Where to Eat in Kapaau: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Fernanda Pittenger

Kapaʻau is an unincorporated community in Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States. Located at the northern tip of the big island of Hawaii, it is celebrated as the birthplace of Kamehameha I.
Things to do in Kapaau

1. Minnie's

54 - 3854 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755 Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Outdoor Seating American, Hawaiian Lunch, Dinner +1 808-889-5288
Excellent
78%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 134 reviews

Minnie's

Reviewed By Cheryl T - Kapaau

We eat here quite often and their food is always perfectly prepared at reasonable prices. Service and friendliness is also a plus.

2. Makapala Store and Cafe

52-4659 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755 Takeout, Seating Mexican, Cafe, Fast Food, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch +1 808-889-1234
Excellent
67%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 24 reviews

Makapala Store and Cafe

Reviewed By JacknDebbie - Vancouver

This is a funky little road side cafe. It's not pristine but is rather rustic but fits in with the surroundings. Very limited menu but excellent food. Everything is prepared to order with locally grown fresh produce. The owner/chef is a very pleasant soul with lots of interesting stories so make sure you take the time to have a friendly visit. Don't go in with an attitude as you will be asked to leave. His Neighbour, Howard, is quite the character who loves spinning a yarn so make sure you engage him in conversation. The great food is only a small part of the experience, the owner and neighbour round it out to be a very very pleasant stop.
As a side, his home made guacamole is outstanding. Don't just drive by, stop and enjoy good food and colorful locals.

3. Gill's Lanai

54-3866 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755 Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Street Parking, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Accepts Discover, Parking Available, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards Seafood, Hawaiian, Fusion Lunch SGD 8 - SGD 16 +1 808-315-1542
Excellent
62%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 170 reviews

Gill's Lanai

Super fresh, locally caught fish for Fish n' Chips & delicious Fish Tacos, Korean Fusion Tacos, big gourmet hot dogs with lots of shoestring fries, all-fruit smoothies, fresh salads upon request with locally grown organic produce and also vegetarian items. Served in a casual & tropical roadside Hawaiian country setting!

Reviewed By Jennifer E - Edwards, Colorado

We had two great lunches at Gills/ Lobster Taco special was really nice. Spicy Tofu sandwich is fantastic! Walk in and order-sit outside and eat. Casual, eclectic and well done.

4. Kings View Cafe

54-3897 Akoni Pule Highway, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755 Wheelchair Accessible, Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol American, Pizza, Cafe, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 808-889-0099
Excellent
53%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 243 reviews

Kings View Cafe

Reviewed By NormanSantaFe - Santa Fe, NM

We first went to this cafe several years ago for breakfast, and were disappointed so never went back. Today, however, en route to Keokea Park, our favorite little beach (though no swimming), we stopped for lunch. We were very satisfied.

Our order was taken promptly and served in a reasonable period of time. For Hawaii, the price was reasonable - about $28. The setting inside the restaurant was very pleasant.

My wife had a cheeseburger with a side salad and coke, while I had a Turkey and cheese wrap. The cheeseburger was so large she was satisfied with half of it (I "helped" with the other half). The wrap was also large and excellent. I brought half home for an evening snack.

Bottom line? Very satisfied and look forward to returning.

5. KINTARO Japanese Restaurant

4-370 Kuhio Hwy, This is in Kapa`a, NOT Kapa`au. Two different islands., Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96746-1424 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Japanese, Sushi, Asian, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Dinner +1 808-822-3341
Excellent
44%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
7%
Terrible
8%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 581 reviews

KINTARO Japanese Restaurant

Reviewed By Derek M - Moosomin, Canada

This was our Aloha dinner on Kauai for the 6 of us, as we were leaving that night. My in-laws had never done teppanyaki, so we called the day before to reserve a table (which I think is a good idea). We were seated quickly but had to wait about 25 minutes before our chef (Mike from Buffalo) was done at another grill, as they were short one chef that night. Waiting was not a big deal, as they served us drinks and offered us sushi, even though none of us had any. One he fired up the grill, it was game on. Salads (great) and Miso soup (meh), fried rice (delicious), and then the entries - shrimp, chicken, and filet mignon, which was probably the best steak ever ("it's like eating a marshmallow that tastes like steak"), with veggies grilled perfectly. He did one of the standard "tricks" - the big flaming ball, but there was no shooting baby corn into everyone's mouth, or mid-air slicing of anything. Prices are reasonable, as many people have mentioned. They have one private "shoes-off, sit on the floor" room for large groups; maybe 4 or 5 teppanyaki stations; and much more room for regular table dining. The place was full, a bit noisy, but highly recommended. There is lots of parking, either in their lot or across the street to the north.

