Best Restaurants for Breakfast on the Big Island of Hawaii: Uncover Tropical Morning Gems

Aloha! You’re on the Big Island of Hawaii, and the morning’s just as bright as your appetite. There’s no better way to start your day than with a hearty island breakfast, and you’re in luck because the options are as endless as the Pacific horizon.

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From the aroma of fresh Kona coffee to the sizzle of local eggs and spam, you’ll find that breakfast on the Big Island isn’t just the first meal of the day—it’s an experience. Whether you’re craving sweet tropical fruits or savory traditional dishes, we’ve got the scoop on the best spots to fuel up for your island adventures.

So, grab your sunglasses and get ready to indulge in the most important meal of the day, Hawaiian style. Let’s dive into the breakfast scene that’s sure to make your mornings in paradise even more unforgettable.

Best Breakfast Restaurants on the Big Island of Hawaii

Finding the perfect spot for breakfast on the Big Island is like uncovering a hidden gem; it’s an integral part of the experience. You’re in for a treat with places that not only offer a meal but immerse you in the local culture and flavors.

Island Lava Java in Kailua-Kona is a must-visit with its oceanfront views. Picture yourself sipping world-famous Kona coffee as you bite into freshly baked pastries. Their use of local, organic ingredients ensures each dish, from the Lilikoi Pancakes to the Loco Moco, is bursting with island flavor.

Travel east to Hawaiian Style Cafe in Hilo or Waimea for a heaping plate of comfort food. Known for large portions, this cafe gives you a taste of Hawaii’s local favorites, like the Kalua Pork Benedict.

For a more upscale twist, Merriman’s in Waimea showcases the Big Island’s bounty. Their commitment to local farmers and ranchers means that your Benedict or farm-fresh omelet not only tastes good but supports the community.

Here are some top spots you won’t want to miss:

  • Island Lava Java: Ocean views, local ingredients
  • Hawaiian Style Cafe: Hearty portions, local favorites
  • Merriman’s: Upscale dining, farm-to-table ethos

Remember, dining out for breakfast on the Big Island isn’t just about fueling up for the day; it’s about savoring the local taste and enjoying the warm aloha spirit. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual café vibe or a fine dining setting, these places will start your day off right. Keep exploring, and you’ll find that every corner of this island offers its own unique breakfast charm.

1. Kona Cafe

When your appetite wakes you up with the sunrise, head over to Kona Cafe, nestled in the heart of the Big Island’s coffee country. It’s your go-to for a breakfast that promises more than just a meal, it’s an adventure for your taste buds set in the midst of Kona’s breathtaking scenery.

Imagine starting your day with a cup of world-renowned Kona coffee, freshly brewed and bursting with flavor. Their coffee, sourced directly from the local slopes, pairs perfectly with the cafe’s eclectic mix of breakfast offerings. Take your pick from a selection of:

  • Traditional Hawaiian breakfasts
  • American classics with a tropical twist
  • Freshly baked pastries

At Kona Cafe, savoring pancakes isn’t just an ordinary affair. You’ll be treated to their famous Lilikoi Pancakes, a fusion of fluffy goodness with a zesty hint of passion fruit that embodies the island’s flair. Don’t miss out on their Macadamia Nut French Toast; it’s a symphony of textures and sweet, nutty flavors that you won’t find back home.

Eating here offers more than a meal—it’s a full sensory experience. While indulging in dishes crafted from locally sourced ingredients, you’re surrounded by the charm of Kona’s laid-back atmosphere. Locals love to chat, and you’ll find that their stories are as rich as the coffee.

Remember, at Kona Cafe, it’s not just about filling your stomach, it’s about starting your day with the spirit of Aloha. Each bite is a reminder of the island’s generous bounty, a true homage to Hawaiian hospitality and gastronomy. Keep your camera ready; the colorful presentations are worth capturing before you dig in. It’s a place where every meal shares a story, a flavor of the island that you’ll carry with you long after your visit.

2. Hawaiian Style Cafe

Picture this: you’re starting your day in the laid-back town of either Hilo or Waimea, where the local vibes are as rich as the coffee in your cup. The air is a little cooler, the pace is a touch slower, and your appetite is ready to be sated by the hearty offerings of Hawaiian Style Cafe.

