Best Restaurants on the Big Island: Your Guide to Hawaii’s Top Eateries

Aloha, food lovers! Let’s talk about the best places to grab a bite on the Big Island. It’s no secret that Hawaii is known for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, but it’s also a culinary paradise waiting to be explored.

Best Restaurants on the Big Island

You’re in for a real treat as we dive into the island’s top-rated dining spots. From oceanfront seafood shacks to gourmet farm-to-table restaurants, there’s something for every palate here. So, whether you’re craving fresh poke bowls or want to indulge in some traditional Hawaiian cuisine, we’ve got you covered!

Just imagine savoring mouth-watering dishes with fantastic views of waves crashing against the shore or lush tropical rainforests as your backdrop. Doesn’t that sound like heaven? Trust us; these are meals you’ll remember long after your tan fades. So let’s get those taste buds ready because they’re about to embark on an unforgettable gastronomic journey across the Big Island!

Best Restaurants on the Big Island

Savory Spots: Exploring Big Island’s Top Eateries

Oh, you’re in for a treat! The Big Island is not just known for its stunning beaches and active volcanoes. It’s also a food lover’s paradise. Here, we’ll give you the lowdown on some of the top spots to grab a bite.

Merriman’s in Waimea tops our list. This farm-to-table spot has been serving up gourmet island cuisine since 1988. You’re gonna adore their fresh fish dishes, locally-sourced veggies, and oh-so-decadent desserts!

Hungry for some traditional Hawaiian grub? Then Kaaloa’s Super J’s is your joint. Their laulau (pork wrapped in taro leaf) is legendary on the island – it’s definitely a must-try.

Craving sushi? Head straight to Ulu Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge, located at the Four Seasons Resort. From delightful sashimi platters to innovative maki rolls, every dish here screams freshness!

Here are some highlights:

Restaurant Specialty
Merriman’s Farm-to-table cuisine
Kaaloa’s Super J’s Traditional Hawaiian
Ulu Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge Fresh sushi

For those with a sweet tooth, don’t fret! Holy Donuts in Kailua-Kona makes divine treats using local ingredients like lilikoi (passion fruit), coconut, and guava. It’s literally impossible to eat just one.

On the hunt for vegan or gluten-free options? Herbivores serves tasty vegetarian meals that won’t leave you missing meat one bit.

Remember though, this isn’t an exhaustive list – there are countless other fantastic eateries waiting to be discovered on the Big Island! So go ahead, indulge your taste buds and enjoy these savory spots during your visit.

Diving into Seafood: Ocean-to-Table Experiences on Big Island

When you’re on the Big Island, it’s a must to dive right into the seafood scene. You’ll find that there’s no fresher fish around than right here where it goes from ocean to your plate in mere hours!

Merriman’s is one of those places you just can’t miss. Located in Waimea, this farm-to-table restaurant has been serving up local seafood for more than 20 years! Their menu changes regularly based on what’s fresh and available but trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Further down the coast, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai offers an unforgettable dining experience with stunning views of Keauhou Bay. The menu here features a variety of locally caught fish prepared in unique and delicious ways.

Restaurant Location
Merriman’s Waimea
Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai Keauhou Bay

If sushi is more your style, then Yoshimoto Sushi should be at the top of your list. They’ve got everything from traditional sashimi to inventive rolls featuring island flavors like mango and macadamia nut.

  • Merriman’s
  • Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai
  • Yoshimoto Sushi

Those who love trying new things will appreciate a visit to Paakai Point, where they serve up exotic catches like opah (moonfish) and monchong (sickle pomfret). It all comes served with a side of breathtaking ocean views!

Remember, wherever you choose to dine on the Big Island, ordering seafood is a must-do experience. The freshness alone makes it worth every bite! So go ahead – indulge yourself and enjoy some truly fantastic food while taking in all the beauty this Hawaiian paradise has to offer.

Tantalize Your Taste Buds at Big Island Steak Houses

Ready to dig into some of the best steaks on the Big Island? You’re in for a real treat! The island is home to an array of steak houses that you wouldn’t want to miss. They offer a wide variety of flavors and dishes, all with their unique blends and styles.

‘Ulu Ocean Grill beckons with its exquisite beachfront dining experience. Here, you’ll find magnificent cuts prepared using locally sourced ingredients. It’s not just about the food – it’s also about the ambience that sets your dining experience apart.

