Kicking back in your poolside cabana at Koloa Landing Resort in Kauai, you turn to your spouse to ask for dinner suggestions. “Sushi,” pipes up your teen from across the way, and your spouse nods in enthusiastic agreement. Sushi it is then — but what you really want is the best sushi Kauai restaurants have to offer, and that’s going to take some careful contemplation. Lucky for you, there are plenty of yummy options to choose from, and you’ve got your villa booked for the whole week so you can try more than one during your Kauai visit and decide for yourself which takes top honors.
Here are a few of the best sushi restaurants on Kauai to try when you’re in search of a scrumptious spider roll or some saba nigiri:
The Dolphin Poipu
The fun, hip vibe and family-friendly atmosphere make The Dolphin Poipu a popular restaurant for Kauai locals and island visitors to sample fresh fish sashimi and a variety of sushi rolls. Start with a calamari appetizer, then ask the chef to surprise you with some innovative sushi combos. An on-site fish market provides fresh, locally caught seafood if you want to pick up something to grill at the Koloa Landing Resort poolside barbecue later in the evening. If you can’t decide what to get from the expansive menu at The Dolphin Poipu, the friendly staff at this family-run restaurant and fish market can help you decide. There’s also a wide array of tasty cooked seafood, steaks and chicken on the menu, and the convenient south shore location makes it easy to pop over for a quick meal between dips in the resort pool and walks along the beach.
Owned and operated by the same people who ran the much-beloved Makai Sushi in Poipu, which closed in 2020, Mauka Sushi maintains the traditions of its sister sushi lounge by serving fresh, flavorful bowls and rolls in a casual setting. Counter service and outdoor seating let you relax while snacking on what just might be the best sushi on Kauai. For a new twist on fresh fish, try the sushi burritos, or order a few Gorilla bowls to satisfy the hungriest members of your family. Located conveniently in Lihue, this sushi bar is also ideally placed for picking up a to-go poke bowl to enjoy on the beach.
For a fun, high-tech Japanese-style sushi bar experience, check out Genki Sushi. This is the kind of sushi lounge where you order via tablet and your freshly prepared sashimi or salmon rolls come out on a mechanized train. Friendly service, a playful atmosphere and a huge menu make this one of the best sushi restaurants on Kauai for families with kids. Plus, you can customize everything on the restaurant menu to your liking, satisfying your spouse who loves bonito flakes, your kid who wants to taste every possible combination of fish plus rice and your strictly vegetarian teen. The Lihue location near the airport makes this restaurant easy to find.
Red Salt at Ko’a Kea
When you and your spouse are ready for some “us time” involving fine dining with a sushi bar and an oceanfront view, Red Salt at Ko’a Kea provides the perfect setting for a memorable date night. Located in the Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort on Poipu Road, Red Salt restaurant is easily accessible from Koloa Landing Resort. The sushi bar is available on select nights, and no reservations are accepted, so get to the hotel restaurant early to grab a table and enjoy creatively prepared fresh fish and amazing cooked dishes under the stars.
Big Monster Sushi Food Truck
Fresh fish from a food truck? When you’re living the island lifestyle, sushi can be a quick bite or an easy lunch takeout. Big Monster Sushi offers a full range of standard options, including California rolls, unagi donburi and seaweed salad. Permanently parked at Weliweli Road in Koloa, this Hawaiian Island food truck is the perfect stop after a day of zip lining or strolling the shops in Koloa Old Town. Food is served on paper plates or in takeout containers, so you can eat lunch or dinner at one of the outdoor tables or bring it to a local park. Once you’ve eaten your fill, order a party platter to bring back to your villa and share with friends you met at the pool earlier in the day.
Amazing fresh rolls, nigiri and individual sashimi selections, along with a wide variety of Japanese sake options, make Sushi Bushido a great choice for fine dining during your Kauai trip. An art-filled red wall contributes to the hip, modern atmosphere, and the friendly staff help make your meal a great experience. The convenient location in Coconut Marketplace at the heart of Kappa Town makes this restaurant an awesome place to stop after a day of shopping for antiques and crafts.
A Word About Poke
When you’re talking fresh fish on Kauai, sushi isn’t the only option. Poke bowls are a homegrown option — they were invented right here in Hawaii. Made with marinated uncooked seafood with fresh seaweed and veggies over a bed of rice, traditional poke bowls are a must-try menu item when you’re on Kauai. Holoholo Grill, the on-site restaurant at Koloa Landing Resort, has a poke bowl on the menu, so you can sample this Hawaiian specialty without leaving the grounds. No matter where you choose to dine, if you love sushi, try a poke bowl or local plate lunch to get a different take on a familiar taste.
Finding the best sushi on Kauai requires plenty of food exploration, so you may need to taste-test a few sushi bars while you’re on the island. Call (808) 240-6600 to book your villa at Koloa Landing Resort today and make plans for your personal tropical culinary adventure.