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The Best Restaurants on the Big Island
If you’re planning a Big Island vacation, one of the first things you’ll look for are the best restaurants on the Big Island! Where are the best places to eat on the Big Island? I’ll share some of my favorites below!
You may not know that the Big Island has been my favorite island to visit for a long time, and it’s still a very close second to Kauai. So, here are the best restaurants on the Big Island. And yes, this is currently updated and reflects any post-2020 closures.
If you’re planning a Big Island vacation, you’ll need a rental car! The island is large, and public transportation is scarce. I recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental. You’ll find the best deals on any of the Hawaiian Islands.
Speaking of other Hawaiian islands, don’t forget to check out the best restaurants in Kauai and the 40 best places to eat in Maui too!
The Best Restaurants on the Big Island
Here are the best places to eat on the Big Island, in no particular order! I mention Happy Hour a lot, and I have a separate post for that too! Don’t miss the best happy hours in Kona.
Brown’s Beach House
Brown’s Beach House can be found at Fairmont Orchid. It is known for its Hawaii Regional cuisine. All their dishes contain locally sourced ingredients.
The menu includes many local favorites. You may want to order the Kona prawns or ahi poke for an appetizer. Then you can sink your teeth into dishes that include Kona kampachi, prime rib, and kabocha pumpkin gnocchi. Save room for dessert. You won’t be able to resist the Kona coffee mud pie.
You can listen to live Hawaiian music playing in the background as you are eating your meal.
Address: 1 North Kaniku Dr, Waimea, HI
Lava Lava Beach Club
One of the best laid-back restaurants on the Big Island is the Lava Lava Beach Club. This restaurant features Hawaii’s flavors and a few international and American classics.
This is an excellent restaurant on the Big Island for lunch or dinner. You can even join them for happy hour.
**Lava Lava Beach Club is currently renovating and will open in October 2022.**
Sink your toes in the sand and enjoy the views as you dine on some of the best food on the island.
Address: 69-1081 Kuualii Pl, Waikoloa, HI
Most people go to the Kona Inn to drink some of the best mai tais on the island. In my opinion, the best. Happy hour happens at this restaurant on the Big Island every day. That is the best time to grab a mai tai, relax, and enjoy the spectacular view.
If you are hungry, the food at the Kona Inn is only okay, but if you’re planning a late dinner, an appetizer and mai tai are the perfect start to the evening.
Address: 75-5744 Alii Dr # 135, Kailua Kona, HI
Da Poke Shack
If you are searching for the best restaurant on the Big Island for traditional Hawaiian poke, you must head to Da Poke Shack. This is one of the best places to eat lunch on the island. It would help if you arrived early, though. They are only open until they sell out each day.
All the poke bowls and plates will melt in your mouth. Imagine your taste buds dancing as you try the spicy garlic poke, shack special, and the poke of the day.
Address: 76-6246 Alii Dr, Kailua Kona, HI
Kamana Kitchen is one of the best restaurants on the Big Island for gorgeous views. Of course, the food is fantastic too! Believe it not; it’s one of my personal favorites!
You will find many yummy options if you can take your eyes away from the views to look at the menu. Local favorites include the veg samosa, chicken tikka masala, and lamb kabob. There are plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians (like me), but meat lovers (like my husband) have many options too.
You will find a little of everything at this restaurant. Make sure you save room for their mango ice cream or gajar halwa.
Address: 755770 Alii Dr, Kailua Kona, HI
One of the best restaurants for dinner on the Big Island is Huggo’s. This casual dining spot on the water is perfect for family dinners or romantic nights.
Their signature dish is teriyaki steak. The menu includes seafood, pasta, ribs, and vegetarian dishes. You won’t be able to resist anything on the menu, so make sure you arrive hungry!
Photo is property of Huggo’s.
