Sometimes, the best restaurants aren’t really restaurants at all. In fact, some of the best burgers we’ve ever had are served out of a food truck near a shopping mall in Lihue. Smitty’s Smash Burger takes burgers to the next level with innovative toppings, simple but delicious sides, and excellent customer service.
It’s easy to spot the Smitty’s food truck parked at Harbor Mall Food Truck Plaza. Located on Kauai’s East Coast, near Lihue Airport and Kalapaki Beach, Smitty’s vibrant red and white truck stands out immediately. Its playful logo and bright branding feels inviting, and from the food to the service, the experience does not disappoint.
If you’re lucky, you may be served by Smitty himself. The owner is friendly, helpful, and has a great sense of humor. Not sure what to order? Smitty is happy to offer recommendations and help you choose something you’ll love. Once you’ve ordered, grab a spot at a variety of picnic tables under an open-air roof. If you’re there at night, the glowing string lights give the whole place a whimsical feel.
On Kauai, where food trucks are so popular they have a whole culture of their own, it can be difficult for a “new kid on the block” to stand out, but Smitty’s Smash Burger has been doing exactly this since they opened in 2021. What they’ve done is taken a simple burger, cooked it to perfection, and imagined up interesting topping combinations that elevate it to the next level. It’s clear that thought has been put into every part of every meal, from the soft, fluffy buns, to the juicy and expertly charred burgers, to the perfectly cooked and seasoned onion rings. The result? A relatively small menu jam-packed with unique and interesting flavors that made our mouths really, really happy, and our bellies really, really full.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find something on the menu that isn’t delicious, but to get you started, here are a few of our favorites:
We couldn’t visit Smitty’s without trying their namesake burger, and boy, are we glad we did. This expertly grilled beef patty is topped with American cheese, tomatoes, onions, and pickles on a luscious and tender bun. What really sets it apart, though? The special sauce. We aren’t sure what’s in it, and honestly, it’s so good that we don’t care! Pro tip: Get an extra side of the sauce to dip your tots, fries, or onion rings in. You won’t regret it.
This is a distinctly Hawaiian riff on a classic burger. A 100% beef patty is topped with cheddar cheese, Kalua pork, caramelized pineapple, onions, and an island barbeque sauce. The combination of rich, sweet, tangy, and salty flavors complement each other beautifully and come together to create a mouth-watering flavor profile we haven’t experienced before.
Kalapaki Smash Browns
Tater tot fans, this one is for you. Smitty’s takes their delicately seasoned, impossibly crispy tater tots, and smothers them in sweet teriyaki sauce and Swiss cheese. Then they’re topped with generous helpings of crispy bacon, onions, and Spam. Is it worth moving to Kauai just to be closer to these? We won’t say yes… but we won’t say no, either.
This absolutely insane challenge might earn you a free meal if your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach. The smash challenge serves up three Big Braddah Smittys (translation: three Smitty burgers each with three beef patties), 3 full sides, mozzarella sticks, and a coke. Set the timer to 15 minutes and go to town. If you can finish the entire thing within the time limit, your meal is free. We weren’t brave enough to try it, but if you do, let us know how it goes!
-Smitty’s has a serving size that’s right for everyone. Not super hungry? Order your burger with the standard one patty. If you’re feeling like you want a little bit more, every burger can be ordered as a double, with two patties. Ravenous? Order your burger Big Braddah style, which will get you a whopping three patties.
-Have vegetarians in your party? Never fear. Smitty’s offers a loaded grilled cheese. Just be sure to order it without the bacon, and you’re good to go.
-Make sure to check Smitty’s hours before heading over to grab some grub. Their hours tend to change frequently, and sometimes with short notice.