The Dolphin Restaurant has been a favorite among locals and tourists alike on Kauai since its very opening in the early 1970s and there are countless reasons as to why this is. The food, atmosphere, service, and scenery (of both locations) are of the highest quality and are guaranteed to impress any customer. There are two locations placed on opposite sides of the island to accommodate its ever growing clientele. The Dolphin in Hanalei is located on the Hanalei River. On the other side of the restaurant are tall and majestic mountains and a beautiful taro patch. The Dolphin in Poipu is located in a shopping center near the beach, which allows for spectacular views. These ocean views are especially amazing at sunset when the orange rays reflect off the ocean and the sky is a bright blend of pink and purple.
The Dolphin Restaurant opened “in the early 1970s,” according to the Dolphin website, and is now owned by Douglas and Beatrice Allen, a married couple who live on the North Shore of Kauai. Beatrice moved to the United States after being born and raised in Germany. Douglas grew up in Texas and moved to Kauai as a young adult and met Beatrice on the island soon after. Douglas worked as the manager of the Dolphin for many years before ultimately buying the restaurant with his wife when the original owner retired. The couple continued the tradition of hiring only the best chefs on the island and now run a very successful restaurant that is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The second location opened in Poipu on Kauai in 2012. The Dolphin is, to this day, a must for anyone visiting the island, a regular stop for locals, and a venue for people to enjoy both special occasions or casual nights out.
The Dolphin is extremely popular, which means it is extremely busy at just about all times. I would definitely recommend making a reservation, especially if you are dining with more than two or three people. There is almost always a wait, but you are given the option of ordering drinks and having them served to you outside while you sit and take in the breathtaking scenery.
The Dolphin is open for both lunch and dinner, which allows for plenty of time to make your way over. If you want to have an amazing meal, enjoy breathtaking scenery, and be taken care of be a kind and helpful staff, then the Dolphin should be your next stop. Arriving with an empty stomach is recommended because you will most likely eat until your body begs you to stop.