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Kailua Kona, Hawaii

What are some great places to eat around Kona?

My husband and I will be in Kona this week and would love suggestions on some nice and some moderately priced restaurants. Also, is there a great place to pick up fresh fish to cook ourselves?

10 Answers

top answer by
Louis from Los Angeles

Hey Jennifer, first of all, I am very jealous, Hawaii has the best food in the world in my humble opinion and growing up there I got very spoiled.  Ok now on to the question at hand. First of all you must go to the  Kona Brewing Co & Brewpub, for the perfect laid back Hawaiian atmosphere and some delicious reasonably priced food. Took my friends who were visiting there, they ordered the pizza and said it was the best they had ever had. I have been there a bunch and never had a bad meal.  I am also a big fan of the  Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. on Alii drive because they use all fresh seafood and it is located right on the water for some gorgeous views, just ask to be seated outside!  If your looking for something local on the go and on the cheap (well Hawaii cheap) then look for any  L & L Hawaiian Barbecue or check out the  Pine Tree Cafe in between the airport and downtown. Both places have great local kine mix plates.

When it comes to picking up some fresh fish to put to your own devices, well that's easy, it's everywhere!  Any supermarket in Kona will carry great fresh fish prepared for your consumption. If I had to recommend one store I would say KTA Super Stores on Palani Rd because it's locally owned and they have good relations with the local fisherman.  Be sure to try some Poke and some taco if you are brave.

Ok I think that covers it. Have a fantastic time!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kona Brewing Co & Brewpub (restaurant)
  2. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (restaurant)
  3. L & L Hawaiian Barbecue (restaurant)
  4. Pine Tree Cafe (restaurant)
  5. KTA Super Stores (attraction)
5 thanks

answered by

Your best bet to get a larger selection of fresh fish in that area is at a supermarket - my relatives like  KTA Super Stores

For ono local food, go to Da Poke Shack (76-6246 Alii Drive). For acai bowls, I'd recommend  Basik Acai & Health Bar (75-5831 Kahakai Rd).

Also recommended: Huggo's On The Rocks (75-5828 Kahakai Road) for happy hour and Beach Tree Bar (72-100 Kaupulehu Drive) for sunset. 

Recommended sushi places: Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (69-201 Waikoloa Beach Drive) and Kenichi Pacific (78-6831 Alii Drive). 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. KTA Super Stores (attraction)
  2. Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (restaurant)
  3. Da Poke Shack (restaurant)
  4. Basik Acai & Health Bar (restaurant)
  5. Huggo's On The Rocks (restaurant)
  6. Beach Tree Bar (attraction)
  7. Kenichi Pacific (restaurant)
4 thanks

answered first by
Bryan from Hayes Valley

Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa was one of our favorite places to eat when we stayed in Hawaii. It is right on the water, in fact you can even eat on the beach and watch the sunset. Solid cocktails, great food and an awesome owner. 

We also really enjoyed  Bamboo Resturant in  HAWI One of our day trips was to the north of the end of the island. Totally worth it. Also their margaritas are incredible. 

If you find yourself heading for the  Hilo side of the island  Ken's House of Pancakes is awesome for breakfast. Recommended on the way to  Volcano

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. HAWI (attraction)
  2. Hilo (attraction)
  3. Volcano (city)
  4. Lava Lava Beach Club (hotel)
  5. Bamboo Resturant (attraction)
  6. Ken's House of Pancakes (restaurant)
4 thanks

answered by
JR from Manhattan Beach

If you want to take a drive up the hill to Waimea, you can get a breakfast that is raved about across every review site. It's the  Hawaiian Style Cafe. Bang for the buck you won't find a larger plate of food, but tbh, it kind of grossed me out a bit because it was so massive (i had the pork hash, their house specialty... in hindsight, not the best choice), so I can't totally recommend it.

However the next two I TOTALLY recommend. For suset go to  Beach Tree Bar at the Four Season. You should call for a reservation so there is not hassle getting onto the property (or just tell the gaurd gate that you have a reservation, and eat at the bar... which is what we did... twice). You can enjoy the best view the Four Seasons has to offer for a price of meal, which isn't cheap but compared to the $800/night they charge for the hotel, you'll be getting off easy :)

For a nice dinner we thought  Merriman's Restaurant was the best food we had on our last trip. It's not cheap, but it was worth it imo. Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hawaiian Style Cafe (restaurant)
  2. Beach Tree Bar (attraction)
  3. Merriman's Restaurant (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Lorraine from Long Beach

Hi Jennifer!  I'm usually a vegetarian, but I turned 'pescatarian' for the Macadamia Nut Crusted Ono at  Island Lava Java Bistro & Grill (It's on the main drag- 75-5799 Alii Drive).  The prices are affordable,  there is lots of patio seating, and you get to watch the sunset while listening to live music.  I recommended this place to a coworker, and she also discovered they are open for breakfast/lunch.  Apparently the cinnamon rolls are deadly! 

