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. Kenichi Pacific

    $$ | Japanese

    With black-lacquer tables and lipstick-red banquettes, Kenichi offers a more sophisticated dining atmosphere than what's normally found in Kona...Read More

  • 2. Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

    $$$$ | American

    Casual elegance takes center stage at the resort's flagship oceanfront restaurant, one of the most upscale restaurants on the Big Island. Breakfast...Read More

  • 3. Holuakoa Gardens and Cafe

    $$ | American

    This respected slow-food restaurant in Holualoa Village features fine dining in a lush, open-air setting beneath the shade of an old monkeypod...Read More

  • 4. Keei Café at Hokukano

    $$ | Eclectic

    This nicely appointed restaurant, perched above the highway just 15 minutes south of Kailua-Kona, serves delicious dinners with Brazilian, Asian...Read More

  • 5. Kilauea Lodge

    $$$ | European

    The roaring fire, koa-wood tables, and intimate lighting are in keeping with this cozy lodge in the heart of Volcano Village. The dinner menu...Read More

  • 6. La Bourgogne

    $$$$ | French

    A genial husband-and-wife team owns this quiet, country-style bistro with dark-wood walls and private booths (no windows; it's located in a...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. Mi's Waterfront Bistro

    $$ | Italian

    Overlooking Kailua Bay at its new location in Waterfront Row, this steady presence in the Kona dining scene offers a reliable, consistent menu...Read More

  • 9. Norio's Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar

    $$$$ | Japanese

    On the garden level of the Fairmont Orchid, this classy restaurant appeals to both steak and seafood lovers. The star attraction is the signature...Read More

  • 10. The Rim at Volcano House

    $$ | American

    This fine-dining restaurant overlooks the rim of Kilauea caldera and its fiery glow. Featuring two bars, a lounge, and live entertainment, it...Read More

  • 11. The Seaside Restaurant & Aqua Farm

    $$ | Seafood

    The Nakagawa family has been running this eatery since the early 1920s. The latest son to manage it has transformed both the menu and the decor...Read More

  • 12. Tunaichi Sushi

    $ | Japanese

    This hidden gem behind Gertrude's Jazz Bar serves excellent sushi at affordable prices. Presenting an authentic vibe of Japan, this restaurant...Read More

  • 13. Wasabi's

    $$ | Japanese

    A tiny place hidden in the back of the Coconut Grove Marketplace on Alii Drive, Wasabi's features indoor and outdoor seating. Prices may seem...Read More

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