Produce a list of the best restaurants in Kauai and it will be received with skepticism by local residents who will defend their favorites with the aplomb of a preacher. Not surprisingly, where to eat in Poipu is a question most often asked by guests at our Kauai vacation rentals. I respond with, do you want something simple? Do you like fish? Or, is an ocean view important? This produces a blank stare and I soon realize I’ve asked too many questions to someone who has just arrived following a 6 hour flight.
We completely understand the fuzziness and to help you decide where to eat in Poipu, here is our list of the 5 best restaurants in Poipu. These are eateries that we enjoy for the quality of food and we believe a good value.
Liz and her staff consistently produce a homemade fusion of the best of Mediterranean cuisine with local treasures from the sea and the land. From Italian favorites to appetizers like hummus with goat cheese and pita bread, its all good.
The open air atmosphere brings everything that is good about living outdoors Hawaiian style to the food. Try their pasta with sausage and bits of asparagus. It’s the bomb.
Josselin’s Tapas Bar and Grill
Located in the Kukuiula Village just steps from our Poipu rentals. Award winning chef Jean Marie Josselin creates food pairings that compliment each other so eloquently that your palate will love you. Their wood fired stove provides a canvas to highlight dishes like Smoked salmon pizza with goat cheese and arugula.
When we dine at Tapa’s we forgo the entrees and just order 5 or 7 appetizers along with their signature sangria’s. With this selection we are able to taste all the unique flavors created by this master chef.
Tortilla Republic Grill and Tequileria
Located in the Kukuiula Village this two tier Mexican eatery has quickly become a popular local hangout. Their dishes are described as modern Mexican. Try the Relleno Poblano. A baked Poblano pepper stuffed with eggplant, mushroom, spinach and pine nuts.
As I write this post, my wife reminds me that in our previous two visits I ordered the Wagyu beef hamburger with jack cheese, roasted onions, chipotle mayo and curly fries. Admittedly, I believe its the best hamburger on the island. Ask for a side of tempura coated fried dill pickles and it will compliment the burger to mouth exploding heights.
The Beach House
Hands down the restaurant with the best views on the south shore. Located just a short 5 minute walk from our Poipu vacation rentals. It’s a wonderful stroll, the path takes you along the ocean right to the front door of the restaurant. This is my first choice when a guest requests a romantic setting to watch the sunset and enjoy fine dining. My choice is any of the local Hawaiian fishes such as Opah or Onaga with potatoes in a beurre blanc (white butter sauce with white wine) is delicious. The white generous cuts of fish flake delicately and is a great match with the beurre blanc.
Located in the Grand Hyatt Kauai it offers fine Northern Italian cuisine in a setting that has been compared to an Italian palazzo. While this comparison may be a bit of a stretch. There is honest to goodness food on the level of cuisine found in Italy. And that is why your here. Try the mint crusted lamb with a local goat cheese Souffle.
Ask for a table on the outside terrace it has views of the ocean and is far more romantic than in the main restaurant.
Well there it is, my top 5 restaurants in Poipu. I hope you have the chance to experience all of them. You can find a complete restaurant list in our Poipu Dining Guide and Map. Let me know what you think? And tell us which eatery is your favorite?