Huggo's On The Rocks is right across the street (on the ocean side) when you're ready for happy hour. However, if you go when it's busy you will have to fight for a table. Cheers!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Huggo's On The Rocks (restaurant)
  2. Island Lava Java Bistro & Grill (restaurant)
3 thanks

answered by
Brew from Manhattan Beach

If you have a car and are driving to explore, my favorite restaurant on the entire island is Holuakoa Cafe.  This is an amazing place for lunch (or dinner) in a totally relaxing, unique setting "up country" from the town of Kona.  All organic, slow food philosophy.  A great, undercover spot that most poeple would miss.

If you like Japanese and want a feel of old Hawaii, Teshima's Restaurant is a great roadside restaurant.  The place is old and dated, but the Ahi and fish was some of the best I've ever had.  I've heard people describe it as being Japanese laborer food from the old days (not sure how accurate that is, but if it means high quality, but basic, its probably spot on).  You can also stop in to get a to go boxed lunch to take with you down to Kealakekua Bay or Two Step for some snorkeling.

Another kind of random, local spot is Manago Hotel.  This would be very basic, family style dining. Inexpensive and very basic.  Their pork chop is very good.

In the actual town of Kailua, I like Huggo's On The Rocks for its setting and views.  The drinks are good and the food is pretty good.  A place that has a poor setting but really good food in a very casual setting is Rapanui Island Cafe.

If you want to go upscale, Merriman's Restaurant and for beachfront, Brown's Beach House - The Fairmont Orchid - Kohala Coast and the Beach Tree Bar (like JR said above) are great choices. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Holuakoa Cafe (restaurant)
  2. Teshima's Restaurant (restaurant)
  3. Kealakekua Bay (attraction)
  4. Two Step (attraction)
  5. Manago Hotel (hotel)
  6. Huggo's On The Rocks (restaurant)
  7. Rapanui Island Cafe (restaurant)
  8. Merriman's Restaurant (restaurant)
  9. Brown's Beach House - The Fairmont Orchid - Kohala Coast (restaurant)
  10. Beach Tree Bar (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Karla from Boise

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi BarSansei Sushi in the Queens Market Place - great happy hour and yummy food.

Cafe Pesto in the Kawaihae strip mall - good Italian - pizzas.

Hapuna Beach Prince HotelHapuna Beach Prince  Hotel - Coast Grille Restaurant - great sandwiches with an amazing view on the best beach on the island.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (restaurant)
  2. Cafe Pesto (attraction)
  3. Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel (hotel)
2 thanks

answered by
Clark Kent from Singapore

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar for ace sushi. Their poke is amazing!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
William from Eugene

Go to Everything you need to know about Kona.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kona (island)

answered by
James from Bon Aqua

Jennifer, if it's a special occasion and you want the perfect sunset dinner, go to Huggo's Alii Way Kona Hawaii on Alii Drive, my wife and I went there in 2012 and had a perfect sunset dinner, the service was fabulous, and the sunset was awesome, our waiter took the time to take several sunset pictures! If you want to try in my estimate some of the best fish that I have eaten, the Ono is the best! As far as moderately priced, we ate at the Outback Steakhouse in Kailua which is also off from Alii Drive, it is sort of hidden a little, so you will have to ask directions how to get there. It's behind Bongo Ben's Island Cafe which by the way has some of the best macadamia nut pancakes and other breakfast items and is fairly reasonable, also if you are wanting to stretch the budget as far as breakfast or lunch, McDonald's  has a great breakfast menu that includes many things that you wouldn't get here in the mainland! Like Portuges sausage rice and eggs,and spam and eggs all for around $4! It's a good breakfast that will stay with you for a while if you are going on a long drive or tour around the Island! As far as fresh fish there is the Bite Me Fish Market, which sells fresh fish and also have a restaurant that serves almost like a fast food seafood type menus and are inexpensive, I would have to look at a map, but if you are coming from the Kona International Airport (KOA) to  Kailua, it would be on the highway from the airport to where you turn off to go to Kailua, about midway between.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Huggo's Alii Way Kona Hawaii (restaurant)
  2. Bongo Ben's Island Cafe (restaurant)
  3. Kona International Airport (KOA) (attraction)
  4. Outback Steakhouse (attraction)
  5. McDonald's (restaurant)

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