Places to eat in Hawaii (Big Island)

  • Lava Flow
    Lava Flow
    by cjg1
  • Lava Flow
    Lava Flow
    by cjg1
  • Liz and her Pineapple Mimosa(2/2013)
    Liz and her Pineapple Mimosa(2/2013)
    by cjg1

Most Viewed Restaurants in Hawaii (Big Island)

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    Pancho & Lefty's: Good Mai Tais and Lava Flows

    by cjg1 Updated May 14, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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 Hurrican 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.

    Lava Flow & Mai Tai My wife and I enjoying our drinks(2/2013) Liz and her Lava Flow Yum...Mai Tai Lava Flow
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    Splasher's Grill: Good Breakfast in Kona

    by cjg1 Updated May 14, 2013

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    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 the ship 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 enjoyed 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.

    Breakfast Burrito French Toast Potatoes Liz and her Pineapple Mimosa
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    The Coffee Shack: Great Breakfast & Lunch just South of Kona

    by Nor_Cal_Brad Updated Oct 21, 2012

    A delicious restaurant that is open for breakfast & lunch, a bit south of Kona near the town of Captain Cook, the Coffee Shack has a great view down to the ocean, with tasty food and good Kona coffee to enjoy while taking in the view and watching the many geckos that run around the railings and eat from the tins of jelly left out to attract them. Choose from six types of fresh made bread, as well as a tasty menu with omelettes, breakfast burritos, fresh fruit, muffins and more for breakfast, and many good sandwiches, salads, and pizzas for lunch, along with other daily specials. I believe that in addition to the bread being made fresh daily, many of the other ingredients are grown locally on the island. This was one of our favorite places to eat on the island, and we went back so often the workers remembered us and one of them even asked if we lived nearby! Highly recommended if you're headed south of Kona for any reason, maybe on your way to the Place of Refuge?

    Favorite Dish: My favorite was one of the daily specials: a breakfast wrap with eggs, sausage, peppers and onions in a green spinach tortilla and a side of fried potatoes. There may have been salsa in the wrap as well, but it was very tasty! Also, GREAT coffee!!! Very good Kona coffee, which is grown down the hill from the restaurant, and you can see the coffee trees from the lanai. The omelettes were good as well for breakfast, and I also liked the Hot Corned Beef Reuben and Hot Pastrami sandwiches for lunch.

    Coffee Shack The Coffee Shack from accross Highway 11 Geckos at the Coffee Shack View from the Lanai at The Coffee Shack My Dad at The Coffee Shack, Lanai Seating
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    Aloha Theatre Cafe: Also, on the way to snorkeling areas

    by GracesTrips Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    On our way back from snorkeling, we stopped here for lunch. Odd name for a restaurant but turns out is IS a theatre as well. We had a peek at saw the stage crew setting up for the evening's show.

    I enjoy food so to eat local food that I can't get back at home is a must for me. I ordered the Hawaiian mixed plate of Lau Lau (Roast pork wrapped in taro leaves), rice and potato mac salad (yes - potato salad and macaroni salad mixed together). Perfect! It was delicious and added surprise to find some taro in my lau lau which is not usually done. Not great ambience, no view of the ocean but I enjoyed my lunch none-the-less.

    Mixed Plate Lau Lau
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    Tex Drive In: Malasadas

    by GracesTrips Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Always looking for the unusual things to eat, I ran across this recommendation and made it a point to seek it out!

    Malasadas are a type of Portugese style donut. Soft, warm, generously rolled in sugar. You can have them with filling such as fruit, Bavarian cream, chocolate or jalapeno jelly. I don't eat donuts much but this was extremely, delightful! Warm, soft, fluffy, not too sweet and filling! It was really good!

    Malasada with Bavarian Cream - I loved it! Malasada with Apricot filling!
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    Norio's Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar: Great Sushi at the Fairmont

    by jenn5179 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    The place is pretty small, open to the outdoors, and had a sushi bar that seats about 10 people....

    They had some fairly unique rolls, the service was awesome...which kind of made up for the price tags!

    Favorite Dish: I really liked the Soft Shell Crab roll, and we also had some Toro (sashimi style)

    Both were great, and I think mainly because the fish is just so darn fresh!

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    Bamboo Restaurant: Good Hawai'ian Food, Old Hawai'ian Charm

    by JetlagCity Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Bamboo Restaurant is a local Hawaiian place in the off-the-beaten path little town of Hawi way up north in Kohala. They have a mix of East and West: potstickers and Thai coconut prawns, steak and seafood. Also a selection of Big Island microbrews, which stand up quite well to all the Pacific Northwest varieties. All I wanted for lunch after hiking the seacliffs and valleys at the end of the road was a hearty burger and fries, and theirs really hit the spot. The building is an historic old hotel from the sugarcane plantation days of the early 1900’s, which I really liked. There were lots of historic pictures on the wall, and a local gallery in the adjacent room. Our waitress was very personable and on the ball, too.

    Bamboo Restaurant, Hawi
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    Hawaiian Style Cafe: The Best Restaurant Value on the Island!

    by danmcf Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Just a little cafe located in a small 'strip building' (too small to be called a strip mall) and short hours.
    Seating inside is similar to a diner with counter seats surrounding a central kitchen and some booths along the walls.
    When we stopped in the place was packed with locals and a few in the know tourists.

