FORGET THE BEACH BOD,
Food can get expensive when you’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2000+ miles from land! And nothing is worse than leaving dinner, still hungry and unsatisfied…with a $100+ check.
I’m not saying these places were cheap but I am recommending them as places to get the biggest bangs for your bucks.
If you’re on the Kona side of the island…
This spot for the atmosphere!! We went here for dinner and it was one of my favorites but you can go pretty much any time of day. Outdoor dining on the beach with live music and really really good food!
Located in Waikoloa Beach Resort. Check it out (;
We didn’t get to this one until our last night on the island before we flew out of Kona and even if you can’t make it there until your last night, I suggest you make it happen! Kona Brewing Co. is like your standard all-american restaurant and from what I saw, it’s super popular..we had somewhere close to an hour wait. But the food and the beers definitely deliver.
Located in Kailua-Kona. Check it out (;
I don’t have any photos from this one but this is a place you’re going to want to know about for your big beach days! It’s a jumbo market filled with all sorts of souvenirs, groceries, etc. but most importantly, it has a made-to-order counter where you can get pulled pork sandwiches, pizzas, meatball subs, cold cut subs, macaroni salad…basically anything you can think of. This was a life saver for us. We’d stop in the morning for breakfast and eat outside on the patio, head back in and grab lunch to pack for the beach. It’s not a fancy restaurant but the food is just as good and makes for a quick grab-n-go on your way to catch some rays!
Short drive from Hapuna Beach, located in the Waikoloa Beach Resort or Wailea
If you’re in the Volcano area…
This is where you want to eat if you want a view! The Volcano House is right on the rim of the crater so you can watch the smoke puff from the ground and fill the sky and if you go at night, you can sit and eat in awe of the red glow. Aside from the view…the food!
Try the pork/pineapple pizza if you stop in “The Rim” (;
Located in Volcanoes National Park
This one’s pretty fancy in comparison to the others in terms of menu (steak, lobster, lamb, prime rib…that sort of thing) and what to wear. The restaurant itself has a cozy cabin feel with a fireplace because believe it or not, it gets chilly at night on this side of the island!
I tried chicken pad thai for the first time at this place and have pretty much been hooked ever since. They close at 9 and take their last seating at 830 so hurry up and get your butts to a table!
**In general, if you’re in the Volcano area, I recommend making your way to dinner relatively early. My family tends to eat pretty late and by the time we were ready, places were closing or getting ready to close.
The only time we were actually IN Kona was on our very last night before flying home, so I am sure there are plenty of great spots to grab a bite that we missed. Next time (;
I am also told that there is awesome food in Hilo but we never actually stopped in town to try anything because there was so much to see and so little time! I think one day we just stopped at Jack-in-the-Box and kept it moving. My next trip to the island will include a Hilo meal or 2, as well. (;