Help! A glorious 13-day honeymoon on Kauai and Maui - where. to. EAT!?
Very excited - just booked the flights for my (our) honeymoon (late October) for 6 days in Kauai and 7 on Maui. One of my favorite parts of planning (okay, my ultimate favorite part) is getting on here and colllecting all of the must-hit food spots.
We'll be looking for all meals, and price points that won't break the bank (wedding planning hasn't been cheap!). Special fancy meals, local experiences, and can't-miss holes-in-the-wall. Please share your secret haunts!
Thank you so much, in advance
Congrats!! I got married this past June and we also went to Maui and Kauai for our honeymoon as well. My favorite part of planning a trip is also finding the best food spots. I recommend "Maui Revealed" and "Kauai Revealed" for travel books. They had great maps and suggestions for fun activities and where to find the best beaches.
Here is a report I posted after our trip. It was AMAZING!!!! We stayed at the Ritz in Maui so most of the places we went to were in Kapalua - and they were all really great! In Kauai, we stayed at the Hyatt. Not mentioned below, but off the beaten path...one day we drove to the north shore and hiked part of the Napali coast. On the way back we stopped at a great Mediterranean place called "Mediterranean Gormet." It was awesome!
"The food in Maui did not disappoint! Dinners were at: Pineapple Grill, Merriman's, Sansei and David Paul's New Island Grill. We mostly lunched at Honolua store, but did make it to Hali'imaile General Store one day (when we visited the Lavendar Farm & Surfing Goat Dairy - both highly recommended). All the dinners were really fantastic with no complaints, Merriman's especially stands out (& we hit Pineapple Grill on Wednesday when they have half-price wine and had an amazing pinot noir) . We had breakfast one morning at Plantation House overlooking the golf course and it was delish!
The food in Kauai was much better then expected, with the exception of Tide Pools at the Hyatt, which we found over-priced and a bit over-cooked. We went to the Luau at the Hyatt also and the food was actually very good...or maybe it was partially due to the unlimited Mai Tai's! Plantation Gardens was fab - we had the best server and the seafood curry was amazing. On our final night, we went to Red Salt at the Koa Kea hotel --- LOVED IT!! What a gorgeous space, especially the bar area with the white leather lounge sofa's. The food was top-notch also and reasonable for what you get. I will definitely consider staying here when I visit Kauai again.
Thanks so much for all the tips & suggestions!!!"
re: Beach Chick
Thanks! The Hyatt was absolutely goregous - we loved staying there and were lucky to be upgraded to an awesome oceanfront view. We did not go to Dondero's (we eat so much Italian food at home that we wanted to go to places that serve local fish/food). I'm pretty sure I had the Seared Mahi and I think my husband had the Chicken Breast...or maybe he had the Steak. Whatever he had, both of our dishes were really delicious. We split the baby green salad to start.
I had to look at the menu to remind myself what we had... http://www.koakea.com/files/KKRedSalt...
Hope you have a fabulous trip!!
We've gone to Kauai several times in the last five years; here are my blog posts about places and things we've eaten there:
I highly recommend Mama's Fish House on Maui. It is expensive but it is worth it! Make sure to book your reservation just before sunset and when you get there, tell them it's your honeymoon and hopefully they'll sit you at a table along the windows facing the ocean.
Also recommend Haliimaile General Store. I went for lunch and thought it was amazing. While "upcountry" you should trek a little further to Komoda Bakery for the most amazingly delicious malasadas and donuts you've ever had!!
Congratulations, Jel212! We just got back yesterday from a long visit to Kaua'i and ate at quite a few places. I'm writing up a short report, and I agree with Ogawak 100% on Hamura, Mark's, and Lihu'e Barbecue Inn. I'd agree with JoJo's, too, but we didn't go there.
We ate at the Beach House after skipping it the last five years, and I'd say it's a must do for honeymooners. The food is good, but I wouldn't go there so much for the chow experience as for the setting. We probably won't go back for another several years, because it seems too formulaic. Our service was mechanical, but efficient, and the menu is pretty much the same as six years ago. But, they're doing something right, because it was packed before we got there and after we left, which is some accomplishment with the decrease in visitors to the islands. It's probably a good idea to make a reservation a week or two before you plan to eat there, and make it for when the restaurant opens, so you can get a table on the water where you'll have a perfect view of the setting sun. If you let them know it's your honeymoon, they'll probably make it special for you.
Another place that's constantly busy is the Japanese restaurant Kintaro on the eastside in Wailua. The food is very good, it's popular with locals, and if you don't get there when it opens, it could be a long wait for a table.
I agree with Beantown regarding the Beach House. Our food was good not great and the service was very average but in this case, it's all about the view and ambience. We went for our 20 year anniversary and had a fabulous time. I imagine it would be even more special for honeymooners. The view and the sunsets are spectacular. I would not miss it if I were in your situation.
A couple of recent links regarding Kauai.
My list for Kauai:
Beachhouse for a great romantic setting and good food. Some don't like this place because it's touristy. Well I'm a tourist and the view is unforgettable. If you're going to splurge on dinner, this is the place. Forget Roy's.
Mark's Place. Small, unassuming with good plate lunch.
Hamura Saimin. A local institution.
JoJo's (two locations) for shave ice.
Lihue BBQ Inn, pretty good seafood plate lunches.
Lappert's Ice Cream
I recommend the book "Best Places to Kiss in Hawaii" it has great info on Maui and Kauai. My Mom has this and Hawaii for Dummies (hate the name but it is a great book) which is also great and extremely helpful. The first one I mentioned though will really help you find the more private beaches and intimate restaurants.
These really helped us find cheaper, better restaurants as well. We loved tham and read them so much before our trip that it looked like we were studying for a test by the time we were done with them.
I hope these help, and let us know how it goes. ;)