The Big Island has restaurants that cater to all tastes and budgets, so whether you’ve spent the day relaxing at the beach or daytripping in the mountains, you’ll definitely want to enjoy the dinner meal. Here are some of our favorite options on the largest of the Hawaiian islands.
Big Island Dinner Map
Brown’s Beach House
Located inside the Fairmont Orchid Hotel north of Kailua-Kona, Brown’s Beach House boasts spectacular views and live Hawaiian music. The restaurant can accommodate small groups as well as larger parties. The menu features fresh seafood and also specialties like Big Island venison. We recommend bringing a large group so you can sample as much of the menu as possible. Open Thursday through Monday 5:30pm to 8:30pm and Tuesday and Wednesday 5:30pm to 9pm. Reservations recommended. fairmont.com
Hilo Bay Cafe
Hilo Bay Cafe’s second-floor deck is a wonderful place to enjoy a dinner of contemporary comfort food. The hamakua mushroom pot pie is a good choice to follow a bowl of the French onion soup and bread du jour. There are plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well. Hilo Bay also has a sushi bar with a master sushi chef. Open Wednesday through Saturday for lunch 11am to 2pm and for dinner 5pm to 8:30pm. Closed Sunday through Tuesday. hilobaycafe.com
You really can’t beat the location — right on the water in downtown Kona. The menu features tasty entrees like seared and sesame crusted ahi and Molokai sweet potato ricotta gnocchi, and also includes a raw bar section. Vegetarian and gluten-free menus are available too. Open daily 4pm to 9pm. Reservations recommended. huggos.com
Kona Brew Co.
This popular, casual pub is serving up hand-tossed pizzas and a wide selection of pupus (appetizers) in addition to standard pub fare. Kona Brew Co. has so many handcrafted beer flavors on tap that it’s probably best to start with a flight for the taste-testing purposes. Open Monday through Saturday 11am to 8pm. Closed Sunday. konabrewingco.com
Chef Peter Merriman is one of the godfathers of the farm to table movement, and Merriman’s is leading the way for culinary excellence in Hawaii. Merriman’s Waimea often wins local awards, and with dishes like Butcher’s Cut Kahua Ranch Lamb and Pacific White Shrimp, it’s no wonder. Be sure to try one of the specialty cocktails with lilikoi foam! Open Monday through Friday 11:30pm to 2pm and 5pm to 8:30pm, Saturday 11:30am to 8:30pm, and Sunday 10:30am to 2pm and 5pm to 8:30pm. Reservations required. merrimanshawaii.com
Moon and Turtle
Open by a husband and wife team in 2013, this stylish neighborhood spot in Hilo uses locally sourced ingredients to create an internationally inspired and continually changing menu. Reservations recommended. Happy hours are Tuesday through Saturday 5:30pm to 6:30pm and open Saturday and Wednesday 3pm to 7pm. facebook.com/moonandturtle