Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Fodor's Weekly: Your expert travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration (coming soon)

Big Island Restaurants

Merriman's

  • 65-1227 Opelo Rd. Map It
  • $$$$

Updated 01/06/2014

Fodor's Review

Among the best restaurants in upcountry Waimea, this is the signature restaurant of Peter Merriman, one of the pioneers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. Merriman's is the home of the original wok-charred ahi: it's seared on the outside and sashimi on the inside. If you prefer meat, try the Kahua Ranch braised lamb, raised locally to the restaurant's specifications, or the prime bone-in New York steak, grilled to order. The extensive wine list is impressive and includes many

selections poured by the glass. Although lunch prices are reasonable, dinner is "resort pricey," so prepare to splurge.

Read More

Restaurant Information

Address:

Opelo Plaza, 65-1227 Opelo Rd., Waimea, Hawaii, 96743, USA

Map It

Phone:

808-885–6822

Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • No lunch weekends
  • Reservations essential

Updated 01/06/2014

Advertisement

Map View

Map of



What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Zhaybt

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Dec 12, 2011

Merriman's Review

I made the reservation months in advance for my birthday trip to the Big Island. I called twice the week before to confirm arrangements, as the night of the birthday reservation coincided with a Guest Chef evening. "We are so excited to host a special celebrity guest Chef Dinner @ Merriman's Waimea with Chef Bradley Ogden. Dec. 7, 2011 - 6:30 - 8:00..." So I was told this was not an issue and that the reservation was confirmed. I received an email

confirmation the day before - so imagine my surprise when I get there and there was not record of the reservation. We got seated but not for the Chef's dinner - and then when we left the restaurant, I received an email notice of the reservation's cancellation AFTER we have dinner there. Happy birthday to me ! About the food : steak and mahi mahi were good; do not order the cheese cake for dessert as the consistency is questionable. Follow-ups with the restaurant are unanswered at this writing. If you are staying on the Kohala Coast, this is viable option but I will not go out my way based on this experience.

Read More
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Apr 20, 2009

Stop, Look, and Eat

The location is beautiful, and Merriman's is the perfect break in the middle of a beach or hiking day. Service is slow, so if your vacation schedule is hectic, you may want to pass--but you will be missing out. So, relax, and let them treat you to some of the most creative, healthy, and just plain tasty food on the Big Island. Make room and time dessert (Why not? You're on vacation!) You'll be glad you did.

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 3, 2009

tiny cold meal for huge price

As a usual customer of Metropolitan Grill in Seattle, I know a good deal on quality food. We visited Merriman's in Waimea on February 18th at 5:30, when they open for dinner. My family had to wait for a bit to order as we were in a corner. Kids ordered Ceasar salad (good tasting) and Bowtie pasta with tomato sauce (no bowties, just spaghetti like pasta with tasteless tomato sauce. My wife ordered the Opa fish special. Hers was okay, lukewarm,

but as a mom she is used to cold food, $28. I ordered the Combination plate and chose the Opa/Lobster dish and the Filet dish, $44. My food was even colder. My little squish of mashed potatoes was about the size of an egg. My Filet was about the 5/8" tall x 2" x2". Cooked rare, unlike what I ordered as med rare. My fish was about 5/8" high x 3" x3". It was on a small scoop of rice with some chopped veggies in the rice. No veggies on the side. I notified the wait assistant to get our waitress. Obviously, didn't tell her as she came by 5 minutes later and asked how our dinner was. I told her my food was barely warm. She apologized and said they would cook me up a new plate. My new plate came 5 minutes later. It was warmer, but the potatoes were only half the size of an egg and still cold. My fish was raw and basically seared. They had graciously added a tablespoon of corn on the plate. The waitress returned and I showed her the fish. She was apologizing again. I told her, my family was well done eating, except the boy with the tasteless spaghetti. She said she would not charge us for my plate. Oh, thanks for the special treatment! My main comment is that if you want a meal fit for a toothpick person whom doesn't eat very much, wants to spend a HUGE amount of money on such, and wants to wait long lines to get seated, then you would enjoy this restaurant. If you want a decent sized meal for a decent price, better choose somewhere else. She never offered to compensate us on my wife's cold food. I was very disappointed in this restaurant. I will admit the food was good tasting, but cold. I also admit, I failed to call the manager.

Read More
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

May 8, 2007

Unpretentious and Incomparable

Relaxed atmosphere and wonderful unpretentious service despite being such a celebrated restaurant. On the night we were there, the manager (who has the key to the high end wine cabinet) was late because of a fire near Waikoloa, so they gave us complimentary glasses of a very high end wine while we waited. Food was wonderful all around. Beware that they usually serve fish medium rare. But our waitress informed us so we could ask for it more well

done if we wanted. This is a restaurant that truly deserves its hype. Also, our waitress was amazing.

Read More

By Lori

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Apr 24, 2006

Best waitress- maybe ever

What a great choice to eat at Merriman's. The wait staff were so very knowledgeable. They were courteous and made us feel as we were family and they truly wanted our dining experience to be perfect. The menu is great and dessert and wine list even better! Don't miss this one.

