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Jun 15, 2010 04:56 PM

Need some Fine Dining in Kona (Big Island)


Heading to the Big Island for a week...we are moderate foodies from San Diego. We are staying in Kona and the day after we get in we have a special dinner that I would like to plan. I would like to keep it in Kona since it is our first real day on the island. I am hoping to find a fantastic restaurant in the area for us to go to in the evening. Fine dining, island-centric food would be perfect. I appreciate the help!

We also will be spending some time at the Kona Brewery, so if anyone has food tips there that would be great.


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    1. Really? Nothing in Kona???

      1. I don't think these qualify as "fine dining, island-centric food" but since no one else has chimed in, here goes. We were in Kona for 3 nights last week and ate one dinner at The Fish Hopper and two at Rapanui Island Cafe. Neither is particulary quiet or romantic, but the food was great.

        Fish Hopper
        75-5683 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

        1. Have you considered the Surf, Sand & Stars BBQ buffet at the 4 Seasons Hualalai resort just north of Kailua-Kona.? It is offered Saturday evenings only and has an abundance of specialties....seafood, salads, desserts. Reservations are a must.
          Great setting...

          1 Reply
          1. re: easily amused

            thanks for the tips. I need a weeknight dinner but will check out these places later in the trip.

          2. There are not many fine dining choices in Kailua Kona proper. If you must be in town, I would try La Bourgogne, or Huggo's. If you can venture a bit out of town, I would recommend Pahu'ia or the Beach Tree at the Four Seasons ( about 20 minutes north of Kona). Twenty more minutes north brings you to the Mauna Lani/Fairmont area - I would recommend both resorts main restaurants - Brown's Beach House and the Canoe House. The best sushi on the island can be found at the shops at Mauna Lani's new restaurant Monsterra. Further up the coast brings more good choices, but this is probably further than you want to be from Kona already. In south Kona about twenty minutes from town is Mi's italian restaurant - excellent "islandy" italian with locally sourced ingredients. Hope this helps - let us know where you end up

            75-5828 Kahakai Rd Ste B, Kailua Kona, HI 96740

            Beach House Restaurant
            5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756

            3 Replies
            1. re: btcol

              I second all of these recs. I tried out Manta at the Mauna Kea and it was alright. Got the special valentines day menu and left thinking maybe I should have ordered a la carte and made the kitchen work for it a bit.

              Merriman's in Waimea in my opinion was the best island centric fine dining on the island by far. If you have a car, it's worth the drive and I wouldn't leave the island without trying it.

              Here are the photos from my trip for visual reference:


              Hope this helps. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.


              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                Wow Notorious...those are some great pics. You have to be a food stylist?
                Absolutely amazing....I have enjoyed many of those same dishes you captured ......
                It's like reliving the dish again reflecting on the shot. Food evokes such Memory.

                1. re: easily amused

                  Thanks a lot! Glad you like them.

                  I'm not a food stylist at all. I guess I want to do the food justice in picture form so I taught myself a little about photography. Still a ton to learn though. I'm still a baby when it comes to that field.