island. We asked our server what he recommended. He said honestly it's all really good. I was like surrreeee! But it really was! Everything we ordered was really good. They also have a large selection on the menu. I ordered the tasting menu that comes with 5 small entrees, and they were all very tasty! This is a must go to!
Celebrated our 1st yr wedding anniversary here and it was amazing! The location was a bit confusing but other than that, it had a great ambience. We requested to be seated in the lanai which had nice views of the coconut trees and a hint of the ocean. The view wasn't remarkable but it was pleasant. Our server was nice and kept greeting us Happy Anniversary throughout the whole night lol. We didn't order appetizers because the salad that comes with the entree served as our appetizers. I ordered the arugula salad while my husband had the caesars salad. Our server asked so casually if I wanted cheese with that (normally whenever I eat arugula salad it comes with the cheese already, so I said yes), and forgot to mention that the goat cheese was $3.50. Uhh okay. Anyway, the entrees had a nice presentation and the portions were good. I had the Hukilau mixed grill which is basically a sampling of Island grilled seafood and sugar cane skewered shrimp, served with a creamy sauce and orzo pasta. My husband had the prime rib. Both had great flavors but the mixed grill sampling stood out the most. For dessert, we had the lava cake with vanilla ice cream. It was a bit pricey but what can you do. You gotta have dessert! :) They added a cute little sign made out of milk chocolate that said Happy Anniversary. I wish it was complimentary or discounted at least. Overall, I was satisfied with the food and service.

(808) 822-0600

Seafood, American (New)

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Verde

Kapa'a Shopping Ctr,4-1101 Kuhio Hwy,Ste A-3
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
Kapaa has some of the best mexican spots in Hawaii! Verde is another great alternative if youre looking for a sit down in doors restaurant. I had the carne asada tacos last time. The meat was packed full of flavor and portions were good too! My only drawback was that the guacamole did not taste fresh. It almost tasted like they bought it from costco. Now i love Costco guacamole however its not something i expect to eat while at a restaurant. I would prefer to have it served fresh. Other than that i loved every bit of my meal!
Wow this place was packed. For having so many Mexican food restaurants on Kauai, I was really surprised to see this one so crowded. The restaurant is located in a strip mall next to a grocery store in the Kapaa Shopping Center. When I arrived at the restaurant, every seat inside had a person sitting in it. Luckily it only took a few minutes to be seated as there were a few tables who were paying their bill. The interior of the restaurant was a wide-open, smaller room with a bar in the back. The wait staff were friendly and very attentive. There were chips on my table within a few minutes of sitting down, and the waitress was ready to take our drink order very fast - faster than I was ready to order. The drinks were very interesting spins on traditional Mexican and summer style drinks. I had a Mojito with ginger and cilantro. The idea was a great one, but the execution was average. Per the advice of many fellow Yelpers, I ordered the ahi tacos for my meal. I also went with the beans and rice add-on. The tacos were good. The ahi was seared perfectly, and the tortillas were soft and light. The downside of these tacos was the large amount of guacamole that seemed to overpower the taste of the fish and the spices as I kept eating the tacos. Normally, I wouldn't be turned off by guacamole, but it definitely didn't seem fresh or made in house. Overall, the restaurant was good enough for a more casual dinner on Kauai. All restaurants on this island are expensive, so if you can get past the price of casual dining, there is nothing to complain about in the money department. I can't say that I would ever crave Verde again, but I'm really glad I got to experience this unique Mexican restaurant on my weekend getaway to Kauai.
Drove all the way from Lihue for some Mexican. We got here and they were closed for their company holiday party. No mention of this on their website or yelp- awesome.

