There is no better way to experience a new culture than eating their food! Michael and I tend to plan our trips around great meals, so food was one of the most important activities for us. Here are a few highlights of our favorite meals!
The breakfast buffet at the St. Regis is the stuff of dreams. I could eat at that breakfast buffet every day for the rest of my life. It had everything you could imagine. Fresh fruit and fruit juices, pancakes and waffles, omelet station, cold cuts, grilled vegetables, Hawaiian pork, dumplings, even breakfast salad. I wanted to eat there every day. We nearly did! The buffet is set up daily in the Makana Terrace, and guests can dine inside or outside on the terrace. We obviously opted to dine outside.
One of our favorite lunches was also one of our most authentic: A Hawaiian Plate Lunch! We got ours at Hanalei Taro and Juice Company. They have an adorable trailer and shed in Hanalei that serves everything from smoothies and acai bowls to full plate lunches like ours. They take the farm to table mentality very seriously, and only use ingredients from their farms or locally sourced. The plate was absolutely delicious. We got the King Kalo plate so we could try some of everything. It had Kalua Pig, Chicken Lau Lau, macaroni salad, rice, poi, and a piece of taro mochi cake for desert.
Another excellent lunch was at Caffe Coco in Wailua. We stopped there on the way to Princeville after we landed at the airport in Lihue. It was such a bright and cheerly little stop that provided some much needed healthy fuel. They have a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes, and most things can be made gluten free as well. I just loved their cute little patio!
The most unique place we ate was a popup restaurant called Kauai Ono. To get seats at the communal table, you must reserve well in advance. They only serve dinner a couple nights per week and only when the weather is nice. We found this place on Yelp, and we were blown away! It is run by a chef who cooks with local Kauai ingredients from a mobile kitchen. He then brings out your multi-course meal for you to enjoy as you sit under a huge tent. If you have any food allergies or particular preferences, they are very accommodating and prompt you of this type of information when you call to reserve. One guest next to me was vegan, and her food looked equally as delicious and creative. Alcohol was bring your own, so we brought some of our wedding wine. We had a blast trying all the courses and meeting other people. Most of the younger couples were also honeymooners, so it was fun to talk to them about their plans for the week. Kauai One was definitely a highlight!