Restaurants are supposed to be accessible but Kauai has several restaurants that are on a second floor (Olympic Cafe in Kapaa) or have poor access to the entry. Call restaurants before going to make sure you can get in! Usually the restaurants in Hotels are accessible.
Here are some personal favorites:
Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant - 808-826-6113
The Dolphin is a great place for steak and seafood situated right on the Hanalei River. It has an open air feel to it with some seating outside on the lawn right by the water. If you sit outside you have to deal with gravel pathways and grass but it's all flat which makes it not so bad. There is a paved entrance into the restaurant from the front, there are accessible restrooms and parking in front and more parking around the back. The seafood chowder and fish selections are excellent and don't forget to grab a side item to go with it. There is a fish market next door with some good selections of fresh fish for the ride home. They don't take reservations so plan well or be prepared for a little wait.
North Shore Grindz - 808-826-1122
This place is actually at the Chevron gas station in Princeville but don't let that discourage you. They have local beef burgers, pizzas and fish & chips all at "can't beat" prices. They also have some pretty mean breakfast sandwiches for only $5. There isn't much seating and there aren't any restrooms but a great place to grab some good food to go and you might as well fill up while your there.
Chicken in a Barrel - 808-823-0780
Located in Ching Young Village in Hanalei, this is a great spot to get some smoked meat entrees. It's a small outdoor place surrounded by pavement with tables and chairs outside so access is not an issue and the disabled parking is right in front of the cafe. They don't have a restroom but the shopping center has accessible restrooms. It's a nice place to have a meal as it's in downtown Hanalei with shopping, lots going on and great views all around.
Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza - 808-828-2020
Kind of silly I'm mentioning this because it's not very accessible but they have some great food and Kilauea is a nice town to visit. They are located in Kong Lung Center which is all paved and easy to get around but the actual deli is up a few stairs and is not very big. You would have to have someone order for you and bring outside to the tables which a wheelchair user CAN get to. They have awesome baked goods and breads and super fresh ingredient pizzas. Reasonably priced and open all day long. Kong Lung Center has accessible restrooms and parking.
Red Hot Mama's - 808-826-7266
Not much to this place except a window to order and get your food at, but a great place to get your Mexican fix. It's next to the Last Chance store in Ha'ena right off the highway and you park right in front which makes it easy to access. They have burritos, tacos, salads and wraps and they are very hearty for the price. One cool feature is the truck load of different sauces that they offer. Be prepared as they only accept cash.
Tropical Taco - 808-827-8226
These guys serve some mean fish tacos of good size portions. It's located in the Halele'a building in Hanalei right off the highway. They also just started serving breakfast burritos for a good price. There is accessible parking in the rear with a gradual ramp up to the shops and is also equipped with accessible restrooms. You can sit inside or out on the deck with a view of the mountains and passing cars.
Bread & Deli Connection - 808-245-7115
A great place to get sandwiches with fresh baked bread and lots of choices for meats and veggies. They also sell some pretty good baked goods to finish off with. Located in Kukui Grove Shopping Center next to Macy's it's easily accessible as the place is good size and they have a wheelchair restroom also. One of the healthier places to stop for lunch while at the mall.
Brick Oven Pizza – 808-823-8561
The best Pizza on Kauai, no doubt. This one is located in Kapaa and there is also one in Kalaheo. The prices are a little on the high side with a large combo pizza being about $30. That being said the pizza is really good. The crust is thin, brushed with garlic butter, the ingredients are fresh and the sauce and sausage is homemade. It's a simple décor, no video games or jukebox but friendly service. Both locations are flat with easy access, parking is good and both have accessible restrooms.
Duane's Ono Char Burger – 808-822-9181
Duane has been in business for over 20 years and is still serving one of the best burgers on the island. They serve the typical burger, fries and milkshakes with a teriyaki or mushroom burger thrown in. They are located in Anahola right off the highway next to the mini mart. You are very close to Anahola Beach Park so it's a good time to order to go and head to a picnic table with an ocean view. You park right in front and no problem to get to the order counter. Duane's is just a window to order and pick up at with some seating outside but no restrooms.
Duke's Canoe Club – 808-246-9599
Located at the Marriot, this is a 2 story place with cocktails and pupus on the bottom floor with the restaurant upstairs. The food at both spots is really good, both offer a great view of Kalapaki bay and prices aren't too bad for a resort. Food choices range from pizza, ribs, and sandwiches to prime rib, fish specials and probably the best salad bar on the island. You can park at the Marriot or at the beach parking and is easy to access the bottom level. From there you have the choice of elevator or path around the side. The elevator is mostly for workers so can be busy and the path is definitely steeper that ADA regulations but might be OK depending on your ability. They have accessible restrooms.
