Big Island Hawaii Restaurant Reviews

Reviewer: Foodnut.com

Lava Lava Beach Club

Big Island Hawaii Restaurant Reviews from our visit to the Island in August 2021

Lots of local food trucks and Hawaiian favorites. We did not dine in once! None of these requires reservations.

Checkout reviews of the other Hawaiian Islands

8/12/21

Pine Tree Cafe was our first stop after leaving the airport and heading to Costco. This is one of those local plate lunch places that all the locals goto. Food to go came fast. Lots of items in their menu.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for takeout on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open.

Safety Pluses – Online menu, Delivery services available, online ordering, social distancing.
Minuses – No.

Food Picks:
Loco Moco ($8.95 small) One Hamburger Patty, One Egg on a Bed of Rice served with Brown Gravy hit the spot. Big patty of meat and some nice onion flavor in the gravy. 8.5/10

Just OK:
None

Skip:
None

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Good
Service – Very Good
Value – Very Good

Would we come back – Yes

Pine Tree Cafe
73-4040 Hulikoa Dr Ste 2
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
808-327-1234
https://www.pinetreecafehi.com/

https://www.yelp.com/biz/pine-tree-cafe-kailua-kona-2

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8/12/21
Pau Hana Poke is located near Costco. We satisfied our need for real Poke here.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for takeout on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open.

Safety Pluses – Online menu, Delivery services available, online ordering, social distancing.
Minuses – None

Food Picks:
#1 Hapaha ($12.99) served with 1 scoop rice, 2 side, & 1 scoop poke. Hawaiian Tako was selected. Definitely high quality poke, far better than most spots. 8.5/10

Just OK:

Skip:
None

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Good
Service – Very Good
Value – Very Good

Would we come back – Yes

Pau Hana Poke
73-5617 Maiau St Bay 10
Kailua Kona, HI 96740
808-315-7952
http://pauhanapokehi.com/

https://www.yelp.com/biz/pau-hana-poke-kailua-kona

=====

8/12/21
Island Gourmet Markets was located a couple blocks from our hotel in the Queens’ MarketPlace shopping center. It is similar to an ABC Market but on steroids with a large deli. Order, pay, then pickup your food. They have a couple tables outside to chow at.

We found all the restaurants near us fully booked up, due to the Pandemic. This was due to a combination of 50% reduced capacity and only 1/3 staff willing to work. No delivery services like door dash here! We had several meals as did many other folks not willing to driving 30 minutes to Kona.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for take out on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open.

Safety Pluses – Online menu, Delivery services available, online ordering, social distancing.
Minuses – None

Food Picks:
Prime Rib Special ($16.95 for 8oz) was actually pretty decent for what you get. Au jus on the side, rice and some string beans. 8/10

Famous Waikoloa Burger ($11.99) with pineapple, local tomato was cooked to medium even though we asked for med rare. Includes curly fries. Took about 20 minutes. 7/10

Poke Bowl ($9.95) was solid. Almost as good as the one we had earlier in the day. 8/10

Spam Musubi ($1.99) is cheap and has very thin spam. 7/10

Just OK:

Skip:
None

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Good
Service – Very Good
Value – Very Good

Would we come back – Yes

Island Gourmet Markets
69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr Space B1/B2
Waikoloa, HI 96738
808-886-3577

Waikoloa

https://www.yelp.com/biz/island-gourmet-markets-waikoloa-3

=====

8/13/2021

The Fish Hopper is a touristy restaurant on the main drag of Kailua-Kona. We ate here because it had 4 stars on Yelp and knew it would not be great.
We were staying in Waikoloa and found all the restaurants near us fully booked up, due to the Pandemic. No delivery services either.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for indoor dining on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open. Fish is about the only local item. Happy Hour available.

Safety Pluses – Mask while not eating, Delivery services available
Minuses – No Online menu, no online ordering, no social distancing, no contactless payments.

