Clients can build their own calzone at Lanai's Cafe 565. // © 2015 Lanai Visitors Bureau
Feature image (above): Canoes Lanai Restaurant is located on Dole Square in Lanai City. // © 2015 Lanai Visitors Bureau
Our June 2014 story about Lanai restaurants whetted so many appetites that we decided to sit down for a few more meals there.
While clients can’t go wrong with the island’s upscale resort restaurants, we recommend giving equal time to the more casual eateries of little Lanai City — the places locals like to go.
Here are five tasty spots to refuel in between hiking, snorkeling, horseback riding and four-wheel-drive adventuring on Lanai.
Calzones are king here, and they cater to meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Picky eaters can even build their own calzone. Also on the menu are salads, submarine sandwiches and pizzas such as the Braddah Bu’s with mushrooms, spinach, feta and chicken. Specialties include panko-breaded pork katsu and Korean chicken with soy, garlic and chili sauce. There’s simple indoor seating, but we like eating outside for a slice of Lanai life.
408 8th St., 808-565-6622
Canoes Lanai Restaurant
What this diner lacks in decor, it makes up for with bargain prices on good food. For breakfast, regulars rave about the pancakes with vanilla-macadamia sauce as well as the char siu omelette. At lunch, try the Tanigawa loco moco loaded with mushrooms and onions, and the crispy fried chicken plate with macaroni salad. Specials range from a sushi bowl to katsu curry.
419 7th St., 808-565-6537
Lanai Ohana Poke Market
This tin-roof building is unassuming from the outside, but inside awaits a culinary gem. Locals come from other islands just for a fix of its ahi poke (raw tuna with creative seasonings), served au naturel or as part of a rice bowl. Our favorite is the poke with green and white onions, black sesame seeds and mayo/Sriracha sauce. Non-seafood specials include braised teriyaki beef and lamb stew.
834 A Gay St., 808-559-6265
No Ka Oi Grindz Lanai
The menu changes often in this bare-bones cafe, but it’s consistently creative. Breakfast is headlined by homemade corned beef hash and eggs. Come lunch, kudos go to the homemade kimchi hamburger steak, lemon chicken and kalua pork. Finish it off with some shave ice laced with tropical syrups. Enjoy it all at one of the simple indoor tables or an outdoor picnic table.
335 9th St., 808-565-9413
Pele’s Other Garden
Clients who eat lunch here have a choice of deli sandwiches, salads and pizzas. At night, however, Pele’s turns into a quaint Italian bistro. Topping the pupu menu is fresh bruschetta with Lanai-grown tomatoes and basil. Leading the entrees is fettuccini with smoked salmon. One of just two restaurants in Lanai City with a liquor license — the other is Lanai City Grille — Pele’s serves a fine selection of beer and wine.
811 Houston St., 808-565-9628