During my stay at the beautiful island of Kauai, I tried to embrace all that this part of Hawaii had to offer. From ziplining and boat tours, to hiking and swimming in a waterfall, this island had it all. Every turn you can find something new: like the spot where they filmed Jurassic Park or the place where Indiana Jones was taped. But the one thing I did have trouble finding was a good place to get wings.
Now, I’m not saying that I expected to come to Hawaii to find great wings. After all, they are known for their fantastic seafood and fish markets. But, there comes a time when I get a little home sick for the spicy bird, and with all the wild chickens that run around this place, I knew there had to be somewhere that served it. So, I did the best I could asking tourists and locals alike and compiled this short list of places that serve fried chicken and what to expect from each one. This way when you’re in a similar situation jonesin’ for some hot and spicy wings, you at least have a leg up.
Olympian Cafe in Kapaa
On the eastern side of the island of Kauai there is a second floor pub that overlooks the town and water. The wings were heavily breaded and absorbed the sauce, which was Franks, but I think they were using the hot version. Wings were small but juicy. As usual, they get soggier the longer they sit, but the side of waffle fries hit the spot.
The Lodge at Kokee
These wings were not really hot wings or spicy wings. They were just deep fried wings that were crispy as all hell. They came with a wasabi mustard that added flavor and some spice, but left me wanting the Buffalo. The benefit to this place, however, is that it was nestled on top of the Waimea Canyon. This is like the Grand Canyon for Hawaii, and offered spectacular views.
Chicken in a Barrel
There are two of these locations on the island of Kauai. The place gets its name because they use a custom-made 50-gallon drum barrel smoker to smoke the chicken in for a long amount of time. I could easily tell how tender it was when I stuck a fork in and the meat just fell off the bone. They don’t carry a Buffalo sauce, but they do have a mild and hot BBQ sauce to choose from. They also have a Sriracha Pepper sauce for the super heat, if you can bear it.
The Tavern at Princeville
This chicken dish had no sauce and wasn’t even wings, per se, but I wanted to add it to the list because of the wonderful crust that they achieved when frying. The actual name “Buttermilk Fried Chicken” says it all. Flaky crust and juicy meat, but not as tender as the Chicken in a Barrel. No hot sauce to choose from, but make sure you get the side of fries as they were delicious.
Dewar’s Clubhouse – Honolulu Airport
If you are flying in and out of the Hawaiian Islands, chances are you will be switching planes in Honolulu. And if you have some time to kill before your next flight, I suggest sitting down at Dewar’s Clubhouse to grab some wings. They were quite spicy and came in a unique vessel. Read review
These were by far my favorite wings on the island of Kauai. Not only did they have great Buffalo style wings, but they shared a plate with Mango BBQ wings. The bar was hopping, and if you get there on a Friday night there will be live music for you to jam out to. Read review