Food Picks:
Clam Chowder ($7.95 cup) was very good. Creamy, lots of potatoes. 8/10

House salad ($7.95) had a really good dressing, but was a tiny portion. 6.5/10

Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna & Coconut prawns salad ($26.95) was well done. Lots of fresh seared ahi and a couple shrimp. 8.5/10

Teriyaki Chicken breast ($22.95) hit the spot. Decent but nothing special. 7.5/10

Just OK:

Skip:
None

Overall – Good
Food – Good
Decor – Good
Service – Very Good
Value – Fair

Would we come back – No

The Fish Hopper
75-5683 Alii Dr
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
808-326-2002

The Fish Hopper Kona – Seafood & Steaks

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-fish-hopper-seafood-and-steaks-kailua-kona-2

=====

8/13/21
Sweet Journey Soft Serve is a dessert shop serving Mac-nut soft serve. It is hidden deep inside a strip of shops.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for take out on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open.

Safety Pluses – Online menu, social distancing, outdoor tables
Minuses – None

Food Picks:
Sundae ($4.50 Keiki size) Blueberry Ube and Vanilla was very creamy and similar to premium ice cream. 9/10

Just OK:

Skip:
None

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Good
Service – Very Good
Value – Very Good

Would we come back – Yes

Sweet Journey Soft Serve
75-5729 Ali’i Dr Ste C-105
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
808-987-8652

=====

8/14/21

Lava Lava Beach Club was right next to our hotel, right on the beach. We had tried to dine their the previous day and found the wait way way too long.
They do not take reservations, so come early before the crowds. We dined at 415pm and sat right down. Lunch menu is cheaper and lasts 12- 4:30pm. Happy hour discount $2 off cocktails 3-5pm everyday! We later found out they closed for lunch due to staff issues. Call ahead.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for take out on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open.

Safety Pluses – Outdoor dining.
Minuses – No Online ordering, less social distancing inside, no contactless payments

Food Picks:
Coco Mai Tai ($14) Orange juice, Pineapple juice, orgeat, light rum, whaler’s dark rum, vanilla bean coconut syrup was well done and balanced. 9/10

Pina Colada ($13) was also excellent. They know how to make tropical drinks here! 9.5/10

Skinny Dipper ($13) kai young coconut Sochi, lilikoi, coconut water, fresh mint, strawberries was almost like a strawberry mojito. Interesting drink. 8/10

Edamame ($9) Sweet and Spicy Blend of Shoyu, Sesame Oil, Ginger, Garlic and Red Chili hit the spot for a lite appetizer. 8/10

Sizzling Shrimp ($22) Hot, Sizzling Skillet of Shrimp, Garlic, Butter and Herbs, Garlic Bread was very buttery but had a good quantity of quality medium sized shrimp. Nice for smaller appetites. 8/10

Side Veggies ($6) was served in a paper basket. Zucchini, mushrooms, more. 6/10

Tropical Salsa & Chips ($8) House Fried Tortilla Chips, Mango-Pineapple Salsa brings a tropical tone to a simple appetizer. 8/10

Spinugula ($14) Spinach, Arugula, Strawberries, Candied Macadamia Nuts, Gorgonzola, Red Onion, Balsamic Vinaigrette is perfect for vegetarians. Reasonable portion size. 8/10

Pineapple Rice Bowl ($24) Long Grain Rice, Edamame, Carrots, Garlic, Ginger, Egg is served in a cool half pineapple. 8.5/10

Koo Koo Coconuts ( $11) coconut sorbet with coconut on top was an Island way to finish off the meal. 9/10

Just OK:

Skip:
None

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Very Good
Service – Very Good
Value – Very Good

Would we come back – Yes

Lava Lava Beach Club

69-1081 Ku‘uali’i Place

Waikoloa, Hawaii 96738
808-769-5282

=====

8/16/21

Hawaiian Style Cafe serves Hawaiian comfort food and has 2 locations on the Big Island. We dined at the Hilo location for lunch. Good portion size and a wait most of the time.

It’s located in a small modern strip mall with several other interesting businesses including boba and dog gifts.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for indoor dining on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open.

