Nestled in the mountains of Kalaheo, a little town on the south side of Kauai, is the Kalaheo Café. Conveniently located right by the main highway, it is one of the better quality dining options en route to Waimea Canyon or Polihale when travelling from the east side of the island.
The café opened in 1994 and is a favorite with locals and visitors. The food is hearty and delicious, and the coffee selection broad. Kauai, Kona and other Hawaiian coffees are their specialty, and the town of Kalaheo is surrounded by over 4000 acres of coffee plantations. Coffee varieties include Kauai Estate Grown, Kalaheo Morning Blend and Kona Extra Fancy Dark Roast. Flavored coffees include Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Coconut Cream, and Hawaiian Hazelnut. The cabinets display a broad selection of delicious cakes to accompany the coffee.
We arrived at the café just in time for lunch, bellies rumbling after our morning hike in Kokee. I ordered the Medeiros Farms Chuck Burger, and my husband selected the special – Seared Ahi Furikake with Wasabi Mayonnaise. The staff were friendly and the service prompt. Our meals arrived within 10 minutes of ordering, and the portions were sizeable. The hamburger was good, served on fresh, warm Turkish bread, with a side of salad. A nice touch was that the sauces and dressings were served on the side. My husband’s ahi dish was tasty – encrusted with seaweed and sesame, although it overcooked. He had requested medium-rare and unfortunately it arrived well-done. The beef on my burger was a little dry also. Nevertheless the meal appealed to our tastebuds and we both left feeling satisfied by the food quality and the service. Other lunch menu items include a Grilled Fresh Vegetable Wrap, Smoked Turkey and Pesto Melt, Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger, Herb Chicken Breast, Pasta and Island Greens, as well as a selection of deli sandwiches and garden salads.
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The breakfast menu is extensive and there are traditional options of eggs, tomato, bacon etc served in various ways, as well as pancakes, omelettes and a variety of sides.
The ambience inside the café was lovely, with local art on the walls and comfortable seating, however we were asked to sit outside as they were closing the inside dining area as it was the end of lunch service. The outside dining area was less comfortable and quite noisy due to the proximity of the highway.
Overall the Kalaheo Café experience is pleasant and a worthwhile place to stop by en route to or from Waimea Canyon.
Breakfast: 6:30-11:30 daily and all day Sundays, Lunch: 11:00-2:30. Sun 11:00-2:00
Dinner: Tues thru Thurs night 5:00-8:30, Fri & Sat nights: 5:00-9:00
Phone: (808) 332-5858