There is so much amazing food in Kauai! However, when you think of Hawaiian foods, you most likely think of pineapples, spam, or a luau pig roast. But trust me, there is so much more to try! Here I’ll show you some amazing dishes that are unique and super tasty. Let’s dive in!
5 Must Eat Foods in Kauai, Hawaii
1. Poke Bowl
Poke is #1 on my list for good reason, it’s a staple Hawaiian dish. The cool part is it’s not only delicious, but also healthy. You might have heard of poke because it is picking up in popularity on the mainland.
Poke is bite size raw fish (typically ahi tuna) that is seasoned and marinated. You could use a number of different flavorings including sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, onion, and chili sauce. It can be eaten on it’s own, but it’s typically served over rice to create a poke bowl.
Although there are tons amazing restaurants in Kauai for poke, hands down my favorite is The Dolphin Restaurant. They also have take out as well! 🙂
2. Loco Moco
The loco moco is quite the unique dish, and super popular in Hawaii. There are many variations, but basically it consists of rice, topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg, and brown gravy.
What I love about it is that it perfectly represents Hawaii’s status as a melting pot between Asian and Western culture. Want a rice bowl but also a delicious hamburger? No problem, let’s just put it all together! Bon appetite. 😉
Poi is a grayish-purple pudding-like substance that is uniquely Hawaiian. It’s made from the root of the taro plant, which is similar to a potato. Poi is made by cooking, mashing, and fermenting the taro plant into a thick paste. Although the taro plant grows all over the world, only Hawaiians make poi.
And of all the Hawaiian islands, Kauai has the largest taro-producing farm. Poi typically tastes slightly sweet, but if left to ferment for more than a day, can have a sour taste. Locals eat poi on its own as a side dish, and actually brag about how sour they like their poi.
4. Puka Dog
If you go to Kauai, you have to try a puka dog! Puka dogs are also known as the “Hawaiian hot dog”. They are made with a toasted Hawaiian sweet bread, and a Polish sausage. But the real kicker is in the toppings! The garlic lemon secret sauce is a must, and comes in a range of spiciness. Then you can choose a fruit topping; either mango, pineapple, papaya, coconut, banana, or star fruit!
If you’re not a fan of sausage, they also have a veggie dog option. This is what I chose and it was delicious!
5. Aloha Juice Bar
The Aloha Juice Bar is my absolute favorite! Seriously, of everything mentioned, you have to go here. Located in Hanalei, the Aloha Juice Bar perfectly represents the healthy and organic culture of Kauai.
Everything on the menu will wet your appetite; açaí bowls with coconut flakes and bee pollen, turmeric ginger lemonades, starfruit and mango smoothies, macadamia nut milkshakes, and more! You really can’t go wrong, it’s all delicious. This is the perfect place for something nutritious and refreshing on those hot Hawaiian days.
If you’re only in Kauai for a short period of time, you may just want to know what the best “bang for your buck” tour is so you can see the best of what Kauai has to offer. Kauai Jeep Tours is my favorite! On Kauai, there’s no better way to get into the jungle-y spirit than with a classic Jeep tour. This one is great because it’s 6 hours, and highly customize-able. They will suggest the classics such as Waimea Canyon (you can’t miss it!), but the itinerary is open for your own personal interests. Plus there’s hotel pick up and drop off.
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What’s your favorite food in Kauai? Love to know in the comments below!