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“Love the food, staff and strong coffee. I...”

Kalapawai Cafe & Deli
Ranked #1 of 144 Restaurants in Kailua
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout
Kailua, Hawaii
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Love the food, staff and strong coffee. I...”
Reviewed June 30, 2010

Love the food, staff and strong coffee. I eat here almost every weekend.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Splints
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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530 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    345
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    28
    7
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great sandwiches, great location”
Reviewed June 11, 2010

Perfect stop for 6 am coffee, 1 pm sandwiches, and 5 pm snacks. Loved this place! Only thing that sucked is the parking situation. Otherwise, love it!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mtbwustl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great takeout but not so great Catch of the Day”
Reviewed October 3, 2009

I wouldn't have known about this restaurant but for the recommendation from a local. Locally owned and operated, the Kalapawai is very popular during the day for a vast range of precooked items and baked goods. The long refrigerated panes tempt you with a delicious assortment of local favourites and comfort food. In addition, the coffee is inexpensive (I think it cost $1.60?) and wonderful - the best I had in Hawaii. As a diner, this is a stellar choice.

However, I tried the Kalapawai for dinner, with somewhat mixed results. Table service was very fast and friendly but as I was one of only 2 diners, I would have been surprised if it had been otherwise. Since I was near the door, I could observe many patrons come in for takeout, and perhaps this serves to split the restaurant's personality. Unfortunately, the same could be said for my Fish of the Day entree of fideus fish over linguine ($25.00). I had the impression that the chef thought the dish a little bland, and added something salty (a reduction of butter? soy sauce?) to compensate, then added a good dash of sea salt at the end. Being a big fan of salty food, it surprised me that I found this dish too salty and almost bitter. The coffee and sorbets following were wonderful, helping to erase the salty aftertaste of the fish.

I probably should have said something to the chef, but I chickened out and so instead am posting my review here.

Overall, I think this is probably a good cafe but I'd avoid the specials.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank linyip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawaii
2 reviews
“haute cuisine in Kailua”
Reviewed April 15, 2009

Kalapawai is known at the beach park for it's sandwiches. The Kalapawai Cafe in Kailua Town is the best food you will enjoy in Kailua. The dinners are exceptional. Nice selection of beer and wines.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PizzaLoverinParadise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“We ate something here every day!”
Reviewed April 13, 2009

We stayed next to the Kalapawai Market on S. Kaleheo March 30-April 9, 2009 & thoroughly enjoyed going in there everyday. They have a resident black & white kitty with an ownership attitude so we were hooked. You can pour your early morning coffee straight back from the front door with a wide selection of blends. Breakfast sandwiches are low price-wise for what you get & they will build on whatever extras you ask for. For all sandwiches (ordered at the back of the store), they will hand you the receipt to take to the front register to pay. Prevents lines quite nicely. They also carry a good selection of standard grocery items, as well as cold adult beverages. The cold adult beverages cannot be consumed on the premises. There is a freezer case of Ben & Jerrys & other tasty ice cream items hidden across from the sandwich counter in the back. My husband only encountered one surly sandwich lady one evening that seemed to really dislike her job, but the sandwich was still delicious. No food in Hawaii is cheap, but this was good value & we intend to go there again when we return. It's directly next to Kailua Beach Park so it's a great place to pick up food (if you can find a place to eat it near the beach where the wind doesn't whip it out of your hands before that first perfect bite).

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank oh2tx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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