photos and article by Eric Perez
Part of the fun of traveling is trying new things, finding your new favorite place, tasting new foods, relaxing and creating memories. No matter where you travel if you are a coffee drinker you are sure going to find your best new spot for that morning or afternoon cup of brew. Here are some of our favorite local Kauai coffee houses.
The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.
In the words of Joe Fox (F-O-X)
–You’ve Got Mail
Small Town Coffee Co., Kapaa
Near all the colorful flags towards the north end of Kapaa, Small Town Coffee prides itself in being old school. It’s got a casual island feel. Enjoy using the internet inside or chill out in the front where its like hanging with friends in your own backyard.
Art Cafe Hemingway, Kapaa
Next to the Moikeha canal in Kapaa, in a historic two story building, Art Cafe Hemingway is run by a friendly German couple. The atmosphere is sophisticated in an artsy way but friendly in a small town way. Ordering from your table or couch, the service is warm and professional. Young couples as well as families can easily find their happy place amongst the many zones throughout the upstairs, downstairs interior and outside porch areas.
Aloha N Paradise, Waimea Town
Located one street off the highway in Waimea town and run by Candy, a women who loves her craft. Because it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the busier towns, she has the time to passionately customize your latte or cappuccino and is happy explain the nuances of the process. The ambiance of Aloha in Paradise has a retro feel which perfectly fits the old west side town of Waimea.
Ha coffee bar, Lihue
This spacious, stylish and understated coffee bar is on the Nawiliwili side of Lihue. It’s great place to get some online work done, read the paper or meet with friends. Take your pic of a large table, small private spots near the windows, or a comfy love seat. It’s got the coolness factor many chain coffee establishments would love to have. Not on the main drag but worth a trip if this sounds like your kind of place.
Java Kai, Kapaa
Located in a solid little art deco building on the main drag in Kapaa, Java Kai is the cool place to go for the “with it” in Kapaa. Even though it’s a popular spot, the staff is worm and friendly. The funky and colorful decor makes it a unique place to stop while exploring the eclectic east side of the island.
Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co., Kalaheo
Located on the main drag in Kalaheo, this is the kind of place you would feel comfortable taking your mom or a large family. The pies on display looked amazing. and the full kitchen serves lunch, and on select nights dinner. Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co. was clean and relaxed and felt like a restaurant you might find in the quiet section of a theme park.
Kilauea Bakery, Kilauea
On the way to the light house in the Kong Lung Market Center you can stop here for a coffee and scone, or on the way back for a calzone or pizza. A small interior dining area and large ground level porch with “Kilauea Bakery Bookshelf” says stay a while. The internet connection was good.
Koloa Mill Ice Cream and Coffee, Old Koloa town
Lapperts Ice Cream & Coffee Island Locations
Founded on Kauai, Lapperts ice cream and coffee has multiple locations throughout Kauai, one on Maui and Honolulu . The store at Kukuiula Village Shopping center in Koloa has comfortable inside and outside seating and is a good place to grab a snack while waiting for others in your group to shop at the many nice stores at the Village. It has a franchise feel but was still a good place to eat and drink.
Little Fish, Hanapepe Town
Worth taking the curve off the main highway into Hanapepe you’ll find a cool little coffee shop. The friendly staff seams like they just got out of the water from a good surf session. It’s a small place at the writing of this, but I heard the owner discussing the design for it’s expansion. The interesting poster art and the abundance of surfer magazines give the feel of something you experience in a cool coastal town around the world. The internet connection was finicky.