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Love is in the air — and on the menu, too

Kauai is known as a romantic getaway, but not just for its beaches and beauty.

Its many restaurants offer wonderful opportunities to fan those flames of passion. Of course, there’s great food and drink. There’s also more than enough ambiance, sunsets and candlelight dinners to go around, especially on Valentine’s Day. The Garden Isle’s options for dining out with your loved one are diverse and many, from eateries with views of a glistening blue ocean, majestic mountains or some delightful decor.

So, guys or gals, if you’re looking for a place to take your partner on Feb. 14, here are some of Kauai’s best places to enjoy a romantic dinner and get a feel for what gives this island it’s loving aloha spirit. This Valentine’s Day, take time to remind the one you love how special they are by taking them on a romantic dining experience. 

Let’s start with the North Shore and Tahiti Nui, one of Kauai’s oldest restaurants (opened in 1963) and bars with boundless spirit and character. No place, perhaps, reflects Kauai’s spirit better than Tahiti Nui in Hanalei. It offers a mix of good beers, drinks and, of course, its famous mai tais. On the dinner menu, you can count on Valentine’s Day specials, but you can’t go wrong with any of the selections from the regular menu while enjoying the live music. Be it barbecued ribs, fish, (caught fresh in Hawaiian waters) chicken or salad, you’ll leave feeling full of food and spirits.


Just down the street from Tahiti Nui at Ching Young Village is Kalypsos. An open, welcoming atmosphere with an expansive bar offering an array of beers and mixed drinks. The outside seating is wonderful to feel the North Shore air and atmosphere. The range of dinner selections, from the steaks to pasta to fresh fish, salad and burgers, is more than enough to satisfy all palates. Mix in the friendly service and fun atmosphere, and you’ve got a happy Valentine’s Day.


Bouchons Grill and Sushi Bar is also at Ching Young Village. The upstairs setting with wide open views is one of the best places to enjoy the lush mountains and admire the town of Hanalei. The ribs, sushi bar, seafood entrees and pasta dishes are just a few of the highlights offered at one of the North Shore’s favorite dining locations.

Grand Hyatt ­

Talk about romance, you’ve got it at the Grand Hyatt. Try dining at its many restaurants featuring inspiring backdrops for the delectable culinary creations of its talented chefs. A not-to-be-missed stop is Tidepools, which is set in a tiki-torch lit tropical gardens and koi-filled lagoons. The thatched roof bungalows at the base of a waterfall are the quintessential Hawaiian dining experience and an unforgettable dinner.

Hukilau Lanai

A unique setting at the Kauai Coconut Resort in Kapaa. Just start with the pupus of Swiss Chard and mushroom tart or sweet potato ravioli and you can’t go wrong. Dinner choices includes island grilled seafood and sugar cane skewered shrimp, prime rib, macadamia nut chicken or char-grilled center-cut beef tenderlion. The service is fast and friendly, the setting is cozy and comfortable with open-air seating and the food superb.


The poolside restaurant at the Kauai Marriott Resort is outstanding choice to experience the creative Pacific Rim and island-inspired cuisine masterfully prepared in a fresh oceanside contemporary setting at this Lihue restaurant. At night, when the torches light up the path, it’s a magical time to take a stroll after dinner, hand-in-hand, with your valentine and count your lucky stars.

Naupaka Terrace

When it comes to romantic settings, it doesn’t get much better than Naupaka Terrace restaurant at the Kauai Beach Resort. There are views of torch-lit waterfalls, fishponds, sparkling pools, and the ocean. The plantation-style Kauai restaurant features creative Hawaiian and Pan Pacific cuisine, Asian inspired dishes, fresh island catch, aged beef, salads, pastas and delightful desserts.


Located in Poipu at Kukuiula Shopping Village is the heart of Merriman’s. There are two dining establishments to choose from, Merriman’s Fish House upstairs or Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza and Burgers downstairs. Diners at the Fish House can enjoy mountain or ocean views over looking Kukuiula Village. On the menu, there’s fresh fish appetizers and entree options with a variety of dessert, wine and cocktail selections. At Gourmet Pizza and Burgers, the menu consists of salads, sandwiches, burgers and pizzas.

Bamboo Grill and Sushi

You can’t miss out on stopping by at Bamboo Grill and Sushi. Located in Lihue on Rice Street awaits an eatery which will feel like home. With ocean views, live entertainment and many local favorites on the menu you will be running back for more. Bamboo Grill and Sushi has a wide selection of pupus, entrees and sushi.

La Spezia Restaurant

Take a drive to Old Koloa Town and let your mind and appetite enjoy every moment at La Spezia Restaurant and Wine Bar. La Spezia is a city in Italy, and this restaurant brings Italy to you. Indulge in the tastes that make Italian such a favorite. With low romantic lighting and a homestyle Italian fare, diners will feel at ease with each bite. Enjoy a classic caesar or kale salad, lasagna, or try many other Italian appetizers and entrees.

Mariachi’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine

Take a trip to Mexico by heading over to Mariachi’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine. With are two locations to serve you, in Kapaa town and at Harbor Mall in Lihue, diners can enjoy a Mexican meal without leaving town. There is a wide selection of Mexican dishes to choose from, rice and beans, quesadilla, taquitos, chili verde and more.

Bull Shed restaurant

Dine in style at the Bull Shed Restaurant in Kapaa. Choices include steak, chicken and fish entrees, and be sure to take a trip to the salad bar. Enjoy ocean and sunset views, with a gentle salt water breeze while you savor every bite. Desserts featuring Lappert’s Coffee and Ice Cream leave your taste buds wanting more.

Café Portofino

Over looking Kalapaki Beach in the heart of Nawiliwili is a Kauai’s authentic Italian cuisine, Cafe Portofino. With an owner born and raised in Italy, you’ll be sure to get a real feel of the taste. Diners can enjoy ocean and sunset views while indulging their favorite Italian meals. With a wide selection of Italian dishes and salads, the restaurant also has fish, steak, chicken and veal entrees. Try the dessert menu. You’ll be glad you did.


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