As mentioned in previous posts, we ate breakfast at three places in Hanalei. Instead of doing a separate post for each, we’ve put them altogether in this one post.
Our first breakfast in Hanalei was at the Hanalei Coffee Roasters. This was our second visit to the shop. When we first discovered this place a few days before, Tom bought some coffee beans. At that time, we saw that they served breakfast and we checked the menu out. It looked good so made a note to come back to try the breakfast.
It opens at 7.15 a.m so we arrived early. There is not a lot of seating, especially inside, but they have a wrap around veranda where there are half a dozen small bamboo tables and chairs. The place is in the historic center of Hanalei, not too far from the old School House. Sacks of coffee are stored inside beside a coffee roaster.
You order inside from the small breakfast menu. Besides selling coffee and breakfast, they also have some delicious looking pastries displayed. Tom ordered the waffles ($8.95) and my choice was the Papaya Boat ($8.65). To drink Tom ordered coffee and for me it was orange and spice green tea.
There was no room inside so we took a look outside. We could have sat in the front with a good view over the main street but it was a little too windy for us. We chose one of the two tables at the side. We could see a little of what was going on out in front. It was very pleasant just sitting there. There was soft music playing in the background.
You know it is laid back sort of place when you read the notes pinned up – Hot Stone of Delight at Golden Lotus Kauai Massage; Mantra Meditation; Youssoupa Sidibe revealing The Magic of the Kora; Access Consciousness (which has nothing to do with computers) and last but not least, a course in Miracles. One notice did especcially appeal to me – Hoopdance Kauai. on another board there were postcards of surfers
Now for the food. The waffle was huge and covered in chopped papya, pineapple, macadamia nuts, toasted coconut and whipped cream. Mine was a sight to behold - half a papya with chopped nuts, sliced banana macadamia nuts on one plate and, on another plate, a small bowl of yoghurt and small bowl of granola. Everything was covered in toasted, shredded coconut. There was a choice of ordinary syrup for the waffles or coconut syrup. Tom couldn’t decide, so the server left both. He tried the cocconut syrup, which he said was really good, so the maple syrup did not get a look in.
Our server very friendly and chatted to us. She asked about our plans for the day and talked about the weather. It was a bit windy but we didn’t complain. Afterall it’s their winter here.
Neither of us tried the restrooms out as they were located in another building. In fact they were near the Hanalei Gourmet Cafe and were in the same location as original school toilets. At one end of the veranda were the Girls and, at the other end, the Boys. I would hope that they are a little larger than the original toilets.
Our verdict – we really enjoyed our breakfast and the ambiance. It was a wonderful experience.
Our second breakfast in Hanalei was at the Wake Up Cafe. Before we arrived in Kauai, I Googled places to eat breakfast in Hanalei and this is the only one which seemed likely. Although we had been to Hanalei quite a few times that week, we had never noticed it. In fact it is opposite the public car park and close to Aku Road, which is the road to the beach.
The Wake Up Cafe has a seating area on a balcony. The entrace to the cafe is around the back. It is not very big and there were quite a few customers. We sat at a table on the side next to a window. There was just one server and she was rushing around serving everybody but we were not in any particular hurry. Hey, we were on vacation.
The menu is your typical diner fare but with an Hawaiian twist. I ordered the Hanalie Boat ($10) with papya on the side ($2) whilst Tom went for something called Hang Ten ($10).
This is another funky place with lots of photos on the wall of surfing, biking and fishing. Newspaper clippings also adorned the walls. The furniture is all sixties style chrome and plastic. Hawaiian music was playing in the background.
The food arrived very quickly. No compalints about the fast service. Tom’s Hang Ten consisted of two eggs over mediuam and a Portugese sausage accompanied by hash browns. My Papaya Boat came with yogurt and granola. On the face of it, it sounds just like the Papya Boat I enjoyed at the Hanalei Coffee Roasters but there the similarity ended. The presentation here was very poor and sloppy and nowhere near as good as the one I had a few days earlier. Besides which, it was much more expensive.
Not long after we started eating our food, an argument started up in the kitchen. I could see into the kitchen from where I sat and saw someone (maybe the cook) gesticulating and shouting at someone outside the door. It carried on for some time and their voices got louder and louder. Eventually there was a the sound of a truck starting up and, with tires screeching, it raced away. Everybody returned to what they were doing before the disturbance, almost as if nothing had happened.
Our verdict – definitely not as good as Hanalie Coffee Roasters.
There we were wanting breakfast and looking for something different. As we wandered around we noticed that the Kalypso Island Bar and Grill also served breakfast so we thought we would give it a go. We had dinner here on the first night while the Super Bowl was going on. Today it was much quieter.
This time we were shown to a table for two at the side on a small balcony. It was a lovely day (at least there was no rain yet) and we had a view onto Aku Road. As mentioned before, this is the main road to the beach and the Kalypso is there at the junction with the Kuhio Highway. A lot was going on outside and it was fun to sit there and watch the world go by.
The menu had lots of interesting choices. I saw they served acai so it didn’t take me long to decide what to have - the Acai Bowl of Amazon Superfruit ($8.95). Tom took longer to work out what he wanted and eventually plumped for the Blackened Mahi-Mahi Benedict ($14.95).
The Kalypso Island Bar and Grill is dominated by a bamboo bar, complete with thatched roof, and even at 9 in the morning there were already a couple of people imbibing. Several big screens showing basketball and skiing hung on the walls. The main material used thoughout is bamboo including the table tops and the walls are covered with bamboo mats. The walls are decorated with wooden silhouettes of trees, fish and figures. Hawaiian songs are playing not so softly. Even though it is by no means full, it had a lively, happy-go-lucky feel about it.
Never did visit the restrooms there so nothing to report on that front.
The food looked great when it was served and tasted divine. If only we had found this place earlier. Everything was great about the Kalypso, the ambience, the view, the server, the prices (cheaper for my breakfast than the Wake Up Cafe) and the presentation and deliciousness of the food.
Our verdict – we both decided this was the best darn breakfast in town.