I consider eating 50% of any trip. I like local budget places as well as fine dining break the budget places.
Here is a mix of restaurants on the Big Island that I would return to. Some of these were recommended by Elanaloo's Big Island Guide and some we happened upon. Every one of Elanoaloo's recommendations was excellent and we didn't put a dent in her list. So many more to try!
I have to give a shout out to Hula Hulas in our hotel in Hilo. They are farm to table and crank out three squares a day. We ate there several times throughout our week in Hilo and didn't have a bad meal.
Pineapple Chili Glazed Pork Belly (above), Ti Leaf Wrapped Sunfish (below) The Sunfish was so good I had it twice during our stay.
A really fun place was Moon and Turtle in downtown Hilo. They don't have online reservations but having to make a phone call was worth it. That is saying a lot for me! I don't understand that in 2018 why any restaurant that requires reservations would refuse to join an online service. If Elanaloo hadn't recommended it so highly I probably would have skipped it.
We loved everything abut this place. It's really small and it has a cool vibe but not hipster-snobby kind of vibe.
The cocktails were inventive and some of the best we had our two weeks on the island.
Our food wasn't very photogenic but it was delicious!
Pineapples is a casual place in downtown Hilo. It was packed so we grabbed two seats at the bar.
I still dream about the Hurricane Furikake Shrimp! I would fly back just to eat those!
The Hilo Bay Cafe is more of a fine-dining establishment within walking distance from our hotel in Hilo.
The stand out here was the surf & turf bowl and the carpaccio. They also have sushi.
During one of our big drives around the island, we ended up in Waimea and Big Island Brewhaus.
This is a really fun Mexican place that has great margaritas and craft beer. If you are a beer lover this is the place for you! It was my husband's favorite. You will see thier beers in many other resturants around the island.
Besides the beer and tacos, you've got to try the fish bites.
Back to fancy, we hit up Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill in downtown Hilo. It definitely has a steakhouse feel. One thing that is hard to find on any Hawaiian island is a good martini. If you are looking for one on the Big Island, this is where you need to go!
Kalua Pork Spring Rolls
Fresh catch and the special of the night.
Finally moving over to the Kona side of the island. We started out pretty poorly at our new digs at a fancy resort. I'll talk more about that later in another post. For now, let's just say we were in need of some comfort. We were pretty down from our dealings with the fancy-pants people and needed uplifting. We had no idea how much The Blue Room would make everything better!
It's family owned and the whole family was there including grandparents and kids. We felt so welcomed and well taken care of it almost brought tears to my eyes. I have no pictures of the food. We were too busy visiting with wonderful people! Our waiter was a riot! He was comedian Stephen Wright in appearance and personality. It was just what we needed!
Oh, and the food was awesome.
We ate a lot of our meals on this side of the island at the resort and it was all good. I'll write more about our resort in my post "When Your Vacation Goes Wrong".
Our last meal before we had to head back to the cold was at Rebel Kitchen.
The Cuban Rolls are the appitizer to try but they were out. We got the Chicken Fajita Wontons and I would only recommned those to those who LOVE garlic. They were a bit heavy for me.
The burgers were awesome! We had the Rebel and a fish sandwich. They also had kombucha on tap.
Just FYI - they don't have a bathroom. You have to get a key an walk up the hill. Just something to keep in mind.