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Jun 19, 2011 07:20 PM

Reasonable, Local Places near Hilton Waikaloa/ Volcano National Park// Kealalekua Bay/Hilo and the Hyatt Regency Maui

Aloha Hounds :)

The last time I was in Hawaii was in 2007 and many of you helped me out with the best supermarket deals on KONA coffee to bring back. This time I will be on the Big Island for one week and Maui for the next at the above hotels.

I've looked through the boards and have picked two special places on Maui: The Haliimaile General Store and Mama's Fish House. I did the Feast at Lele last time which had decent food
(I don't expect much from luaus, but they are requisite as our 7 year old wants to return) so I'll do Drums of the Pacific this time. The food sounds pretty average there.

On Maui, we get a free breakfast at the Hyatt and will probably eat something light poolside for lunch. For dinner we want to get in the car and get out of the touristy vibe. Any good reccs? Last time we stayed at the Four Seasons and ate on the premises a few times. We might go back to the Italian place that was there whose name I can not recall. It was solid. We didn't like Wolfgang Puck's place there at all. It was nothing like the LA one.

On the Big Island, I have no direction. ZERO. We'll be at the Waikaloa and apart from a trip to HILO, Volcano National Park, and a Zodiac snorkeling day trip to Kealakekua Bay, we don't have much planned. Any suggestions for something near the Volcanos?

Mahalo :)

Haliimaile General Store
900 Haliimaile Rd, Makawao, HI 96768

Mama's Fish House
Paia HI, Paia, HI

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  1. So lisa...... Your header asks for "local" suggestions to eat..but then you go on to name a good number of more"upscale" locales.Not exactly sure if my suggestions will fit what you are seeking..
    Anyway..on Big Island, we always try to hit.
    Patz Pies in Kealakekua....The BEST Pizza , hands down on the island. Just a little take-out window kinda place . A real character"Pat" turning out fresh pies with delicious ingredients. he makes his own sausage. Very friendly.Delicious pizza, whole wheat crust.
    Island Fish & Chips; Located behind the King's Shops(near the HIlton), by the lake. They again are a take-out window operation serving lightly batted tempura fish(Ono or Mahi Mahi) Pineapple coleslaw and tasty fries. Good size serving.
    Sansei at Queen's marketplace is another good spot to try. The have one on Maui as well. Check out there early bird specials(before 5:30) for 50% off pricing. Call ahead for this still end up waiting in line with many others to get a table.
    Cafe Pesto in Hilo: Great spot for Lunch after touring the Farmer's market there. fresh Pasta dishes and unique Pizzas as well
    Big Island Candies: The store /factory is located in Hilo and is always worth a spot. Beautifully package tasty treats...especially for bringing home. Check out their website to see some of their offerings.
    Another recent discovery of ours has been the "Palani French Bakers" They make the most amazing breads. Their brioche is out of this world. You can find them at the Waimea homestead Market on Saturday, King's Shop's market (Wednesday a.m/early aft)...and I believe the Hawi market...not certain on those dates. That Brioche loaf ..toasted... with some pineapple /lilikoi spread is sublime.

    Cafe Pesto
    308 Kamehameha Ave # 101, Hilo, HI

    Island Fish & Chips
    250 Waikoloa Beach Dr Ste Ste D3, Kamuela, HI 96743

    1. It has been much too long since I was on the Big Island, but up in Volcano Village (a mile or so from the park entrance) there are/were a few options:

      Kilauea Lodge, a personal favorite, best for dinner, lunch service was offered for a time, not sure now.

      Kiawe Ktichen, best known for it's sandwiches and pizzas.

      Thai Thai, really decent to better thai food.

      Lava Rock Cafe, a local burger/sandwich/grill kind of place. Mediocre but not bad food.

      There are a couple of places to eat at the Volcano House, in the park on the crater rim. disappointing would be a generous description. The snack bar is particularly gruesome.

      Thai Thai Restaurant
      19-4084 Volcano Rd, Volcano, HI 96785

      Volcano House
      Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Volcano, HI 96785

      Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant
      19-3948 Old Volcano Rd., Volcano, HI 96785

      6 Replies
      1. re: KaimukiMan

        We just returned from 6 nights in Maui @ Honua Kai. We loved our meal at Lahaina Grill in downtown Lahaina. Also, Aloha Mixed Plate has really good local food in a casual ambiance with pretty oceanviews. We also did Feast @ Lele and loved our experience with this luau! :)

        Aloha Mixed Plate
        1285 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

        Lahaina Grill
        127 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina Maui, HI 96761

        1. re: syrahgirl

          Mahalo :) I am excited to try some of these place especially the fish and chips place and the Aloha Mixed Plate....

          I'll post report when I'm back...

          All things delish,

          Aloha Mixed Plate
          1285 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761

          1. re: ZenFoodist

            Last week I reported on Sea House in Napili which is very close. Also good is The Fish Market on Lower Honoapiilani Rd.

            Sea House Restaurant
            5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

        2. re: KaimukiMan

          K Man is on target for Volcano Village. A recent addition is Cafe Ono at Volcano Garden Arts at the lower end of Old Volcano Hwy, a block down from Kilauea Lodge. Lunch only @10am-4pm, Tue-Sat, w/ locally sourced/organic vegetarian soups, salads and sandwiches. A good choice for a healthy meal, and convenient for taking along for your park excursion.

