Best Big Island, Hawaii, Food and Restaurants From Kona to Hilo
Hawaii is a unique place with a ton of different food options. If you are planning on visiting the Big Island, make sure to stop by one of these exquisite local favorites. This list is in no particular order; they are just a collection of my favorite places to eat. Scroll to the bottom of this article to see the map and find out which place is closest to your hotel. From pancakes to loco mocos, you will find this list of restaurants helpful when planning your trip.
Kona Brewing Co.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm
You may recognize the name of this restaurant because of their popular beers, but there is much more to it when you sit down in this cozy, Kona Brewery. They serve a variety of dishes including local favorites and pizzas that are original to the restaurant. Sit back under the palm trees while you munch on some delicious sandwiches and sip on Wailua Wheat beer. They also take orders for pick up, so you can bring home some liquid aloha.
Visit their website to learn more.
Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill
Jackie Rey's is one of my all-time favorite restaurants in Kona. It has a vintage atmosphere that contrasts with their modern menu. They have daily specials which are usually seafood dishes including the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi and delicious ono.
My absolute favorite dish on the Big Island is the short ribs from Jackie Rey's. They are so tender, they melt in your mouth. Just the thought of that entrée makes my mouth water. Drive down Kuakini Highway until you see an old beach house with an antique car (longboard attached), and you'll know you found it.
For more information and other menu highlights, read some of these reviews of Jackie Rey's.
Ken's House of Pancakes
Hours: Open 24 Hours
As you pass Hilo Bay and drive toward the town, you may notice a quaint little pancake house. You will not want to drive any further when you smell the delicious food coming from Ken's. The place is known for being the only thing open 24 hours and also for its celebrity connection.
Ken's was built in 1971 and has been the home of the Best Breakfast for 14 years. The owner is the uncle to Dwane "The Rock" Johnson and there is a signed photo of him in the diner. This place has some ono grindz. Don't miss out on having the best breakfast at Ken's.
For their menu options and more information, visit their website.
You may have seen Roy's in the mainland or other parts of the world now that it has become a chain, but the Roy's in Waikoloa is the original. This waterfront restaurant is the place for people who appreciate fine dining. They serve some of the best seafood dishes on the island including my personal favorite, the mahi mahi.
The dining room is clean and elegant. Although it's kid-friendly, it is a quiet restaurant that is more formal than a lot of other Big Island food places. Overall, Roy's is the best place for an upscale night or a romantic evening.
For more information, check out these reviews of the establishment.
Hawaiian Style Cafe
Hours: Monday-Sunday 7:30am-1:30pm
Hawaiian Style is a local favorite because of it's unique dishes including katsu loco mocos and spam breakfasts. This small cafe is always crowded and you'll be lucky if you get a seat at the bar, but despite the popularity, this cafe is one of the best on the island. My friends and I would go here and challenge each other to see if we could clean our plates, but more times than not, nobody could. They give generous portions that are great for taking home leftovers. You will enjoy this little cafe in Waimea and all of the wonderful dishes it has to offer.
For more info check out Hawaiian Style Cafe's Yelp page.
Big Island Grill
Hours: Monday-Saturday 6am to 9pm
Big Island Grill is located in Kailua-Kona. The outside of the restaurant may not convince you to eat there, but if you order the short ribs, you will thank me. BIG has some of the most delicious food on the westside. They serve local favorites including teriyaki beef, loco mocos, and kalua pork, but also serve steak for those of you who are a little picky.
For more information, visit their Yelp page.
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