Top 10 Omiyage (Gifts) from Kauai

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Top 10 Omiyage (Gifts) from Kauai

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Destination: Kauai , Oahu
Jul 05, 2011

For Father's Day, I sent my dad dried mango coated in li hing mui. My father-in-law received dried fish. When my college roommate came for a visit with her children over spring break, I greeted them at the airport with lei, of course, and a box of snacks--Mele Macs, Kauai Coffee and furikake popcorn. My friend Wendy gets Aunty Lilikoi's Passion Wasabi Dressing. My friend Pat, who lives on a sailboat on Oahu, gets a packet from Aloha Spice Company.

Omiyage. The practice of gift-giving is an art in Japan. Those roots sprouted easily in the welcoming soil of Hawaiian culture when Japanese immigrants arrived. I've learned not to go anywhere with empty hands. Thankfully, these Hawaiian Islands offer a never-ending supply of gifts unique to Hawaii.

But food isn't the only omiyage around. My latest favorite is soap.

Soap, you ask, are you serious?

What, I ask, isn't soap a sexy enough gift for you? You don't think it possesses that certain something to qualify for special omiyage status?

Well, let me introduce you to Indigenous Soap. Love Chance lives on Oahu and makes some pretty spectacular soap. And who can't use soap? We all turn to soap a multitude of times throughout our day. Think about it. Without soap, where would we be? Still don't believe me? Then, read my newest article, a profile of Indigenous Soap, owned and operated by Love Chance. (If anything, read it to find out if Love Chance--what a name, right?--is a real person.)

Here's my top 10 list of my favorite omiyage ideas from Kauai, in no particular order--and if Love Chance lived on Kauai, I would definitely add Indigenous Soap to the list. Luckily, though, I have co-worker from Oahu who gives me some when I visit.

1. Anahola granola.
2. Tip Top Cafe cookies.
3. Hanalei Tea.
4. Island Soap & Candle Works.
5. Kauai Kookie.
6. Kauai Coffee.
7. Aunty Liliokoi's dressings, mustards, butters, jellies and syrups.
8. Seasonings from Aloha Spice Company.
9. Malie Organics.
10. Engineer hat from a. ell design.

What would you add to the list--and feel free to think beyond Kauai.


Thomas Tamura | Jul 07, 2011 05:25 PM

Hey Kim! You forgot all the local favorites and they all start with the letter "m:" Mochi, Manju & of course Manapua! Unfortunately Kauai is not the best source for any of those items! I am sure I could think of other food items ....

Kim | Jul 10, 2011 03:38 PM

Hi Thomas, good to see you back here. I guess I was thinking more the mail-able kind. Because there's also the numerous iterations of poke, too!

Jen | Jul 10, 2011 03:17 PM

Kona Coffee!

Sheila | Jul 11, 2011 03:42 AM

I really could use some Cornflake Krunch cookies from Kauai Kookie!

Michael | Jul 12, 2011 05:32 AM

So many great things to be had.

Kim | Jul 12, 2011 09:12 AM

Sheila, is that a hint?

gay | Jul 12, 2011 10:58 AM

Lawai Manju is the best! Peach pineapple is my favorite!

Courtney | Jul 12, 2011 11:40 AM

Kauai Kookie manju is my favorite! It's freshest straight from the factory in Hanapepe. Also, Kauai Chocolates at Port Allen is a good source of sweet treats you can't find anywhere else. If you have a salty snack lover on your gift list, tari chips from Taro Ko, also in Hanapepe, are so ono. It's too bad Guava Kai is gone. The guava lotion was very luxurious and great to give as a gift.

Andrea | Jul 12, 2011 01:11 PM

Love the Flying Saucers!! Can only find those on Kauai, had them at the Waimea town festival and I was hooked!

Nancy Bartlett | Jul 26, 2011 12:57 PM

Hiya Kim, Nice article. I just heard about Indigenous Soap last week. My boss has a place in Hawaii and loves their soap. I'm going to have to try it. The other gifts sound wonderful too. I may have to figure out a set of omiyage from Whidbey. Would make a good (copycat) article for Tidal Life. Nancy

dee | Jun 24, 2014 10:48 PM

I just tried some Hawaiian Coconut Macaroons and Cinnamon toast bites from Da Kine Foods in Lihue.. I'm definitely bringing these home and also the chocolate Opihis from Kauai Chocolates in Port Allens

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