Discover The Best Big Island Restaurants According To Locals

Are you a food lover looking to experience some of the best cuisines on the Big Island in Hawaii? If so, you’ve come to the right place – locals know best about finding authentic experiences, and we’re about to share our top picks for delicious restaurants. From adventurous homestyle meals to high-end eateries, your taste buds will take an exciting trip as soon as you land in paradise! So keep reading for some of the best restaurants on the Big Island.

The History Of Big Island Restaurants

Big Island

The restaurant culture of the Big Island began during the 1950s when Japanese American immigrants first brought their flavors and dishes to the island. Many other cuisines, such as Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino, were introduced to the local palate. Over time, this range of tastes turned into a new ‘local’ style that showcased fresh produce from island farms and seafood caught off its famous coasts.

Nowadays, you can find almost any type of food imaginable in Big Island’s restaurants – from classic Hawaiian fare like plate lunches to Korean-inspired American fusion staples like kimchi tacos. In addition, the number of available options grows each year as chefs experiment and mix traditional recipes with modern cooking techniques. As a result, Big Island restaurants reflect the diverse cultures and foods that make up the world – one bite at a time!

The Best Big Island Restaurants According To Locals

So, what are the top Big Island restaurants? Below, we’ve listed our favorites with recommendations of what to order and why you’re sure to love them!

Cafe 100

Big Island

Cafe 100 is a favorite among Big Island locals, offering a classic yet delicious local cuisine menu that keeps people coming back for more. This cafeteria-style eatery is known mainly for its delightful hamburger steak. The low prices are just one reason why Cafe 100 consistently finds its way onto lists of the best Big Island restaurants, according to locals.

Their hospitable staff and cheerful atmosphere also contribute to their appeal. So if you’re looking for an enjoyable, convenient way to dine with friends or family at an affordable price point, look at Cafe 100 for a meal to remember.

Da Poke Shack

Big Island

Da Poke Shack on the Big Island is a must-try for all visitors and locals alike. This eatery stands out among other restaurants on the island and boasts an extensive menu of top-quality poke bowls made from fresh seafood caught locally. The restaurant has earned a reputation for its delicious creations and is one of the most beloved spots among locals.

Whether you’re looking for something more traditional, like their classic shoyu poke bowl, or a unique combination with flavors like mango and garlic, Da Poke Shack has something to satisfy everyone’s palate. With great taste and reasonable prices, it’s no wonder why Da Poke Shack is one of the most highly recognized restaurants on the Big Island!

Island Fish & Chips

Big Island

Locals say one of the best big island restaurants is Island Fish & Chips. This multi-generational, family-run business has been serving delicious seafood since 1988. They pride themselves on using only fresh and locally caught fish, and they pair this with their unique light but crispy batter, making it the perfect accompaniment to their lightly seasoned chips.

One of their most popular dishes is their Jumbo Beer Battered Fish & Chips, with three pieces of freshly battered fish. Whatever you decide, when it comes to Big Island restaurants, Island Fish & Chips is one to visit – and once you have been there, you will certainly be going back!

Island Lava Java

Island Lava Java is a Honolulu favorite known for its relaxed atmosphere and excellent breakfast food. But it’s also beloved by locals on the Big Island who frequent the café for its classic dishes and selection of local cuisine. As the name implies, Island Lava Java offers Hawaiian-style meals made with locally sourced ingredients.

Whether you’re dining in or picking up takeout, you’ll find everything from traditional American breakfast favorites to healthy salads infused with flavors from the islands. The ocean-view dining room and background music featuring island-style performances create an experience that’s just as enjoyable as the food itself. For those looking for a delicious taste of Hawai’i, there may be no better place than Island Lava Java.

Cafe Pesto

Big Island

According to locals, Cafe Pesto is one of the best restaurants on the Big Island. It’s renowned for its innovative and flavorful Italian dishes prepared from local ingredients. The atmosphere is cozy yet elegant, with attentive waitstaff and charming decor. The talented chefs craft original recipes inspired by Italian classics, creating unique dishes like linguine with shrimp, cream-based garlic sauce, and edamame pesto sauce.

Cafe Pesto sources local produce to create fresh salads and pizzas that are sure to please everyone. So whether you’re looking for a romantic evening or a quick bite with friends, Cafe Pesto is an excellent option to experience delicious flavors that represent the Big Island’s culture.

Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill

Big Island

For those looking for a unique dining experience on the Big Island, Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill is an excellent pick based on local recommendations. Some laud their seafood and steak dishes, which are cooked using traditional techniques and flavors that highlight local sourcing while maintaining a modern flare.

The open-air atmosphere gives an island-style touch to the restaurant, as warm breezes blow through in the evening and stunning sunsets are visible in the distance. But one of their specialties that gets people from near and far making reservations nightly is their signature dessert – a warm haupia waffle that you must try at least once! You can enjoy this local favorite at this cozy restaurant among friendly staff who make everyone feel at home.


Big Island

Locals will point you to Merriman’s if you’re looking for the freshest flavors when visiting the Big Island of Hawaii. It is a staple in the community, with its fresh local ingredients, tantalizing recipes, and family atmosphere appealing to many people. However, Pacific Rim cuisine sets this restaurant apart from others in the area; field greens salads, panko-crusted island fish, and Kauai shrimp fuse together Hawaiian and other dishes from around the region for an unforgettable experience.

The chefs ensure to cater to everyone’s tastes with items from all over the culinary map. Merriman’s offers some of the most delicious meals on the island, making it an ideal spot for anyone seeking a Hawaiian paradise.

So, Will You Try One Of These Big Island Resteraunts?

In conclusion, if you want to sample the flavors of the Big Island, then be sure to visit one of these fantastic restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere, innovative dishes, or simply some of the best seafood on the island, each establishment offers something unique and delightful. So why wait? Book your trip today and start planning an unforgettable dining experience!

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