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. Beach Tree at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

    $$$ | Italian

    This beautifully designed venue provides a relaxed and elegant setting for alfresco dining near the sand, with its boardwalk-style deck, outdoor...Read More

  • 2. Bears' Coffee

    $ | American

    This favorite, cozy breakfast spot, a fixture downtown since the late 1980s, is much loved for its fresh-fruit waffles and tasty morning coffee...Read More

  • 3. Island Fish and Chips

    $ | American

    Hidden lakeside at the Kings' Shop, this little take-out place is a best-kept secret in the Waikoloa Beach Resort. The combo baskets brim with...Read More

  • 4. Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill

    $$ | American

    This brightly decorated, open-air restaurant is a favorite lunch and dinner destination of visitors and residents, thanks to generous portions...Read More

  • 5. Ken's House of Pancakes

    $ | American

    For years, this 24-hour diner on Banyan Drive between the airport and the hotels has been a gathering place for Hilo residents and visitors...Read More

  • 6. Kona Brewing Co. Pub & Brewery

    $ | American

    This ultrapopular destination with an outdoor patio offers an excellent and varied menu, including famous brews, pulled-pork quesadillas, gourmet...Read More

  • 7. Lava Lava Beach Club

    $$ | American

    Dig your toes into the sand at Anaehoomalu Bay and enjoy one of the most happening, entertaining, and memorable bar/restaurants on the Kohala...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Quinn's Almost by the Sea

    $ | American

    With the bar in the front and the dining patio in the back, Quinn's may seem like a bit of a dive at first glance, but this venerable restaurant...Read More

  • 10. Ultimate Burger

    $ | American

    Located in the Office Max shopping complex in Kailua-Kona, this excellent burger joint may look like a chain, but it's an independent, locally...Read More

  • 11. Umekes Fishmarket Bar and Grill

    $$ | American

    Locals flock to this downtown Kailua-Kona restaurant for good reason: the poke is the most onolicious (superdelicious) in town, and the many...Read More

  • 12. Annie's Island Fresh Burgers

    $ | American

    At this upcountry burger restaurant in Kona, the burgers are made of succulent, 100% island-raised beef, while the hand-cut garlic-basil French...Read More

  • 13. Ba-Le

    $ | Vietnamese

    Hidden away in a strip mall on Palani Road near KTA, Ba-Le serves Vietnamese-influenced food such as pho, a soup laden with noodles, meat, and...Read More

  • 14. Bianelli's

    $ | Italian

    With indoor and outdoor seating, this easygoing Italian restaurant serves up gourmet pizzas and a tasty selection of pasta dishes, calzones...Read More

  • 15. Big Island Grill

    $ | American

    This local-style Hawaiian restaurant looks like an old coffee shop—it's large and nondescript inside, with booths, basic tables, and bingo-hall...Read More

  • 16. Blane's Drive Inn

    $ | American

    At one point this was a real drive-in with car service. Now, customers park, order at the window, and eat at one of the few picnic tables or...Read More

  • 17. Bubba Gump Shrimp Company

    $$ | American

    This may be a chain named after an old Tom Hanks movie, but it has one of the nicest oceanfront patios in Historic Kailua Village, and the food...Read More

  • 18. Café 100

    $ | American

    Established in 1948, this family-owned restaurant is famous for its tasty loco moco, prepared in more than three dozen ways, and its low-priced...Read More

  • 19. Habanero's Grill

    $ | Mexican

    Perched above Alii Drive near Royal Kona Resort, this casually upscale restaurant with a view features traditional taqueria-style offerings...Read More

  • 20. Hawaii Calls Restaurant & Lounge at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

    $$ | American

    The only restaurant at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott, Hawaii Calls offers a contemporary and fresh menu. The real draw here are the weekly special...Read More

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