Ask the Kauai Concierge

The Ask the Kauai Concierge is a series that we share answering the most asked questions by visitors to the island. Answers are from former and current concierges’ working in Kauai’s top resorts. After arriving on Kauai and checking into your hotel or condo, an often asked question from those on the North Shore is, “Where’s a great place to grab a quick bite to eat?

North Shore towns include Hanalei, Kilauea, Princeville, and Haena. The following four choices discussed here are places often recommended by concierges as well as ones we really like on Kauai’s North Shore. It is by no means an all inclusive list, just a sampling for today of places you can add to your list of options when visiting the Garden Island’s North Shore.

** Some words of advice. When dining in Hanalei or any small, popular town for that matter, tables/space is limited. When there are a large number of visitors, it can be challenging to find a seat. Be sure to go early, avoid peak hour times, and enjoy the Aloha on the island.

Breakfast with waterfall views – Wake Up Cafe Hanalei

View from a table on deck
View from a table on deck

Wake up Cafe Hanalei is a quaint, open air cafe with table service located on the main street of Hanalei (water or makai side of road). It is open daily 7A.M. -11 A.M. and is cash or travelers check only. Try the yummy, home-made Macadamia nut cinnamon roll. It’s made in-house and goes well with their Kona blend coffee. The breakfasts are delicious.

Lani is the owner/chef and has been a mainstay here for over 30 years. If you have ever been in the restaurant business, you will know it’ is a labor of love. And hard work. Lani cooks up some great food. Our server, Mary was very attentive and kind. There are 3 small tables available on the front deck. It’s our favorite place to sit. Although close to the road, the views of waterfalls can be seen in the distant mountains.Seating is first come, first served so understand reservations are not accepted.

Chicken In a Barrel BBQ
Hanalei BBQ!

Hawaiian BBQ – Chicken in a Barrel

Chicken in a Barrel is delish. They have delicious juicy BBQ style chicken, pork, and beef. Located in both Hanalei and Kapa’a, the place is open from 11 A.M. – 8 P.M.  Monday – Saturday and Sunday until 3 P.M. The Sampler Plate is a good way to go if you haven’t been here before. What is also cool is that every meal comes with local rice and chili, but if you just want fries, ask them to substitute either or both for fries.

The meat is slow smoked in a steel barrel cookers for added flavor and tenderness and served with BBQ sauce on the side. They have juicy burgers made from local beef too.

Gas Station Hamburger? Yes!

Believe this or not, a really good hamburger can be found inside the Princeville Chevron at the North Shore General Store Cafe.

North Shore General Store CafeThe basic burger is called the Holo Burger. They are made with local grass-fed beef. Takeout is the best way to go by calling in your order for pick up – (808) 826-7992. Again, depending on how busy they are, there can be a wait time.

It’s easy to find as the General Store is located in Princeville Shopping Center. They also have a very decent pizza. By far surpasses your expectations of gas station fast food!

Lei Petite Coffee and Bakery 

Fresh and good Coffee, bagels & more
Fresh and good Coffee, bagels & more

Our final recommendation for this post is the Lei Petite Coffee and Bakery, also in the Princeville Shopping Center. This place has many delicious coffee drinks, freshly baked pastries and breakfast plates. Love the acai with berries /banana bowl! Most order and grab a table outside where lots of friendly conversations take place. 

Enjoy these island establishments while you relax on your visit. We’ll be sharing more in the Ask the Concierge series each month. If you have any additional questions, drop us a line at AlohaKauaiVacation[at] Or leave a comment below. We’d welcome hearing from you.

After you return home, stay in touch with us by liking our Facebook page: Aloha Kauai Vacation.