Big Island Dining

Find the Best Restaurants on Hawaii's Big Island

Food is a big part of life in Hawaii. And here on Big island there's plenty to choose from. With our many ethnic groups there is a wide range of cuisines, with something to suit even the fussiest eater. 

Ba-Le Restaurant (327-1212) 74-5588 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona. Ba-Le is a small unassuming Vietnamese place with authentic cuisine and fresh sandwiches on homemade rolls and croissants. You order at the counter and the food arrives quickly at your table. Although it’s not fancy to look at, Ba-Le was voted Best Saimin and Pho-Noodle Soup on the Big Island, and an array of small business awards line the walls. Their “bubble tea” is some of the best around, the plate lunches and the cold rice noodle salads are also very popular. Open Monday thru Saturday: 10am - 9pm, Sunday: 11am - 7pm. 


Bamboo Restaurant (889-5555). Hawi, at the junction of Highways 250 and 270, North Kohala. Voted “Best restaurant on the Big Island,” featuring innovative and affordable Island-style cuisine, with fresh Big Island fish and local produce. Relax in the historic building and lush, tropical atmosphere as you sip a passion-fruit margarita-invented here! Acclaimed local musician John Keawe plays here twice a month- call for schedule. Open for Lunch:  Tues. - Sat.  11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Dinner:  Tues. - Sat. 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Sunday Brunch:  11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Closed Mondays


Big Island Grill ( 326-1153) 75-5702 Kuakini Hwy., Kailua-Kona. One of the best-kept secrets among local residents is the Big Island Grill, where you get huge servings of home cooking at 1970s prices. The place is always packed, from the first cup of coffee at breakfast to the last bite of dessert at night. This is a place to take the family for dinner (excellent fresh salmon, generous salads, and the world's tastiest mashed potatoes) without having to go into debt. Warning: You'll likely have to wait (no reservations), and once you finally land a table, service can sometimes be slow. Relax, it's Hawaii and people are not in much of a hurry. Open Mon-Sat 6-10am, 11am-9pm.


Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (331-8663). Located on Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona. Delicious shrimp, crab legs, Dixie-style baby-back ribs, burgers, salads and more in a fun, family atmosphere. Great location right on the water. Bubba Gump on the water. Open daily. Hours: Sun-Thur 10AM-10PM / Appetizers till 10:30pm, Fri-Sat 10AM-11PM.


Café  Pesto (882-1071) in Kawaihae, and (969-6640) in Hilo. A wonderful alternative to the resorts... the best of Hawaii's hidden treasures" claim food critics and locals alike. The menu features fresh local seafood, exotic pizzas, colorful eclectic salads and Asian inspired pastas and risottos. Open 7 days a week: Sunday - Thursday 11 am until 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am until 10 pm

Coast Grille & Oyster Bar (880-3023).


Coast Grille & Oyster Bar (880-3023). Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel,62-100 Kaunaoa Drive. At this open-air restaurant with stunning ocean views, executive chef Piet Wigmans blends fresh island produce with rich Pacific Rim flavors. Begin with panko-crusted yellow-fin tuna and ahi summer roll, or indulge in the oyster bar. Nightly specials always include grilled Keahole lobster, macadamia nut mahimahi, filet mignon and rib-eye steak. Open daily 6 – 9pm.


Denny’s  (327-2184) 75-1027 Henry Street in Kona. Be prepared for the prices to be a little higher than a mainland Denny’s (everything in Hawaii has to be shipped here, so add on a “Paradise Tax”). But the breakfasts are good, and you know what to expect. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


Don the Beachcomber (329-3111) Located at the Royal Kona Resort Hotel in Kailua-Kona. The restaurant sits on the waterfront overlooking Kailua bay. Dinner at sunset lets you enjoy the sun setting on the water while waiters light tiki torches and candles to encourage the mood. The food served is reflective of the tropical island paradise and many local fish and traditional Hawaiian cooking styles are used. The wait staff is friendly and attentive and promptly arrive at the table with water, fresh hot focaccia bread with seasoned butter and a hearty slice of pineapple. Don’s breakfast buffet is one of the most popular in Kona and includes Belgian waffles, cooked-to-order omelets as well as A-la-carte menu items. Open every day from 6:30am - 10:00am , 11:30pm - 2:30pm and  5:30pm - 9:00pm