This local favorite doesn’t just get your day started; it catapults you into a world of generous portions, friendly service, and a menu that offers a delightful twist on traditional breakfast dishes. Your plate will look like a palette of colors with options that range from the loco moco, a contemporary comfort food staple with origins in the islands, to the fluffiest of pancakes that might just require a quick photo before you dig in.

Don’t let the modest exterior fool you. Once inside, the atmosphere buzzes with chatter and the smells of freshly cooked bacon and sweet island fruits fill the air. Your taste buds are in for a treat with staples like:

  • Fried Rice
  • Kalua Pork and Eggs
  • Macadamia Nut Pancakes

And let’s talk about the coffee. Brewed from locally sourced beans, it’s the perfect sip to start your day or pique your caffeine interests midway through the morning.

As you plan your travel itinerary, make sure to clear a morning, perhaps even set your alarm a little earlier, to beat the crowds. The popularity of Hawaiian Style Cafe is no secret—locals and visitors alike yearn for their fix, so arriving early is a smart move.

While the cafe’s ambiance hooks you, it’s the flavors that will have you booking your next trip back to the islands. Every bite feels like a homage to Hawaiian culture, a culture you’re now a part of, even if just for the duration of your breakfast. Start your day with the energy of the islands at Hawaiian Style Cafe, where you’re not just a guest, you’re ohana—family.

3. Ken’s House of Pancakes

After indulging in the local twists on breakfast classics at Hawaiian Style Cafe, your culinary journey takes you to a Hawaii institution. Ken’s House of Pancakes is not just a restaurant; it’s an experience that’s become a staple for breakfast seekers in Hilo. Open 24/7, it caters to early birds and night owls alike, ensuring that whenever you’re hit with a pancake craving, Ken’s has your back.

Proudly serving the community since 1971, Ken’s offers a diverse menu that’s as big as the island itself. What sets this place apart isn’t just the food, it’s the genuine aloha spirit that greets you at the door. With your first step inside, you’ll notice the walls adorned with memorabilia and local art, showcasing years of history and countless satisfied diners.

Here’s what you can’t miss:

  • The Sumo, a favourite among the heartiest eaters, featuring a stack of pancakes that’ll challenge your appetite
  • A variety of Loco Moco options that come with the savory goodness of gravy and eggs over rice
  • Their legendary 24-Hour Service, which means you can satisfy your breakfast cravings anytime, day or night

Ken’s not only boasts an extensive traditional breakfast selection but also includes various options for those looking to try something uniquely Hawaiian. They’ve mastered the blend of classic American breakfast with island flavors, offering dishes like Portuguese sausage, spam, and fresh papaya that truly embody the melting pot of local cuisine.

Be sure to sip on their Kona coffee while you’re deciding what to order. Locally grown and brewed to perfection, it’s the ideal complement to any breakfast choice.

Like many popular spots on the island, Ken’s sees a lot of traffic, so be prepared for a short wait. But don’t worry, the buzzing atmosphere and promise of a hearty meal make the time fly by. Plus, the local patrons are always up for sharing stories, making your wait educational and entertaining.

Remember, a visit to the Big Island is incomplete without tasting the flavors that have made Ken’s House of Pancakes a beloved destination for locals and travelers for decades.

4. Lava Java

When you’re craving a sunrise meal with a side of sea breeze, Lava Java in Kailua-Kona is a must-visit. This cozy eatery isn’t just a place to eat; it’s a spot where you can soak in the serenity of the ocean while sipping on gourmet coffee. Local musicians often grace Lava Java with impromptu performances, providing a melodious backdrop to your dining experience.

Their menu boasts an array of fresh, island-inspired breakfasts that are both health-conscious and hearty. From the classic Eggs Benedict receiving a tropical twist with local avocado and lilikoi hollandaise to an aromatic bowl of Island-Style Oatmeal laden with coconut and banana, the flavors truly capture the essence of Hawaii. Don’t skip on their Kona coffee, which is a revered treat among both caffeine aficionados and casual coffee drinkers. Cultivated on the slopes of nearby volcanoes, this locally sourced brew has a distinct, rich flavor that’s celebrated worldwide.

