Hilo Restaurants

Where to eat in Hilo and the Puna District

~ Hilo ~

Hilo Bay Cafe (in the same shopping center as Wal-Mart) is popular, and the food and service are good with a good selection. Table seating or counter seating.  Lunch and dinner.

Cafe Pesto (downtown Hilo at Hilo Bay):  the service and the food are good and they have a good selection. They also have a restaurant in South Kohala at Kawaihae.

Ocean Sushi: 239 Keawe St, Hilo. It gets a *zero* on ambience (it looks like a store front lunch stand). Good sushi rolls. They only make sushi but they have an arrangement with a restaurant near by so you can order cooked food, such as  teriyaki, which will be brought over and served to you.

Kens House of Pancakes is a good old fashioned diner. It’s good food at any time of day or night …and great for children with its extensive menu. It’s open 24-hours a day and is a  50’s style diner right at the main intersection in Hilo. It has a huge menu, 24 hour breakfast, massive omelets and extensive menu choices, including the “LOCAL” favorites.  If you are VERY hungry try the “SUMO” where they ring a ships bell and all staff cry out “Sumo” in unison as it is served!

Smoothies:  If you take the beautiful Onomea Bay 4 mile scenic drive just a few miles north of Hilo (and you should!), stop at What’s Shakin’ smoothie stand after (or before) you’ve visited the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens (which you must see). Only fresh island fruits are used, “blended with the essence of Hawaiian juices” – no ice, just fruit.

Akmal Indian Food
This is across the road from the Lyman Museum (Haili Street). CASH ONLY (!). Open from 11am to 8pm. You’ll see their stand also at the Hilo Farmer Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The restaurant is very small…it sells Indian groceries, as well. There’s just a couple of tables, and you can order take out.  Vegetarian options.

Café 1&1
From the name, you would not suspect that this is a Chinese restaurant. The food is fresh and good. It’s just next to the Hilo Bay Café  (mentioned above) in the Wal-Mart shopping center).

Naung Mai Thai Kitchen located at 86 Kilauea Ave, in a somewhat confusing location BEHIND Garden exchange which is opposite KTA Market on Keawe St……near the Farmers Market. The food is worth the search, it is a tiny restaurant and the staff will recommend dishes to the uninitiated in Thai food.

Royal Siam at 70 Mamo St. just a few yards from the Farmers Market, is another Thai restaurant with good food but it lacks the intimate atmosphere of the other one (above).

The Hilo Hamburger Joint:  is a new place on Kiluea, south of downtown Hilo Bay area.

Bears Coffee Shop on Keawe St, one street back from the Bayfront. Although for a coffee shop the regular coffee could be better, but the espressos and breakfast selections are good.  They serve things breakfast and lunch specials. Local produce.  Even waffles with fresh island fruit.

CRONIES:  burghers, sandwiches and beers. In Hilo Bay area.  On the corner Waianeenue just a block from the Hilo Farmers Market.

Two Ladies Kitchen
At the Two Ladies Kitchen in Hilo, you’ll get the best mochi! It’s pretty and BIG!  They make mochi in lots of cute colors and variety.  This little place is busy and you will see other people waiting for their order to me made. Their mochi is a great gift to bring home.   http://www.bigislandcandies.com/ .  274 Kilauea Ave in Hilo.

~ Puna District ~

Pahoa is a quiet, rural, residential community area with farms, ranches and retreats. Just off the highway, Route 130 breaks off to the Pahoa Village Drive that leads into the tiny, vintage commercial section with its clapboard buildings, boutiques and restaurants — a few of which boast high ratings on Internet restaurant review sites for its ethnic and local offerings. And, if that wasn’t exciting enough, Pahoa has become quite famous now for the special visit of Madame Pele whose lava presence arrives with great auspicion for Hawaii Island (Big Island) residents of Pahoa.

Kaleo’s Bar & Grill. This is one of the best places to eat in the “affordable” category. It get’s consistently high reviews. The menu changes and there are also their standard specials everything from steaks to pasta.  If you’re hungry in Puna, eat here. The place doesn’t look like much from outside, but the food makes up for that inside. 

Paolo’s Bistro –  Italian style and Italian influenced (like Ono with tomato, garlic and rosemary), this is another place with good food. The home-made pastas are worth coming back for.

Big Island Restaurants in

South Kohala

North Kohala


South Kona


Volcano Village

South Point


Dinner Cruises