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If you’re a self-proclaimed foodie like me, a lot of your vacation probably centers around where you’re going to eat. And there’s nothing wrong with that! So to help you out, I’ve rounded up 20 of the best Big Island restaurants so you’ll know exactly where to find the best food on the Big Island.
Kona & Kohala
1.Brown’s Beach House: This romantic open-air beachfront restaurant is located at the Fairmont Orchid near Waikoloa on the Kohala Coast (north of Kona). It’s one of the best fine dining experiences on the Big Island.
2.Roy’s in Waikoloa: Roy’s is an institution in Hawaii and the Waikoloa location is set among some of the most luxurious resorts in Hawaii where you’ll have lovely lake views to match your fresh dinner.
3.‘Ulu Ocean Grill: The Four Seasons Hualalai is the epitome of luxury, so it’s worth having dinner here just to check out the resort. The restaurant itself has been named one of the 100 Most Romantic Restaurants and one of the 100 Best Al Fresco Dining Restaurants in America. Also, 75% of the ingredients served at the restaurant are sourced from the Big Island.
4.Beach Tree Bar and Lounge: A more laid back dining option at the Four Seasons Hualalai, the Beach Tree Bar and Lounge has amazing drinks and small bites and is just steps from the sand.
5.Kona Brewing Co: This local brewpub is a great place to sample beer, take a tour, and chow down.
RELATED: Not very familiar with the Big Island? Read up on the lay of the (is)land and my favorite beach resorts, budget hotels, condos, honeymoon resorts, family friendly resorts, luxury resorts, and boutique hotels.
6.Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill: This casual joint is a go to spot with locals and tourists for seafood specials, pupus, and happy hour deals. There’s also a location in Hilo.
7.Huggo’s on the Rocks: This popular Kona oceanfront spot is a favorite for sunset views, cocktails, and live entertainment. This is the casual, laid back cousin to Huggo’s next door (fine dining).
8.Island Lava Java: You could potentially eat all of your meals at this beachside eatery. From coffee and breakfast in the morning to a seafood meal at dinner, you may not ever want to leave! There’s also a location in Waikoloa.
9.Daylight Mind Coffee: With three locations on the Kona side of the island (bakery in Kona, waterfront restaurant in Kona, and restaurant in Waikoloa), you’ll be covered whether you’re looking for a quick bite from the bakery, a nice brunch, or a yummy seafood dinner.
10.808 Grindz Café: If you want to chow down on some local Hawaiian favorites, you’ve got to come to 808 Grindz. Their menu features a selection of local favorites that are $8.08 all day long.
11.Teshima’s Restaurant: This long time Kona diner serves up traditional Japanese comfort food and it’s beloved by both tourists and locals alike. It’s a must do if you’re looking for a memorable “foodie” experience on the Big Island.
12.Da Poke Shack: If you want to try traditional Hawaiian style poke, this is your spot. Get it to go and eat it out on the beach!
13.Lava Lava Beach Club: Situated beachfront on Anaeho’omalu Bay in the Waikoloa Beach Resort, this lively but laid back spot is one of the best places to watch sunset on Kona side. They also have live music every night.
14.Hilo Bay Café: This upscale Hilo restaurant borders a beautiful Japanese garden on one side and gorgeous Hilo Bay on the other side. If you’re looking for fine dining in Hilo, this is it.
15.Pineapple’s: This lively restaurant in the middle of historic downtown Hilo specializes in island fresh cuisine. Try one of their specialty tropical cocktails.
16.Moon and Turtle: If you’re a foodie seeking out something a little trendier and a little less old school, make reservations here. It’s a small (and very popular) Asian/Hawaiian fusion restaurant and probably at the top of the “don’t miss restaurants in Hilo” list.
RELATED: 15 Things to Do on the Big Island
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17.Ken’s House of Pancakes: This Hilo institution serves breakfast all day (macadamia nut pancakes for the win!). They also do local style favorites and a full dinner menu, but go for breakfast!
18.The Rim at Volcano House: This upscale restaurant is the only dining option in Hawaii with a view of a volcano! The food here doesn’t even have to be good (but it is!) because you can see the glow of the caldera from your table. Make reservations for dinner around sunset.
19.Merriman’s Big Island: Chef Peter Merriman has restaurants throughout the Hawaiian Islands (the Monkeypod on Maui and Oahu is my favorite), but he chose to open his Big Island restaurant in the ranching country of Waimea. Merriman’s serves “Hawaii Regional Cuisine” in an upscale but laid back farm to table environment.
20.Hawaiian Style Café: This popular diner serves local favorites and American classics for breakfast and lunch. If you want to try a “loco moco,” do it here.
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