#35 of 211 Kauai Restaurants

Sam’s Ocean View Restaurant Kapaa Kauai

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Sam's Ocean View – Where to Get the Full Open Air Dining Experience in Kauai
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

At Sam’s Ocean View, they offer the full package: A great vibe, amazing ocean views, and truly delicious dishes that’ll keep you coming back for more. Whenever you come in, expect to be welcomed back like family and treated to the highest level of service. Just be sure to make a reservation first or you won’t even make it through the doors of this East Side Kauai treasure.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

When you’re looking for a memorable open-air dining experience in East Side Kauai, you can always get your fill at Sam’s Ocean View. Located right along the waterfront on Kapaa Beach, this chill eatery gives you a chance to soak in amazing views while dining in style. The tantalizing dishes feature all the best island flavors while the drinks prove crisp and refreshing sip after sip.

Their quality of service is second to none with warm Alohas for all from the second you walk through the doors. But that’s only if you’ve made your reservation well in advance. Otherwise, you won’t have a chance to grab a table because they are completely packed from open to close each day. Once you arrive, you have 90 minutes to get your fill before your reservation is up, and you’re sent on your way.

Upon making it to your reserved table, you’ll instantly notice the wide-open ocean views awaiting your gaze. From there, your server will go above and beyond in making sure you have an excellent dining experience from beginning to end. Their friendly service helps create a great vibe throughout the restaurant as does the open-air setting and scenic views all around.

As you browse the menu, it’ll become quite clear that they handmake every single menu item, including all their dressings and sauces. They only use the highest quality ingredients, too, sourced from farmers and fishermen located all over the island. Even their cocktails feature local ingredients, including tons of tropical fruit, that take their hand-mixed offerings to the next level. Want something a little more low-key? Check out their huge beer, cider, and wine menus instead.

Fan favorites on their menu:

Smoked Salmon Plate
The Smoked Salmon Plate only appears on their Sunday Brunch menu, so plan accordingly if you need this little treat in your life. With your order, you get a soft bagel and rich cream cheese plus perfectly smoked salmon. Then, a bit of red onion and plenty of capers bring it all together beautifully.

SOV Grilled Cheese
The SOV Grilled Cheese puts a big twist on a classic by bringing even more flavor to every bite. This iconic sandwich starts with two big slices of local sourdough covered in fig jam. To that, they add brie and Point Reyes blue cheese plus sliced apples and a honey drizzle. The whole lot goes down in the pan until crisp on the outside and melty in the middle.

Wagyu Steak Chimichurri
A fantastically decadent gluten-free delight, the Wagyu Steak Chimichurri will have you singing its praises for years to come. This dish begins with seared flank steak cooked to a perfect rare, and then sliced up and covered in chimichurri sauce. Next to that, they add roasted rosemary red bliss potatoes and organic arugula from Kailani Farms.

In one of the few departures from their commitment to using local ingredients, they only use imported Belgian chocolate in their desserts. The most popular of the lot, the Belgian Chocolate Flourless Cake, highlights the rich flavor profile of their chocolate of choice. As if that’s not enough, the Lappert’s Kona Coffee Ice Cream and Macadamia Nut Brittle served with the cake make for an unforgettable dessert experience. Their other desserts are well worth saving room for as well, including the Mini Coconut Macaroons, Caramel Affogato, and Maui Gold Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Insider Tips:
-Arrive on time or risk losing your spot. Reservations are canceled after the 15-minute mark, and they will only seat you once your whole party has arrived. If you have a particular table in mind, you may have to wait in the lounge for it to open up. They do not allow anyone to reserve specific tables ahead of time.
-Even on nice days, it’s smart to bring a light jacket or sweater just in case the weather changes.
-Happy hour runs from 4 pm to 6 pm each day. Sunday Brunch starts at 9 am and goes until 3 pm.