Brunch culture plays a key role in the schedules of Kauai’s residents and visitors. The people of Kauai are up early—hiking to get a glimpse of that sunrise or heading to the beach to catch the first wave. After a morning of excitement, filling up on a nutritious and delectable brunch is on everyone’s mind. These are among the top spots to relax and grab brunch in Kauai.
Bakery, Cafe, Deli, Contemporary, $$$
Set amidst pieces of fine art, the Art Cafe Hemingway is a unique experience among Kauai‘s breakfast spots. Wooden chairs and tables give a nostalgic feeling of a French brasserie that Ernest Hemingway, its namesake, would have spent many days and nights writing in. Very much part of the theme, dishes are named after titles written by the author, such as “The Sun Also Rises.” With the entire menu fresh and made to order, the owners source food from theirs and nearby farms; and due to two separate owners, each day has a completely different and unique menu.
Kountry Style Kitchen
Restaurant, American, $$$
Anyone looking for that quintessential Hawaiian brunch with ingredients classic to the islands should absolutely try the Kountry Style Kitchen. You haven’t had Hawaiian pancakes until you’ve tried their famous macadamia nut pancakes and coconut syrup. Another restaurant proud to be supplied by a number of local business and farms, the kitchen offers syrups made in-house and coffee roasted locally. The generous servings and laidback atmosphere of the local hangout exuberates a strong sense of ‘Ohana, making it the perfect place to lounge from morning to afternoon.
Food Truck, Restaurant, Soul Food, American, $$$
When NOM Kauai first opened as a food truck in 2015, its Southern-inspired comfort food quickly became popular with the local community. With their big red truck becoming iconic to the town of Kapa’a, the owners opened up a more permanent location. Sourcing all their food locally, the restaurant still serves a fusion of comfort foods, including unique options like a taro burger with black beans and quinoa. In addition to their support of the local farming community, the team at NOM also partners with the Surfrider Foundation, making sure to only use reusable straws and to-go containers that are compostable.
Bakery, Cafe, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, American, $$$
With so many options to try along the shoreline of Kauai, heading upcountry might seem a bit unnecessary, but it is definitely worth it for the coffee and grinds at Kalaheo Cafe. A favorite of locals and visitors alike, Kalaheo Cafe specializes in smooth and local Hawaiian coffee roasts. There are a plethora of breakfast options for every palate. This respite on higher ground highlights Hawaiian classics like Portuguese sausage and fresh papaya. From gluten free blackberry chia muffins to the option of building your own omelette, the cafe offers up classic options for everyone.
Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Located just downstairs from Tortilla Republic, the TR Cantina offers its guests more of a daytime vibe with its refreshing outdoor patio seating. The restaurant itself offers a more laidback, friendly atmosphere, serving up casual Mexican fare like tacos, ceviches, and burritos that pair with their handcrafted margarita bar. Weekend brunch is always sparkling with their twist on breakfast options like huevos rancheros, breakfast quesadillas, and pancakes. The flavorful menu and lively atmosphere make it a great spot for a group outing.