Fish Hoppers (326-2002) 75-5683 Alii Drive, Kailua Kona. Great location right in front of Kailua Bay. Easy parking in the rear of the restaurant. Early-bird specials for $14.95, which include dessert (key lime pie or bread pudding!). They offer a $19.95 Prime Rib & Lobster dinner on Monday and Tuesday. Great for breakfast, a little more pricey for dinner. Open Daily 7:30am-9pm

Gathering of the Kings Luau (326-4969). The Big Island's newest Polynesian feast is a combination of the best at the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii at Mauna Lani, held Tuesday and Saturday evenings. Travel to the islands of Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand and Tahiti as you taste the Pacific's culinary treasures. Enjoy the drama and dance, a fusion of both traditional and modern choreography. The Gathering of the Kings retells the story of the journey of the Polynesians who settled the Pacific. Visit

Harbor House Restaurant (326-4166) Honokahau Harbor, Kailua-Kona. Fresh fish, seafood yummy burgers and sandwiches, 12 different kinds of drafts, 18 ounce ice cold schooners. Mon – Sat; 11:00 a.m. – 6:45 pm, Sunday; 11;00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.


Gathering of the Kings Luau (326-4969). The Big Island’s newest Polynesian feast is a combination of the best at the Fairmont Orchid Hawaii at Mauna Lani, held Tuesday and Saturday evenings. Travel to the islands of Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand and Tahiti as you taste the Pacific’s culinary treasures. Enjoy the drama and dance, a fusion of both traditional and modern choreography. The Gathering of the Kings retells the story of the journey of the Polynesians who settled the Pacific. Visit


Harbor House Restaurant (326-4166) Honokahau Harbor, Kailua-Kona. Fresh fish, seafood yummy burgers and sandwiches, 12 different kinds of drafts, 18 ounce ice cold schooners. Mon-Sat; 11:00am – 7:00pm, Sunday; 11:00am – 6:00pm.


The Hualalai Grille  (325-8525) Located on the upper level of the Hualalai Golf Clubhouse, at the Four Seasons Resort. The Hualalai Grille features the best of Hawaii's "farm to table" ingredients prepared using the techniques and flavors of Asia-Pacific. Enjoy the open-air dining area overlooking the lush gardens of Hualalai and the 18th green of the Hualalai Golf Course. Expensive, but worth it. Closed for lunch. The bar  is open from 2:30 to 9:00, and dinner is served from 5:30 to 9:00.


Huggos (329-1493) 75-5828 Kahakai Road (just off of Alii Drive in Kona)“The island’s premier seafood restaurant for surfside dining and dancing at the water’s edge” Received the West Hawaii Today “Best of” Awards for best dining atmosphere, fish/seafood, desserts, cocktails, & Happy Hour (Pau Hana). Open 5:30-9:00 pm Sunday – Thursday, 5:30 – 10:00 pm Friday and Saturday.
 Huggos on the Rocks: “Casual Ocean Front Setting for Cocktails & Light Fare”. Located next to Huggo's Restaurant. Lunch is from 11:30 am – 5:30 pm, dinner from: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm. Cocktails:  11:30 am – midnight. Entertainment nightly 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm Java on the Rocks is open in the same location from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30and serves coffee, pastries and some egg dishes until 11:30 a.m. 


Huggos on the Rocks: “Casual Ocean Front Setting for Cocktails and Light Fare”. Located next to Huggo’s Restaurant. Lunch is from 11:30am – 5:30pm, dinner from 5:30 – 10:00pm. Cocktails: 11:30am – midnight. Entertainment nightly 6:30 – 10:00pm. Java on the Rocks is open in the same location from 6:00 – 11:30am and serves coffee, pastries and some egg dishes until 11:30am.


Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse (324-2337) 75-5815 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona. “For Beer Lovers, By Beer Lovers!” Their slogan says it all --- this is the place to party. Of course they have an extensive beer selection, but they also have great fresh baked pizza and burgers. Mon-Fri 11:00am – 2:00am, Sat-Sun 8:00am – 2:00am.


