#164 of 211 Kauai Restaurants

Pono Market

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Pono Market — Tasty Takeout That’ll Keep You Coming Back for More
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

A definite local favorite, Pono Market serves up flavorful Hawaiian dishes on a rotating schedule. Their daily entrees, poke, and sides will undoubtedly have you dreaming of coming back for more. So, be sure to visit early in your trip to allow for even more time to try their many other offerings.   

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

When your stomach starts rumbling, you can always count on Pono Market to serve up simple yet satisfying meals to remember. Their menu items rotate throughout the week, giving you different options at each visit. You can only get Pineapple Glazed Chicken on Wednesday, for example, while the Beef Stew is a Monday dish. But no matter when you arrive, you’re sure to find at least a few items at Pono Market that leave you salivating.

Beyond their rotating entrees, Pono Market always has fresh poke ready for pickup. Their Spicy Ahi, Korean Tako, and Ocean Salad get locals fired up and singing their praises far and wide. Their sides never change either, which is good news for all the people who adore their Potato Mac Salad, Cucumber Kimchee, and Rice Pudding. They serve all their dishes takeout style, so you can grab and go at your leisure. 

Although Pono Market does have a couple of tables onsite, most people take their meals to the nearby Kapaa Beach. The beach lies just two blocks to the east, but it’s still a good idea to grab a popsicle for the road. The bright tropical flavors quickly tantalize your tastebuds and it’s simply exhilarating to have dessert first for a change. If you’re looking for an even more decadent dessert, go with the coconut ice cream paired with a double shot of espresso.

The most popular menu items at Pono Market include:

Spicy Ahi Poke
The Spicy Ahi Poke packs powerful flavor in every bite while still managing to highlight the freshness of the fish. Although you can get your poke as a side for your main entrée, it’s best enjoyed by the bowl. That way, you can get your fill of all the ocean flavors without having to go back for another helping.

Kalua Pig
Always tender and juicy, the Kalua Pig never fails to fill up your belly without leaving you feeling weighed down. You have your choice of sides to go with your pork, but it’s best enjoyed with the Potato Mac Salad or Rice. You can only get this entrée on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so plan accordingly if you have your heart set on melt-in-your-mouth pork.  

Chicken Lau Lau
Although it might seem like a simple thing, the Chicken Lau Lau is pure perfection. Who knew that a scoop of rice and a generous portion of juicy chicken could be so good? All it takes is steaming it up in a taro leaf to take the flavors to the next level. If you fall in love with this one, you’re in luck because it’s one of the few entrees served every day.

Although the food at Pono Market is definitely the star of the show, the staff make each visit a true delight. They are always over-the-top friendly and even go out of their way to remember their customers’ names. By the time you come in for your third visit, they’re sure to know who you are and what you like.

You can return the love by buying one of the Pono Market branded shirts and wearing it wherever you go. As an added benefit, your shirt will earn you plenty of newfound friends as people notice your adoration of their favorite place for takeout in Kauai.

Insider Tips:
-If you have your heart set on a specific menu item, you had better come early. The line at Pono Market starts forming before they open, and their most popular items sell out fast.
-To improve your chances of getting your dish of choice, try to call and put in your order before arriving. They’ll have it ready for takeout or curbside pickup by the time you get there.
-Once they’re all out of food, Pono Market closes up shop early and leave to enjoy the rest of their day.