We have visited Hawaii several times. But this was our first visit to the Big Island.
Having had a particularly difficult year, my boyfriend and I knew we would do everything we could to spoil ourselves!
Once I did my research, I realized the Big Island offers a fine – dining experience parallel to some of the best places in the world. So get ready to experience first-class meals from renowned chefs and incredible service.
After our visit, I can confidently say Big Island has the best local fine dining opportunities in Hawaii.
Don’t even think about not visiting these places! You deserve it! Enjoy the highest quality local produce, freshest fish, best chefs, and amazing views in the top 3 restaurants on the Big Island.
#1. The CanoeHouse – Best restaurant with a view in Hawaii
This elegant, high-class restaurant has a stunning beach view and sunset. There is a well-manicured grass yard with tall and graceful palm trees, and our table is right next to it. Could it be more flawless? Yes. The service is wonderful, friendly, and welcoming. The food is amazing.
I made reservations well in advance with a specific table preference. The waiter took our drink orders, but I did not feel rushed with the menu.
We ordered so much food it’s difficult to decide what’s most delicious. I recommend the radish salad with crunchy salmon skin and whole maitake mushrooms for salad and starter. The mushrooms were so well seasoned and meaty that I could have had just them for dinner.
I enjoyed the lobster very much. It was very buttery. But the smoked pork belly with cabbage was amazing. The meat had been carefully picked and cut. There was a mustard-like sauce that we couldn’t get enough of.
My favorite dessert on the trip was their coconut lime panna cotta! For drinks, try the 3 sake tastings!
Overall, this was my number one pick, and you will love it too because:
- The menu is diverse, and the food is high quality, tasty and innovative.
- The view is one of the best on the island, and the sunset is amazing.
- The service is professional, informative, and accommodating.
- This is a perfect romantic date night to watch the sunset and have some drinks at candlelight.
Address: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts, 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr, Waimea, HI 96743
#2. Beach Tree Bar – Best restaurant in Kona Hawaii with a view
The views at this restaurant take your breath away! This beach bar is a sophisticated beachside spot at the Four Seasons Resort. The food is Mediterranean, and the cocktails are tasty and original. We had an early dinner and reserved seats on the covered porch area. There is a diverse menu and separate drink cards for lunch and dinner.
Service was quick, friendly, and well-informed about the dishes they serve. The selection of pasta, wood oven pizza, and creative entrees was impressive. My choices included the grilled octopus – smoked potato, vinaigrette, and lobster canestri – with lemon balm, garlic, basil, and chilies. Everything tasted rich and creamy with the right portions of protein. The portions were large, and the octopus was fresh and tender. All the food is beautifully presented.
My boyfriend had Cesar salad and wild mushroom pizza with porcini cream, scallion, and truffle oil. The pizza had a pleasant wood fire smell and small darkened pieces on the crust. It was delicious (I ate two pieces!) Over 75% of their produce and meat is from Hawaii, so it’s a great way to eat local produce in a world-class setting.
For dessert, we indulged in Baba Rum, which is Kohana rum-soaked baba, citrus Chantilly, and pineapple compote (Yummy!) For rum lovers, try the Captain Ed cocktail. It’s a kick!
It was a memorable fine dining experience because:
- There is a different menu for lunch and dinner, making it worthwhile to make several visits.
- The view is amazing (as only the four seasons would have!)
- The food is familiar with hardy pasta, wood oven pizzas, Mediterranean salads, and flavors.
- Suitable for a date night or family lunch (there is a kid’s menu).
Address: 72-100 Kaupulehu Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
#3. Merriman’s Big Island – High-class locally sourced food
We had the most delicious lunch at this restaurant! They have a farm-to-table concept, with almost all their ingredients locally sourced, including the freshest ﬁsh, seafood, meat, and produce. They also have a 3 course prefixed menu option, paired with recommended wines and desserts.
For our lunch, I made reservations, and we didn’t wait for our table. The tables were so far apart, and we had amazing privacy and quiet. We started with the Ceviche with taro chips, and the fish was very buttery and well cut. Then I had the Lobster Tacos, and my boyfriend had the Kalua Pig & Sweet Onion Quesadilla.
The dishes were very well prepared, using only the freshest ingredients. Nothing was overpowered with seasoning or sauce so that you could enjoy the simple and fresh produce. The lobster was fluffy, and the taco overall was my favorite on the island!
If you have any space left in your stomach, you must try the Coconut Creme Brûlée. It comes with a crumbly sweet cookie, but the texture of the cream wins the show!
For drinks, choose a beautiful wine or a Merriman’s Mai Tai (virgin or not!)
This place is a strong third pick because:
- The food is local, fresh, and very well prepared.
- The atmosphere is relaxing, with privacy and friendly service.
- They have great menus for lunch, dinner, and children.
- The drink options are fun and well thought out (like the wine pairing).
Address: 65-1227 Opelo Rd B, Waimea, HI 96743
No vacation is complete without a few beautiful date nights (whether you are a new couple or someone with kids).
The Big Island has some amazing fine dining options that are high quality and diverse and utilize local ingredients.
For the date night you will remember for years, choose dinner at The CanoeHouse or The Beach Tree Bar.
If you are looking for a fun local restaurant with local ingredients turned into high-end cuisine, choose Merriman’s Big Island.
Whatever you choose, I am sure you will love it!
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Enjoy your meal!
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What should I not miss on the big island?
The Big Island of Hawaii has some of the most picturesque beaches. Make sure to visit the black and green sand beaches unique to the world. There are also plenty of white sand beaches to visit. The island is also known for quality fresh, and local produce served in their fine dining restaurants. Make sure to eat some world-class food in restaurants such as The CanoeHouse or The Beach Tree Bar.
Which Hawaiian island has the best restaurants?
The Big Island in Hawaii has some of the best restaurants. There is a large and diverse food scene, including fun street food, authentic Hawaiian beach joints, food trucks, and fine dining. Don’t miss out on some of the best Hawaiian fine dining restaurants, including the locally supported Merriman’s Big Island.
What is the famous food in Hawaii?
Hawaii and the Big Island are famous for having fresh local fish and produce. Some famous dishes are poke, fish tacos, Huli Huli chicken, garlic shrimp, malasadas, and shaved ice. Most of these foods are served in excellent fine dining restaurants.
You might also like: Best Malasadas on the Big Island
Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Brigitte