On any trip to an unfamiliar locale its always better to start with a cheat sheet that helps you know where to get your provisions and where to eat when you travel. For several years my family was lucky enough to take trips to Maui. We knew exactly where to get the best ice cream, sushi and fish tacos. Last year it was time for a change, off we went to Kauai. We had some truly spectacular meals and some real stinkers as we figured things out. This blog series is my list of recommended spots for great meals, grocery stops, and cocktails on your visit to South Kauai. My list of both high-end and low-end Poipu restaurant recommendations is below. Enjoy!
Poipu Restaurant Recommendations
The logistics of our arrival on Kauai weren’t ideal. We arrived VERY early in the morning expecting to be able to get an early check-in at our condo. That wasn’t to be. So we began a day of rather uneven dining in the Poipu area as a result. Since it was just next door to our condo, we spent a chunk of the day at the Sheraton. I wasn’t expecting much but our meal at their beach and poolside restaurant but it really hit the spot. The pork sliders were great as were the various fish specials we tested out. The view was nice and service was good dining al fresco but in the shade worked well for us too since we were still in our travel clothes.
That night once we finally got into our condo, unloaded groceries and unpacked no one felt like going out or even cooking beyond opening a beer or a bottle of wine. We sent my husband out to grab some fish tacos. Fortunately, for the establishment he found he immediately forgot the name. These were probably the worst fish tacos I’ve ever had. Fortunately, we never had to revisit that experience because the next day we found Da Crack. Da Crack serves easily the best fish tacos and perhaps even the best Mexican food in Hawaii in my opinion. Da Crack isn’t much to look at. It isn’t much more than a crack in the wall of a shopping strip and the wait can be long at dinner but, it is totally worth it.
My husband found Da Crack on our second day in Poipu when I apparently spent a bit too long renting snorkel equipment at Seasport Divers (very helpful and great equipment). My hungry husband wandered across the parking lot to Da Crack and noticed a ton of locals lined up to order at this tiny takeout joint. We ended up waiting too. Oh was it worth it! We went back several times during our trip for these fresh fantastic tacos and burritos. It was fantastic every visit.
Another spot that incurred repeat visits was Roy’s Poipu Bar and Grill. It is located in an upscale shopping mall so no real view to speak of but the pan Asian/Hawaiian food was fantastic. The happy hour deal is a good one if you are ready to eat early and the appetizers are fantastic. I made meals of three fantastic appetizers of them during our happy hour visit and wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. The cocktails were great too. Their signature chocolate soufflé was worth it too even though I can generally take or leave chocolate.
Easter brunch at the Sheraton’s upscale RumFire was extravagant. They kept our champagne glasses full and the view was spectacular. Food of every type was available in abundance. It was a great spot for an extravagant lunch/brunch with the family but had few truly memorable items. I probably wouldn’t go back unless it was for an Easter brunch type occasion.
Next up the Puka Dog. My son can’t get enough of hot dogs. We are surprised he hasn’t turned into one yet. When I saw these hot dogs get write-ups in several guide books I figured we had to try them. Each dog is first roasted then somehow embedded inside its own roll with special sauces inside. It was definitely yummy and a nice bite for lunch when one isn’t able to get back to (or needs a break from) Da Crack.
Moving back to the high-end fare, another top spot from our trip was the Beach House Restaurant. The sunset views are fantastic (side note: all the photos in this blog are from our sunset meal at the Beach House). The seafood and cocktails also measure up to the high bar set by the view. We were lucky enough to snag great spots at the bar with views on one occasion when we tried to go without a reservation. We know better now to plan for a visit here and also know that reservations are a must and are worth it.
I hope these Poipu restaurant recommendations help make your Poipu visit a great one! If you have any other great suggestions for dining out in Poipu please add them to the comments section.