Island Breeze Luau  (326-4969). Held on the historic grounds of King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, Island Breeze invites you to an award-winning luau. Savor the delicious feast as you revel in the colorful costumes and dances from Polynesia. Call for reservations.


Island Lava Java (327-2161) 75-5799 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona. Directly across the street from the ocean with an unimpaired view of the waves in Kailua Bay, this inexpensive outdoor coffee shop started as a small espresso joint with a few pastries a few years ago. Now they offer lunch and dinner as well. Today Lava Java is the "in" place to sip espresso drinks, chow down on good food, and enjoy the ocean view. A handful of tables ring the small shop outside, and a few more tiny tables are located inside at this counter service-only restaurant. Open daily 6am-10pm.


Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill (327-0209) 75-5995 Kuakini Highway. Located in the Pottery Terrace, Kailua-Kona. Excellent food & outstanding service. This off-the-beaten-path eatery is hard to categorize: part sports bar, part gourmet restaurant, part neighborhood cafe. No matter what you call it, you'll get great food at wallet-pleasing prices. “Continental  Cuisine with Hawaiian Flair”. Open for lunch M-F from 11 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., pupus are served between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. and dinner is served every night from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.


Jameson's By The Sea (329-3195) 77-6452 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona. Savor a fine meal and colorful sunset over Magic Sands Beach, with daily fresh seafood specials, including mahimahi sautéed with lemon-butter and caper sauce. Lunch Mon-Fri: 11 am - 2:30 pm, dinner nightly 5:00 - 9:00 pm.


Kenichi Pacific (322-6400) 78-6831 Alii Drive#D125, In the Keauhou Shopping Center. Also in the Shops at Mauna Lani (881-1515). Hidden in the Keauhou Shopping Center is this gem of a restaurant, featuring both Pacific Rim fusion cuisine and a sushi bar. The appetizer menu is so tempting (ginger-marinated squid, blackened tuna, Dungeness crab cakes, fresh lobster summer rolls), you might just want to graze from one dish to the next. Leave room for the warm, flourless molten cake with Kona coffee-chip ice cream. Reservations recommended for dinner. Open Tues-Fri 11:30am-1:30pm; daily 5-9:30pm


Ken’s House of Pancakes – Hilo (935-8711) 1730 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo. The only 24-hour restaurant in East Hawaii, Ken's is a great coffee shop, with a good dose of local color. Lighter servings and a concession toward health-conscious meals and salads have been added to the menu, a clever antidote to the numerous pies available. Omelets, pancakes, French toast made with Portuguese sweet bread, saimin, sandwiches, and soup stream out of the busy kitchen. Other affordable selections include fried chicken, steak, prime rib, and grilled fish. Tuesday is taco night, Wednesday is prime-rib night, Thursday is Hawaiian plate, and Sunday is all-you-can-eat-spaghetti night. Very local, very Hilo. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant (967-7366). Volcano Village. Owners Albert and Lorna Jeyte offer both fireside dining and delightfully appointed accommodations. The dining room has beautiful hardwood floors, koa tables, fresh flowers and original local art. At the center of it all sits the welcoming historic Fireplace of Friendship. Complete dinners nightly include favorites such as hasenpfeffer, duck, lamb and fresh Island fish. Reservations recommended. Breakfast 7:30am-10am, Dinner 5pm-9pm. Sunday Brunch 10am-2pm.


Kohala Coffee Mill (889-5577) Akoni Pule Highway, Hawi. Known for the best mochas on the island, the mill serves 100-percent Kona coffee and unique house blends, as well as the widest selection of black, green and herbal teas, smoothies, bagels, beverages, memorable Hawaiian gifts and gourmet products. A great stop for breakfast or lunch. Open daily, Mon-Fri 6am-6pm; Sat-Sun 7am-5:30pm.       


Kona Brewing Company (334-2739) Located on Kuakini Highway, minutes from downtown. One of the better additions to Kailua-Kona's restaurant and bar scene, Kona Brewing Company has an excellent and varied menu including pulled-pork quesadillas, gourmet pizzas, and a killer spinach salad with Gorgonzola cheese, macadamia nuts, all topped with strawberry dressing. Go for the beer tasting menu—it's six of the eight microbrews in miniature glasses that are roughly equivalent to two regular-size mugs. Enjoy a huge selection of Hawaii's best craft ales, lagers and fresh local cuisine. Free tours and tastings are offered. Extensive gift shop. Open Mon-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 9am-11pm.