By Barb

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Aug 24, 2005

Don't miss this

We dined here about 10 years ago, and the chef was celebrated back then. Fabulous rack of lamb with the absolute best local produce (sweet corn like sugar!) we've had in any restaurant in the world. We still remember this dinner. Wonderful dining from a master chef using local ingredients--a true Big Island experience.

By Mary

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 7, 2005

Praise Well Deserved!

We are annual vacationers on The Big Island, and Merriman's is always on our "must do" list. This year measured up to the excellence we have come to know. Brittney provided knowledgeable service, and the kitchen took care of the rest. Worth every penny!

By Maria

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Feb 20, 2005

Affordable and fantastic!

We ate here 4 times on our honeymoon for lunch and dinner. Relaxed, casual atmosphere at the King's Shop, combined with great prices in comparison to the rest of the Big Island. Try a mango soda - you'll love it!

By Ken

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

May 12, 2004

Good meal - if not slightly undercooked.

I cannot imagine a best place to enjoy HRC (Hawaiian Regional Cusine) especially if one's tired of the likes of Roy's, Alan Wong, and Sam Choy, who are all good in their own way but can get boring after a while. I had the mix plate which included three of Merriman's specialties: charred ahi, shrimp, and ponzu mahi mahi. The charred ahi is as perfect as the fish can get. Crispy and hot on the outside, delicious sashimi on the inside. The taste

of pristine ocean in unmistakble. The large shrimps are fine but I feel are undercooked (raw in the middle and unveined). I enjoyed ebi (raw sweet shrimp sashimi) as anyone but this undercooked shrimp feel out of place in this dish. Lastly, the marinated mahi mahi in ponzu was also good - medium rare - but I feel it could be cooked just a bit more on the outside as the the dish is luke warm. The sides of local vegetable, corn and sweet peas, are absoutely fresh and cooked to perfection. The vegetarian mushroom potpie did not fare so well. The chef did not evaporate all the wine in the dish so it tasted as if someone tipped over a glass of wine into the finished pie filling when the chef was not watching! The sauce was also too salty. Great mushrooms, however.

Read More

By Carlos

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Mar 19, 2004

Excellent food in a simple setting

We went to Merriman's because of its reputation and we weren't disappointed. Good service (waiter could've been a bit more courteous), excellent food, good portions, OK wine selection, and excellent desserts (creme brulee like no other). Definitely one of the best "pure" restaurants in Hawaii.

By Paula

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Feb 19, 2004

New Merriman's Cafe at King's Shops

This location has just been open for 2 months so they are still trying to adjust their buying patterns, thus they were out of the house red wine and potatos the day we stopped by for lunch. We also went there for dinner the first evening we were on the Big Island and it was fabulous! Would definitely recommend it!

By Bill

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Dec 20, 2003

Absolutely Outstanding!

Our favorite restaurant on the Big Island. Incredible seafood selections and very good service. Worth every penny. Avoid tables in the back near the kitchen (noise).

By Heidi

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Sep 5, 2003

A Delightful Dinner

The lamb tenderloin (a special) was superb! I was completely surprised at how delicious & succulent it was. Highly recommended. Pleasant decor & a good wine list. The service was also very good.

By David

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Sep 17, 2002

One of our favorites on Big Island - but atmosphere problems

We dined at Merriman's last week of August during a vacation to the Big Island. This was our second visit in two years, and the food was just as good as we remembered. A wonderful menu, fresh ingredients, and delicious flavors. I must add, two comments, however: First the atmosphere here is not romantic, is not even that good by any normal standards for a restaurant. My biggest complaint is the tables are jammed together too close to each other...

so other guests are right on top of you -a nd it was very noisy. The wait staff kept bumped into us and into our table repeatedly, there wasn't enough room for them to navigate through the room. It's obvious the management does this to get higher turns each night... but this is inexcusable in my opinion. Second, while two years ago we felt Merriman's couldn't be topped... this trip we found good news, it can be! The Four Seasons was PERFECT in every respect. And Daniel Thiebault across the street from Merriman's was so good we dined there twice this trip (something we rarely do)! So if you are on the Big Island, by all means DO dine at Merriman's for the wonderful food. And if you work at Merriman's and are reading this, wake up and smell the Kona Coffee, remove a few of the tables to get a better atmosphere for those dining.

Read More

By Paul

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Aug 27, 2002

If they were open for breakfast you wouldn't have to eat anywhere else.

Overall the best dinning experience we had on the Big Island. The menu has so many good things to choose from but don't dispare, they are so smart there that you can get more than one entree in smaller portions. Many kinds of fresh fish every night, excellent Hawaiian raised lamb and beef, and very tasty desserts. The only complaint I had was they need to kick up their wine list (not their prices which are good) with some more diversity and depth.

By joan

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Sep 6, 2001

Trade off

Year after year, trip after trip to the Big Island, I trade a dinner at Merrimans' for not questioning the number of golf rounds for my husband....it's that good.

Show All

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Food

Décor

Service

Value

Advertisement