If you’re yearning for authentic Hawaiian cuisine, then Huggo’s on the Rocks is where it’s at! This place serves up prime rib that’ll make your mouth water just thinking about it. And no worries if you’re not a meat lover; they’ve got plenty of seafood options too!

For those who prefer a more rustic setting, Merriman’s Waimea offers farm-to-table dishes prepared with fresh local produce. Their grass-fed beef grilled over kiawe wood will leave you craving more.

  • ‘Ulu Ocean Grill: Beachfront dining, locally sourced ingredients
  • Huggo’s on the Rocks: Authentic Hawaiian cuisine, great seafood options
  • Merriman’s Waimea: Farm-to-table dishes, kiawe wood grilling

When it comes to steak houses on the Big Island, these are only a few highlights. There are many other hidden gems waiting for you to discover them!

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here – everyone has unique tastes and preferences. So why not try them all? After all, life’s too short for anything less than extraordinary food experiences! Enjoy exploring these culinary delights and creating unforgettable memories along your journey through paradise – otherwise known as Hawaii’s Big Island.

Authentic Hawaiian Cuisine: Best Local Picks

First things first, let’s dive into the heart of Hawaiian cuisine. You’ll find that it’s a blend of traditional island flavors fused with influences from around the world. We’ve rounded up some local favorites where you can enjoy authentic Hawaiian dishes.

Perhaps you’re wondering about must-try meals on your visit? Well, you can’t miss out on laulau, a dish featuring pork wrapped in taro leaves and steamed to perfection. Another staple is poke, raw fish (usually tuna) cut into cubes and seasoned delicately.

Here are your top picks:

  1. Hawaiian Style Cafe – This Hilo gem offers monstrous-sized portions bursting with island flavors. It’s particularly famous for its mouthwatering pancakes and popular loco moco dish.
  2. Da Poke Shack – For the best poke on the Big Island, look no further! Rated by Yelp as one of America’s top 100 places to eat, their fresh-off-the-dock fish will leave you wanting more.
  3. ‘Ulu Ocean Grill – If upscale dining is more your speed, ‘Ulu at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai serves exquisite ocean-to-table cuisine amidst stunning views.
Restaurant Specialty
Hawaiian Style Cafe Pancakes & Loco Moco
Da Poke Shack Fresh Seafood Poke
‘Ulu Ocean Grill Upscale Ocean-to-Table

Next up: food trucks! They are a big part of Hawaii’s culinary scene too. Head over to Poke To Your Taste for customizable poke bowls or try an array of bite-sized delights at Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering.

Finally, make room for dessert! You absolutely have to sample traditional treats like haupia (a coconut milk-based treat) or malasadas (Portuguese doughnuts). Stop by Tex Drive-In for their legendary malasadas – they’re simply divine!

So there you have it – a slice of Hawaii’s culinary landscape just waiting for you to explore! Remember though: while these recommendations will give your taste buds a tour-de-force experience, nothing beats discovering little hole-in-the-wall spots yourself. Happy eating!

Budget-Friendly Dining Options on the Big Island

Who says you can’t enjoy a taste of paradise without breaking the bank? Let’s dive into some budget-friendly dining spots that’ll make your tastebuds and wallet very happy indeed!

Pine Tree Café in Kailua-Kona is one spot you don’t want to miss. It’s loved for its hearty portions and affordable prices. You’ll find everything from poke bowls to burgers, all generously sized and deliciously satisfying.

Next up, we’ve got Big Island Grill. This local favorite in Kailua-Kona serves up mouth-watering Hawaiian comfort food at easy-on-the-pocket prices. The menu includes local dishes like Loco Moco and Kalbi ribs, which are both must-tries.

For those who fancy pizza, there’s Cafe Pesto Hilo Bay located in Hilo. They whip up a fantastic range of gourmet pizzas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Not just pizzas – their pasta dishes are also worth checking out!

If seafood is your thing, then Da Poke Shack, also in Kailua-Kona, should be on your radar! It has gained quite the reputation for its fresh poke bowls that are not only scrumptious but also reasonably priced.

Lastly, let’s not forget about Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo. Ken’s is open 24/7 and serves breakfast all day – perfect for when you’re craving pancakes at odd hours! Their extensive menu has something for everyone while keeping it budget-friendly.

