Big Island Restaurants

Between star chefs and myriad local farms, the Big Island restaurant scene is becoming a destination for foodies. Food writers are praising the chefs of the Big Island for their ability to turn the local bounty into inventive blends inspired by the island's cultural heritage.Resorts along the Kohala Coast have long invested in c
Between star chefs and myriad local farms, the Big Island restaurant scene is becoming a destination for foodies. Food writers are praising the chefs of the Big Island for their ability to turn the local bounty into inventive blends inspired by the island's cultural her
Between star chefs and myriad local farms, the Big Island restaurant scene is becoming a destination for foodies. Food w

Between star chefs and myriad local farms, the Big Island restaurant scene is becoming a destination for foodies. Food writers are praising the chefs of the Big Island for their ability to turn the local bounty into inventive blends inspired by the island's cultural heritage.

Resorts along the Kohala Coast have long invested in culinary programs offering memorable dining experiences that include inventive entrées, spot-on wine pairings, and customized chef's table options. But great food on the Big Island doesn't begin and end with the resorts. A handful of chefs have retired from the fast-paced hotel world and opened their own small bistros in upcountry Waimea, or other places off the beaten track. Unique and wonderful restaurants have cropped up in Hawi, Kainaliu, and Holualoa, and on the east side of the island in Hilo.

In addition to restaurants, festivals devoted to island products draw hundreds of attendees to learn about everything from breadfruit and mango to avocado, chocolate, and coffee. Agritourism has turned into a fruitful venture for farmers as farm tours afford the opportunity to meet with and learn from a variety of local producer. Some tours conclude with a meal of items sourced from the same farms. From goat farms churning creamy, savory goat cheese to Waimea farms planting row after row of bright tomatoes to high-tech aquaculture operations at NELHA (Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii Authority), visitors can see exactly where their next meal comes from.

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  • 1. Luna Restaurant

    $ | Italian

    Tucked away in a strip mall near KTA, this little restaurant makes some of the best pizza on the Big Island. Check out the Isola Grande laden...Read More

  • 2. Big Island Brewhaus

    $ | American

    Owner Tom Kerns is a veteran brewer who's now churning out premium ales, lagers, and specialty beers from his on-site brewery in Waimea. With...Read More

  • 3. Lilikoi Café

    $ | European

    This gem of a café is tucked away in the back of the Parker Ranch Center. Locals love that it's hard to find because they want to keep its delicious...Read More

  • 4. Merriman's

    $$$$ | American

    Located in upcountry Waimea, this signature restaurant of Peter Merriman, one of the pioneers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, is the home of the...Read More

  • 5. Noodle Club

    $ | Japanese

    Star Wars toys and action figures line the shelves of Noodle Club, a fun destination with serious food in Parker Ranch Center. Veteran resort...Read More

  • 6. Pau

    $ | Italian

    Its name is Hawaiian for "done," perhaps an allusion to how eagerly the pizzas are gobbled up. On offer is a wide selection of appetizers, salads...Read More

  • 7. Red Water Cafe

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Chef David Abraham serves Hawaiian café food with a twist and a side of aloha. The specialty is multicultural cuisine, like a Thai Caesar salad...Read More

  • 8. The Fish and the Hog Market Cafe

    $ | Eclectic

    This casual little restaurant along the highway serves up generous sandwiches, salads, and melt-in-your-mouth barbecue items, including kiawe...Read More

  • 9. Village Burger

    $ | American

    This little eatery brings a whole new meaning to gourmet hamburgers. Locally raised, grass-fed, hormone-free beef is ground fresh, hand-shaped...Read More

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