22 North – 808-245-9593
Located at the Kilohana Plantation, tables here are arranged around a courtyard and evenings can be very romantic. Grab a sandwich for lunch or some wonderful choices of fish, pasta, venison and lamb for dinner with prices ranging from $30-50. The plantation has a ramp around the left side through one of the stores and the rest is easily navigable with some tables easy for a chair to get under and accessible restrooms. There is accessible parking out front. A very nice location in a mansion with shops, a luau and a train ride (for those not in a chair).
Scotty's Beachside BBQ – 808-823-8480
Just about the best BBQ you'll find on Kauai with meats smoked almost 15 hours. The menu includes ribs, beef brisket sandwiches, BBQ shredded pork along with steak, seafood and fish & chips. It's located right on the beach in Kapaa with excellent views thanks to tiered seating and with no wall facing the ocean for an open-air atmosphere. Prices have gone up due to it's popularity so expect to pay $20-35 a piece for a dinner meal. It's up about 3 stories but they have an elevator, accessible parking and bathrooms. There are only a few tables up top that a chair can get to so make reservations and let them know you need to sit on the top level. Not a ton of parking but the crip spots are usually open and if not, park across the street at Kojima's Market.
Kauai Pasta – 808-822-7447
This place doesn't give you a lot of choices but the choices are very good. Prices are good and portions are ample in size. Besides pasta they serve monster size salads and have a nice wine and beer list. They are located in Kapaa next to Taco Bell. They have good parking and accessible restrooms but the dining room is on the smaller side and they don't take reservations.
Fish Express – 808-245-9918
This is a local favorite across from Wal Mart in Lihue that makes a great place to grab some fish on the way home. They have tons of fresh fish, salads and lu'au foods with ever changing specials. Grab one of their tasty dishes for about $10. They are just a take out counter with a few tables.
Wahoo's Seafood Grill & Bar - 808-822-7833
A great place to go for your seafood fix. The food is fresh and well prepared. It's a bit pricey at $25+ for an entree and not the biggest portions but the taste of the meals we have tried is outstanding. It's located right off the highway in Kapaa by Foodland and is all flat and easy to get to. The place has an open floor plan with indoor/outdoor seating and a bar. There is disabled parking out front with easy access and wheelchair accessible restrooms. I did notice the door of the restroom is pretty heavy and not the easiest to get through.
Kintaro's Restaurant – 808-822-3341
Nothing like saving the best till last. Kintaro's serves the freshest and best prepared sushi around and also has great steak and lobster. They have a sushi bar, lots of tables and a teppan yaki section where they prepare the food on a hot grill right in front of you. The service is outstanding and the atmosphere is very nice and comfortable. Reservations recommended because this place is very popular and your best best is to get there right at 5:30 when they open. There is wheelchair parking right in front, a gently sloped concrete ramp and accessible restrooms. Definitely our favorite place to go.
**Unfortunately we don't have a lot of experience eating on the south and west shores but the few we've hit we will mention and add others as they come available.
Brick Oven Pizza – 808-332-8561
The best Pizza on Kauai, no doubt. This one is located in Kalaheo but they just opened one in Kapaa where we've eaten once and seemed to hold to the Brick Oven standards. The prices are a little on the high side with a large combo pizza being about $30. That being said the pizza is really good. The crust is thin, brushed with garlic butter, the ingredients are fresh and the sauce and sausage is homemade. It's a simple décor, no video games or jukebox but friendly service. Both are flat with easy access, parking is good and both have accessible restrooms.
Merriman's Poipu - 808-742-8385
Located in Poipu, in the Kukui'ula shopping center, this is a great place to eat. Downstairs is a more casual atmosphere with a bar and outdoor seating and upstairs is another bar with a more fine dining experience. I have only eaten downstairs but everything we ordered was great. We had a gift certificate we had to use in one sitting so we ordered 8 different things and was pretty pleased with them all. The place is open and airy, lots of wheelchair friendly seating and the bathroom was easy to access and use. Being a shopping center, there is plenty of accessible parking and the whole place is flat, paved and easy to get around. Lots of cool shops to check out while your there.
Wranger's Steak House - 808-338-1218
Wrangler's steak house is one of our favorites. Handicap parking is in the back and it's really wide in the dining area.
The staff is very accommodating to wheelchair patrons and food and drink is recommended.
Port Allen Sunset Grill & Bar - 808-335-3188
Great view of the sunset and the martinis are recommended. As are the calamari steak and blackened shrimp.
Kokee Lodge – 808-335-6061
Located clear up at Kokee, on Waimea Canyon Road this is a haul unless your staying up there or are going to see the Waimea Canyon. Nothing fancy but the food is pretty good and hearty and you can grab a meal for around $10. Choices include breakfast, soups, salads, sandwiches (hot or cold) and don't forget the coconut pie. They are only open until 4:00 pm so no dinner is served. Parking is no problem, although part is gravel, there is a ramp into the lodge and accessible restrooms inside.