(808) 821-1400

Mexican

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Small Town Coffee

4-1613 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
Really friendly service and also great coffee in a food truck just off the main highway... one of the best cappuccino's I've had so far in Kauai... :-) Will definitely be coming back again...
Born and raised on Kauai and this place has thee best coffee, but NOT fresh baked goods. My coffee cake muffin still had white flour inside and top was melted. Was told it was freshly baked, but judging by the picture, you decide. One thing to have good service, but another to be lied to. Enjoy!
IF I had money to support a small business, Small Town Coffee would be back in a building. I still love you guys but I miss my 'pig in an apple tree' Food items are now limited to bagels and some baked goods like muffins. This is the place to go if you want a quick stop, great coffee and non pretentious service.

(808) 821-1604

Coffee & Tea, Cafes

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Tiki Tacos

4-961 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
Personally voted *Best fish taco* in Kauai thus far. Could be better with some creamy cilantro lime tomatillo dressing, but all in all was a great taco. I tried 5 tacos while there. Spicy chicken, Kalua pork, roasted chicken, seared ahi, and best fish taco. Roasted and spicy chicken, as well as the kalua pork- tasted good. Quality shredded meat. Spicy chicken might not warrant the name spicy chicken because it wasn't very spicy. But all in all were good eats and reasonably priced. The two I really want to talk about are the seared ahi and the best fish taco. The "best fish taco" was delicious. I would order it again all over again. Perfect ratio of meat to cabbage and the tortillas are homemade large corn tortillas and even come in blue corn if you ask for it; crazy good! The house green sauce in the bottles has a nice flavor and adds a nice pep to all the tacos if you want a little zip. Seared ahi taco I had mixed feelings about, but we are in a state where raw ahi (poke) is normal. So I thought I'd give it a try. It was difficult to eat. Some of it was seared but some wasn't seared at all- it was completely raw. Maybe that's because the way it was diced. Not sure, but I would not order that particular taco again. Maybe it should be called the poke taco? Nevertheless the best fish taco holds true to its name and is the real hero in this review. Give it a try- you won't be disappointed.
Very popular place in a central location. Husband loved it and I enjoyed it as well. Try to get a place to sit outside as it was sweltering during both our visits inside. They can be a little on the slower side as it's a small but busy kitchen. My "best fish taco" tasted like chicken though and had a dryer texture like chicken. I had to actually pick a piece up and pull it apart to check my order was right. It flaked so it had to be fish. Was hoping for nice, fresh tasting, juicy fish though. Watermelon fresca was good. Tacos as salad also good but hard to eat with whole lettuce pieces. Good place for low key eats that was super convenient.
Really people!? Don't eat here. You drive by this place, please keep driving. It must have been their off day. Ground meat of any kind: beef, pork, poultry, fish does NOT make a great taco. Their menu offers a great selection of great sounding deliciousness, but their tacos worship the goddess of aggressive mediocrity. Based on the reviews, I really wanted to love this place.

(808) 823-8226

Mexican

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Holo Holo Paniolo Grill

Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, 96746
Reviews:
Reasonably priced and absolutely amazing food! Best burger in kapaa by far and one of my new favorite places to eat. If you haven't tried it yet its definitely worth it the menu was amazing and the sides were not your usual fries but fresh vegetables, salad, and sweet and savory purple and sweet potatoes it was a refreshing change from the usual fried heavy food. All that with what I felt was incredible service its definitely going to be one of kapaas great places to eat.
This is the place! Local meats, organic, & sustainable. The food is total comfort food- homemade goodness & the menu is constantly changing things up. I've had the chili with the green tomatillo sauce, lamb burger, tacitos, beef burger, sweet potato fries, and the drinks! Guava juice, watermelon juice, hibiscus tea, mango juice, delicious horchata. Support this family, support locally sourced foods, support local businesses, and support organic! Can't wait to eat here again!
Great location in "downtown" Kapaa, outside seating only w plenty of shade. Order standing up at counter, from big chalkboard. Choices change daily. Burger is med-rare, very moist, great flavor. Big tomato slice and lettuce on the side, plus house-pickled gherkins and jalapeno slices. No fries offered; hot, soft slices of sweet potato, NOT sweet potato fries. Recommend highly. Small, intimate, creative, hippie vibe.

Cafes

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