The North coast of breathtaking Kauai is also a gourmet’s dream come true. Come with us to some of the best-loved culinary experiences Kauai offers:
Postcards Cafe: is set in a charming plantation cottage in Hanelei near North Shore Kauai condos. Noted for its gourmet seafood and natural cuisine with the emphasis on fresh-mostly organic-ingredients and a deliciously creative menu, the restaurant has been praised in Travel & Leisure, In Style Magazine, and Brides Magazine, as well as in travel sections of the country’s top newspapers. The lanai has lovely mountain views, and the vintage dining room features whitewashed walls, beamed ceilings, and framed articles depicting bygone days on Kauai’s magical north shore. First taste: ‘Pupus” feature taro fritters with pineapple chutney; seafood rockets (a melange of fish, shrimp and coconut in a crispy shell); porcini crusted scallops; seared Cajun-crusted shi with chipolte chile sauce; crab quesadillas; vegan Thai summer rolls; organic Caesar or garden salads; and delectable soups and chowders. Entrees include grilled or blackened fresh fish; the Sombrero, a chile/com/black bean/tomato treat; the Shanghai, with sauteed tofu, crisp vegetables and roasted cashews in tamari sauce; the Seafood Sorrento, a divine seafood pasta with fish and shrimp, Kalamata olives, mushrooms, onions and capers in a garlic white wine sauce; The Francesca, a puttanesca pasta with a sherry marinara; and wasabi crusted ahi with a mirin shoyu ginger sauce. There are outsanding specials every evening, luscious desserts, and organic coffee, teas and juices. Open nightly from six o’clock. Reservations highly recommended.
Saffron Mediterranean Cuisine is located on the grounds of Pali Ke Kua, near the luxury Princeville condo resort area. It is the North Shore’s newest fine dining experience. Saffron was born from a vision by Chef-owner Joaquin Menendez and his passion to bring his world of authentic cuisine from the Mediterranean to Kauai. Joaquin, trained in Mexico City and the Ritz-Escoffier Masters Program in Paris, has divided his menu into three categories: Ia Espana, Ia Italia, and Ia Grecia. Tapas of Sautéed Mushrooms, Garlic Lime Prawns, Almond & Saffron Seared Ahi, or a Tortilla Espanola potato frittata lead to Ia Espana entrees of traditional Paella with seafood, chorizo, chicken and vegetables seasoned with saffron; Almond Crusted Ahi; or Slow Roasted Pork topped with cranberry blue cheese crumbles. Make your own crisp and tasty pizzetas from the oven, coupled with a romaine hearts Caesar Salad, are good Ia Italia beginnings for entrees of Pasta Primavera, Mushroom Ravioli, Penne Alfredo, or Ossobucco, a tender veal shank served with garlic polenta and fresh asparagus. There’s a very extensive international wine list featuring whites from Galicia and the Basque region of Spain, Greece, France, Italy, and California, available by the bottle or glass.
CJ’s Steak & Seafood is conveniently located in the Princeville Shopping Center near the luxury Kauai condo area, CJ’s reputation is founded on generous servings of great food at reasonable prices. Their winning combination of CJ’s-Sized portions and mouth watering entrees keep visitors and locals coming back. The noted Salad Bar features selected Kauai grown vegetables and fruit, and all dinner entrees include hot rolls and your choice of rice pilaf or steamed white rice. “Come Hungry!” O ke kai (from the sea offerings) include fresh island Catch-of-the Day prepared broiled, baked, sauteed or Cajun, a super delicious CJ’s Shrimp Dinner done up Hanalei-style steamed in butter, white wine, lemon juice and herbs, a battered Macadamia Coconut version, or Teriyaki Style. And there’s a Lotta Lobster and Alaska’s finest cracked and steamed King Crab. O ka aina (from the land) features Prime Rib slowly roasted in herbs and spices to juicy perfection, mid-western corn-fed Angus Beef steaks, a terrific New Zealand Rack of Lamb, Teriyaki Chicken Breasts, and Danish Barbequed Baby Back Pork Ribs simmered in a delectable barbeque sauce. Ask about their daily dessert specials but go for the classic Mud Pie (everybody does!). Before or after your dining experience, enjoy yourself in the unique Tsunami Bar with its colorful and descriptive views of Hawaii’s many tsunami’s. Live Hawaiian music while dining every weekend.
Hanalei Gourment: While enjoying fun-in-sun pleasures on the North Sore, stop in at the Hanalei Gourmet for a lunch or dinner break. Located in the renovated Old Hanalei School House, you’ll experience a creative dining adventure in a warm, Aloha-friendly atmosphere. The Hanalei Gourmet is committed to the finest fresh local produce, dolphin-free tuna, low-sodium meats, and fresh-baked whole grain breads. Primo Pupus range from Shrimp “Old Bay” Boil of unpeeled shrimp in broth with melted garlic butter and cocktail sauce served with a French baguette to Sauteed Mussels with wine sauce. Gourmet dinners include a selection of Fresh Catch Crab Cakes, Scallops Meuniere, Mac Nut Fried Chicken, and fresh black pepper and garlic served with fresh cremini mushroom sauce. There’s a daily blackboard Pasta Du Jour and a fabulous Greek Pasta coupled with a salad of mixed greens and foccacia bread. House favorites hot from the grill are owner “Big Tim’s” Burger, and Hanalei Moa Sandwich pineapple aioli sauce on a fresh Kaiser roll with french fries and “The Works!” “Big Tim” and his crew also boast a full tropical bar and live music featuring various Kauai musicians. The Hanalei Gourmet will also pack a picnic backpack or cooler for a hike on the Na Pali coast, or paddle up a river.
Polynesia Cafe: Polynesia Cafe quickly established itself as one of the most unique dining experiences on Kauai. When Polynesia Cafe first opened in Hanalei, it was a small outdoor style cafe determined to stick to a quality plan: fresh food prepared form scratch, priced affordably, and served with a large helping of Aloha. “We tell people we are not in the restaurant business,” says Thames Goodwin. “We are in the entertainment business and our job is to make you happy with great food and wonderful service. And, Polynesia Cafe got the job done with gourmet food and plastic utensils to the delight of its Hanalei patrons. Now, there is a second Polynesia Cafe location in Kapaa. Same great food as the original plus a lot more. It doesn’t get any better. Fresh, high quality gourmet food at sidewalk cafe prices. In Hanalei there is no alcohol service but you can bring your own and there is no corkage fee. However, in Kapaa, you can choose from a unique selection of signature beverages that will make your dining experience unforgettable. An outstanding entree item at Polynesia Cafe is their Shanghai Ahi, sashimi grade ahi, served and finished in an orange-ginger-pineapple glaze served with rice and fresh steamed vegetables. It is truly ono-licious at either location. Hanalei: Ching Young Shopping Village and Kapaa.