Foodies out there, any special recommendations for good local Christmas eats @ Kauai?
I am headed to Kauai for Christmas & NY's with my bf. It's our second time in the island and we are looking for recommendations on tasty local eats (we are both avid foodies!). We will be staying in Poipu, but will be mobile. Didn't get to explore too many eats in the north of the island - curious what's up there.... Open to trying all types of food :) Thanks!!
It depends on what you mean by "local", local as in not a chain, local as in local (Hawaiian) food or local meaning in the area.
Poipu's best foodie restaurants are Merriman's Kauai, Roy's, Red Salt, Tidepools, the Beach House, Tortilla Republic, Josselyn's Tapas and Plantation Gradens.
Good spots to eat include Keoki's Paradise and we like their bar better than the restaurant, Kalapaki Joe's for a sports bar, Joe's on The Green for breakfast and happy hour, Sueoka's Snack Shop for great local plate lunch, Koloa Fish Market for plate lunch and Mark's Place for lunch for plate lunch and their Pau Hana (end of day or "happy hour" specials to go that feed four).
In Lihue you have Hamura Saimin, Tip Top Cafe, Dani's Cafe and Duke's Canoe Club.
If you are staying in Poipu you can go to Sueoka, Koloa Fish Market & Big Save for poke with Big Save being the weakest of the lot.
If you are out and about, look at Ishihara Market in Waimea. It might be the best on the island.
I agree that Costco has surprisingly good poke, but I would drive to Costco from Poipu just for poke. If you are going to be in Lihue anyway, or passing through it is worth a stop. Costco also have everything you need for a homemade luau. They have lau lau, Kalua pig, lomi lomi, manapua and more.
Costco poke is okay..not great and a I feel like its a little bit more expensive than other places. I don't love Fish Express poke because the ahi isn't as fresh. If you are in Lihue, I'd go to Ara's over FE. It is right next to the laundry mat in Hanamaulu. The ahi is fresh and they mix it up for you.
Koloa Fish Market in Poipu is good too- I always get their korean style. Ishihara is still my favorite tho.
Keoki's Paradise is a great place for casual food and drink in Poipu..they have one of the best chicken stir fry with tons of veggies for around $13 that is great to split..
We sit in the bar area..they have music and lots of tables..
Roy's is in the same shopping center and I like to have app's and drinks at the outside bar/patio.
Hamura Saimin in Lihue for some of the best ramen and lilikoi pie.
Duke's for drinks and pupu's on the patio.
Stevenson Library at Grand Hyatt for drinks and their app of the day..this is our fave hotel and just walking around the grounds for a mai tai is a fab thing to do.
Breakfast at the country club at Grand Hyatt has some decent food.
Beach House is more about the view but ok food...Merriman's as well.
Red Salt at the lovely Koa Kea hotel in Poipu is another fave...try it for breakfast too.