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PELE’S OTHER GARDEN
811 Houston St.
A New York–style deli by day, Pele’s turns into an intimate Italian bistro at night. At lunch you can sit on the patio beneath shade-giving umbrellas and enjoy gourmet pizza with whole-wheat crust, organic salads or custom-built sandwiches on fresh-baked bread. In the evening, don't miss the garlicky bruschetta, accompanied by Lanai-grown tomatoes and fragrant basil. Follow up with a substantial serving of fettuccine with smoked salmon, or bow-tie pasta with butterflied garlic shrimp and prosciutto. Save room for the tiramisù or the crème brûlée cheesecake.
BLUE GINGER CAFÉ
409 7th St.
Every small town has its favorite morning hangout, and this is Lanai City’s. (Keep in mind that "city" is a stretch.) At breakfast this friendly cafe specializes in homemade pastries, omelets, breakfast burritos and scrumptious banana pancakes. Island residents while away their mornings with coffee and sugary ensemadas at the handful of outdoor tables. Lunch features such island faves as fried saimin and mahimahi sandwiches, along with burgers, fish and chips, and surprisingly tasty grilled-cheese sandwiches. Dinner specials, which change nightly, include the likes of shrimp stir-fry, grilled pork chops and teriyaki chicken. The local crowd mixes with resort guests seeking something casual and affordable.
408 8th St.
For pizza in the "565" (that’s Lanai’s sole telephone prefix), this friendly and utterly casual restaurant in an old plantation home next to Dole Park is the only game in town. Before Lanai went upscale and changed its name to Hawaii’s Most Enticing Island, it was known as the Pineapple Isle, home of the largest pineapple plantation in the world. Where better, then, to have a pineapple topping on a bubbly pizza? The hot and cold sandwiches (the Kula veggie sandwich with goat cheese is a winner) come on fresh-baked rolls or focaccia. Sit outdoors beneath shady umbrellas or, better yet, grab some takeout and make a picnic of it.
LANAI CITY GRILLE
828 Lanai Ave.
When the Hotel Lanai decided to reinvent its Cajun restaurant, it brought in the celebrated Bev Gannon, one of the 12 founders of Hawaii regional cuisine, and turned her loose. The brilliant result is an intimate country-chic place glowing with warm wood tones and Hawaiian charm. Generously portioned entrees include pan-seared loin of venison, pecan-crusted catch of the day, free-range rotisserie chicken and Gannon’s signature meat loaf with mashed potatoes (hey, she's from Texas). The bar has an impressive wine list, a fine assortment of beers and a mean "Lanai Tai-tini." Seeing as it’s the biggest bar in Lanai City, it’s everyone’s favorite watering hole. The place is busy every night but especially on Fridays, when Hawaiian musicians jam.