There are many reasons to place Kohala near the top of your must-visit Big Island itinerary. When you’re not exploring expansive, sandy beaches, incredible historic sites, or roaming the breezy green hills, you’ll want to grab a bite to eat and the Kohala dining scene is full of great food options. Thankfully, in Kohala, you owe it to yourself to have more than one. Teeming with amazing, high-quality food at every price point, Kohala’s dining scene is arguably the best on the Big Island. From high-end fine dining to hole-in-the-wall local joints, you’ll be amiss if you don’t dedicate a day or two to trying the local fare found in Kohala.
A versatile menu and breezy oceanside scenery make for a pleasant dining experience in the Fairmont Orchid, Brown’s is considered one of the most highly-regarded and desirable restaurants on the Big Island. Nightly live entertainment and hula dancing make for the idyllic Hawaiian evening you’ve been dreaming about.
Construction Notice – Resort Closed Thru Nov 2019 With a delicious, wide-ranging menu inspired by Pacific Rim cuisine, The Canoehouse’s setting – as with many oceanside restaurants in Hawaii – is absolutely gorgeous. From the mountains to the ocean, nearly every ingredient found on the menu is sourced from local farms, ranches, and fishing companies. And with a reservation at the Captain’s Table, a personalized menu is presented by Chef Allan Nagun with wine pairings, promising a memorable, private dining experience you’ll never forget.
Forget the food for a minute – beer lovers should absolutely make a journey to Waimea for a visit to Big Island Brewhaus, considered the best brewery on the Big Island (yes, even you, Kona Brewing Company). Even if you think your local favorite is impressive, wait until you’ve had their locally-sourced, hand-crafted pale ales, IPAs, and stouts here. To soak up some of that delicious beer, the brewery’s Mexican food is surprisingly good – and not just by Hawaiian standards.
A family-friendly classic diner with a significant Hawaiian twist, the Hawaiian Style Cafe offers pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a diner: farm-style breakfasts, burgers, sandwiches, and platters. But the seafood-centric mains, locally-sourced ingredients, and an entire section dedicated to Loco Moco make this the perfect destination for island variations on your favorite comfort foods.
The flagship establishment in Chef Peter Merriman’s long and storied career, Merriman’s is famously revolutionary for the food-first, locally-sourced movement on the Big Island. That commitment to food shows in every menu item: day-caught fish and seafood, locally-sourced beef, lamb, and pork, and homegrown lettuce and tomatoes are present throughout. And for a four-course meal, the per-person shared dinner is a wonderful way to enjoy a beautiful Hawaiian meal with your loved ones.
Beachfront dining is never as beautiful as at Kamuela Provision Company, positioned gracefully within the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Seafood and steaks dishes are appropriately and competitively Hawaiian, but if you’re looking for a delectable dessert, Kamuela’s an incredible destination.
The Big Island, as with most of the popular Hawaiian islands, is known for its Japanese food. Norio’s Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar are among the very best, offering bountiful amounts of seafood, but the sushi here is the main attraction. With specialty rolls that will please committed sushi fans and provide a gentle introduction for first-timers, Norio’s is a must-stop if you’re in the mood for great sushi.
Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Drive
Waimea, HI 96743
Manta’s entire menu is worth sampling, no matter what time of day you find yourself at the eatery, but the breakfast buffet is stunningly, surprisingly, anything but typical. One of the worst-kept secrets on the Big Island is that Manta’s breakfast buffet is designed to trap tourists, but is actually spectacular – made-to-order waffles, omelets, and pastries are at your infinite disposal and the fresh-sliced tropical fruits and juices are crisp and refreshing.