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Jan 26, 2014 12:31 PM

Kauai requests for where to buy wine, fish and local proteins and fruit and veg

We haven't been to Kauai for over 13 years and going for spring break this year. Bringing our 16 year old and 12 year old. I have read the recent reviews on restaurants from others and found them helpful. Thank you especially Kathryn. Below is a tentative itinerary and looking on where to buy fresh fish and local proteins and vegetables. We are staying in Lihue the first night as we fly from Calgary to Vancouver and then to Lihue. We don't arrive till 8:30 pm and not sure if we will need dinner. Next day we leave for a week in Princeville at our timeshare. Then back to Poipu for 2 night stay probably at Grand Hyatt.

The farmers markets were great before but kids will not want to drive to one every day. Which ones are the best for variety and open on Friday or Saturday so we can stock up?

We don't have a Costco membership but willing to get one if that will get us some good white wines especially Viognier, Albarino or Sancerre. Or will Longs, ABC or Foodland be okay?

Have booked Merrymans in Poipu for one night for sunset dinner. Thinking of St. Regis for adults only 1 night (looks similar to flying fish restaurant in Aruba)...Kids are not fish eaters or big on Asian (as one has allergy to all treenuts and sesame).

Like Hunt we will not want to drive far at night as we enjoy our wine too much. But will drive in the day..

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Hi, gpgja (you need an inoa Hawai'i):

    For north shore fish, I like Dolphin's market and Kilauea Fish Market. The Big Save in Hanalei (and everywhere else) is hit and miss, but worth checking. Fish Express in Lihu'e is OK. Koloa fish market is good, can be $$$. Best to shop for fish early, keep on ice til latahs. Also, look for fresh akule out of coolers by the roadside--let your nose decide, hiki no?

    Friday market is in Lihue at the stadium, if that's convenient. They're less organic than some other towns. Saturday is in Kekaha, so loooooooooooooooooong drive from Hanalei, but lots of local flavor. Beeg one for variety is Kapa'a. I like Kilauea--small but more organic--mind your manners there.


    1. Hanalei on saturday morning - great greens, lillikoi goat cheese, frozen dark chocolate bananas, meyer lemons, crafts. . . . Get there early before the starting gun goes off at 9:30, like a local to get the best. I also love the one down the road on Tuesday afternoons Waipa
      Dolphin is always good for fish. Foodland in Kapaa has a better selection of ahi poke - ask to taste a couple of varieties.

      Not sure if this will be of help.

      And a really fun hit, BOB would be worth an evening out.

      1. Thanks Bellachefa and Kaleo for replies. I'm excited about the fish places and the markets....

        I saw there was a wine market in Princeville too but not a lot of info on the site I found...

        1 Reply
        1. re: gpjba

          The Wine Shop in Koloa is surprisingly well stocked and also has gourmet food items. We were in there perusing their gin and whiskey selections, as we aren't wine people, but those were impressive for Kauai. Worth a stop, I think.

        2. Aloha..
          Just got back from Kauai in Sept. and I would suggest a Costco membership...Lihue location has gasoline station as well and it is about .20+ cents a gallon cheaper than other stations on the island.

          Their fish department is too.
          In Poipu, Grand Hyatt (LOVE) or the Marriott Villas at Waihaio are excellent and I would add Red Salt at Koa Kea resort for breakfast/lunch/dinner.

          Josselin's Tapas or Keoki's Paradise for happy hour..great island music.

          Merriman's or Beach House but I like the Maui Merriman's better.
          There is a Roy's but the Waikiki one blows them all out of the surf.

          Dolphins is great for fish in Hanalei.
          Hit up Tiki Iniki (Todd Rundgren and wife Michele place) for drinks and apps and I would have a drink at the St. Regis but I'm not all impressed..miss the later.
          Med. Gourmet I hear has great food oceanfront place.

          Foodland has some of the best Ahi Poke and ask for the freshest made.
          Long's Drug in Lihue has great beer deals and souvenirs.

          Kauai is by far my fave island with so much Aloha!

          1. Long term Kauai resident here. I live in Kapaa, so most of my recommendations are on this side of the island.

            First beverages. Best price bar none is Costco, and their wine selection is pretty darn good. Longs, (both in Lihue and in Kapaa) have a decent wine selection, but can be hit or miss. The same goes for Foodland in Kapaa, but its amazing that they come up with gems at times. The Foodland in Princeville is a great little supermarket with an electric food collection and pretty good wines as well. There is a newer wine shop in Princeville, but I have not been to it.

            Food...we all have our favorites. I can't comment on Josselins in Poipu because he's been a friend of mine for 24 years..I'm biased! You simply can NOT come to Kauai and not go to Hamura's Saimin in Lihue. It's been awarded a James Beard award for heaven's sake. (I always order the special and 2 chicken sticks. In Kapaa the Hukilau Lanai restaurant is really big on Kauai farm to table/locavore kinda stuff. It's not mentioned often here, but it's a decent place.

            Farmers markets...I am familiar mostly with the one in Kapaa on Wed afternoon. Great selection of local fruit and veggies. For any of the farmers markets, bring your own bag, bring plenty of 1 dollar bills, and by all means GET THERE EARLY.
            For Kapaa, I'd get there at 230, the selling starts and 245, and the popular vendors get sold out pretty quickly. Get their early, see what you like, and stake out the vendors..and buy as soon as the horn goes off. There is also a farmers market in Puhi on the grounds of the local community college that pretty well attended on Saturday mornings.

            For poke...I prefer Ara's Sakana-ya in Hanamaulu. Ara and Debbie are hard core in how fresh their stuff is. They make their poke in small batches throughout the day. Most of their customers are locals...Ara only buys his fish from certain fisherman. Fish Express in Lihue is also good (across from Wal Mart)...these are both family owned businesses who cater mostly to local they sell only the freshest of fish.

            I'll put a thumbs up for Tiki Iniki as concept place, great drink menu, our dinner there was pretty good, my wife's fish was a bit over salted.

            Let me also put in a plug for the Hanalei Gourmet right in the middle of Hanalei town. The owner, "Big Tim" has been in the same location for a long time. He's a great guy, and serves an honest sandwich and burger. He has a lot of regular local customers.

            If you have any other specific questions about Kauai or what/where/who...just ask. I will do my best to answer any questions. Enjoy your visit here

            1 Reply
            1. re: wabi

              Aloha Wabi!
              Outstanding local advice..
              Hamura's is always da best and don't forget the slice of lilokoi pie..
              Thanks for the poke rec.