The Best Restaurants On The Big Island Of Hawaii

Eating the local cuisine of the place you’re visiting might be the best part about traveling, and Hawaii is no exception. The large island boasts numerous tasty dishes that will leave you wanting more.

The Best Restaurants On The Big Island Of Hawaii

There’s so much to do on the island that you’ll surely be hungry after your big excursions, so what better way to satiate your hunger than to sample the local food and drink. 

Traveling can hurt your wallet, but the good news about these restaurants is that they’re all pretty much affordable.

The spectrum and diversity of the places you can grab a bite to eat at is truly spectacular, from fine dining to grab and go, anywhere you choose to eat at has high standards and the quality is outstanding. 

With the vast amount of restaurants available in Hawaii, it can be overwhelming trying to find the perfect place for your lunch or dinner.

This is where this article comes in. We’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants in Hawaii, so that you can relax on your holiday and leave the researching to us. 

1. Island Fish & Chips

Located in Waikoloa with views that look out across the waterfront, this casual lakeside eatery boasts some tasty dishes.

Here you’ll find the crispiest fish and chips you’ve ever had but there are many other favorites you should try like the coconut shrimp, fish tacos and the volcanic shrimp calamari.

If you’re a seafood lover, you’ll definitely enjoy this eatery. 

2. MW Honolulu 

This restaurant serves classic American dishes and also traditional Hawaiian dishes.

It’s perfect to grab a bite to eat if you’re missing American-style comfort food, and also allows you to broaden your taste buds trying the local cuisine.

Some of the more popular dishes include opakapaka which is a crimson snapper that has been crusted in mochi and lightly fried.

If you’re looking for something a bit different to seafood, why not try the pork chop that has been glazed with kimchi, the succulent and tender meat falls right off the bone.

This is a perfect restaurant to experience traditional Hawaiian meals.

3. Merriman’s 

Merriman’s is located in the heart of the island’s farm community and the chef Peter Merriman uses 90% of the local produce, beef and fish.

This restaurant places more emphasis on quality, and each dish is carefully made to highlight the amazing flavors.

It’s on the pricier side, but the fish tacos and Waialua molten chocolate purse make it truly worth the price.

The food and the friendly and capable staff will certainly make this culinary experience one to remember. 

4. Chef Chai

Chef Chai is a little bit different than the other entries on this list, this restaurant focuses on Asian fusion cuisine and the restaurant’s owner known as Chef Chai is recognized as one of Hawaii’s top regional cuisine chefs.

He is a master at blending flavors together, and he has multiple signature dishes that you must try, such as the Thai Style Oxtail Soup, Fresh Mahi Mahi, Macadamia Nut Encrusted Black Tiger Prawn Rainbow Salad and so many more.

The inside of the restaurant is beautiful, but if you don’t feel like dining in it also offers drive-thru and delivery. 

The Best Restaurants On The Big Island Of Hawaii

5. Cafe 100

Now if you want to try the best Loco Moco, this is the place to visit. Situated in Hilo, this cafe offers 30 different varieties of Loco Moco, if you’re not sure what it is then you’re missing out.

It’s a dish that is featured in contemporary Hawiian cuisine, the traditional Loco Moco consists of white rice which is topped with a hamburger, a fried egg and gravy, it sounds like an odd combination, but trust us you’ll love it!

Visitors come here to experience the tasty home-style comfort food and leave with full stomachs as at Cafe 100 they believe in giving generous portions, what’s not to love! 

6. Hula Hulas

Hula Hulas is a locally inspired casual restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. But you’ll probably want to venture to this beautiful waterfront venue for its fabulous cocktails.

It boasts a range of signature cocktails such as the Lilikoi Mule, Hilo Mai Tai and Jay-Star Sunrise, and it has plenty of regional flavors on the dinner menu too!

The atmosphere and flavors this restaurant has truly makes it a great entry on this list. 

7. Huggo’s On The Rocks

This casual restaurant and bar is a popular spot amongst locals and tourists. Its waterfront views give it an amazing atmosphere, especially if you’re dining out at sunset since you’ll be able to enjoy the local talented musicians who play there.

Huggo’s offers some amazing cocktails with freshly prepared ingredients that have been made to perfection, make sure you come along at happy hour which starts at 3pm and ends at 5pm, to enjoy these fantastic cocktails at a discounted price.

8. Vintage Cave

If you’re looking for Japanese cuisine or sushi, Vintage Cave is the venue for you. This place offers a different experience to restaurant-goers, you’ll find the architecture inside looks more reminiscent of Italy than Hawaii.

The fixed menu often changes with the season, but you’re sure to find something that you’ll love, upon arrival you’ll be given two options: The chef’s recommendation or a vegetable option that caters to different tastes and dietary needs. 

Final Thoughts

That’s everything! Hopefully you found at least one restaurant in this list that you’re dying to visit and try out.

Hawaii is a huge island with so many different varieties of cuisine and flavors in its restaurants that you’ll struggle to find something you don’t like.

Whilst you’re in Hawaii and visiting its delicious restaurants, make sure to taste a few of the local signature dishes many restaurants will offer, this way you’ll get the true experience and taste of Hawaii.

If you’re off to Hawaii, we wish you the happiest of trips and hope this list has helped your restaurant selection. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy our article on ‘Best Poke In Maui‘.

Richard Ennis