Big Island dining recommendations
Chowhounders - I need your help with suggestions for fine and casual dining on the Big Island. We went last year and so far the only place we are planning on returning to is Merriman's. We're staying at a B&B in the Captain Cook area, but are willing to drive. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and we are open to any type of cuisine.
North of Capt. Cook and south of Kona we always like the Aloha Angel for breakfast and lunch. They also have great baked goods.
Although "just a coffee shop" type of place, in Kona the Big Island Grill never disaapoiiints for lunch and has big portions. They have a catch-of the-day type salad with a great sesame dressing, and great burgers. The Kona Brewing CO. has GREAT beer and decent pizza.
In Waimea we LOVE Huli Sue's barbq. everything we've had there is good. Merriman's in our current big island favorite, although not cheap.
Although others have complained on this board, we always have good food at the Bamboo in Hawi. There is also a new (1-2 years old) place that i can't recall the name of in the motel at the corner of Hawi Road across from the gas station. It's good as welll......a streak house kind of place, with live music most nights. Cafe Pesto in Kawaihae, and there's also a good fish house in Kawaihae as well. And don't miss Duke's. Our friends went for the first time on our last visit, and they're still talking about those malasadas!
I don't recall the name, ut there is a great thai restaurant in Hilo, on the road near the aiarpost.....not to be confused with the couple of thai places in town. It's in a modernish business office type of building. All of this is as of October. Hope none of these places have closed.
Focusing on Kona side only...
Second the recommendations for the Manago Hotel and Teshima's, both near where you're staying. Funky, delicious, and economical. Old Hawai'i.
Up in Kailua town, don't miss Ceviche Dave's. Not long on variety (unless you count different types of ceviche), but outstanding quality. Carry-out only, if I recall correctly, but it's fairly close to the old airport beach. Bring your own cooler. A six pack, some ceviche, and sand between your toes - what's not to like?
Waimea has lots of great options, Merriman's being prominent among them. In addition to your fine dining option, there's also Hawai'ian Style Cafe (breakfast and lunch only). Huge portions of ono local kine grindz.
Keep heading counterclockwise, and you'll find yourself in Honoka'a, home of Tex's Drive In. Get hot malasadas. Don't ask for nutritional information, and never, ever mention it to your cardiologist.
Boy, Lots of closures of late.. Dining choices are getting limited. You can blow the budget at Pahui'a (Four Seasons)
Near Captain Cook is the Coffee Shack..great for casual lunch or breakfast
We enjoy the pork chops at Manago Hotel...very 1950's style..maybe even 1940's Either way .delicious.
In Hilo..Cafe Pesto, Nori's saimin for local fare, very casual.
In Waikoloa beach resort , Island fish and chip stand is tasty and affordable.
Now, I realize these recommendations are not all in your neck of the woods but you did say you were willing to drive. We know the deal. Good thing there is unlimited mileage with car rentals !!!
re: easily amused
Those that have closed within the last nine months:
Waikoloa Beach Grille
Big Island Steak House (KIng's Shops)
Hard Rock, Hooter's, Rio's, Kuakini Cook House
Rumored to be closing soon or for sale..... Donatoni's at the Hilton ( Waikoloa Beach resort), O's Bistro, Huggo's (closed for Lunch), Casandra's (Greek)
Sadly a sign of the times.
Perhaps the local chowhounds can provide more updates.
Our next visit is a few weeks off...