Fillo’s Kauai

Fillo's Kauai: Excellent Casual Mexican Fare in Wailua
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Some legitimately amazing Mexican grub awaits you at Fillo’s Kauai, a former Kapaa food truck turned brick-and-mortar, hole-in-the-wall eatery in Wailua. Not fancy, not fast food, but thoughtfully made, utterly delicious tacos, burritos, and other traditional and not-so-traditional favorites, with some time-honored family recipes anchoring the menu.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

If you’re hankering for Mexican food on a getaway to the Garden Isle, fear not: You’ve got a fabulous option awaiting you in Wailua courtesy of Fillo’s Kauai!

Fillo’s is the brainchild of a Mexican transplant to Kauai who drew upon decades of experience in the restaurant industry and some cherished family recipes to launch what originally was a food truck based in Kapaa. Building upon that success, Fillo’s Kauai transformed into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in early 2023, offering delicious Mexican cuisine just a stone’s throw from popular Wailua Beach.

The ambiance of the eatery is of the no-frills, hole-in-the-wall variety, but it’s sparkling clean and filled with the mouthwatering aroma of Fillo’s crowd-pleasing cookery. 

That cookery takes the form of a staple of Mexican and Mexican-American classics, with burritos (including breakfast burritos), tacos, quesadillas, and nachos all well represented on the menu. Meat and seafood are popular options for fillings, but there are veggie versions available as well.

Flavorful sauces, fresh and moist tortillas, and a variety of refreshing libations—including horchata and Agua de Jamaica—help distinguish the offerings. In the sides department, expect guacamole, sour cream, beans, rice, chips and salsa, chiles toreados, and extra tortillas or cheese, among others. 

Here are a few of the absolute standouts at Fillo’s Kauai, though it’s hard to pick just a few:

Pork Belly Tacos
Moist, succulent, outrageously tasty pork belly is the star of the show of this two-corn-tortilla taco plate, with tomatoes, cilantro, and onions rounding out proceedings (and, of course, a sky’s-the-limit ability to zest things up with guacamole, spicy salsa, and the like).

Fish Tacos
Fish tacos can be rave-worthy or rather blah. Fortunately, Fillo’s Kauai whips up a version of the rave-worthy variety! Fresh catch-of-the-day comes nestled in two corn tortillas and accentuated by cabbage, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and a scrumptious chipotle sauce. Like the other Fillo’s taco plates, you get rice and beans as well.

Birria Dirty Fries
The delicious marinated meat known as birria, a defining dish from Jalisco, Mexico, helps knock this indulgent plate of fries out of the park. They come loaded up not only with birria but also pickled onion, cheese, chipotle mayo, cilantro, and a sunny-side-up egg. Prepare to become all-out addicted…

Fillo’s Kauai is one of the treasures of Wailua’s dining scene, and there for you whenever you need a really hits-the-spot, soul-nourishing Mexican meal—maybe one revved up by swimming, snorkeling, surfing, waterfall-chasing, hiking in Waimea Canyon, or any number of other classic, appetite-inspiring Garden Isle activities!

Insider Tips:
-The meals at Fillo’s Kauai are cooked to order, and especially during lunch and dinner rushes, you may find yourself waiting quite a while for your eats. Trust us, though: It’s most definitely worth it!
-At least as of this writing, the Fillo’s Kauai restaurant typically has its big-screen TV blasting music videos most of the time. Some find that part of the charm of the ambiance, while others aren’t necessarily in love with it. Again, though, the food here is good enough that we don’t think you’ll end up minding one way or the other!