The Fish Express

Fish Express — Fast, Fresh, and Totally Satisfying Fried Fish and More
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Born from a whole lot of hustle and a love for the East Side Kauai community, Fish Express dedicates their time to serving up fresh seafood by the boatload. Day by day, the fish changes up with what’s biting, although ahi and swordfish typically make an appearance. Beyond that, they have gourmet bento boxes, Chinese plates, and Hawaiian delicacies, including many different kinds of poke.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Fish Express is the place to go in East Side Kauai for fresh seafood dishes made every way imaginable. Whether you’re looking for your fish blackened and grilled, battered and fried, or whipped up fresh and raw, you can get it here.

To create all their awesome menu items, they source their fish locally on the daily, seeking out only the best of the best. Their menu often changes a bit as a result, depending on what they can get their hands on. Most days, they have salmon, tuna, ahi, and even swordfish on the menu plus shrimp, lobster, and other shellfish. They even have fresh seafood for sale on a regular basis, so you can whip up your own creations using their ingredients.

Since they prepare many of their menu items deli-style, you can usually walk in and get your meal without much of a wait. You just let them know which items you’d like, and they’ll scoop it up into a to-go box. In addition to their set meals, you can also buy their selections a la carte in small to large plastic containers, depending on how much you’d like of each one.

More often than not, this little eatery is popping with people ready to get their grub on. Despite that, their parking lot is rather tiny, and they only have a seat or two inside for their patrons. There’s not even any seating outside either unless you’re happy to hop up on the nearby retaining wall and chow down. You can take your meal over to Isenberg Park or to one of the nearby beaches, like Hanamaulu Beach, for a more leisurely dining experience.

Items you’re sure to love:

Shrimp Scampi
With its bright local flavors and rich garlic kick, the Shrimp Scampi will definitely knock your socks off. You must come in from 10 am to 3 pm to get a taste, however, but it’s well worth the well-timed trip. This dish comes with jumbo shrimp aplenty plus mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic all whipped up scampi style.

Salmon Lumpia
The Salmon Lumpia Over Kilauea Greens gives you all the best island flavors in one neat package. Also only available from 10 am to 3 pm, this dish features salmon nori lumpia prepped and cooked to perfection. All those robust rolls land on a cozy bed of fresh Kilauea greens plus get a cup of sweet Thai chili sauce to dive into bite after bite.  

Macadamia Crusted Fish
The Macadamia Crusted Fish takes the fish of the day to the next level while letting macadamia nuts try to steal the show. Usually made with either ahi or swordfish, this dish begins by crusting the fish with a macadamia nut panko. Then, it’s fried to a rich golden brown and plated up with rice and greens or their delicious potato salad. A side of passion fruit dill sauce comes alongside to elevate all the fantastic flavors in every bite.

Want something a little different day to day? Just go take a look at their whiteboard to see what daily specials pop up. Depending on what’s biting, you might find Sweet Thai Chili Ahi, Grilled Herb Swordfish Over Kauai Greens, or many other seafood delights.

Insider Tips:
-Simply unsure what to order? Just ask for a sample of a few things that catch your eye for a little help building your perfect meal. If you still cannot decide, you can never go wrong with their Beer Battered Fish Tacos.
-During the busy times, they might seem rushed, but they’re just trying to get everyone served without a long wait. To help out, try to decide what you want before getting in line.
-If you’re having trouble spotting this little fish shop while driving north on Kuhio Highway, just look along the opposite side of Walmart and just past Oxford Street. If you end up at the Wilcox Medical Center, you’ve gone too far.