Mama Lucy’s Kitchen

Mama Lucy's Kitchen: These Can't-Miss Filipino Eats Are the Best on Kauai
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

It's far from fancy, but Mama Lucy's Kitchen provides affordable and delicious eats when you want to stretch your restaurant budget to the max. This strip mall gem is a favorite among locals, as you will discover as you eat your fill of Filipino favorites.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Affordable eats can be tough to find in and around Lihue, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. When you want to stretch your food budget as far as possible while still enjoying exceptional cuisine, you can’t afford to skip Mama Lucy’s Kitchen. There, you’ll chow down on several Filipino favorites, all while enjoying wonderful hospitality. 

As you step inside the restaurant, you may be underwhelmed by the interior — it’s definitely the type of bare-bones establishment you’d expect to find in a less-than-glamorous strip mall. Still, it’s impeccably clean. What’s more, its location within the Puhi Plaza Village makes it a convenient stop.

In all likelihood, you’ll be glad for the quick visit. The goal is to enjoy a quick meal before you continue on with your action-packed day in Lihue. 

How you order will depend on your hunger level at the time of your visit. Keep in mind that plates are classified by how many ‘items’ they feature. Even the one-item plate is sizable, but there’s something to be said for ordering two or three items — when the food’s this good, you’ll want to try it all.

Don’t be surprised if you’re unable to finish your meal; ideally, your accommodations will offer access to a fridge so you can enjoy remarkably tasty leftovers later on. Either way, the cafeteria-style ordering will ensure that your food is ready in a flash — and that every dish is incredibly fresh.

The beverage selection is limited, but you should be able to find something tasty to wash down your meal. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert. A few tasty treats are offered, such as the Filipino donut known as cascaron. 

A few of our favorite menu items include the following: 

Pork Adobo
A perennial favorite, Mama Lucy’s pork adobe is as tender and juicy as it gets. Other types of adobo are also available, including a similarly tender chicken dish. Some visitors have complained that these are slightly on the greasy side, but others find that this is exactly what makes Mama Lucy’s adobo so appealing.

Adobong Pusit
The adobo method highlighted above is also central to this traditional dish, which features squid boiled in a blend of soy sauce and vinegar. If you typically opt for chicken or pork but are feeling adventurous during your Mama Lucy’s visit, this option is worth a try.

Pinakbet
It’s easy to eat healthy when you stop by a Filipino restaurant, although you’ll find your fair share of deep-fried dishes. If you’re determined to find the most nutritious option available, however, you can’t go wrong with pinakbet. This veggie-heavy favorite is wonderfully flavorful.  

Dinguguan
If you want to try something extra savory, be sure to add Dinguguan to your order. You won’t regret giving this memorable stew a try, especially if you’re committed to sampling the full range of Filipino flavors.

Banana Lumpia
As we’ve mentioned, this restaurant offers an assortment of desserts worth sampling. If you’ve never enjoyed banana lumpia, however, it’s definitely the first to try. This deep-fried delicacy is often available with the cold dessert known as halo halo.

It’s tough to find better deals — or flavors than those offered at Mama Lucy’s Kitchen. Stop by and see for yourself why this Filipino gem is such a hit among locals in Lihue.

Insider Tips:
-The Mama Lucy’s website and Facebook pages are rarely updated. Don’t let this deter you, but also: don’t be surprised if certain selections run out prior to your late afternoon or early evening visit. The restaurant has occasionally been known to sell out of its most popular dishes early in the day. If you’re worried about scheduling or selection, feel free to call shortly before your planned arrival.
-Don’t be afraid to visit with kids, even if they are usually picky eaters. Many children enjoy fried chicken with rice and some are even willing to try the adobo.