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What to bring to cook in Kauai?

  • m

Not sure if this belongs on the "Elsewhere in America" or "Home Cooking" boards... we'll be vacationing for a week in Kauai soon, in a fairly remote place. We're trying to figure out what kinds of food staples we might want to bring with us that might be useful and expensive enough in Hawaii that we'd want to go through the hassle of bringing from the west coast. Thanks!

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  1. What do you plan to cook? And where in Kauai will you be staying?

    1. Open for ideas as to what to cook, and we'll be out past Hanalei.

      We'll be purchasing produce and meat/fish there of course, but thinking more along the lines of useful dry goods, spices, etc we might want to bring along. I realize it's somewhat vague but I'm just starting to think about it! :) Thanks for any suggestions.

      1. Hmmm, I'd bring corn starch, powdered milk (for dishes that require milk), tomato paste (in the tube), buillion cubes, and pasta/rice (this might be heavy, but on your return trip, you'll have room for souvenirs).

        Maybe a sponge or two, a couple dish rags and a bunch of plastic baggies (snack & sandwich sizes).

        And laundry detergent.

        There's 2 Costcos and a Walmart in HI, for other needs.

        2 Replies
        1. re: OCAnn

          I was under the impression there was no CostCo in Kauai? Is that incorrect?

          1. re: Maya

            You're right, I was thinking of Maui. Sorry!

        2. Hello. Costco is actually opening in Lihue on the 17th of this month, so if your trip is after that you may be in luck. As far as what to bring as someone who lives on Kauai, I would reccomend bringing spices as they can be expensive here. You will not find a big price difference for things like pasta, and basic dry goods. If you are cereal eaters, you may want to consider bringing cereal, or maybe nuts, salad dressing, or any kind of specialty food product. The things that you will find expensive are things like milk (up to $7/gallon), butter, bread. The farmer's markets on the island are great places to get produce. You are better off doing your shopping in Kapaa on your way up to the North Shore either Foodland or Safeway (make sure you get their discount cards). Walmart in Lihue has some food and they offer the best prices on paper goods. Have a great time.


          1 Reply
          1. re: ebceridono

            We always used to bring specialty cheeses, breads, Italian pasta and a cooler of meats to Poipu when coming for our annual vacation with kids. We'd stash things in the freezer on arrival.
            Prices were much lower on the mainland. I'm certain there's more available than in past years, but the savings still has to be there!

          2. Depending on how long you are staying, I'd make a list of things that you want to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Most condo's have very basic kitchens so simple recipes are the best. Break down spices etc. into smaller ziplock bags for each recipe, them a list of perishable grocery items that you need to complete the recipe. Also think about if you need foil, or disposable pans. I made bags for quick breads, pancakes, dry rubs, even wet marinades, double/triple bagged. Certain cuts of meat like korean style short ribs are readily available at the markets and not very expensive. Fish is pretty inexpensive at Safeway and Foodland. If you like good bread, bring it with you and freeze. Also, bear in mind the humidity/ants will destroy food you normally keep out on the counter, so bring lots of different sizes of ziplock bags and be very good about sealing it tightly. Don't expect to find really beautiful produce. It's very expensive and droopy. I would get the organic greens that they grow on the island. Bring detergent, portioned out in baggies. Go to the farmer's markets early on your trip so that fruit has time to ripen, apple bananas are wonderful, papayas, pineapples and other wonderful produce available.
            You aren't too far from stores in Hanalei or the Princeville Foodland, so if you really need supplies you shouldn't feel that remote. We drove from Kapaa to Tunnels almost every day (our 18 mo. daughter napped in the car so it was perfect)

            1. I used to stay in Wainiha several times a year. That is the teeny, tiny town past Hanalei and before the end of the road. Where are you staying? Aaaaaaaahhhh, how I LOVE that place.

              There is a Costco in Kapaa. This is the first somewhat major town as you come from the airport toward Hanalei.

              Just outside of Hanalei, on the way to Wainiha, there's a farmer's market that used to be held on Tuesdays. DON'T MISS IT. Stock up on 2 pound avocadoes (for a $1!!), fresh lilikoi, fruit, flowers.

              I always rent houses when I go, so they usually have staples, but of course, I have no idea what you like to cook, so can't comment there!

              When you do go out to dinner ... DO NOT MISS a meal at Postcards. Beautiful food. Small and lovely. If there's a German girl named Suzanna who still works there, please tell her that Alyson from Malibu sends her love.

              The coffee place in Hanalei is a great morning hang. I like to draw on the veranda for hours.

              Oh, yeah... another "do not miss." There is a place, a little shack, on the side of the road (there's only one main highway that goes around the island, Kuhio Highway) in Anahola. If you're going north, it's on the left side. Sign just says "lau lau" and "shaved ice." It's a tiny screened in place with chickens on the side. Rose and Rufus own it. They make homemade lau lau that you will DIE FOR. Usually lau lau is pork or chicken, but they have fish lau lau too. Only the locals supposedly know about fish lau lau (said a Hawaiian boy I used to date there.. ha!). Served with heaps of sticky rice and soy sauce.... it is frigging heaven. Rufus is a HUGE Samoan man and his wife is almost as large...both with hearts to match. Rufus looks kinda snarly if he's hangin' with his buddies, but if you say hello and get to know him, he turns into a large pussycat.

              Must miss: DO NOT GET CAUGHT IN THE FRUIT STANDS in Kapaa. They will rape you. Keep going north.

              Kilaua has a great Mexican restaurant. Forgot the name. It's the only one.

              I am sooooooooooooo jealous!!! Have a wonderful time. Love to Kauai.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MalibuAly

                Since it has been open a few months, I am wondering if there are people who can comment on what the Costo in Kapaa is like. Same sorts of items as the mainland? We will be there for a week the end of April. I am particularly interested in seafood items and produce, dairy items.

                1. re: RoxieB

                  There is NO Costco in Kapaa, but a similar warehouse-type store "Cost-U-Less". not bad. Recently a new Costco opened in Lihue near the Kukui Nut Mall...pretty much across from Kilohana (Gaylord's Restaurant). It is great, but like all Costcos, large quantities. Most of the meat and fish prices are comparable to mainland. Cheaper items in Kauai are rice, soy, etc. Take spices and zip lock bags of stuff. One thing that comes in very handy is the Costco BBQ chicken for $4.99. Next time we go, I Intend to get 2 or 3 and have many chicken dishes. Do not be surprised if the Ahi at Costco is the same at $9.99 lb as that at the darling little fish markets for over $20.00 lb. It all comes daily from the same wholesaler. Costco is not on the way to Hanalei, but its not much out of the way. Go thru Lihue and head for Poipu... Hang a left at the road across from Gaylords. Its about 5 minutes out of your way. Aloha.