best places to eat in kona

best places to eat in kona

What are the best places to eat in Kona? That’s the question I will attempt to answer, not by how delicious their food is or how pretty it looks, but by their location. When I look for a place to eat in an unfamiliar area such as Kona, my number one concern is that it’s easy to get to. I don’t want to drive around wasting time looking for a place whose GPS coordinates (or address) is obviously incorrect or missing entirely. I also find myself less able to enjoy the food if I have to deal with parking tickets, angry neighbors and explaining this out of state plate every time I drive around aimlessly looking for a place whose location couldn’t fit on a postcard. Rolling Meadows is a community found in the beautiful North West region of Kailua, on the Hawaiian Island of O’ahu. It falls within the upscale Waimanalo area and is directly situated between the bigger communities of Kailua and Kaneohe. This “hidden gem” has been home for many years to an eclectic group of folks that have come together to form this community.

Kona, Hawaii is home to some of the best food in the world. The tropical climate and abundant agriculture make it a popular destination for foodies and locavores alike.

Whether you’re looking for a casual bite at one of the many restaurants along Front Street or fancy dining at one of the world’s most famous resorts, you’ll find a variety of delicious options that will please your taste buds no matter what kind of food you’re craving.

  1. [restaurant name 1]

Kona is known for its seafood and this restaurant is one of our favorites. You can’t go wrong with any dish here, but we recommend starting with their signature crab cakes appetizer (which are made from local crab meat). The main courses are equally as good. The fresh fish tacos are a great choice if you’re looking for something simple yet delicious, while the grilled swordfish steak is hard to beat when it comes to flavor profiles that pair well with fish.

  1. [restaurant name 2]

This restaurant serves up authentic Hawaiian cuisine that can’t be found anywhere else on island—and we mean anything! There are so many interesting dishes on their menu that it’s hard

Kona is known for its breathtaking beaches, but there’s a lot more to the area than just sand and surf. If you’re looking for some great grub in Kona, here are five of our favorite local restaurants!

  1. Mama’s Fish House: This seaside restaurant has been serving up fresh fish since 1979 and is one of the most popular dining spots on the island. Their menu offers everything from seafood platters to authentic Hawaiian dishes like Kalua Pig.
  2. The Coffee Shack: Located in Hilo, this popular coffee shop serves up delicious pastries and specialty drinks made with locally sourced ingredients. They also offer a wide selection of baked goods from local bakeries like King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Deli as well as other local favorites like Zippy’s Drive-Inn Restaurant & Pancake House (another favorite).
  3. Kono’s BBQ: If you’re looking for authentic barbecue in Kona then look no further than Kono’s BBQ! This family owned restaurant has been serving up mouthwatering ribs & chicken since 1984 while also offering live entertainment every night of the week!

downtown kona restaurants

1. Merriman’s

Chef Peter Merriman has a handful of eateries across the Hawaiian Islands, and the flagship Merriman’s in Waimea has been a local favorite for more than 20 years. The focus here is on local ingredients and regional flavor. It’s a pricier night out, but there’s a solid selection of sharable side plates and award-winning entrees, with a wallet-friendly Monday lunch special on shrimp tacos and Mai Tais.

2. Manta

Manta may be known for its breakfast buffet, but its must-try dish is one of its most popular dinner entrees: the macadamia nut encrusted mahi-mahi. The fish is super tender with a hint of nutty sweetness. No matter when you visit, you’ll experience open-air fine dining on a gorgeous patio overlooking Kauna’oa Bay—oh, and you’ll probably encounter a few resident cats strolling among the flower beds.

3. Da Poke Shack

Tempt your taste buds with a variety of fresh poke at this classic shack. Spicy Pele’s Kiss is a local favorite, but you won’t go wrong with garlic and sesame. Or why choose when you can order a plate with four poke selections? There may be a line of folks waiting to order, but the service is fast and friendly. Visit early before the daily menu is sold out.

4. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

The Hawaiian plate lunch is a local classic meant to fill you up on the cheap. Take two scoops of rice, add a side of macaroni salad and enjoy a featured item ranging from marinated chicken to garlic shrimp. L&L Hawaiian Barbeque isn’t fancy, but this is where you want to go for a traditional plate lunch. Ramen fan? Try the SPAM Saimin noodles.

5. Kona Brewing Company

Fill up on liquid aloha as you settle in for a casual patio lunch. Pair a hand-tossed pizza or Kalua pork tacos with a beer flight, or get your veggie fix with the popular chickpea ‘burger’ served with chipotle yogurt sauce. Love the brews? Visit the Growler Shack for big beer takeout. Note: You’ll find the best parking around the back of the pub.

affordable restaurants in kona

Island Fish & Chips

It may feel like you’re playing hide and seek as you try to find Island Fish & Chips, but rest assured this walk-up joint is real,  tucked deep inside the King’s Shops at Waikoloa set alongside a koi pond. Must-try items include flaky fish tacos, coconut shrimp and the crispiest fish and chips you’ll ever encounter. The sweet pineapple slaw side is an added bonus.

Cafe 100

Loco Moco is a must-try no matter which island you’re visiting, but legend has it Cafe 100 is the original home of this Hawaiian dish. It’s a bowl of white rice beneath a juicy beef patty, layered with rich gravy and topped off with an egg sunny-side up. Undeniably a quirky combo at first, but it’s classic comfort food Hawaiian-style. Try it any time of day and be prepared for follow-up cravings.

Huggo’s On The Rocks

A popular spot for locals and tourists, this Kona Bay lounge boasts a cozy waterfront setting. Enjoy live local entertainment while you sample a poke bowl and sip one of the best Mai Tais in town. For your main course, try the Bulgogi fried rice bowl featuring island-style marinated beef. Beach bums will feel at home with the sand floor of this super laidback venue.

For a local take on happy hour, visit this waterfront venue for lilikoi (yellow passionfruit) cocktails. You’ll also find plenty of regional flavors on the dinner menu, with pineapple chili glazed pork belly and coconut rice stuffed kabocha squash. Service of speed can be hit or miss depending on how busy the restaurant and lounge are, but the atmosphere and taste are worth the trip.

 Hula Hulas

Tex Drive In

While there are burgers and plate lunches to be had here, everyone goes to Tex Drive In for the Malasadas; thick, eggy Portuguese donuts sprinkled in sugar and celebrated island-wide. The local favorite is Tex’s Bavarian cream filling. There’s a no-frills walk-up counter certain to have a line-up, but you’ll find plenty of outdoor seating.

 Lava Lava Beach Club

Relax along the coast at this beachfront venue where guests are seated with toes in the sand. Liquid happy hour is offered daily 3-5 pm, while the lunch and dinner menus offer a range of island flavors with poke nachos, sizzling shrimp, teriyaki steak, and pineapple chicken bowls. Make a reservation to dine AT sunset over Waikoloa Beach, during which you’ll be surrounded by glowing tiki torches and entertained with live music.

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