There is certainly no shortage of restaurants in Hawaii: nearly 500 scattered across the Big Island! From Hilo to Kona, from Volcano to the Kohala Coast, we’ve got you covered. Following are some of our favorites. What are yours? Share a review!
Island Lava Java is just about as good as it gets for sinking into the rhythm and energy of the Big Island. We haven’t found one thing to complain about. Well, ok, sometimes the service is dreadfully slow, but with this location you don’t want to be in a hurry!
Fresh, local ingredients are the foundation, with inspired salad creations, fresh fish, delicious sandwiches, delectable egg dishes, sumptuous sweet rolls, pastries, and decadent deserts. Try one of the fabulous coffee drinks like a Depth Charge (espresso in coffee - wow!), or other beverages such as zippy Ginger Root tea or a fresh fruit/vegetable smoothie.
Located just across the street from the ocean, enjoy watching boats in the bay or stare at the surf as it rushes on shore across the lava rocks. There is often live entertainment. Open all day, every day.
Check our Kailua Kona restaurants page for details and lots more restaurants in Kona.
For breakfast on the Hilo side of the island, we just love Ken’s House of Pancakes. A classic diner, they offer just about everything imaginable on the menu, and at a pretty fair price. Nothing fancy, just good eats.
Otherwise you’ll probably find us at Café Pesto, a very nice place to enjoy a relaxing meal with superior service in downtown Hilo.
Refer to Hilo restaurants for details on these and more restaurants in Hilo.
It’s almost too close to call for best burger restaurants in Hawaii. Annie’s in Kealakekua has a slight edge over the other Big Island burger joints that serve 100% grass-fed island beef, for the simple fact that you just can’t beat the view from the back deck! But the burgers at Village Burger in Waimea are big and juicy and ever-so delicious, and Waimea has a nice relaxing energy. When we're up north for the day, Village Burger is often on our list.
Otherwise we choose from this list of Kohala and Kona-Kohala coast restaurants.
We just don’t know of a more relaxing way to start the day than to enjoy 100% Kona coffee on the outside deck at The Coffee Shack, south of Captain Cook on Highway 11. Breakfast and lunch selections are very tasty. Good menu items plus daily specials. When available, the fresh Ono Benedict is hard to beat. On a clear day it's worth the drive just for the view! Share space with an abundance of happy little geckos as they gorge themselves on guava jelly. Enjoy one of the more scenic restaurants in Hawaii as you gaze out at the rich landscape above Kealakekua Bay, lush with coffee trees and tropical flowers.
There are lots more South Kona restaurants to suit just about any appetite.
And speaking of coffee, the Kona coast is one of the richest areas in the world for growing superior coffee beans. The rich volcanic soil, ample moisture and just the right amount of sunshine along the slopes of the Hualalai volcano make for ideal growing conditions for the much sought-after Kona coffee bean. It's pricey, but for coffee connoisseurs there is simply nothing quite as satisfying as a cup of 100% Kona coffee.
Take an off road coffee farm tour up the slopes of Hualalai to learn more about Kona coffee and the volcano on which it grows.
Don't be fooled by the labeling of inferior coffee. That so-called Kona coffee you're drinking is often nothing more than a blend of less than 10% Kona beans with a host of other inferior coffees. If it doesn't say "100% Kona" on the label, it's NOT! But don't take our word for it. Try it yourself at many of our fine Big Island restaurants! If you're on the mainland, you can order your own supply right here:
When hunger strikes as you are out exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Kilauea Volcano, there is a small handful of interesting restaurant options in Volcano Village.
Click on the link for a list of Volcano Village restaurants.
For a slightly different take on the restaurants in Hawaii theme, enjoy an evening dining on the water off the Kona coast. Our Sunset Champagne Dinner Cruise lets you sail into the sunset aboard a deluxe catamaran, complete with gourmet appetizers and open bar.
As an alternative, start the evening off with a sunset helicopter tour, complete with champagne and a traditional lei greeting. Travel like a VIP as you spend 2 hours enjoying some of the best sights of the Big Island from the air.
Or indulge in an unusual, educational and delicious behind the scenes tour of Hawaii regional cuisine. This private group tour (up to 12 guests) includes visits to 2 highly respected local farms on the north side of the island. Kahua Ranch and Honopua Farm provide a personal tour plus samplings from the farm. Later, indulge in range-fed sheep or beef from Kahua Ranch and organic produce from Honopua Farm as you enjoy the special four-course dinner at award-winning Merriman's Restaurant in Waimea.
You probably weren't expecting to see luaus on a list of restaurants in Hawaii, but for traditional Hawaiian food and a fun & entertaining dinner alternative, consider a Big Island Hawaii luau. Watch hula and other dances as performers recreate the celebration rituals of various cultures. Fun for the entire family, there are at least a couple of options available each night of the week.
Head to Big Island luaus for details on luaus offered every night of the week on the Big Island.
Share your own experience! What's your favorite Big Island restaurant? What made it memorable? Something on the menu, a spectacular view, friendly service? Please share your experience so other travelers can be more informed!