  • Try their:
  • Kona Coffee
  • Tropical Twist Eggs Benedict
  • Island-Style Oatmeal

While Lava Java provides a relaxed ambiance, it’s also renowned for its commitment to sustainability. They pride themselves on using biodegradable products and sourcing ingredients from local farmers, ensuring every meal supports the community.

The oceanfront location offers a panoramic view that will leave you in awe and possibly even spot a pod of dolphins while you enjoy your meal. Arriving early not only ensures the freshest selections but also the best seats, as the front-row view of the Pacific is highly coveted.

Lava Java is the epitome of island dining where every bite comes with a view, every sip tells a story, and every visit feels like a step closer to the heart of Hawaii. Make sure to carve out time in your morning itinerary to unwind and indulge in the treasures of the Big Island at this beloved breakfast spot.

5. Island Lava Java

When you’re chasing that perfect sunrise breakfast, Island Lava Java in Kailua-Kona is where you’ll want to land. Imagine sipping your morning brew as the Kona coast wakes up around you; it’s an experience that’s hard to beat. You’ve probably heard me rave about fresh, locally-sourced ingredients – well, Island Lava Java takes this commitment to heart.

Here, they serve breakfast all day, so no worry if you’re not an early riser. Their menu is packed with delectable choices that’ll satisfy your morning hunger. Whether you’re in the mood for a light, tropical fruit bowl or a hearty Big Island Breakfast complete with Portuguese sausage and eggs, they’ve got you covered.

  • Try the Lilikoi Pancakes, drizzled with passion fruit sauce for a sweet island twist.
  • Their Kona Coffee is a must; after all, there’s nothing quite like coffee from its birthplace.
  • Don’t pass up their signature omelets, brimming with fresh vegetables and cheese.

The ambiance at Island Lava Java is unbeatable. With its open-air seating, you’re treated to a breathtaking view of the ocean and possibly even a dolphin sighting if you’re lucky. The gentle sea breeze and the rhythmic sound of the waves provide a serene soundtrack to your meal.

Their commitment to the environment extends beyond the plate as well, with sustainable practices that respect the island’s resources. This respect for the ‘aina (land) is palpable and resonates with those of us who cherish Hawaii’s natural beauty.

Remember, patience is key here, especially during peak hours, as this spot is popular among locals and tourists alike. But trust me, the wait is a small price to pay for the flavors and views that await you at Island Lava Java. After all, you’re here to savor the moment and the meal, right? Make sure to charge your camera – you’ll want to remember this spot long after your visit.


You’ve got the scoop on where to find the best breakfasts on the Big Island that’ll satisfy your morning cravings with a side of paradise. Whether you’re digging into a hearty plate at Hawaiian Style Cafe, enjoying the all-day breakfast at Island Lava Java with its stunning views, or making memories over pancakes at Ken’s, you’re in for a treat. Don’t forget to savor every bite and take in the scenery. After all, it’s not just about the food—it’s about the experience. So go ahead, make your mornings on the Big Island unforgettable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular breakfast spots on the Big Island of Hawaii?

Popular breakfast options on the Big Island include Hawaiian Style Cafe in both Hilo and Waimea, Ken’s House of Pancakes, and especially Island Lava Java in Kailua-Kona known for its oceanfront view and sustainable practices.

Is there a place to enjoy breakfast with an ocean view in Kailua-Kona?

Yes, Island Lava Java in Kailua-Kona offers a breathtaking oceanfront view where guests can enjoy breakfast all day.

Does Island Lava Java serve breakfast all day?

Yes, Island Lava Java serves breakfast all day, allowing patrons to indulge in their breakfast favorites anytime during their operating hours.

Can you give an example of a unique menu item at Island Lava Java?

Island Lava Java offers unique breakfast choices like Lilikoi Pancakes and signature omelets, showcasing local Hawaiian flavors.

What is the ambiance like at Island Lava Java?

The ambiance at Island Lava Java is unbeatable, offering open-air seating accompanied by the serene sounds of the waves.

Is it necessary to bring a camera to Island Lava Java?

While not necessary, it is recommended to bring a camera to Island Lava Java to capture the memorable experience and the scenic oceanfront views.

Should visitors expect a wait time at Island Lava Java during peak hours?

Yes, visitors may need to be patient during peak hours due to the popularity of Island Lava Java, so it’s wise to plan for potential wait times.

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