Welcome fellow foodies!
My boyfriend and I love Italian cuisine, so we spent the last two weeks searching for the best Italian restaurants in Kauai. We drove around, asked locals for their recommendations, took notes throughout our culinary journey and now we’re ready to share with you all the delicious details.
For more than twenty years I have lived in different cities across Europe trying out various traditional dishes and fine-tuning my palette to recognize quality ingredients. That is why when my boyfriend and I decided to explore the culinary wonders of Kauai, it was imperative that we find only the best Italian eateries.
Even among all of the authentic cuisine found on the island, Italian restaurants serve unlike any other. I’m ranking the 8 best Italian restaurants in Kauai based on the authenticity of ingredients, flavor profile, atmosphere, and price point. From hand-rolled pasta paired with fresh local catches to brick-oven pizza topped with chunks of homemade mozzarella, there’s something for everyone.
Be warned: After you’ve tasted your way through these delicious eateries, you might be coming up with excuses to book return flights to taste more of their heavenly creations!
Get ready to dig into some mouth-watering Italian food!
Cafe Portofino – Best Italian Restaurant in Kauai
Cafe Portofino has been around since 1989, run by first-generation Italians hailing from Northern Italy, and bringing authentic flavors to Kauai. You can enjoy delicious food here, accompanied by a stellar view of Kalapaki Bay from the Cafe’s gorgeous outdoor seating.
We went for dinner and started with a fresh Caesar salad made from crisp romaine, croutons, and their special creamy dressing. Next, we tried the Lasagna and Cannoli, made from perfectly al dente pasta, a rich ragu, and melt-in-your-mouth soft ricotta.
If you like seafood, don’t miss their terrific Scampi prawns sauteed in a lemon-butter sauce and the day’s fresh catch served in a piccata sauce. Finally, end the meal with profiteroles for dessert, filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with Belgian chocolate and roasted almonds.
You’ll love the food at Cafe Portofino, as they’re the best Italian restaurant in Kauai.
- There’s great live harp music playing in the outdoor area.
- The Cafe is in a great location, close to the Marriott.
- Prices here range from $20-50, with nice portions.
Address: 3481 Hoolaulea Way Kauai Marriott, Lihue, Kauai, HI.
Kauai Pasta Lihue – Best Italian Restaurant in Lihue Kauai
Find this secluded gem on Lihue’s streets in a cozy bar-style setting for the interior and a delectable menu that changes seasonally. Kauai Pasta is an excellent place for families to dine in and a local favorite for its authentic Italian flavors with a Hawaiian twist.
We started with the Caprese Salad and the meatballs in a delicious bed of fresh tomato sauce. Next came the Shrimp Scampi in a light cream linguine, and Grilled Pesto Chicken, which tasted incredible, made with macadamia nuts.
Don’t miss their seafood specials like the KP Style Cioppino, a favorite house mix of clams, prawns, crab, and Italian sausage in a rich seafood broth. Some other great items include the panini and Veal Marsala, made fresh and super tasty (we might have come here too many times!)
The food at KP Lihue speaks for itself, and the small, cozy eatery is one of the best Italian restaurants on Kauai.
- The chocolate creme brulee is a must-try dessert on their menu.
- The service here is amazing, and you can hang out for hours without interruptions.
- Prices range from $20-45 for huge portions.
Address: 3-3142 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, Kauai, HI.
La Spezia Restaurant and Wine Bar – Best Italian Restaurant in Koloa Kauai
Travel to the South end of Kauai for the best Italian food on the island. La Spezia offers a fine-dining experience with close-knit tables, a gorgeous interior, stellar gourmet-style food, and excellent service. However, you’ll need reservations to dine here as it’s a popular spot among locals and tourists.
Their menu boasts an excellent variety of appetizers and pasta. You want to get the Prosciutto Flatbread with fresh cheeses or try the Antipasti if you’re with a party, which is an excellent selection of cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables. The Nonna’s four-cheese Lasagna and the Wagyu Hanger Steak are terrific options for mains.
We ordered the Short Rib Ravioli served in a very dark and rich reduction sauce and the fettuccini, which was so flavorful, with house-made sausage, mushrooms, cheese, and truffle oil.
My boyfriend and I are fans of La Spezia for their authentic Italian food that’s bound to put you in a food coma. Here’s why they’re the best Italian restaurant in Kauai:
- Their amaro cheesecake and salted caramel panna cotta are heavenly desserts.
