Verde opened five years ago in Kapaa and has been bringing fresh, original, and authentic New Mexican food to Kauai ever since. Verde is just a little, hole-in-the-wall in a strip mall in Kapaa located on Kuhio Hwy, but don’t let the outside fool you ~ many locals believe that it is the best Mexican food on island!!!!
Often times, Mexican restaurants fill the plate with refried beans and rice which can leave you with that heavy feeling of over eating. At Verde rice & beans can be added to any entrée for just $2.50, but you won’t find refried beans nor rice taking over your plate. If you enjoy sauces, you will love Verde! Everything we ordered was full of flavor and served with lots of sauce. In fact, their sauces are so fantastic that you can find Verde’s Red Salsa and Escabeche (pickled vegetables) at Kauai’s Costco in Lihue!!!
The lunch or dinner begins with complementary chips and salsa that keep coming all night! Gotta love that, as we know there are some restaurants that charge per salsa. The prices are extremely reasonable with entrées ranging from $8.95-$15.95 and drinks from $5-$9. The House Margarita is amazing with rock sea salt on the rim. Don’t miss Happy Hour from 3-5 p.m. daily with $3 house margaritas and $3 16 oz draft beers. Where else can you get drinks on Kauai for $3??? NOWHERE! Verde also has a Keiki (kids) menu available with vegetarian options for #3.95-$5.95. Meat can be added to any Keiki meal for $1.95.
If you can’t select just one menu item, order several and share with friends, highly recommended. On the menu choose from salads, tostadas, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. Order the burrito “wet style” for an extra $1.95 which includes red or green chile sauce or both cheese, lettuce & pico de gallo.
The Garlic Shrimp Tacos (pictured) are served with a spicy sauce of roasted garlic-chipotle aioli, guacamole, cornmeal-crusted shrimp, cabbage, guacamole, and pico de gallo. In addition, the menu has seared rare ahi, fresh catch, pork, ultimate chicken, carne and vegan tacos. The Ahi Tosatada (pictured) is probably one of the prettiest dishes served at Verde. It’s more of a salad than a traditional, heavy tostada served with two sauces, the red chile sauce & aioli. The ahi is seared rare and served with guacamole, pico de gallo, and local greens on a corn tortilla. This is a light dish but large enough for sharing.
Verde is a fabulous place to celebrate a special occasion. The restaurant is pretty small, with a great use of space. We recently celebrated a birthday at Verde with a party of 5 people.
Look for Verde’s signature dishes on the menu, including Stacked Enchiladas made with pork/beef/chicken/fish (pictured), Veggie Stacked Enchilada, Huevos Rancheros, and Chicken Posole. Posole (pozole) translates to “hominy” and is a type of stew/soup made with maize and typically some meat such as pork, chicken or turkey, chili peppers along with garnish.
Don’t leave without ordering sopaipillas & honey for dessert!!!! What are sopaipillas? The word (Germanic) actually translates to “bread soaked in oil”, better described as a fried puffed pastry dough similar to that of a doughnut. Sopaipillas are commonly served as a dessert with honey in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico. In Peru they are larger and thinner, known as cachanga and often served at breakfast sprinkled with cinnamon. Sopaipillas are served in Chile (sopaipas), Bolivia, Argentina (sopaipa/supaipa/torta frita, Kreppel), and Uruguay. In Chile, pumpkin is added to the dough and served with a sauce of onion, tomato, garlic and herbs. In New Mexico, sopaipillas may be served in place of bread with dinner or stuffed with ingredients similar to that of a taco.
Verde serves sopapillas either as dessert with honey or as a meal stuffed with meat or veggies, cheese and sauce. We ordered them for dessert, served hot, light and airy, not greasy. The picture says it all ~ no words needed.
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