Here’s a quick snapshot:

Restaurant Location Speciality
Pine Tree Café Kailua-Kona Diverse Menu
Big Island Grill Kailua-Kona Local Hawaiian Dishes
Cafe Pesto Hilo Bay Hilo Pizza/Pasta
Da Poke Shack Kailua-Kona Poke Bowls
Ken’s House of Pancakes Hilo All-day Breakfast

Remember to check opening times before visiting as they might change due to seasonal or other factors.

So there you have it – proof that eating out on the Big Island doesn’t have to mean splurging! Now go forth, explore these culinary gems and savor every bite without draining your vacation funds!

Must-Visit Cafes for Coffee Lovers in Big Island

Who doesn’t love a good cup of joe to start the day? If you’re a coffee enthusiast visiting Hawaii’s Big Island, we’ve got some sweet spots for you. Check out these must-visit cafes for your caffeine fix.

Daylight Mind Coffee Company is at the top of our list. Nestled right by the water in Kailua-Kona, this spot offers more than just a great view. You’ll find an array of traditional and signature brews here that are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Now, if you’re looking for something with a bit more flair, Kona Coffee Purveyors has got your back. Their baristas serve up an impressive cuppa alongside delicate pastries baked fresh every day!

Perhaps you’re someone who likes their coffee straight from the source? Well then, Greenwell Farms should be on your itinerary. This place isn’t just a cafe – it’s a full-on coffee farm where you can see how beans are grown and roasted before they reach your cup!

And let’s not forget about Hilo Shark’s Coffee Shop, located in downtown Hilo. It’s loved by locals and tourists alike thanks to its friendly vibe and delicious brews.

Here’s all four in one neat table:

Cafe Name Location Specialty
Daylight Mind Coffee Co Kailua-Kona Variety of Brews
Kona Coffee Purveyors Ala Moana Brews & Pastries
Greenwell Farms Kealakekua Farm-to-Cup Experience
Hilo Shark’s Coffee Shop Downtown Hilo Local Favorite

So there you have it! Four fantastic places where you can indulge in some serious coffee appreciation on the Big Island. Remember though, while each cafe has its own special charm, what ultimately matters most is finding that perfect blend that suits your palate best. Happy sipping!

Fusion Food Stops on the Big Island: A Mix of Cultures

On your journey through the Big Island, you’ll find a culinary melting pot that’s as exciting to explore as the island’s volcanoes and waterfalls! This is where cultures collide in a delicious symphony of flavors that’ll make your taste buds dance.

Merriman’s Waimea should definitely be on your list. Founded by Peter Merriman, one of the pioneers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, it beautifully blends local ingredients with global techniques. Here, you can savor dishes like Kahua Ranch Lamb prepared with Indian spices or fresh-caught fish graced with Thai coconut broth.

Another must-visit spot is Umeke’s Fishmarket Bar & Grill, renowned for its fusion poke bowls. The mixtures they whip up here are phenomenal – think spicy aioli over chunks of marinated ahi tuna or sweet miso dressing drizzled atop pieces of salmon.

For those who love Japanese-Hawaiian cuisine, there’s no place better than Kenichi Pacific. You’ve got to try their dynamite shrimp served with shiitake mushroom cream sauce or their signature sushi rolls filled with local ingredients like macadamia nuts and tropical fruits!

Let’s not forget about Foster’s Kitchen, where you’ll get to enjoy American dishes with an island twist. Their Kona Coffee Rubbed Steak will surely leave you wanting more!

Here are some highlights:

Restaurant Signature Dish
Merriman’s Waimea Kahua Ranch Lamb
Umeke’s Fishmarket Bar & Grill Fusion Poke Bowls
Kenichi Pacific Dynamite Shrimp
Foster’s Kitchen Kona Coffee Rubbed Steak

So why wait? Embark on this gastronomic adventure around the Big Island and discover how these fusion food stops have creatively combined different culinary traditions to create something truly unique – just like the island itself!

Fine-Dining Establishments Offering World-Class Cuisine on the Big Island

You’re in for a treat! There’s an abundance of fine-dining establishments offering world-class cuisine right here on the Big Island. Let’s dive into some local favorites that you simply can’t afford to miss.

Merriman’s Waimea takes farm-to-table seriously and that’s why it’s a must-visit spot. Located in upcountry Waimea, this restaurant has been dishing out locally-sourced Hawaiian regional cuisine for over 30 years. You’ll savor every bite knowing that more than 90% of their ingredients are locally grown or sourced from fishermen.

