#9 of 211 Kauai Restaurants

Mermaids Cafe

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Mermaids Cafe — Sidewalk Cafe with Fresh Options in Kauai
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Though it is definitely a hole-in-the-wall dining option, Mermaids Cafe has fresh, healthy dishes made with tasty local flavors. Plan to dine outside and enjoy the Hawaiian climate when you visit this location or take your food to go for a beachside picnic with fresh Asian seafood wraps.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Located in Kapaa on Kauai along a busy commercial strip, Mermaids Cafe is easy to miss. This tiny restaurant is on Kauai’s western edge, not far from the beach. It advertises all three meals though it tends to not open until the lunch hour, and each dish has a delightfully ocean-themed name. The entire exterior of the building and the walls surrounding it feature colorful hand-painted murals of mermaids, which add to the ambiance of your meal when you dine here.

As you browse the menu, you will notice that vegetables play a heavy role in the food served here. The goal of the cafe is to provide tasty but healthy options to its diners. Fresh veggies, seafood, and brown rice weave their way into most dishes. The menu features salads, wraps, tacos, and sandwiches.

Mermaids Cafe has food from around the world, but most dishes feature either Hawaiian or pan-Asian flavors. You can dine on many locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Many of the dishes feature fresh ahi tuna, and rotating specials make each visit a treat.

When you visit Mermaids Cafe, plan to eat outdoors or take your food to go. The restaurant does not have any indoor seating. Save room in your budget for a drink, though, because the hibiscus lemonade and tea are excellent. Since it is just a couple of blocks from Kapaa Breach Park, you could take your meal to go and enjoy a picnic on the beach.

This sidewalk cafe has something for most diners. While seafood is prominent in many of its dishes, you will find vegan and vegetarian options, if you need them. Since the dishes are prepared to order, making special dietary requests is easy.

A few of our favorite menu items include:

Tuna Nachos
Wanton chips are topped with ahi tuna and drizzled with a spicy wasabi sauce. This is the perfect blend of Asian flavors and fresh seafood.

Ahi Cilantro Wrap
Another tuna dish, this wrap combines the flavor of ahi tuna with cilantro and wraps it up nicely. Plenty of fresh locally grown veggies and some brown rice are added to the mix.

Tropical Tacos
The tropical tacos are fresh ahi in the cafe’s signature sauce and combined with cheese and rice. Greens, beans, and fresh salsa round off the plate.

Insider Tips:
-As an island eatery, Mermaids Cafe runs on island time and may not be open when you stop. Though they have published hours, they do not hold to them strictly. If it is closed when you visit, make plans to visit again to taste the fresh flavors of this local favorite.
-Since you will be dining outside, take the time to scout the shops and storefronts that share the area to plan a shopping excursion after you finish.
-Visitors rave about the fresh-squeezed juices and lemonades, so make sure to order a drink with your meal.