Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai
1571 Poipu Rd., Koloa
It’s soothing just to lie still in one of the outdoor treatment-room cabanas, the smell of tropical blooms permeating the air. Once the treatments get going, they’re utter bliss: brightening peels, stimulating oxygen therapy, LED lights, and an especially pampering hot stone therapy designed to invigorate skin.
The Spa at Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort at Poipu Beach
2251 Poipu Rd., Koloa
Locally grown coffee, Kauai clay, and essences from wild tropical flowers come together in the treatments at this spa that’s right on the beach. Few things are as relaxing as listening to the rhythm of the waves as you get a circulation-boosting face massage. If you’re sun-scorched, the Sun Comfort Facial feels effing fantastic with soothing layers of aloe, a noni superfruit mask, and a coconut scalp massage.
2956 Kress St., Lihue
This old-school ramen shop has been a Kauai stand-by for 70-odd years and counting (they're also known for lilikoi pie). There's typically a long line of locals, and it is completely frill-free, but it's a great post-airport choice after a long ride (or in advance of a red eye back to the states). By Hawaii standards, they're also open quite late.
5-5161 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei
This relatively new arrival from the group behind Hanalei Bread Company and Bar Acuda is focused on ramen and ceviche-style fish preparations, which weirdly fills a hole on the island.
Wailua Shave Ice
4-1306 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa
Now with locations in San Diego and Portland, the OG Wailua is still in Kapaa. There you'll find the inventive combinations that they're now known for, like an Almond Joy (Nutella, coconut milk, almonds coconut flakes) and Lava Flow, which includes strawberry puree, coconut foam, and pineapple juice.
Shave Ice Tege Tege
4-1620 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa
Done in the Japanese style (Shave Ice Tege Tege's owner brought his hand-crank ice machine from Japan when he set up shop in Kauai), this popular stand—just across the street from the main beach in Kapaa, is all organic. Using a condensed milk base, you can have everything from dragon fruit to mango mixed in. It's in the same food court parking lot as Al Pastor Tacos, which makes it a perfect pit-stop for a quick lunch.
3540 Koloa Rd., Kalaheo
Occupying a former glass factory in Lawai, this sweet community center is home to food trucks and stands like Roots in Culture (healthy comfort food), Chipwrecked (Hawaiian nachos), The Fresh Shave (shave ice), and Dark Roost Coffee. There are also a handful of cute, local boutiques offering everything from shell jewelry to bathing suits and stationery. They also do storytime for little kids, offer a farmer's market on Friday, and host community events like live music.
4-369 Kuhio Hwy., Kapaa
Sea-salt dusted fries served with srirachi aioli and chickpea battered onion rings are just one indication that this isn't your typical burger joint. Using only grass-fed Kauai beef, they do a million complex variations (plus an ahi burger and a veggie version) with the beer selection to match. It's a good choice for a big group post beach, and kids are into it, too.
The Fresh Shave
3540 Koloa Rd., Kalaheo
There are a lot of shave stands throughout the islands, and so it only makes sense that many are pushing the art form, and giving up high fructose corn syrup for cleaner and healthier options. At The Fresh Shave, they use organic options wherever possible and interesting combinations, like chai tea, kauai cold brew coffee, and coconut chia seed cream.
Eating House 1849
2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Rd., Poipu
After training in Los Angeles at Le Serene, Chef Roy Yamaguchi opened his first Hawaiian restaurant, Roy's, in the late '80s. Born in Tokyo, the menu was Hawaiian fusion, some of the first of its kind, and Yamaguchi went on to win a James Beard award. There are three Eating Houses 1849's scattered across the islands (the name is an acknowledgement of the first restaurant on Hawaii, which was called Eating House), and the one on Kauai is part of the Shops at Kukuiula (where a lot of the island's great restaurants are nestled). The menu changes frequently, but expect to find classics like potstickers, chicken wings, and an outstanding "Hapa" burger, which is a mix of beef and Kaluna wild boar. There's also an excellent spicy ramen bowl.
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