- The pasta comes in huge servings, enough for two people.
- Prices are reasonable here, starting as low as $15.
Address: 5492 Koloa Rd, Koloa, Kauai, HI.
Related: Best Italian food Maui
Bobby V’s Italian Restaurant Pizzeria
You can’t say you’ve eaten real Italian food in Kauai without trying out the pizzerias. Bobby V’s serves terrific thin-crust pizzas baked to perfection, topped with a chunky marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella.
You want to start with their appetizers like Fried Spinach Ravioli; a great vegetarian option served in homemade pesto. Their Build Your Own Pizza is a great option, with a range of Italian and American favorite toppings, plus generous amounts of cheese. We loved the island flavors of the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, a large pizza enough for two people.
They also serve some delicious sandwiches, salads, and pasta entrees, if you’re not in the mood for pizza (are you okay??) In addition, they accommodate gluten-free diets well on their menu.
Bobby V’s is great for casual pizza and fusion flavors; definitely one of the best Italian restaurants in Kauai.
- Their meatball sandwich is a delicious option, loaded with tender, saucy meat.
- Their prices range from $15-25 for huge portions.
Address: 4-484 Kuhio Highway 4-484 Kuhio Hwy., Kapaa, Kauai, HI.
Wrapping Up: The Best Kauai Italian Restaurants
People traveling to Kauai are always in awe of the range of Italian food on the island. You can find island-style Italian food and authentic flavors of all your favorite dishes like fresh pasta, brick-oven pizzas, steaks seasoned with Italian herbs, and much more.
In addition, many places have vegetarian friendly vegan options so everyone can enjoy the Italian food in Kauai.
Looking for a distinct flavor? Don’t miss out on trying the savory goat cheese dishes offered by many restaurants in Kauai.
Stop by Cafe Portofino for traditional Italian food and a cozy ambiance. It’s known for its good pizza, that patrons rave about.
Have lunch at Kauai Pasta and Bobby V’s for delicious food at low prices. Bobby V’s in particular is often regarded as serving the best pizza on the island.
Indulge in fine dining at La Spezia with gourmet-style Italian food and an array of delightful pasta dishes.
The Italian food in Kauai never disappoints!
What local seafood dishes are popular in Kauai restaurants?
In Kauai, many Italian restaurants incorporate fresh local seafood into their menu features, such as Scampi prawns and the KP Style Cioppino that includes clams, prawns, crab, and Italian sausage.
Where can I find hearth baked pies on the island of Kauai?
You can enjoy mouth-watering hearth baked pies at Bobby V’s Italian Restaurant Pizzeria. Their thin-crust pizzas are topped with chunky marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella for an authentic taste.
Do these Kauai restaurants offer dishes made with fresh vegetables?
Yes, many Italian eateries in Kauai prioritize using fresh vegetables in their menu items. For example, La Spezia serves a delicious Prosciutto Flatbread featuring various fresh cheeses and veggies.
I’m looking for authentic toppings on my pizza; which restaurant should I try in Kauai?
Bobby V’s Italian Restaurant Pizzeria is known for offering a range of authentic toppings to create your perfect pizza. You’ll find both classic Italian favorites and American-style options to suit your palate.
Which restaurant has succulent sauces incorporated into their dishes?
Dondero’s offers excellent dishes with succulent sauces like their Short Rib Ravioli served in a rich reduction sauce or fettuccini with house-made sausage, mushrooms, cheese, and truffle oil.
At Sam’s Ocean View, you can expect delicious menu features highlighting the fusion of Hawaiian flavors with classic Italian cuisine – all while enjoying stunning ocean views alongside your meal.
Are there any vegetarian options available at these Italian eateries in Kauai?
Certainly! Italian restaurants in Kauai, such as La Spezia and Kauai Pasta Lihue, offer vegetarian friendly vegan options like the Caprese Salad and Fried Spinach Ravioli, ensuring dishes made with fresh vegetables are available for all diners.
What unique pasta dish can be found at Scorpacciata?
Scorpacciata offers a distinct selection of pasta dishes that exude authenticity. A popular choice is their four-cheese Lasagna, crafted with Nonna’s recipe – perfect for those seeking a scrumptious Italian meal packed with flavor.
Last Updated on August 7, 2023 by Brigitte