Kauaʻi Farm-to-Table Experiences You Won’t Want to Miss
On the Garden Island, you will be hard-pressed to find a local eatery that doesn’t utilize locally-grown produce. However, there are some tastings and tours that go above and beyond, immersing guests on a culinary journey that is authentically Hawaiian. Here are 5 spots to enjoy farm-to-table, island style!
- 1 Kitchen at 1 Hotel at Hanalei Bay
1 Hotel’s signature restaurant founded on “plant-forward, hyper-local and sustainably sourced cuisine from the island and its surrounding waters.” In conjunction with farmers on Kauaʻi and throughout the islands, 1 Kitchen brings seasonal flavors to the table, keeping their promise to utilize local ingredients first and foremost. Local farms included regularly on the menu are: Malama Kauaʻi, Moloaʻa Organicaʻa, Growing Strong Farm, Nourish Kauaʻi, Hawaiian Organic Noni, True Leaf Farms, Aloha Honey Bee Farm, Kauaʻi Growers Exchange, Hirabara Farms, Buena Vista Farm, and more, as well as responsibly sourced seafood, meat, and poultry partners.
- Plantation House by Gaylords
The Plantation House by Gaylord’s is located on Kilohana Plantation, a lush tropical oasis and working plantation homestead. Once home to Gaylord Wilcox who operated Grove Farm Plantation – a 23,000 acre sugar plantation – this place is packed with history as well as authentic and fresh dining options. Chef Johnny Saguid offers island-influenced dishes with seasonal ingredients harvested right on property. A family-friendly option to see the property (and crops!) is via the Kauaʻi Plantation Railway. The train tours the 105 acres of Kilohana Plantation where groves of seasonal fruit, vegetables, herbs and nuts thrive. You will also pass groves of mango, banana, papaya, pineapple, and then on to experimental plantings of longan, cashew, hybrid mango, noni, and atemoya. Looking for an adult outing? Check out the Rum Safari, which takes a similar tour through the property, complete with farm-to-glass cocktails!
- Hualani’s – Timbers Kauaʻi at Hōkūala
Hualani’s oceanfront restaurant is not only beautiful, but sustainability-focused too. Winner of OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice 2023 and deemed an ocean-friendly restaurant by Surfrider Foundation, Hualani’s is committed to making sustainable choices to keep our oceans healthy. Cutting out wasteful single-use plastic and polystyrene (aka Styrofoam™), Hualani’s also prioritizes sourcing their ingredients locally, by farm, sea and land. In conjunction with The Farm at Hōkūala – the 16.5-acre organic farm on property – Hualani’s provides seasonal farm-to-table and farm-to-glass options in addition to tours of the farm itself.
- Common Ground – Regenerative Farm & Food Experience
As seen in Cosmopolitan, Forbes and AFAR. Common Ground’s Farm and Food Experience is becoming increasingly popular as visitors are able to tour a regenerative food forest located on Kauaʻi’s north shore. Coffee, pineapple, tree tomato, kava, mamak’i, heart of palm, papaya, bananas, and more can be seen growing on the tour as guides explain the food forest’s sustainability goals. In this effort to combat the percentage of imported food (currently 85+% in Hawaiʻi,) the food forest is a model of how to rely on the land that we have. The tour concludes with a light family style meal fresh from the farm.
*Food is harvested from the farm and prepared fresh for the tour. Due to this, they close bookings 48 hrs before the tour, so be sure to book ahead.
- Lydgate Farms
And finally, for something sweet…Lydgate Farms grows high-quality cacao to make the highest quality craft chocolate. In addition to their chocolate, they also harvest award-winning vanilla and honey on their 46-acre farm on Kauaʻi’s east side between Sleeping Giant and Mt. Wai’ale’ale. Their “branch-to-bar” educational Chocolate Farm Tour (and tasting!) is a sweet way to connect with the land.