Kauai has an abundance of delicious eateries and fine-dining establishments to choose from. Ranging from ma-and-pop casual to high end fine-dining, there’s something for everyone. But where are the best joints on the island? Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy burger or an elegant, sit down meal, The Shops at Kukui’ula have it all.
As you enter The Shops at Kukui’ula you are instantly greeted with the Aloha Spirit. Plumeria perfumes the air and brightly colored hibiscus flowers line the pathways to boutiques, galleries and restaurants. The buildings, a classic plantation style, are all bright and spacious, often reflective of the soft, natural colors found on the island. Glowing lanterns hang in the trees and local musicians sing out carefree melodies, mixing with the sound of happy patrons clinking margaritas together in celebration of another day in paradise. The atmosphere is charming and laid-back, and can accompany both flip-flops or high heels, depending on your mood.
The dining at Kukui’ula is tailored to fit your appetite.
Tortilla Republic Grill offers modern Mexican cuisine in a contemporary chic setting with spectacular sunset views from spacious lanai. They take pride in using fresh, flavorful ingredients with a special island twist. Utilizing all-natural meats, organic and locally grown produce, Tortilla Republic Grill sets the bar for fresh, bold Mexican flavors. A favorite dish: the Short Rib Chile Verde. Made up of all natural short rib, roasted tomatillo and jalapeño sauce, roasted garlic jalapeño potato puree and crispy red onions, this dish is sure to spice up your night!
Chef Jean-Marie Josselin promotes a fresh, rustic way of cooking. Bon Apetit magazine singled out his former restaurant, A Pacific Café, as “one of the best restaurants in the country.” The menu consists of an array of tapas-style dishes inspired by tastes from all around the world yet prepared from local ingredients. With dishes like the superb Kekaha shrimp duck confit taco, their handcrafted tapas will leave you with a real taste of Hawaii.
To top it off, Josselin’s has their very own Sangria Bar. Refreshing signature flavors include; Lychee, Classic Red and Pomegranate. Put it all together and what is the end result? A dynamic and energetic restaurant atmosphere, a new and exciting culinary presence on Kauai, and unforgettable dining experiences for each and every visitor.
Regional Hawaii cuisine in a casual yet elegant setting. A true pioneer in the “farm-to-table” concept, Chef Merriman serves only the freshest products, at least 90% of which are locally grown or caught, using only sustainable methods. From pan roasted diver sea scallops in a creamy corn, asparagus and crispy bacon sauce to Keahole lobster and fresh seafood paella, Merriman’s menu fully embraces the Moana (Ocean) culture. Surrounded by Mauka (mountain-side) and Makai (towards the sea) views, guests can enjoy incredible sunsets with dinner. Over 1,000 bottles of wine can be found in their impressive cellar.
The most popular burger spot on the island. With several locations, Bubba’s offers traditional (and Hawaiian style) burgers, hot dogs, fries and chili. Their signature burger, the Double Bubba, consists of two fresh Kauai ground beef patties served on a toasted bun with mustard, ketchup, relish and onions. The perfect, quick and easy post-beach-day meal that the whole family will enjoy.
An island favorite for over 30 years in Hanalei, Dolphin Sushi was a new addition to The Shops at Kukui’ula. Your experience at The Dolphin will include the freshest local produce, fruits, vegetables, seafood and steaks as they are committed to supporting the small Island growers, farmers and fishermen.
A popular dish would be the Flyin’ Hawaiian sushi roll. Stuffed with tempura battered and chopped spicy soft-shell crab, avocado, cucumber, thinly sliced white and green onions and wrapped in soy paper. Topped with hamachi and a squeeze of lemon. Simply delicious! Their in-house Fish Market has a large selection of local Hawaiian Fish, a variety of seafood & choice cut steaks, local organic greens, gourmet accouterments and a fine selection of cheeses.
Living Foods Market and Cafe is a gourmet market that displays over 1,800 grocery items, local produce, imported and local cheese, local coffee, fresh baked bread and pastries, and they even have an in-house butcher! The cafe offers sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, panini, salads, crepes and fish tacos with house-made corn tortillas. A guest favorite is the European style breakfast pizza. A mixture of cheese and bacon, and topped with an egg. The best way to start your morning! They also offer two kinds of gluten-free bread. Ask ahead, and the kitchen will prepare a picnic basket for a day at the beach.
The world-famous Lappert’s Ice Cream and Coffee Co. The smell of cinnamon rolls and freshly made waffle cones wafts throughout the entirety of The Shops at Kukui’ula, leaving a trail of watering mouths in its wake. Whether you’re looking for a simple cup of coffee or to indulge your sweet tooth, Lappert’s is here to help. Flavors range from White Chocolate Macademia Nut to Caramel Cashew Turtle Cluster and an assortment of creamy gelato.
With an open bar and spacious patio for casual dining, this downstairs cafe features items such as gourmet pizza, salad and burgers. Their famous B.K.E. Burger is made up of handcrafted grass fed beef from Kauai’s A’a Kukui ranch, house roasted Kalua pork, fried local farm egg, slow cooked onions and house made kim chee. Is your mouth watering yet? Gluten-free and vegan options are also available upon request. Catch the latest sports game inside or sit out on the patio to enjoy the breathtaking views.
A combination of Southern Comfort and the Aloha Spirit, these savory dishes range from Scampi plate lunches, PO-Boys (A Louisiana tradition of fried shrimp or fish served on a sour dough baguette with lettuce, tomato and remoulade sauce) and Fish and Chips to garlic fries and salads. Quick, delicious and simple, the Aloha way.
The laid-back, lively Tortilla Republic Margarita Bar offers spacious indoor and outdoor lanais and over 80 authentic Mexican tequilas. The Margarita Bar is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner. A must-have is the Quesadilla de Camarones (Shrimp Quesadilla) filled with sautéed shrimp, monterey jack, resposado pineapple mojo sauce, roasted corn salsa, guacamole, cilantro cream and all tucked away in a flour tortilla. Couple that with their famous Hydration Margarita (a traditional Margarita infused with coconut water) and you’re ready for a fantastic evening.
In case the shade of the swaying coconut palms isn’t enough to keep you cool, stop by Uncle’s for the best Shave Ice on the island. Shave Ice (referred to as Snow Cones on the mainland) is a Hawaiian diet staple. A refreshing treat, customers can choose from indulgent flavors (such as chocolate) to fruity flavors (cherry, watermelon, pineapple, etc) and if you’re feeling adventurous, a creamy Shaved Snow!
The Shops at Kukui’ula can be found on the sunny south side of Kauai, in Poipu. Our hope is to satisfy every appetite, because nothing brings a community together like a shared love of good, quality food. For more information please visit our Community page. Mahalo and we look forward to serving you!