Then there’s ‘Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai – talk about dining with a view! This beachside gem serves up fresh seafood along with an impressive sushi selection. Their dishes blend traditional Hawaiian cooking methods with globally-inspired flavors, creating a unique culinary experience you won’t forget.

Next up is the elegant Brown’s Beach House, nestled within The Fairmont Orchid resort. They’re renowned for their Pacific Rim cuisine and romantic oceanfront setting – perfect if you’re looking to impress!

Here are few other high-end restaurants well worth your attention:

  • The CanoeHouse: Situated at Mauna Lani Auberge Resorts Collection, they offer an innovative menu inspired by Hawaii’s rich history.
  • KPC – Kamuela Provision Company: Hilton Waikoloa Village’s signature restaurant, KPC offers panoramic ocean views alongside mouth-watering island-inspired dishes.
  • Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar: At Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, MANTA prides itself on its commitment to sustainable farming and fishing.

With such fantastic options around every corner, it’s not hard to see why Hawaii’s food scene is making waves internationally. So go ahead, indulge yourself in these gastronomic delights when you’re visiting the Big Island – your taste buds will thank you!

Food Trucks and Street Foods You Can’t Miss Out On

Hey, you don’t need to sit in a fancy restaurant to taste the real flavor of Hawaii. It’s right there on the streets! The Big Island is famous for its food trucks and street foods that tantalize your taste buds with authentic local tastes. Let’s explore some must-visit spots.

Kohala Burger & Taco, located in Kawaihae, serves up mouth-watering burgers made from locally-sourced beef. But don’t just stop at the burger, their tacos are also worth trying!

In Pahoa, Luquin’s Mexican Food Truck will satisfy your craving for Mexican cuisine. From tamales to enchiladas, everything tastes like it’s straight out of Mexico!

And you can’t forget about Hilo’s Farmers Market! Open every day, here you’ll find a variety of vendors selling deliciously prepared goodies using local ingredients.

If you’re into seafood, The Poke Shack in Kailua-Kona offers some of the best poke bowls on the island. Fresh fish combined with unique flavors – what more could you ask for?

Here are a few others that deserve an honorable mention:

  • ‘Ai Pono Cafe
  • Big Island Bowls
  • 808 Deli

Remember these names when looking for great street food experiences on the Big Island:

Name Location
Kohala Burger & Taco Kawaihae
Luquin’s Mexican Pahoa
Hilo’s Farmers Market Hilo
The Poke Shack Kailua-Kona

Now remember: don’t let those fancy restaurants distract you from these gems hidden among the streets of Hawaii. Make sure these food trucks and markets make it onto your itinerary; they’re truly a treat not just for your stomach but also for your soul!

Wrapping It Up: Your Ultimate Guide to Dining on the Big Island

What a culinary journey you’ve embarked on! You’ve tasted your way through the Big Island’s best restaurants, savoring every bite of paradise along the way.

Here’s what you’ve discovered:

  • A variety of flavors from all corners of the world. From succulent seafood dishes at Merriman’s in Waimea to authentic Hawaiian cuisine at Huggo’s in Kailua-Kona, you’ve sampled an array of food that reflects the island’s diversity.
  • The island isn’t just about great food; it’s also about exceptional dining experiences. Picture yourself indulging in exquisite meals with stunning ocean views at ‘Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge or being entertained by live hula performances at Kona Brewing Company.
  • And let’s not forget those hidden gems like Cafe Pesto in Hilo where local ingredients take center stage or Bamboo Restaurant and Gallery where each dish tells a story about Hawaii’s rich culture.

But remember, this is just a starting guide. The Big Island teems with fantastic eateries waiting for your discovery. Each town has its unique specialty, so don’t hesitate to explore more!

Before we bid farewell, here’s a quick recap table summarizing your delicious adventure:

Restaurant Location Specialty
Merriman’s Waimea Seafood
Huggo’s Kailua-Kona Hawaiian Cuisine
‘Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Fine Dining
Kona Brewing Company Kailua-Kona Craft Beers & Live Shows
Cafe Pesto Hilo Local Ingredients
Bamboo Restaurant and Gallery Hawi Cultural Dishes

Now it’s time for you to create your own culinary journey on this amazing island! Don’t forget to share your experience with us – because there are always new flavors waiting to be discovered on the Big Island. Bon appetit!

Scroll to Top