Best Fine Dining Kona 2023 [Avoid Tourist Traps]

My boyfriend and I have been very busy lately. We didn’t have a lot of free time to spend together. We needed some time for ourselves. So we decided to take a vacation to Kona, Hawaii.

I wanted to ensure that we had some special romantic dates and some delicious food. So I prepared a list of restaurants I wanted to check out before our trip. I wanted to try the finest Kona had to offer.

We visited almost all of them!

So if you are looking for fine dining with beautiful food, atmosphere, and venue, look no further.

Here is my 3 must-visit list of restaurants based on: menu options, taste and ingredients, service and venue, and overall atmosphere.

Let’s get started!

#1. ULU Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge – Best Restaurant in Kona with a View

ULU Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge – Best Romantic Restaurant Kona, the Perfect Date Night

This is the most beautiful restaurant space in Hawaii. And that’s saying a lot since the whole place is a paradise. We booked dinner well in advance and asked for seating on the outside balcony overlooking the beach. We were so close to the beach I could dip my feet in the sand. The sound of the evening breeze was beautiful, and the sunset was even more amazing.

Service was impeccable. There was no waiting, and the waiter was attentive without rushing us. The vast menu combines Hawaiian, American BBQ, seafood, and sushi specialties. The wine card was several pages (and the waiter was well-informed!). It was hard picking out our food, but we splurged!

For starters, we had corn and coconut soup and beet salad. The portions were filling, and the taste was amazing. The aroma of the soup made my mouth water. The salad was perfectly seasoned and not overpowered by the dressing.

I had the Mongolian beef wok for the main meal, and my boyfriend had the black pepper prime NY steak. (Yes, I know they have an amazing sushi bar, but we were craving meat!) The meat was cooked to perfection. It was juicy and well-marinated, tender, and overall fresh and tasty.

For dessert, we had the mango lime tart and Pineapple upside-down cake. Both were refreshing and full of flavor (the portions were a bit smaller, but we were so stuffed, we barely ate them anyway!) We had our dinner with the Shafer Merlot, a beautiful pairing with the red meat.

It is the number one place to visit for fine dining because:

  • The menu is exquisite, with many choices and different cuisine styles.
  • The venue is gorgeous, right on the beach, with beautiful seating and atmosphere.
  • Service is impeccable, and the food is well prepared.
  • They have a beautiful selection of deserts and wines.

Address: 72-100 Ka’upulehu Drive Ka’upulehu, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

#2. La Bourgogne French Restaurant – Best Romantic Restaurant Kona

La Bourgogne French Restaurant – Best Romantic Restaurant Kona

This place won me over for someone who is not a huge fan of French cuisine. The venue is small and intimate. It is simple and quaint, and the staff makes you feel like they are all there just because of you.

They have very limited working hours, so we had to book about a week in advance. We were seated right away, and the waiter brought out freshly baked pieces of bread, whip butter, and some crudités to enjoy while looking over the menu. The menu has lots of options and a great wine list.

I first saw frog legs on the menu (so I skipped that!) We had house-made lobster bisque and shared a beet and goat cheese salad. Both were very fresh and homemade tasting. The flavors are warm and inviting. I had the truffle penne for the main, and my boyfriend had the Osso buccot with rice and green beans. The meat was perfectly cooked and easily fell apart. The vegetables and sauce were one of a kind.

For dessert, we had crème Brulee (must try!) and lemon tart, which was zesty, fragrant, and beautifully presented. We also had a bottle of Vaso Cabernet Sauvignon, but there is a great house wine selection.

The prices at this restaurant are very fair for the amount and quality of food they serve. These are not micro meals. The staff makes you feel like you are their friends.

Here’s why you need to visit La Bourgogne:

  • The menu changes from all the other grill and fish Hawaiian food.
  • The best service in the city and everything is very unpretentious.
  • The venue is small, intimate, and perfect for couples or small groups of friends.
  • The food is delicious, made from scratch, and the wine is amazing!

Address: 77-6400 Nalani St #101, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

#3. Huggo’s Restaurant – The Locally Sourced Food Restaurant on the Beach

Huggo's Restaurant – The Locally Sourced Food Restaurant on the Beach

This is another high-quality food experience with a beautiful waterfront view. It is funkier or beach-like than the other choices, and I loved having lunch here! They have a great large bar, and some of the seating is literally on the sand! The menu and waiter indicated their support for sustainable fishing and locally grown food.

Service was impeccable.

I chose the Seafood Chowder and Locally Caught Ahi Tuna Poke Tower with great cuts of tuna, avocado, purple potato chips, and tasty seasoning. The chowder made my day. It was super creamy and excellently seasoned.

My boyfriend had the Seared Ahi Sashimi Salad, which was fresh, buttery, and beautifully presented. He also had the Kona coffee cheesecake (which I tried, and it was creamy, rich, and robust!)

This place is beautiful to watch the sunset with your dinner. Rain or shine, it is a great restaurant choice because the entire open area is covered.

Don’t miss out on this beautiful restaurant because:

  • It is the local version of fine dining with funky details, evening music and sunset views.
  • You are literally on a covered beach.
  • The food is fresh, locally sourced, perfectly seasoned, and well-priced.
  • The craft cocktails are delicious, and there is a good selection of beers.
  • This is a perfect place for a couples lunch or dinner.

Address: 5308, 75-5828 Kahakai Rd, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Conclusion: The best fine restaurants in Kona

Kona is an amazing place to visit. Being a paradise island location, it has all the predispositions for fine dining. The beach views are amazing. The sunsets are breathtaking, not to mention fresh seafood and produce availability.

Here you can experience luxury from restaurants serving food from around the world.

If you are looking for that one-of-a-kind romantic dinner and memory from your trip, visit ULU Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge.

For an intimate and different experience, don’t miss the La Bourgogne French Restaurant.

Or have some funky beach fun at the local Huggo’s Restaurant,

You won’t be disappointed! 

Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Brigitte