Safety Pluses – Delivery services available, masks, reduced table space.
Minuses – No contactless payments, no outdoor dining.

Food Picks:
Lite Breakfast ($9.95) 1 Egg, Meat, Hash brown, Papaya is of good value and hit the spot. Nice that they serve breakfast at lunch time too! 8/10

Mixed Plate ($17.95) Kalbi ribs and Kalua cabbage was a nice meat lovers plate. Very nice and flavorful Kalua pig along with some sweetish boneless ribs. 2 scoops of rice and Macaroni salad. 9/10

Fried rice side ($3.95) is huge and different. Char siu and some spam. 8/10

Just OK:

Skip:
None

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Good
Service – Very Good
Value – Excellent

Would we come back – Yes

Hawaiian Style Cafe
681 Manono St Ste 101
Hilo, HI 96720

808-969-9265

=====

8/16/21

Roy’s has grown to many locations in different states. We ate here because it was one of the only places we could get a reservation at!

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for indoor dining on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open.

Safety Pluses – Online menu, social distancing.
Minuses – No contactless payments.

Food Picks:
Ribeye Steak ($57) Grilled Corn | Mashed Potato was better than expected. Slightly overdone, good charcoal flavor and still juicy. 8/10

Grilled Hibachi Salmon ($38) Citrus Ponzu | Namasu is not local but is a reasonable bet. Cooked fine. 8/10

Peppercorn Crusted Island Ahi ($46) Sweet potato mash | Spicy Inamona Soy is a local fish and came as almost a double portion. Tender and cooked well. 9/10

Chocolate shuffle ($14) is more of a molten chocolate cake with ice cream. Still very solid. We got it free with our Marriott coupon book. 8.5/10

Just OK:

Skip:
Lycée Breeze cocktail ($13) was very weak and not very good. 5/10

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Very Good
Service – Very Good
Value – Fair

Would we come back – No

Roy’s
KINGS SHOPS,
250 WAIKOLOA BEACH DRIVE
WAIKOLOA, HI, 96738

808-886-4321

=====

8/17/21

Hawaii’s Ultimate Donut is a food truck located on the side of the highway, right near the road to Hapuna Beach. Made to order hot malasadas. They do take a while to make them. We waited 20 minutes. Cash only.

Food Picks:
Malasadas 3 for $7, 6 for $11, 12 for $17. Filling costs $1 extra/each

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Good
Service – Good
Value – Very Good

Would we come back – Yes

Hawaii’s Ultimate Donut
395 A Mamalahoa Hwy
Waimea, HI 96743

https://www.yelp.com/biz/hawaii-s-ultimate-donut-waimea

====

8/18/21

Kalikala Cuisine is a breakfast only spot in touristy Kailua Kona right on the main drag. They even have live music. The food is on the healthier side with quality being solid. You may need to wait a while for a table, and the food arrives in Hawaiian time. No reservations.

During the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2021, we visited them for outdoor dining on our Hawaii Big Island trip.
We were trying to support local restaurants, so they can survive. All will get a 4 star review for being open.

Safety Pluses – Online menu, Delivery services available, online ordering, social distancing.
Minuses – None

Food Picks:
Acai Bowl ($15) with acas, agave syrup, fruit, tropical granola was slightly melted when it arrived. 7.5/10

Toasted bagel ($5.50) for everything with cream cheese. No surprises. 7.5/10

Hawaiian Waffles ($17.25) made with coconut milk, pineapple chunks, meat, one egg. A hearty portion of waffles cooked just right. 8/10

Avocado Toast ($15) was a good looking tropical rendition. 8/10

Just OK:

Skip:
None

Overall – Very Good
Food – Very Good
Decor – Very Good
Service – Good
Value – Very Good

Would we come back – Yes

Kalikala Cuisine
75-5695 Alii Dr
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

808-327-5254

https://www.yelp.com/biz/kalikala-cuisine-kailua-kona-2

Restaurant Map:


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