Kona Inn Restaurant (329-4455) 75-5744 Alii Drive Kailua-Kona. The great menu and fresh seafood in the oceanfront setting remind you why you’ve come to Kailua-Kona. The panoramic view is perfect for sunset cocktails and appetizers. There’s everything from nachos and chicken Caesar salad to sandwiches, pasta, stir-fried dishes, and the highlight: the fresh fish served Cajun style or broiled and basted in lemon butter. Watch for the daily specials on the less expensive Cafe Grill menu (coconut shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, fish and chips, and so on). Reservations recommended.Dinner is served daily 5:30-9pm; Cafe Grill daily 11:30am-9:30pm


Krua Thai Cuisine (327-5782) 75-5705 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona. A longtime favorite of area locals and island visitors, this eatery has become the Thai mainstay of Kailua-Kona. Perched on a hillside along Kuakini Highway mauka (inland) of Alii Drive, this contemporary and stylish eatery is more authentic than any other Thai restaurant. The family owned restaurant is warm and inviting, and the menu offers several authentic dishes including dumplings and a selection of curries that are very flavorful. Portions are large. Popular dishes include the beef salad and the pad Thai. It's a great value for authentic Thai. Open Mon-Sat 11:00am – 9:00pm. Closed Sundays.


La Bourgogne (808) 329-6711 -  77-6400 Nalani Street, Kailua-Kona. Abandon all low-cal, low-cholesterol diets when you enter this 10-table bistro, serving simple but elegant classic French food with simple, skillful elegance. The roast duck breast with raspberries and pine nuts is exactly the kind of dish that characterizes La Bourgogne -- done to perfection, presented attractively, and with an unbeatable match of flavors and textures. Classically trained chef Ron Gallaher expresses his allegiance to la cuisine Française down to the last morsel of flourless chocolate cake and lemon tartlette. Reservations a must. Open Tues-Sat 6-10pm


Romano’s Macaroni Grill (443-5515) 201 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Queens Marketplace. Macaroni Grill offers signature Italian dishes prepared with fresh ingredients and a unique twist by chefs in our open kitchen. An inviting atmosphere located in the Queens’ Market Place. Reservations are accepted for lunch and dinner. Take out and family style meals to go available. Hours: 11am – 10pm daily.


Merriman’s Waimea (885-6822) Opelo Plaza, Highway 19 & Opelo Road, Waimea. A great restaurant for special occasions. Rated Best Big Island Restaurant, Honolulu magazine, 12 consecutive years, Award of Excellence, Wine Spectator, 5 consecutive years, 02-07, Ilima Award, Best Hawaii Island Restaurant, Honolulu Advertiser, 10 consecutive years, Top 5 Hawaii Restaurants, Gourmet Magazine. Dinner reservations are recommended – call at least 24 hours in advance. Dress code: casual or resort attire recommended Lunch: Monday thru Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner: daily, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Outback Steakhouse (326-2555) 75-5809 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona. When you have had enough sun and sand and want to chill with a good meal, maybe it's time for dinner at Outback Steakhouse Kick back, relax and enjoy the chicken, lamb, seafood and local fresh fish of the highest quality. And, of course, there's a selection of thick, juicy steaks. Open daily 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm.

Paniolo Country Inn (885-4377). Located in Waimea at the junction of Highways 19 and 190. Open every day from 7 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. for family-style dining in a country atmosphere. Extensive menu featuring barbecue, steaks, seafood, pizza, Mexican dishes, burgers, sandwiches, soups, pastas and full bar service. Breakfast specials include Eggs Benedict and huevos rancheros. Breakfast served 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., lunch and dinner served 11:00 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.


Pancho & Lefty’s Cantina and Restaurante (326-2171) 75-5719 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona. Typical Mexican cuisine and full service bar. Great fish tacos and margaritas in the heart of Kona. Open daily 8:00am – 10:00pm.