    Favorite Dish: The Hawaiian Style Cafe is in the middle of cattle country, so of course, I had a plateful of beef ribs, cut in a local style - across the rib bones instead of lengthwise. Along with the ribs was a large helping of rice and a wonderfully creamy potato and macaroni salad. All this for only $6.50!! And it tasted great and was filling.
    Joan had a huge tuna melt sandwich, with what appeared to be real tuna - not canned. This plus the rice and creamy salad for only $6.00!
    You won't find a better bargain anywhere on the Big Island, maybe the best bargain in Hawaii!

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    Keoki's Roadside Cafe: Fish & Chips, Local Fish!

    by GracesTrips Written Oct 6, 2010

    Big sign out front that reads, "Fresh Local Fish & Chips"! So, one day we stopped by for the fish & chips. My boyfriend and I shared a plate and instead of "chips" we opted for the onions rings instead for $1.00 more. Forgot to take a photo of the food but it was good. The fish, that day, was Ono. And, as we were nibbling on our fish, a guys strolls in with a huge fish to the back. The fish was about 5 feet long. My curiosity got the best of me and I had to check it out! It was in fact an Ono! They use one whole fish a day. It doesn't get any fresher than that! Located in the Captain Cook area of the Big Island.

    Small Ono, wonder what a big one looks like!
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    The Fish Hopper Restaurant: Good Fish - Lots of Choices

    by GracesTrips Written Oct 6, 2010

    I used my android phone to look on my opentable.com ap to find a restaurant. This was in the vicinity and the reviews looked good so I booked my reservation and off we go.

    Easy to find on Alii drive. Great ocean views. My dinner was very good. I had the Macadamia Nut Mahi Mahi with rice and mango papaya salsa and citrus cream sauce. My boyfriend chose a fish dish served with ravioli. Unfortunately, his dish was not prepared with the ravioli and was sent back. When the plate came back, it seemed the fish was overcooked.

    Macadamia Nut Mahi Mahi Mahi Mahi with Ravioli
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    Pancho & Lefty's Cantina: Mexican Food in Kona

    by GracesTrips Updated Oct 6, 2010

    We went into the main town of Kailua-Kona to check it out and wanted a quick bite for lunch. We chose this restaurant because a drink and quick bite sounded good and hoped we wouldn't get too filled up so we would still be able to have dinner.

    The restaurant is located on a second level allowing for great outside views of the Alii Drive. The cruise ships dock at Kailua-Kona and the tourists go crazy with shopping. Sorta fun to watch from above.

    The food was good and the beers and mai tais were cold. Not too fancy, just a casual place to grab a bite. Not too expensive, either.

    View from dining area Fish Tacos Buffalo Wings Stairs leading up to restaurant Chips, salsa, beer and mai tai!
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    Krua Thai Cuisine: Tasty Thai Food in Kona

    by GracesTrips Written Oct 5, 2010

    We were driving around aimlessly trying to find a place for dinner as our first choice wasn't open. So, he happened up this restaurant that turned out to be Thai food. I really like Thai food so I was a happy camper!

    We ordered a yellow chicken coconut curry dish with lime leaves and a stir fried fish dish with fresh basil, onions, carrots and asparagus. Along with a couple orders of sticky rice, it was very tasty!

    Simple decor, nothing fancy, clean. Make sure your bill is added up correctly. Nothing wrong with our bill but noticed a few other customers did.

    Thai Food!
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    Hana Hou Restaurant and Bakery: Decent food in the middle of no where

    by GracesTrips Updated Oct 5, 2010

    So, we took a drive to the southern area of the island. Checked out the black sand beach and the Volcano National Park. It was a very long drive from Kona. It's about lunch time and our choices are extremely limited. But we managed to find a place to eat and the food wasn't bad.

    The fried rice was tasty and the Asian slaw was pretty good, too! Nothing fancy but it was good food.

    Restaurant claims to be the southern-most restaurant in the United States.

    Pork with Gravy, fried rice and Asian slaw Grilled Mahi Mahi sandwich with Asian Slaw
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    Pizza Hawaii and Deli: Best Pizza!

    by GracesTrips Written Oct 5, 2010

    So, visiting in Hawaii had us craving fish because we know the fish is fresh and absolutely delicious. But after days and days of eating fish, we were left wanting something different. So, we opted for pizza and I have to say this was extremely good pizza.

    Located on the Hilo side of the island, this is a hole in the wall kind of place with a few table and chairs. No wine but they allowed us to buy wine at the market a few doors down and bring it back to have with our pizza. They even provided some wine glasses.

    We ordered a medium pizza half with the Hawaiian (bacon, ham, pineapple and scallions) and New York Combo (pepperoni, Italian sausage, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers & sliced olives). It was delicious! We ate every bit of it!

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    Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill: Off the Beaten Path but worth while

    by GracesTrips Written Sep 30, 2010

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    While on vacation, enjoying a meal is a big deal and ambience, location plays into all of that. We were having a difficult time trying to figure out where to have dinner as some of our options were not available on a Sunday or Monday evening. So, we found this place and a decent choice it was.

    I ordered the Mochiko crusted fresh catch (Ono) served with Molokai Sweet Potato and stir fried vegetables. My boyfriend ordered the Summer fresh catch (Mahi Mahi) with citrus herb, cous cous and grilled vegetables. Both of our fish dishes were slightly over cooked. It was still tasty. We mentioned to our waitress that perhaps the chef should be informed about the fish.

    I would eat here again but would make sure my fish isn't over cooked next time.

    Mochiko Crust Ono Citrus Herb Mahi Mahi
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