Address: 75-5828 Kahakai Rd, Kailua Kona, HI
Merriman’s Big Island
Merriman’s is open on the Big Island for lunch, dinner, and brunch on Sundays. Their lunch menu features salads, burgers, and sandwiches. A three-course prix fixe menu is available for dinner.
Sunday brunch includes local dishes like Punalu’u sweet bread, French toast, Florentine benedict, and Kalua pork skillet.
Address: 65-1227 Opelo Rd, Kamuela, HI
One of the best restaurants on the Big Island for watching sunsets is the Canoe House. Located at one of the best luxury resorts on the Big Island. Canoe house has some of the best views to enjoy a wonderful sunset during your dinner!
Some of their specialty dishes are grilled Kona kampachi and smoked pork jowl. If you can’t decide what you want to eat, consider the “MY” menu. The six-course tasting menu will allow you to have a little of everything.
Photo is property of Canoe House.
Address: 68 Mauna Lani Dr, Waimea, HI
ULU Ocean Grill
ULU Ocean Grill is one of the best places to eat local seafood. Hawaiian flavors are combined with Pan-Asian techniques to create all the dishes at this Big Island restaurant.
Signature dishes include Hawaiian ahi poke, charcoal bbq octopus, and miso yaki kanpachi. If you don’t want seafood, steak and chicken can also be found on the menu.
Address: 72-100 Kaupulehu Dr, Kailua Kona, HI
Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill Kona
You will find a family-friendly atmosphere when you walk into Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill Kona. This is one of the best restaurants for dinner on the Big Island if you want to relax and have a few laughs.
The menu contains numerous options, so there is something for everyone. Seafood, lamb, ribs, steak, and pork chops are all part of the chef’s specialties. There are a few vegetarian options as well.
Address: 75-5995 Kuakini Hwy Ste A, Kailua Kona, HI
Dining at Roy’s is a laid-back experience. Walk in, place your order for drinks and food and chill out as you eat some of the best food on the island.
Start with the applewood smoked Szechuan baby ribs or Hawaii kai style crab cakes. Then move on to the mix grill, macadamia nut-crusted mahi-mahi, or the duroc pork chop.
For dessert, it is all about Roy’s chocolate souffle or the upside-down pineapple cake. Maybe even both!
Address: 250 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa, HI
Manta is an upscale yet casual restaurant (are you getting the sense that most places in Hawaii are casual? They are!) located at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. This is one of the best restaurants on the Big Island for dinner. Their menu features Pacific Rim dishes.
The menus at Manta change with what is available locally during each season. Therefore, you should expect to try something new with each visit! Live music also plays in the background most nights.
Address: 62-100 Kauna’oa Dr, Kohala Coast, HI
At Cafe 100, it is all about the loco moco. They serve thirty different versions of this dish. You can try them all but start with the original. The traditional loco moco contains a bed of rice covered with a beef patty, gravy, and a fried egg. It also comes with a variety of side dishes.
You can always order a burger if you aren’t in the mood for a loco moco.
Address: 969 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, HI
Kona Brewing Company
One of the best restaurants on the Big Island for happy hour or dinner is the Kona Brewing Company. I remember Kona Brewing Company as the place where my husband had too many beers, and I bullied him into his first tattoo (don’t do that, by the way.) Now he has a few tattoos, but the best story is from the first.
I’m sure you’ll make even better memories here! As for the menu, you will find pizza, burgers, and tacos. An evening here will never disappoint, especially since you will be hanging out with many locals.
Address: 74-5612 Pawai Place, Kailua Kona, HI
Island Fish and Chips
One of the best places to eat lunch on the Big Island is Island Fish & Chips. You will find this restaurant hidden in the King’s Shops at Waikoloa. It is worth the little game you will play trying to find this restaurant!
Once you find Island Fish & Chips, you must order their fish tacos, coconut shrimp, or famous fish and chips. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for their pineapple slaw for one of your sides.
