3 Authentic Hawaiian Restaurants In Hamakua

Big Island Guide Travel Guide

Just minutes from the largest city on the Big Island, it’s hard to tell if much of Hamakua has ever been touched by mankind. Expansive, gorgeous, and unlike any other place on Earth, a trip to Hamakua is a singular experience, offering a natural respite from the busier hubs of Hilo and Kailua-Kona.

But Hamakua isn’t uninhabited; in fact, many creative and talented locals call the otherwise sparsely-populated district home, and there are a few eateries that offer down-home dining options. If you’re on your way across the northern end of the Big Island and need to recharge before your next adventure, these authentic Hawaiian eateries will satisfy your hunger.

Waipi’o Cookhouse
48-5370 Honokaa-Waipio Rd
Honokaa, HI 96727
(808) 775-1443
Open: Daily 8 AM – 7 PM

With a menu to back it up, Waipi’o Cookhouse basically redefines the phrase “Hawaiian comfort food.” With Hawaiian classic Loco Mocos, island-fresh fish salads, and one of the best kalua pork sandwiches money can buy, a trip to Waipi’o Cookhouse is airy, friendly, and definitely filling.

Tex Drive-In
45-690 Pakalana St
Honokaa, HI 96727
(808) 775-0598
Open: Daily 6 AM – 8 PM

A Big Island institution, no visit to the east side is complete without at least one stop at Tex Drive-In. Serving Hawaiian classics like Loco Moco, Kalua pork, and burgers that live up to the drive-in feel, Tex Drive-In has yet to disappoint in its 50+ years on the Big Island.

Gramma’s Kitchen
45-3625 Mamane St
Honokaa, HI 96727
(808) 775-9943
Open: Sun, Tues-Thurs 8 AM-3 PM, Fri-Sat 8 AM-3 PM, 5 PM-7:30 PM

Offering perhaps the best opportunity to experience home-cooked Hawaiian meals, Gramma’s Kitchen won’t win any awards for cuisine, decor, or presentation, but you and your family will leave with your bellies full and your wallets happy.

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