Any trip to the Hawaiian islands has to include a taste of the local food. It’s not just about fancy meals at 4-star restaurants though, it’s also about tasting the unique specialties that both locals and tourists alike love to enjoy.

One of the great examples of this is Puka Dog, a local establishment serving Hawaiian-style hot dogs on Kauai, and a true gem that has garnered a worldwide reputation as a must-visit destination while on the island. Puka Dog has even been featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel!

Best of all for guests of Koloa Landing® Resort, it’s just a quick 10-minute walk down the road, located at the Poipu Shopping Village, or an even shorter 2-minute drive from the resort.

What is a Puka Dog Kauai?

Puka Dog is a traditional Hawaii-style hot dog. The word puka means hole and this refers to the way the hot dog is served. First, you start with the bread. In this case, you need the authentic taste of Hawaiian sweet bread, freshly baked.  At Puka Dog, they bake their own bread and then they toast them, offering a great warm, sweet, and savory bun as you’ve never had before.

They poke a hole in the bun using a hot rod that also toasts the inside. A hot dog is grilled and then stuffed into the whole topped with a garlic lemon secret sauce, sweet mustard, and your choice of fruit relish.

Choices of Hot Dogs that they use for Puka Dogs

Polish Dog

This is usually made using pork or a combination of pork and beef and it is also called Polish Sausage. This sausage is unique for its garlicky taste and rough texture because the meat is chopped by hand to achieve a specific consistency. It is not smooth like other sausages coming from industrial production lines. This hot dog is usually grilled, seared, or smoked. Polish dog have a distinctly smoky taste that is missing in hot dogs.

Veggie Dog

Veggie dog is a vegan alternative to hot dogs. It is made out of tofu and grains that are pressed together in order to form a patty that resembles the shape of a hot dog. Veggie dogs are rich in protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12. By substituting meat with veggie dogs you can get all the necessary nutrients your body needs while maintaining a vegan diet.

Choices of Garlic lemon secret sauces

Every Puka Dog comes with their signature, secret garlic lemon sauce, but you get to choose your spiciness level, from mild to scorching lava. You can also add on the addictive Auntie Lilikoi’s Hawaiian mustard for another special touch. This would depend on your tolerance on how spicy your Puka Dog will be. There are four choices for this spicy sauce depending on the level of hotness.

  • Mild Original
  • Spicy Jalapeno
  • Hot Chili Pepper
  • Lava Habanero

Choices of Tropical Fruits used as Relishes

Of course, a real Hawaiian-style hot dog needs mouth watering relishes using fresh Hawaiian fruits. Below are the relishes that are used on a Puka Dog.

Mango Relish

It is a true taste of the tropics. The sweet delicate flavor and thick, rich texture of ripe mangoes combined with spices is nothing less than sensational. It’s great to serve with meat dishes in place of chutney, but also makes an excellent glaze for baked ham or grilled chicken.

Mango Relish is one of those things that seem exotic but really isn’t. Certainly not if you have super-ripe mangos, which are made to be eaten out of hand or diced up and stirred into yogurt.

Coconut Relish

It consists essentially of freshly grated coconut and mustard seeds. The mustard seeds are sizzled in hot oil and folded into the coconut. It is so easy to make yet so flavorful and perfect for your Puka Dog!

Pineapple Relish

This type of relish is made with pineapples. Pineapple relish for hot dogs consists of canned crushed pineapple, sauteed sweet onion and green peppers, chopped garlic, and fresh lime zest. It is versatile and you can pair it with any grilled meat or seafood.

Banana Relish

The sweetness of the bananas really contrasts with the sharp vinegar and the onion. It is also perfect for any meat dish.

Papaya Relish

This is a refreshing combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. It perfectly compliments any heavy meat dish.

Star Fruit Relish

It is a refreshing blend of fruits combined with spices. The taste is reminiscent of sitting in the garden picking fresh fruit off the trees and enjoying the summer breeze.

What are the favorite combinations of flavors for Puka Dog?

Kauai Special

Spicy garlic lemon secret sauce, mango relish, and Lilikoi mustard.

Pineapple Field

Spicy garlic lemon secret sauce, pineapple relish, and Lilikoi mustard.

Waimea Canyon

Lava garlic lemon secret sauce, banana relish, and Lilikoi mustard.

Where to find the best puka dog in town?

You can locate them at 2100 Hoone Rd., Poipu Beach Park, KOLOA, HI 96756 which is very near Koloa Landing® Resort.

Local favorite and a must try!

It has a simple menu yet you will love the options. With Puka Dog, you can get a myriad of delicious choices and a near-endless variety. After your first trip, you may find yourself making a few repeat visits before you leave Kauai and Koloa Landing® Resort because you just have to keep on experimenting, or having your favorite another time or two.

Puka Dog also serves up Puka Shave Ice in either Hawaiian style, with macadamia nut ice cream, or Mainland Style, without. They have about a dozen different flavors, as well as a lineup of their house special concoctions and combinations. Another must-have at Puka Dog is their fresh lemonade and Maui onion chips. Check out their Facebook page for updates and new tasty creations from Puka Dog.

So as you plan out your food and your dining during your stay at Koloa Landing® Resort, be sure to pay a visit to Puka Dog right next door, you certainly won’t want to pass it up!