The Big Island, commonly called Hawaii Island, is the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago in the Central Pacific. Renowned for idyllic landscapes, palm-fringed stretches of sand, tropical foliage and a carefree atmosphere, the island offers travellers a perfect piece of paradise in which to relax and recline. If you’re getting a little hungry, the Big Island boasts a huge array of top notch dining establishments too, so visitors can sample some sumptuous seafood and kick back with a cocktail while watching the sun set on the turquoise Hawaiian waters. Here’s 10 of the best restaurants in town.
Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill
A place that is extremely popular, Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill is set a little way out from the main strip, perfect for visitors seeking a little time away from the seafront. The food here is fantastic; the fish is cooked perfectly and is paired with chargrilled vegetables and sweet purple potatoes, and the wasabi crusted calamari is out of this world. A laid back shack that gets extremely busy at the weekends, this is a top spot to enjoy some seafood in a convivial atmosphere.
Located in the middle of a strip mall on the south side of Kailua Kona, Kenichi Pacific is a venue with cozy couches, friendly staff and unbeatably fresh, authentic sushi, sourced all the way from Japan itself. A great place in which to satisfy a sweet craving, don’t miss the top dessert choices of the banana foster and the dreamy molten lava cake. There’s a daily happy hour held here offering customers an array of flavorsome sushi options for half the price; don’t miss it.
Big Island Grill
The Big Island Grill is a great place to find a delicious breakfast on The Big Island, with a variety of options available from oatmeal, to fresh fruit, to homemade, golden and crunchy hash browns. Most of these breakfast options come with a generous portion of toast or rice, and if you’re still hungry when you’re finished, don’t miss the signature sundae made with caremalized bananas. The venue is situated on the corner of Hanama Place and Kuakini Highway, in a charming building next to the Aloha gas station.
Island Lava Java
Island Lava Java is a quaint venue situated on the waterfront area of Kona. Coffee and desserts are the speciality here, with rich and dark cappuccinos being served with silky smoothe ice cream varieties including vanilla, caramel and macademia nut. If you’re in the mood for something savoury don’t miss the breakfasts, consisting of fluffy pancakes, tasty eggs and fresh papayas with unsweetened yoghurt. Enjoy a wonderful view of the ocean whilst dining here by sitting on the spacious and airy outdoor patio.
Located in the heart of the Big Islands farm community, Merriman’s is a jolly spot emanating a simple and refined atmosphere. The expertise of the staff here is unbeatable, with friendly waiters and waitresses always on hand to dispense knowledge about how the food here is prepared and where it is sourced from. Take a stroll through the idyllic herb garden here before entering, and upon arrival, choose from an array of delectable dishes such as flame-grilled crab and the signature coconut crème brulee. A great place for a top tipple too, colorful cocktails abound here, with the margaritas made using tropical lemonade and ultra-fine grain salt and making for a fantastic choice.
Hana Hou Restaurant
Hana Hou Restaurant is a kitsch, charming diner featuring 50s-style chrome chairs and cozy booths. The menu and specials board is wide and varied, featuring everything from gigantic deli sandwiches to full rib roasts and turkey dinners. Bread is baked freshly on the premises, filling the venue with a homely, mouth watering aroma, and the macadamia nut encrusted chicken is exquisite.
Da Poke Shack
Located on Alii Drive at the Kona Bali Kai Condo, Da Poke Shack is a laid back local favorite for high quality takeouts. Must try dishes here include a Hawaiian dish of raw cubed seafood, most often tuna, dressed with soy and other seasonings, as well as the garlic sesame edamame beans. A top spot for authentic cuisine on the Kona coast, the house made spicy mayo and Korean sauce provide the perfect accompaniments to any meal here.
Ken’s House of Pancakes
Ken’s House of Pancakes is a pancake emporium serving up plate loads of sweet and savoury varieties of the American favorite. Have yours with chocolate and banana, or for a more substantial meal go for the ham and cheese option. The portions here are extremely generous, and the oxtail stew here is a non-pancake option that flies out of the kitchen by the bowlful. The value and service is top notch, and the atmosphere is bustling and lively, since the venue is always brimming with enthusiastic customers.
Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill
Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill is situated in the heart of the Kings Shops area, and is an establishment offering an appealing combination of cuisines deriving from both Asia and the Pacific Rim. Must-try dishes include the chargrilled fish specials, the edamame appetizer and the chocolate mousse soufflé, and the outdoor tables here pleasantly overlook the pond at the Kings Shops, offering customers an idyllic view to enjoy whilst tucking into some hearty fare.
Lemongrass Bistro is a cozy joint located in the food court at Queens Market, and offers an aromatic array of Asian delicacies, including plates from Southeast Asia, Vietnam, China and Thailand. Seating is limited here, and although the menu is small, the portions are gigantic. Simple and minimal compared to other restaurants in the area, the no fuss prawn pad Thai here is out of this world. There is an outdoor patio here too, where diners can people watch excited shoppers as they sample some of the freshest noodles in the region.
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