Hamura Saimin: Best saimin and good lilikoi pie!
The saimin here is the best because everything is made to order and on the premises. You can get the chewy noodles in broth with a variety of toppings including fish cake (kamaboku), green onion, won tons, etc. It's also a fun lunch counter atmosphere reminiscent of the 1950s. Don't forget to leave room for the lilikoi chiffon pie! There's often a wait during peak hours but just stand around the outside waiting for a seat to open up. No line as everyone is considerate of when potential diners started waiting. It's pretty much on the honor system. Feel free to start up a conversation with the folks next to you. Everyone is very friendly here!
Favorite Dish: Saimin, pie (seriously, don't miss the lilikoi chiffon pie!)
Maria's Mexican Restaurant: Maria's Mexican Restaurant
Just thought this little ancedote about Maria's was kind of amusing... we went there on Cinco de Mayo thinking that they might be doing something somewhat fun and festive, only to find it was closed. We went back the next day and asked why they weren't open the day before and the owner told us, 'No, man, we were at Duke's for the free beer.' Wish we'd have known!!
Favorite Dish: Not the salsa- more like pureed tomato.
I already covered the popular...
I already covered the popular Hamura's Saimin Stand in Lihue. If you like noodles in broth, give it a try. It's great if you've been drinking, partying, or just want a late night snack. It's open until around 2 a.m., so lots of people go there late at night. It's also a great place for lunch.
Another great place to eat is Duke's in Lihue. I think it's still there... I know the hurricane about eight years ago wiped it out, but I think they rebuilt it.
Hamura's has local atmosphere. It's an old shack-type building with formica counters and wooden stools, screen doors, and plastic cups and bowls. If you need a fork, let them know, or they'll give you chopsticks.
Duke's is located in a local resort. It used to be the Hyatt, and then it was the Marriott, but I have no idea what it is now. This resort is located directly adjacent to the airport, so just ask. It is located at the top of a cliff, so it has a great view. Last time I was there, it had a pretty nice salt-water fish tank as well. Nice place to just hang out.
Favorite Dish: At Hamura's, it's saimin. That's all they serve, plus a bunch of things you can add to it, such as cabbage, beef or chicken sticks, or won tons.
At Duke's it's up to you. It's kind of a sandwich, burger, dinner place. Nothing too fancy, but good food.
Hanama'ulu Restaurant & Tea...
Hanama'ulu Restaurant & Tea House
Local famlies have been coiming to the Tea Room for 65 years.With friendly service and a Japanese garden setting, to make everything just a bit magicial. Eat in the Tea Room, were you dine on soft mats at low tables, next to the carp and waterlily pond.
Favorite Dish: They serve wonderful Japanese food, any of the tempura dishes are always good, or a sample with a little of each. The Sashimi really can't be beat. Also try the mushrooms stuffed with crab.
Duke's Canoe Club: Duke's Canoe Club
A lanai table at the railing are the best, offers a wonderful view of Kalapaki Bay. If you are having cocktails downstairs before dinner, get a table by the waterfall. Dinner costs $15 - $28. It is best to have reservation, as this is very popular with the locals.
Favorite Dish: You can't go wrong with their catch of the day, cook whatever way you want. My favorite is the Ono.