6. Kohala Coffee Mill

55-3412 Akoni Pule Highway, Hawi, Island of Hawaii, HI 96719 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Free Wifi American, Cafe, Healthy, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast SGD 26 +1 808-889-5577
Excellent
56%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 292 reviews

Kohala Coffee Mill

Reviewed By NV_Travelers_77 - Mesquite, Nevada

We stopped here several times over four days, twice for breakfast/coffee and once for lunch. The staff is very helpful, their prices are high (normal for Hawaii), the internet is fast, and their offerings are fresh and tasty. We did not try their ice cream but it too looked yummy.

7. Holy Smokes BBQ

54-3842 Akoni Pule Highway, ., Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755 Seating, Takeout, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Accepts Discover American, Barbecue Lunch SGD 7 - SGD 20 +1 808-896-2323
Excellent
90%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 34 reviews

Holy Smokes BBQ

We are a native Hawaiian run small business. We enjoy serving good food at a reasonable price. We are not fast food, although we can usually serve our costumers fairly quickly, you can always call in your order.

Reviewed By Christine Too - Murphys, California

We drove from Kona to the Pololu Valley Lookout with the specific intent of stopping at the Holy Smokes food truck for lunch, and boy were we glad we did. Believe me, the other reviewers were right about this one - the food is incredible. I ordered the pulled pork "mini" plate, half of which I planned to share with my husband, who ordered a scrumptious brisket sandwich, but it was so delicious that he only got a taste.

The pork was piled high and drenched in an outrageous, sweet and mildly spicy sauce; the coleslaw was incredible as well. The servings are very generous and the food was outstanding - this meal completely undid my diet, but it was worth it! I should mention that the service was both extremely friendly and fast and Shannon was a delight to talk to. Do yourself a huge favor and look for the Holy Smokes food truck – you can thank me later!

8. Kawaihae Kandyz

54-3886 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755 Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible, Seating Seafood, Hawaiian, Sushi Lunch, Dinner +1 808-896-2767
Excellent
77%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 17 reviews

Kawaihae Kandyz

Reviewed By SEG2 - New York

Had the poke nachos and poke bomb, very good! Seating is outside on the covered porch. No other options if you don't like poke :-)

9. Csc Cafe

54 Akoni Pule Hwy 3615, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755 Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible Cafe, Hawaiian Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner +1 808-889-0208
Excellent
57%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 16 reviews

Csc Cafe

Reviewed By Irma A - Arizona

While exploring the big island Hawaii on our recent visit, we asked about eateries that were locally owned and were directed to the CSC Cafe. This is a small cafe with about 8 tables, not big on atmosphere but definitely big on taste and portion size! Diana and her family were extremely friendly and her mom still does much of the cooking in the kitchen. My husband had walnut, honey chicken and it was delicious! White rice and macaroni salad are usually served with meals purchased throughout the big island. I had a large scoop of Kona coffee and a scoop of coconut ice cream--just wonderful flavors and the best price on the west side of the island! Diana was also helpful with information about other locations for us to visit. We would definitely eat there again on a future visit.

10. Tropical Dreams Ice Cream

55-3412 Akoni Pule Hwy, Across from Bamboo Restaurant, Hawi, Island of Hawaii, HI 96719 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible Lunch +1 808-889-5577
Excellent
63%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 125 reviews

Tropical Dreams Ice Cream

This little old fashioned ice cream parlor and coffee shop has the best selection of Tropical Dreams flavors found on the Big Island. We loved the Green Tea Ice Cream, but the Coconut was good, too. Several sorbet flavors were available. All of the shops in Hawi look like they have been around for decades and this is no exception, but that's part of this town's charm.

Reviewed By nxmail - denver

Would have loved to try the ice cream because of the great reviews, but we were never served or even acknowledged. The place wasn’t crowded, and the few customers there already had their drinks and were chatting. There was only one person and another couple ahead of us waiting to order, but the two young women were busy with coffee orders, I guess, and never even acknowledged our presence, despite our standing at the counter for over 10 minutes. No Aloha spirit there.

Maybe the ice cream is good and is worth the wait, but it wasn’t worth being ignored for so long, so we left.

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