Address: 9250 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa, HI
Hula Hulas is one of the best restaurants on the Big Island for happy hour. The lilikoi cocktails are a local favorite. They go well with the regional dishes on the menu. You will also find burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas to chow down on if you want some comfort food from back home.
This restaurant does get quite busy, so service may not be as fast during your visit. Enjoy the views during your wait and embrace the Hawaiian lifestyle.
Address: 93 Banyan Dr, Hilo, HI
When you venture over to Tex Drive-In on the Big Island, it is all about the malasadas. Yes, you can order burgers, wraps, and stir fry dishes. But the malasadas are the best.
A malasada is a Portuguese fried donut. Imagine a thick and eggy donut sprinkled with sugar. You can eat them plain, or you can have them filled. A local favorite is Tex’s Bavarian cream.
Address: 690 Pakalana St 19, Honokaa, HI
One of the best restaurants on the Big Island for lunch is Beach Tree. You must try their fish tacos. Although, if you love bon bons, you may want to skip lunch and go directly to dessert. I definitely won’t tell!
Make sure you order an Empress purple gin and tonic with your lunch. You can sip on it as you soak up the ambiance within this beach bar.
Address: 72-100 Ka’upulehu Dr, Kailua Kona, HI
Napua is a restaurant located within the Mauna Lani Beach Club. You can visit this restaurant on the Big Island for lunch, dinner, or drinks. No matter when you visit, you can listen to Hawaiian music while gazing out towards the water.
The ahupua’a salad is a favorite, as is the fresh catch served with a pink plum sauce. Add a cocktail to ensure you experience the best this restaurant offers.
Address: 68-1292 S Kaniku Dr, Waikoloa Village, HI
Sea Dandelion Cafe
If you want a healthy, vegetarian meal while on vacation on the Big Island, head over to Sea Dandelion Cafe. Healthy sandwiches, smoothies, and kombucha are all on the menu.
Address: 45-3590 Mamane St, Honokaa, HI
The Fish Hopper
The Fish Hopper is a Big Island restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sandwiches are the best at lunch. It is all about the seafood and steaks for dinnertime.
However, breakfast is a favorite meal for many at The Fish Hopper. You can order omelets, eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles, and French toast. There are so many delicious items I guarantee you will eat there more than once during your vacation on the Big Island.
Address: 75-5683 Alii Dr, Kailua Kona, HI
The Coffee Shack
The Coffee Shack is one of the best places to eat breakfast on the Big Island. They serve all types of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and juice. Egg sandwiches, omelets, and more are all on the menu.
You can also dine on sandwiches and pizzas later in the day when you grab yet another cup of coffee to make it to the sunset.
Address: 83-5799 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, HI
Black Rock Pizza
Pizza cravings will be satisfied when you choose this pizza restaurant on the Big Island! Black Rock Pizza is known for its delicious pizza and excellent customer service. You can’t go wrong with the views either.
They have every pizza imaginable on the menu. Be prepared to order more than enough and take the extra back to your hotel room. Oh, and don’t forget to order a few cannolis for snack time later on!
Address: 82-6127 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, HI
The best places to eat on the Big Island
These are the best restaurants on the Big Island. Did your favorite Big Island restaurant make the list? Don’t forget that many favorites closed down during the shutdowns in Hawaii. If your current favorite isn’t on the list, please share it in the comments below! Maybe I’ll even check it out and add it to the best restaurants on the Big Island!
Big Island Travel Tips
Planning a Big Island vacation? Don’t miss some of my best Big Island travel tips:
- The 7 Best Things to do on the Big Island
- Guide to Volcanoes National Park
- The 10 best tours on the Big Island
- Where to find sea turtles on the Big Island
- 25 best things to do in Kona
The best restaurants on the Big Island
If you need some help planning your Big Island vacation, reach out! I am a Hawaii Travel Agent, and that is what I do. I am selective about how many clients I work with, so reach out as soon as possible for the best availability. You can contact me to learn more.
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