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Kauai’s coffee shop scene is quite the opposite of Oahu, where there’s a Starbucks or Coffee Bean on every other block. Instead, Kauai strays away from corporate coffees and stays true to its roots with local coffee shops, like Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company.
This is one of my favorite spots to get a caffeine fix when I’m cruising Kauai. One, because they have yummy mochas, and two, because of the laid-back, island vibe. The outside closely resembles an old plantation house, while the inside is cozy and quaint. Best of all, it never seems to be as chaotic as most Starbucks – where there’s usually a million things going on at once.
Instead of the typical crowd of intellects nose-deep in their technological gadgets and hipsters doodling in their mole skins, you’ll see families and friends enjoying a hearty meal or tasty cup of coffee. While Kalaheo Cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s mostly known for its breakfast items. The sticky buns and cinnamon rolls go great with the coffee. For something more filling, try my favorite, the Lawai Farmer’s Omelette.
The coffee shop is conveniently located en route to Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon. It’s also about a 15-minute drive from Poipu, so if you’re interested in trying something not on a hotel menu, then it would be worth the drive. Just be prepared to wait. Like most places, weekend mornings can get pretty packed. Go for brunch or get a to-go and enjoy your breakfast in Kauai’s outdoors.
• 2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy., Kalaheo, HI 96741 • Opens Mon-Sat 630am-230pm, Tue-Sat 5-9pm, Sun 630am-2pm • 808-332-5858 • www.kalaheo.com