You can’t get more local than Island Roots. Don’t let the words “food truck” fool you. Food trucks are a very common alternative to restaurants here on the island. Island Roots is owned and operated by a local master chef and sells amazing shrimp plates (Sweet Chili & Lilikoi, Cilantro-Lime & Spicy Volcano). They also offer fish tacos made with fresh local fish and my favorite, Hawbono Sandwich made with Shredded Kailua Pork, Swiss Cheese, Dill Pickle and topped with Kim Chee Slaw on a Buttered Hoagie Bun.
Tuesdays and Thursdays – 79-7541 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, HI 96750
Wednesdays and Fridays – 75-5756 Hualalai Rd Kailua-Kona, HI 96440 (at 76 Gas Station)
Jackie Rey’s O’hana Grill is exactly what it is named. A great family style restaurant that is frequented by residents as well as guests of the island. The casual lunch and dinner menu offers great local dishes as well as familiar items such as fish and chips and hamburgers. Being on of my favorite restaurants in Kona, Jackie Rey’s offers a casual, upbeat dining experience and great food. Jackie Ray’s is open for lunch Monday – Friday and dinner 7 nights a week. Dinner reservations are highly recommended.
The Fish Hopper is one of my favorite restaurants. It is located in town by the pier on Alii Drive. They are known for their seafood, ambiance and great service. Whether you go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you will not be disappointed. Dinner reservations are highly recommended.
Sam Choy’sis a must do when you come to the island. Sam Choy is popular within the islands for his restaurants and his Hawaiian inspired dishes, plus the view is to die for. I recommend their lunch menu. Dinner reservations are highly recommended.
Roy’s is up north in the Waikoloa Resort, which is about 30 minutes from town. It also offers Hawaiian inspired dishes. The menu items can be a bit pricey, but it is a nice dinner out if you want to treat yourselves. Reservations are highly recommended.
If you are interested in a casual meal of pizza and beer, I suggest the Kona Brewery Co. The restaurant is located in old industrial, which is very close to town. In my opinion, they have the best pizza in town.
The Coffee Shack is a restaurant that is located approximately 20 minutes from town in Captain Cook. It sits on the side of the highway and has a great view of Kealakekua Bay. I suggest their breakfast menu. This is a good place to stop for breakfast or brunch of your way to the volcano or Place of Refuge.
Rays on the Bay is a great open-air restaurant at the Keauhou Sheraton. The restaurant is located oceanfront overlooking the area the manta rays often hang out. During the evenings the resort shines lights onto the water and you can often view the manta rays in the water while enjoying dinner.
If you want to treat yourself to a nice dinner out, I suggest Huggo’s. Huggo’s is a oceanfront fine dining restaurant located next to the Royal Kona Resort. The menu includes seafood, steaks, and pasta dishes. Huggo’s also has a more casual oceanfront restaurant and bar next door at Huggo’s on the Rocks. This is a great place to enjoy happy hour and listen to live local music while burying your feet in the sand.
Merriman’s Restaurant in Waimea is a great restaurant know for using all Big Island produce, meats and ingredient in all of their dishes. You will not be disappointed in the dining experience at Merriman’s. Reservations highly recommended.
The Canoe House is a fine dining steak and seafood restaurant located at the Mauna Lani Resort. I suggest you visit this oceanfront restaurant at sunset to enjoy a beautiful and comfortable dining experience. Enjoy drinks and pu-pu’s at their beach side lounge or an excellent steak or seafood dinner in the oceanfront dining room. Reservations highly recommended.