Big Island foodie tips

Oct 20th, 2006, 11:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 201
Another vote for Roy's, and my family and I absolutely love the Market cafe, which is the casual restaurant of Merriman's and is in the mall by the Hilton Waikaloa.
Bikom is offline  
Oct 21st, 2006, 01:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Some of the more "local specialities" are the Stone Cookies, dried marlin or marlin jerky, Atebara's potato chips, taro chips, and as mentioned before, the "original" Big Island chocolate dipped shortbread cookies (there have been many copycats). The Stone Cookies don't have much taste but are great for dunking and are addicting, why, I don't know.

If you are in Hilo, Cafe 100 is the place for plate lunch--where the word Loco Moco got its name. It has been around forever, an icon.
offlady is offline  
Oct 21st, 2006, 01:23 AM
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SoloAlex, I forgot to mention that the items I just listed are usually available at any KTA supermarket. The non-perishable items (non-fishy stuff) are probably available at Longs Drugs too. I'd hit those places first for better prices.

I love going into supermarkets when I travel to see what local items they have. My favorite thing to search for right now is trying out the local brands of potato chips.

In Kona, there was a Furukawa brand of Kitch'n Cooked kettle style potato chip. They're made in small batches so were a little harder to find, if they are even still around. They were unusually thin and light.
offlady is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 271
Malasaadas (sp?) from Tex's Drive In. We definately enjoyed the chocolate souffle at Roys.
sherrie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 241
I'll second Cafe 100 in Hilo and the moco loco. Great stuff -- not exactly gourmet or health food but real "stick to your ribs" stuff. (As I understand it, your basic moco loco is rice, fried egg and a hamburger patty covered with gravy, but they have all variations. When I was there I had stew loco -- rice, egg and beef stew.)
al is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 12:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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If your driving from VNP to Kona around the southern end, recommend checking out the malasadas at Punalu`u Bake Shop . While in Kona, recommend Killer Tacos.
JohnD is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 39
My favorite Hilo restaurant is the Hilo Bay Cafe. Food is absolutely wonderful-- delicious and beautifully presented....and not too expensive.
diane37 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2006, 02:02 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 225
Kona brewing company for great beer and pizza, Killer tacos (almost every day...) and Malasadas from Tex. Awesome farmers market fruit. Also, a little road side stand near Hapuna Beach where we picked up plate lunch for a picnic.
oregonmom is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 07:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 69
Thanks to everyone for your tips! I just got back Wednesday and had a great time eating my way around the island.

marlin jerky: yum!

moco loco: double yum! Tried several places and Cafe 100 won hands down. I might start making them at home now.

Farmer's market in "downtown" Kona is a must-see.

Stone Cookies live up to their name: a bag survived two flights in checked luggage and not a single one broke!

What's Shakin was the best smoothie I ever had (and oh-so-conveniently located on one of the most scenic drives on the BI).

Volcano Island Honey - a bit off the beaten track but not far from Hawaiian Vanilla and well worth it.

Kona Brewing was great, if a wee bit hard to find. The coffee-flavored Pipeline Porter is amazingly good.

I have waaay too much coffee now. hard to say which coffee was best, but Greenwell had the best tour of the four I visited.
SoloAlex is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 666
glad you enjoyed the BI SoloAlex, mahalo for reporting back

i agree, the "loco moco" at Cafe 100 broke da mouf

same with What's Shakin - those smoothies are killer after visiting HTBG

did you try the Donkey Balls near Greenwell?
bluefan is offline  
Nov 17th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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Posts: 17,431
Looking this over, realized I forgot Ocean Sushi Deli in Hilo. Fab.
Gardyloo is online now  
Nov 19th, 2006, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,299
Just returned from our 7th trip to the BI last week. Stayed in S Kona. I third the Killer Taco's recommendation. The burrito with kalua pork--yum. Also Kenichi in Keauhou shopping center. Fabulous sashimi, crab cakes and fish entrees. And Ke'ei Cafe in Kainaliu--food, great as always, and the service problems of the recent past appear to no longer exist.

Shopping for food--South Kona Seafood--delicious poke and very fresh fish. South Kona Fruit Market--huge selection of fresh fruit--lilikoi $2/lb (they are $2 a piece, when available, where I live)--my idea of heaven. Also Choice Mart is a wonderful supermarket, especially if you are staying in South Kona--good selection of produce, meat and seafood.
martym is offline  
Nov 24th, 2006, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
A couple more on the Hilo side. We loved Curry on the Go in Hilo. This catering truck parks down the street from the farmer's market. We ate their twice on our one week trip. We also had fun at Ed's Bakery near Akaka falls. Great cinnamon rolls and brownies with a local coconut twist. You can see pictures on my travelouge website.
Muffin007 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 04:17 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 46
Great post - I'm a foodie too so I thought I would pull this post forward for people who are headed to Hawaii in 2008 and doing some planning. Any new great spots since this late 2006 post?

Thanks! Fritch
Fritch is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,854
Emerald Orchid in Hilo, we had ono with ginger black bean sauce and parmesan risotto eary this year.

Royal Thai Cafe in the Keauhou Shopping Center was pretty good and Peaberry & Galette next door had interesting lunch items, i.e. avacado and bacon in a sour cream crepe. The last dinner we had in pouring rain was Kai at the Keauhou Sheraton, excellent prawns & lobster, scampi with linguini and a white choc lilikoi mousse cake that sent us to heaven.
Shanghainese is offline  
Dec 31st, 2007, 11:55 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12
Aloha SoloAlex,

Pleeeeeeeeeease tell me that you located the fabulously-retro Ken's House of Pancakes in Hilo! A more fun 24-hour family diner was never had!

We ate there every chance we got; the place was packed and we had the chance to eat everything from loco moco, hamburgers, kalua BBQ, and the BEST coconut cream pie EVER.

I miss Ken's!

Loved the pizza at Kona Brewing Company (the Ali'i Pepperoni has smoked mozzarella- heavenly)...

Also, the meals at the Big Island Grill (Kailua-Kona) were hearty. The best dessert is the coconut/haupia ice cream pie, stuffed into a mac-nut crust, and drizzled with raspberry and chocolate sauce. Oh, and whipped cream and more mac nuts!

Thanks for taking me back down memory lane. Good thing we walked around all the time, we'd have gotten purty hefty!

Have you been yet?
Dalaguete is offline  
Dec 31st, 2007, 11:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12
Whoops, forgot to mention a BBQ joint in the Safeway plaza -- the classic two-scoop-rice-plate-lunch place! (Kailua-Kona.) Was it Manna BBQ?
Dalaguete is offline  
Jan 11th, 2009, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 237
Bad news,folks;I just learned that Huggo's is no longer serving lunch. you can still have lunch at H.on the Rocks, but that is not as nice as the restaurant.
TravelingMan76 is offline  
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