Pancho & Lefty's Cantina is one of the restaurant/bars located on the main street, Alii Way. The restaurant/bar is located up a set of stairs from the street. My wife and I decided to stop here for some drinks after doing some shopping. We went up the stairs and right to the bar area which has seats as well and tables surrounding. The bar area is open and over the railing is a nice view of the water and street below(this reminded me of the places on the main street in Grand Cayman). The cuisine here is Mexican fare but has some tropically inspired dishes/drinks as well.
After checking out the drink offerings; I decided on my usual Mai Tai and my wife chose a Lava Flow. Both of our drinks were served in large Hurricane glases with fruit garnish and umbrellas. My Mai Tai went down nicely; very well made, so much so that I had two of them. My wife enjoyed her Lava Flow and was happy to see that the bartender used fresh coconut milk in the drink.
This bar was a nice break from the sun. We were able to sit in the shade and enjoy the nice breeze coming from the water.
Splasher's Grill is how my wife and I began our day in Kona. We had just arrived in port and wanted to have breakfast off the ship. My wife had done her planning for this trip and already knew this is where she wanted to go for breakfast.
The restaurant is right on Palani Road above some shops. It was a short walk across from the pier. It was a little after 8am and the place was very crowded. Despite the crowd we only had a short five minute wait before a table became available. We were seated at at corner table of the second tier of their veranda dining room with a nice view of the water. Our waitress handed us menus and said she'd be back.
The menu was filled with some hearty breakfast fare; mostly combination platters filled with eggs, potatoes, pancakes, bacon, sausage and french toast. I decided to have a big breakfast and chose their breakfast burrito. The Burrito was a tortilla filled with eggs, cheese, sausage, potatoes and topped with gravy and salsa. My wife wasn't thrilled with the big breakfast platters as most of them contain some sort of egg dish; she does not eat eggs. Instead she ordered an a la carte portion of the Sweetbread French Toast and a side of their Home Fried Potatoes. As for drinks; I chose to stick with an unsweetened iced tea and my wife ordered a Pineapple Mimosa.
Our drinks arrived first and my wife loved her Pineapple Mimosa; a nice twist on the classic. When our food arrived I was amazed at the size of my burrito. This was definitely good for my level of hunger that morning. The burrito was good; nothing to Wow about but it filled me up nicely. My wife thought her French Toast was just okay and hated that their was immitation maple syrup. The Home Fried Potatoes though were quite nice and we both enojyed them.
I did like the laid back atmosphere of the place and that it was filled with more locals than tourists. I would give this place another go but order something different.
Located about 1000ft above sea level on the steel slope going down to Kealakakua Bay, The Coffee Shop offers what may be the best breakfast on the island. The open seating offers fresh air and great views. If you're lucky and get a seat next to the railing, you'll have an unobstructed view of 180-degrees of coast line.
The staff are friendly, but be warned that the restaurant is quite busy and popular, you may have to wait. It is open daily from 7:30am to 3pm.
Favorite Dish: The eggs Benedict are fantastic and maybe the best thing on the menu. But that should not deter you from the good pancakes, omelets, hash browns, etc.
Oh, the hot cinnamon rolls are really good too!
The Kona Canoe Club can be both a casual place or a romantic one, depending on how you want to play it. It is a casual enough setting, but the location on the waterfront with the setting sun is spectacular.
The service can be a bit hit or miss, particularly when it is crowded, but if you come when it is quiet, you will have a good experience.
Favorite Dish: The entire menu is good, but I'd recommend the kalua pig sandwich. Also, the fish of the day is always good.
I never found the portions to be very large, but the quality was decent.
I was in the mood for sushi and since we didn't know any of the local places, we were none the wiser to any of the local places. It is a chain with other locations in both Hawaii and along the west coast of the mainland, but we had not been in any of those either.
Genki Sushi is pretty well located if you are doing errands or shopping, since it is right in the Kona Commons Shopping Center. But if you're down along the waterfront or in the tourist zone, it is not very convenient.
The sushi is on color-coded plates, passing by on a conveyor belt. You pay based on the empty plates. If what you want is not passing by, they will make any menu item at any time upon request.
I didn't find it to be terribly expensive, but it was not cheap either.
Favorite Dish: The salmon was always good. The volcano rolls were also quite delicious. All others were decidedly average.
Don the Beachcomber is located in the Royal Kona Inn on Ali'i Drive. It has a spectacular view of the bay. It is the perfect sunset restaurant. The food is very good for Kailua-Kona, which, in my opinion, is not one of the real foodie paradises. The food here is quite good but somewhat simple fare. It's a fish, steak, prime rib, hawaiian dish or two. Basically it's American style with a Hawaiian flair. The wine list is not great and the reds are warm. That's Hawaii for you.
The best thing at Durty Jakes Cafe & Bar is that you can sit outside and have a view over the ocean. The dishes are tasty as well.
Favorite Dish: For lunch: Veggie Sandwich with a salad.
For diner: Roasted Veggie Pizza.
Elegant and classy. An unexpected gem in coffee country! We stumbled across the Holuakoa Cafe while we exploring the little town of Holualoa (which is an artsy little town up the hill from Kona in the coffee growing area). I highly recommend heading up to this area, which has a decidedly different feel and is an interesting change of pace from Kona and the resort zone, even if its just to have lunch at the Holuakoa Cafe.