          If you happen to head to Kilauea on Sunday morning, go early and hit the Volcano Village Farmer's Market...great produce and lots of good pastries, food to go or eat right there, but it would mean getting a very early start from Waikoloa, as the market opens at 7am and is thinned out by 10am.

          Cafe Ono
          19-3834 Old Volcano Rd, Volcano, HI 96785

          Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant
          19-3948 Old Volcano Rd., Volcano, HI 96785

          1. re: macaraca

            i had forgotten the Volcano Village farmer's market. its great if you are in the area at that time on a Sunday morning. the farmers market in Hilo (saturday and one other day I think) is also a lot of fun. great flowers there.

            macaraca was right about one more thing. there is a reason they call it the BIG island. It is more than 40 miles from Hilo to Volcanoes National park, an hour plus driving time. From Kailua-Kona it is over 100 miles, and you will get stuck behind someone happily toodling along at 30 miles an hour with no place to pass for several miles. At the same time both drives are beautiful, great scenery, passing through many micro-climates, small towns, and stunning views.

            I've done the circle island in one day, arriving in Hilo a bit before 7am and back to Hilo for a departure a bit after 8pm, It was a fun trip, but made for a very long day and really had very little time to stop along the way. Breakfast in Hilo (Ken's) Lunch in Kona (Huggo's), Dinner in Volcano (Kilauea Lodge). A few photo ops here and there, a scant couple of hours at the volcano (which can be an all day plus adventure easily), and suddenly the day was gone.

          2. re: KaimukiMan

            This topic has been very helpful to us as we're in the midst of a Volcano / Waikoloa vacation including some time in Hilo.

            Thanks for the Volcano recommendations! One of the best dishes while we were there was the eggplant / basil stir fry with pork at Thai Thai. We had seen these great looking eggplants at the Hilo Farmers' Market earlier in the day, and had to get this when they said the eggplant and thai basil was local. Just delicious! I thought the lack of fish sauce hurt the papaya salad, but my wife enjoyed it.

            Kiawe Kitchen had some very nice pastas and salads - we had the house salad, the ahi fra diavolo, and the sausage and penne. All very nice, but make sure you're a garlic lover for those pastas.

            Kilauea Lodge had some nice venison and a delicious German-style pasta - listed as with prosciutto but speck would be closer to the mark, I think. Unfortunately the side dishes with the venison didn't match up to the meat. Perhaps the least consistent cooking of the three, even though it's the most expensive.

            The Hilo Farmers Market was a real eye-opener to see the vast variety of produce available on the Big Island. Someone was giving out free samples of some wonderful corn. Lunch at Hilo was at Puka Puka Kitchen, with tasty ahi and falafel pita sandwiches served with a great fresh salad.

            We got to the Volcano Farmers Market too late but still managed to get some multi-grain pain au chocolat (!) and summer rolls for our volcano picnic. Our B&B had wonderful sunrise papayas with small and very flavorful limes as the highlight of our breakfast.

            Our drive from Volcano to Waikoloa included lunch at What's Shakin' for great fruit smoothies, then a guava malasada at Tex Drive-In. Our first dinner in Waikoloa was full of great local ingredients at Eddie Aikau, but I'll write that up separately.


            Hilo Farmers Market
            Kamehameha Avenue Hilo HI, Kamehameha Avenue Hilo, HI

            Tex Drive In & Restaurant
            45-690 Pakalana St, Honokaa, HI 96727

            Thai Thai Restaurant
            19-4084 Volcano Rd, Volcano, HI 96785

            Kiawe Kitchen
            19-4005 Haunani Rd., Volcano, HI 96785

            What's Shakin
            27-999 Old Mamalahoa Hwy, Papaikou, HI 96781

            Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant
            19-3948 Old Volcano Rd., Volcano, HI 96785

            Puka Puka Kitchen
            270 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo, HI 96720

            Eddie Aikau Restaurant & Surf Museum
            69-250 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Puako, HI 96738

          3. Zen,

            Here's an idea, relative to the Feast of Le`le. Perhaps dine at I`o, which is right next door? The executive Chef, James McDonald, does the major work for both. I`o is upscale, and if you request a table, adjacent to the Feast venue, you get the music, the vocals, though not the visuals.

            On Maui, we are big fans of Bev Gannon's, and love Mama's, enough to pass on a few days at the Kapalua Ritz-Carlton, to stay at the Inn at Mama's, and really enjoy their wine list, which we could not do, when we had to drive across the Island. Some others, are less complementary of either, but we've never had a bad meal at either. Last visit, Gannon's was not hitting on all cylinders, but WAS still very good - just less than perfect.

            On the Big Island, I must defer to others. It has been too long, and one of my favs. is no longer there at the Four Seasons. Things change.

            For some older reviews on CH, I did a full set, some years back, when we were based at the Hilton Waikaloa, but again - that was then, and this is now.

            Enjoy, and travel safely.


            1. I suggest Japengo in the Hyatt on Maui. Wonderful food, atmosphere. I am so excited to know they are opening another one here on Oahu in the Hyatt.

              1 Reply
              1. re: manomin

                Thanks, All! Just got back last night and am very very jet-lagged, but will write up a detailed post when we are settled in. We ate fairly well over our 14 days. Lots of Farmers' Markets!