Tip Top Motel, Cafe, And Bakery

Tip Top Motel, Café & Bakery — Boasting 100 Years of Great Food and Happy Customers
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Tip Top Motel, Café’ & Bakery stands as a testament to the Ota family’s dedication to delicious food, cozy accommodations, and community happiness. Although it started as a coffee shop and bread bakery, this popular spot has grown into so much more over the past 100 years. Want to see all they have to offer? Be prepared to stand in line for a while before getting a taste of their culinary expertise.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

As a true local favorite, Tip Top Motel, Café & Bakery lets you experience the Ota family’s commitment to serving great food and offering stellar hospitality. At each visit to this treasure of East Side Kauai, you’ll find culinary delights that have been passed down through the generations and cherished by locals for over 100 years.

From their scratch-made pancakes to oxtail soup, all their dishes keep everyone eagerly coming back for more. In fact, visitors are so enthusiastic about their food that they happily stand in long lines waiting for a table to open up. The line starts long before the doors open each day, keeping the staff hurrying about in an effort to satisfy everyone’s cravings. 

Despite that, their service is second to none as they warmly welcome diners to their café, serve up their orders with a smile, and quickly clean up before doing it all over again. Their team runs like a well-oiled machine, leaving everyone in awe at their sheer efficiency and ability to maintain their excellence no matter how busy it gets. It definitely helps that their food is so good that their guests gobble it down in a hurry, and then happily hit the road to enjoy the rest of their day.

You definitely need to try their:

Scratch Pancakes
Their time-honored Scratch Pancakes recipe got its start in 1925 and has been used unchanged since then, and for good reason. Available in single- and double-stacks, their pancakes are light, fluffy, and perfectly sweet yet oh so filling. You can get them with guava and pineapple jam, bananas, pineapple, or macadamia nuts over the top for an extra charge.

Oxtail Soup
Simmered to perfection over the entire day, the Oxtail Soup never fails to tantalize your taste buds from first bite to last. Available in small and large bowls, this soup starts with a rich, flavorful broth that’ll have you singing its praises for years to come. Within the broth, you’ll find plenty of oxtail meat, noodles, rice, cabbage, and other veggies. Then, a dash of spicy mustard, grated ginger, Chinese parsley, and peanuts bring it all together.  

Cream Puffs and Pastries
These treats are really great! Freshly made and so delicious, don’t pass these up – maybe even take some for the road. 

Macadamia Nut Cookie
Although they’re rather modest about this fact, their Macadamia Nut Cookie was the very first made in Hawaii — way back in 1925. A labor of love by the current owner’s grandpa, Mitchell Ota, this cookie is the perfect mix of sweet and crunchy. Although you could get just one, you’ll definitely regret not grabbing a couple extra for the road.

If you want to kick back and stay awhile, you can reserve a room with either one king-size bed or two twins. Either way, your accommodations come with heating and A/C plus cable TV, wireless internet, and cozy linens. While what you see is definitely what you get, their rooms are comfortable, well-equipped, and plenty good enough for both short and long stays.

Insider Tips:
-You must check into your motel room between 2 pm and 7 pm to retain your reservations. Evening traffic from the Lihue airport can make that impossible, however, so feel free to give them a ring if you’re stuck on the road as the check-in window closes.
-Want to avoid the long line? Just call in your order and ask for curbside delivery. Or use their online ordering system to let them know your selections and pay before you pick up.
-Parking is rather limited in their lot, but you can usually find a spot along Akahi Street.