Kokee Lodge serves up delicious food in the heart of Kokee State Park. With local favorites, beautiful hikes, history, and a good cause, this lodge has everything that a restaurant should and more.
The food at Kokee Lodge is no-frills — pay the cashier, get a self-serve soda and eat off paper plates — but everything is good. Hearty and tasty meals draw park visitors from all over the island, and locals regularly order their favorites here. As for favorites, the Portuguese Bean Soup, Kalua Pork, and Loco Moco are some of the most popular dishes. Vegetarians will want to try the Broccoli-Spinach Quiche or Peanut Butter & Guava Jelly Sandwich.
While the food here is good enough to rival the cuisine of many restaurants on the island, it’s ultimately not the food that diners come for. Instead, the canyon and historic house are the eaterie’s main attractions.
Kokee state park’s canyon is the deepest in Hawaii, and it affords excellent views from the restaurant’s outdoor seating. Vistas of the tropical forest and the ocean rival those at many 5-star restaurants, and those are areas that you can actually explore after the meal. A number of hiking trails are accessible directly from the restaurant’s property, and several of them lead down to the canyon.
Nearby is Hale Puna, or the Gulick-Rowell Mission House. This is the oldest house on the island and is available for historical tours. The house is managed by West Kauai 501(c)3, and all proceeds from the Kokee Lodge go to supporting the nonprofit.
A few of our favorite menu items at Kokee Lodge include:
Portuguese Bean Soup
A hearty and delicious soup, this is filling enough to satisfy post-hike appetites. Add on the giant hunk of cornbread for less than $4, and you’ll have a meal that could satiate you until breakfast (or at least a late nightcap).
An entire pig cooked underground the traditional way. The meat is tender and flakes apart easily. It’s especially good when paired with a sesame bun and rice, which is perfect for soaking up the extra juice.
A filling breakfast-like lunch, Loco Moco includes a hamburger, two eggs, rice, and Southern brown gravy. The main difference between this and a classic breakfast is that you don’t need to choose a jelly flavor for the rice.
A standard in many vegetarian’s meal rotation, the Broccoli-Spinach Quiche is full of vegetables and has fluffy eggs. Add a sprinkle of salt, and you have a delicious plate.
Peanut Butter & Guava Jelly Sandwich
A PB&J made the Kauai way, guava jelly adds an interesting twist on the lunchtime staple. The sandwich is simple enough to order for kids yet tasty enough for adults. Get fresh fruit on the side for a small added fee. This is an especially good option if you’re getting something to-go before a hike.
Kokee State Park is well worth a visit, thanks to its deep canyon and historic Hale Puna. When you come, make sure to also get a midday meal at Kokee Lodge.
-Don’t just way for your food at the table. Peruse the gift shop until your plates come. Who knows what souvenirs you might find.
-If you’re planning on a hike down the canyon, arrive at the park early. Take your hike before the day warms up, and you should be able to make it back before the restaurant closes.