The Holuakoa Cafe is a place for foodies. The owner is a proponent of the slow food movement and all the ingredients are sourced from local growers (or from the garden of the restaurant itself) and everything we tried was of exceptional quality. The restaurant itself is a elegant mix of a new craftsman style building that opens into beautiful gardens. We sat on the patio that is surrounded by a koi pond and zen garden. The setting is peaceful and beautiful. A place where you can't help but feel at ease. I can't recommend this place highly enough.
Favorite Dish: The menu changes daily, but our favorite dish was an amazing squash soup.
This seriously unpretentious eatery doesn't waste money on rent, frills or much for that matter, but the food is great. The chef is from New Zealand and the food is Asian fusion and very interesting combination of flavors (mainly Indonesian-inspired). Very excellent value for the money. The wine list is small, but like the restaurant has some good value options for Pinot and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
This is a real hidden gem. If you're in Kailua, it is definitely worth eating here. One of our better meals on the Big Island.
A great little seafood / steak restaurant and bar as you enter into the active strip of downtown Kona. They have good service and some pretty decent dishes. Cocktails are tasty too. Great views of the ocean and a good place to begin your adventure into Kona. Seats by the windows overlook Kailua Bay allowing great visuals of the ocean, beach, and walkways - great for people watching. They carry sustainable seafood from Hawaii as well as fresh seafood flown in weekly from California. They carry a variety from seasonal Dungeness crabs, sand dabs, petrali sole, Alaskan Halibut, Corvena Sea Bass, Wild Salmon, calamari, and other local favorites. They are notorious for their signature "Bucket of Fire" and "Volcano" flaming drinks. The restaurant is within walking distance to many shops and historic sites. The building is a landmark (Ocean View Inn) and a favorite restaurant of the area since 1934. The Fish Hopper is a chain from California run by the Sabu Shake and family. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
There are many restaurants along Alii drive but most cater to tourist tastes.
We much prefer going into the Banyan Court Mall, finding a table in the breezeway, and enjoying a great Indonesian satay.
Favorite Dish: The last time we were there the entertainment was special. There is a walkway in the mall that has a fountain. We sat in close view of it and we soon spotted a group of yellow-billed cardinals
there taking a shower.
We had so much pleasure in watching them that I don't remember much about the food.
I see that the restaurant is now closed but perhaps the birds come there regularly.
My husband and I go to Kailua Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii every year. Then I spend the next 50 weeks at home dreaming about breakfast at U Top It until we get back there! It has an unusual specialty (taro pan crepe) that finds its way into various breakfast/lunch/dessert items. I have yet to order something that didn't please me 100%. Try their lemonade, too... it's really fabulous. Their prices are incredibly reasonable, especially for a tourist destination, and I was delighted to see that they had expanded since last year (and are open evenings now), a sure sign that business is good and "the word is out" about this unique restaurant. Lots of locals go there, another good sign. It's not fancy (so skip it if that's all that rings your bell) but it's lots of fun and a great value. The breakfasts are under $10 and the rest is under $20 per person. I hate Monday morning in Kailua Kona...U-Top-It is closed!
Favorite Dish: Pan Crepe Combo for breakfast (taro pan crepe with your choice of fruit cooked into it...it's a thin crepe the size of a dinner plate, plus two eggs your way, your choice of meat)
Mini pan crepe desserts (small pan crepes heaped with great ice cream and toppings)
We don't usually eat lunch or dinner here because it's embarrassing to eat EVERY meal for TWO WEEKS in the same place. I have had lunch there and it was just as great as the breakfast...I believe it was the teriyaki beef.
Our favorite place in Kona. Great food at a great price with a very friendly staff. Indoor air conditioned dining or outside under fans on the lanai. We love the pizza made any way you like, also the clams are delicious and also the lasagna and fettucini alfredo. Full bar for cocktails, great selection of well priced wine and the desserts are heaven!
Favorite Dish: Pizza, pizza, pizza... made fresh, great sauce and made however you like it, thick thin, deep dish.....
The restaurant is Asian fusion, lots of different influences from East Asia and they also have a full sushi bar that features fresh island caught fish everyday. Most think it is Japanese but once you look at the creative menu you'll know otherwise. Great food, the atmosphere is comfortable filled with asian accents around. They have outside lanai sitting, inside dining room, sushi bar, cocktail lounge, and also a tatami style floor seating room in the back.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish is the black angus steak. Comes from Parker Ranch on the same island and is so tender it almost melts in your mouth. It is served with miso mashed potatoes and a salsa made from Shiitake mushrooms. Just amazing!
I do also love all of their desserts too like the macadamia nut chocolate waffle or banana tempura.
Although it wasn't serving snakes on a plate, P & L turned our stomachs. Literally. Ready to catch a quick bite and explore the Big Island? Then, avoid the lure of the porch and bar above the "strip" in Kona. While the drinks were refreshing, they were slow to come and dirty dishes were left on the table and given to my husband and I to use. When I pointed this out to our server, it was indignantly removed, an omen for the remainder of our meal and its lingering effects.
My son was sick with an upset stomach (both ends), my husband wasn't much better (fajitas & beans). Wonder how many of those they sell? Maybe 3pm isn't the best time to go, but I had a feeling before we walked in and ignored it given the name recognition. DISAPPOINTING!!!! Avoid it, unless you like the lighting in your bathroom.
The hotel room I had, had a balcony. When I looked to the right, I had a view to the ocean.more
We were fortunate enough to stay here on the company bill for three nights. If you can afford it,...more
It's a great hotel for the value with the coupon I have. There are cultural activities within the...more