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Lunch at Island Taco, Waimea, Kauai

Island Taco, Waimea, Kauai

Sometimes when I’m traveling, I take note of some restaurants that were recommended in guidebooks, by friends (and bloggers!) and on sites like Yelp. Sometimes I don’t and have to rely on what I spot while I’m driving around. My visit to Island Taco in Waimea, Kauai was the result of the latter approach. I saw the sign, I saw a couple of other diners and I pulled in. Plus, I have a soft spot for tacos of any kind.

Menu board at Island Taco, Waimea, Kauai

Island Taco immediately appealed to me. It had a great menu, nice open seating area and – even better – a very enthusiastic staff that was more than happy to tell me all about their food. They have ahi, mahi mahi, ono, pork, chicken and tofu, all in tacos, burritos, quesadillas and salads. They have both vegetarian and vegan options. There are even fat free options if you’re really health conscious. That said, I think that super-fresh ahi is a great choice if you’re looking for a healthy lunch. Everything is made in-house, including the flour tortillas that they serve their tacos and burritos with.

Wasabi Ahi Tacos Island Taco, Waimea, Kauai

On to the food – the portions here are huge and the tacos are great. The tacos are filled with rice, shredded red cabbage, cheese and fresh salsa, as well as a very generous serving of meat. Three tacos was enough to feed two people! My favorite was the Seared Wasabi Ahi Tacos, which had a wasabi-spiked aioli sauce splashed all over the huge chunks of tender fish. The sauce wasn’t spicy, despite having wasabi in the name, but it was very flavorful and really made these tacos unique.  The chicken and pork tacos were good – especially with that fresh salsa on top – but if you’re a fish fan at all go for the ahi if your travels in Kauai bring you to the neighborhood.

And don’t forget to stop by Jo Jo’s shave ice just down the street when you’re done eating lunch – if you have room, that is!

Island Taco
9643 Kaumualii Hwy
Waimea, HI 96796
Mon-Sun 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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  • ControlCalorie
    April 8, 2010

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. I think the tacos can tell that the place is really great. Thanks.

  • Vicki
    April 9, 2010

    Thanks for bringing back all my memories of Kauai! I remember sitting on the beach in Poipu eating tostadas for lunch. Did you ever make it to the Hamura Saimin Stand in Lihue? My japanese customers told me not to miss it. We ended up going twice.

  • fethiye
    April 9, 2010

    I second this place! The tacos were great, so were the burritos!

  • Chris
    April 10, 2010

    Thanks for the tip! I second Vicki’s recommendation of Hamura’s. It is my favorite place to eat on Kaua’i.

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