Punalu'u Bakeshop (866-366-3501) On Route 11 in Naalehu. Famous throughout the Islands for delicious Hawaiian sweetbread, Punalu'u Bake Shop and Visitor Center, located in Naalehu, is a welcoming oasis on your way to Volcanoes National Park. Please your palate with scrumptious malassadas (Portuguese doughnuts), hearty plate lunches and refreshing ice cream, smoothies and freshly brewed Ka'u coffee. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Christmas and New Year's Day. 


Quinn’s Almost By the Sea (329-3822) 75-5655 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona. Late-night noshers, take note: This is one of the few places you can grab a bite to eat in Kona after 9pm. Quinn's, located at the northern gateway to town, has a nautical/sports-bar atmosphere and offers casual alfresco dining on a garden lanai, with an air-conditioned, nonsmoking area also available. The menu is surf-and-turf basic: burgers, sandwiches, and a limited dinner menu of dependably good fresh fish, filet mignon, and a few shrimp dishes. There are eight burger selections and, when available, fresh ahi or ono sandwiches. Open Daily 11am-11pm


Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill (886-4321) 250 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Kohala Coast. Don't let the location fool you - Roy's Waikoloa has a golf-course view, large windows overlooking a 10-acre lake, and the cuisine and service that are Roy Yamaguchi signatures. Offering favorites like Szechuan baby back ribs, blackened island ahi, and six other types of fresh fish prepared charred, steamed, or seared, and topped with exotic sauces such as shiitake miso and gingered lime-chile butter. Be warned: Roy's is always packed , so make reservations. Open daily 5-9:30pm.


Ruth's Chris Steak House  (887-0800) Located at the Shops at Mauna Lani, 68-1330 Mauna Lani Drive. Open nightly for dinner from 5 to 10. At least one evening on the island, make sure to treat yourself to Ruth's Chris finest custom-aged, U.S.D.A. prime Midwestern beef and superb wines. In addition to the fine meats for which the restaurant is world-renowned, Ruth's Chris also offers a large selection of freshly prepared seafood items, including seared ahi tuna, shrimp Remoulade with a classic Creole sauce, New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp, lobster tails and fresh Island fish. For dessert, try the famous bread pudding or crème brûlée topped with fresh berries. Groups are welcome. Open 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. 


Shaka Restaurant  (929-7404) The southernmost restaurant and bar in the United States is located at the 64-mile marker in Naalehu, on your way to the volcano. Open continuously from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, featuring fresh catch of the day, daily lunch and dinner specials and homemade desserts, including delicious tropical fruit cheesecakes. Everything is homemade, and Friday is prime rib night from 5 to 9. Open daily 10am-9pm.


Splasher’s Grill (326-2212) 75-5663 Palani Rd, Kailua-Kona. A locally owned and operated, casual dining restaurant with an ocean view from every table. Some of Splasher’s favorites are the “themed” burgers, the stuffed french toast and the seafood pasta. They claim to have the best fish & chips in town. Open Daily 7:00am – 10:00pm.


Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Café (881-8686) 68-1330 Mauna Lani Drive, Kamuela. “Eclectic with a tropical twist.” The cafe is located on the second level above a Tommy Bahama retail shop, but the distant views of the Mauna Lani resort grounds are gorgeous.  The café’ offers a relaxed island ambiance with truly inspired cuisine.  There are tables on the lanai and tables indoors, though the restaurant was open air throughout. Their signature dishes are the coconut ship and the pina colada cake. Open daily 11:00 am to 10:00 pm


Volcano Winery (967-7479) Located three miles from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Pii Mauna Drive and H-3. Sip into Hawaiian time at Volcano Winery, with award-winning Hawaiian wine. Free tasting daily by the fun and friendly staff. Six unique wines, including bronze medalists Macadamia Nut Honey Wine and Hawaiian Guava Wine. Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. 


What's Shakin' (964-3080) Off Highway 19 on the 4-mile scenic route at Onomea, one mile north of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. Owners Patsy and Tim serve delicious, healthy lunches, including a variety of sandwiches on fresh buns and bagels, homemade salad dressing, salsa and farm-fresh