Best Local Food on Big Island: Savor the Exotic Bite Now!

Welcome to a mouth-watering journey through Big Island’s culinary landscape!

Craving local cuisines but can’t decide where to start? Allow me to assist you. Sharing my treasure of acquired wisdom gained from countless meals savored, missed dinners, and several food comas later is merely a few scrolls away. Ditch the lengthy blogs and bewildering reviews; I’m here to feed your curiosity (and appetite) with an insider’s perspective on Big Island’s best local eateries.

The gems I’ve uncovered over many visits with my boyfriend—each reminiscing tales of rich flavors, intimate dining experiences, and, most importantly, affordability—are awaiting your taste buds’ approval. And hey – just between us- our inadvertent journey from lost tourists to island food connoisseurs had its fair share of humorous bloopers!

Here’s the twist: While most guides talk about gourmet restaurants that can burn a hole in your pocket, this compilation is all about scrumptious meals that won’t leave your wallet starving. The cherry atop consists of essential details spiraling around amenities offered along with extensive menu insights for each restaurant, maintaining your excitement level throughout.

Drumroll Please

Get ready because we’re going steady down into delicious town! From hole-in-the-wall wonders to beach shacks making waves with their culinary expertise – make sure to keep those taste buds buzzing.

Warning: You might be hatching plans for frequent escape routes attributing return trips as ‘food inspection’.

With zest for life (and yummy bites), let’s embark on this gastronomic adventure across the heavenly Big Island!

Jackie Ray’s Ohana Grill – Top Choice for Traditional Hawaiian Seafood

Nestled in the heart of Kauai, Jackie Ray’s Ohana Grill is a sanctuary for fresh, traditional Hawaiian seafood. Not only does it offer a luxurious dine-in experience, this hotspot stays surprisingly light on your wallet!

My boyfriend and I often venture here and never get disappointed with its sumptuous seafood variety and exquisite wine selection. The crab cakes are to die-for! And don’t miss out on their savory Hawaiin burritos. Once tasted, believe me, you’ll be coming back for more!

Here are a few things that we adore about this place:

  • Private Parking: Spacious private parking makes commuting effortless. Plus! Bike riders won’t feel left out as there’s dedicated space just for them.
  • Stellar Customer Service: With incredibly kind servers catering to you, they truly make sure your visit becomes memorable.
  • Entertainment Galore! Enjoy Live sports telecast across multiple TV screens while savoring their delectable meal!
  • Eclectic Food Menu: Their menu boasts various unique dishes like crispy pork ribs, mac-nut tartare and lamb chops along with scrumptious desserts like dark chocolate mousse or gelato.
  • Full Bar: A perfect match to their food assortment is Jackie Ray’s extensive collection of imported wine collections along with draft beer,, cocktails and (non-alcoholic) mocktails.

This place welcomes everyone as they’ve got accessibility features designed to better serve those using wheelchairs.

Helpful tips before hitting up this spot:

  • Making Reservations beforehand saves time, especially if visiting in large groups or during peak hours since, apart from reservations, walk-ins are also accepted.
  • Happy Hour Timing: 4pm to 5pm daily – a wonderful opportunity not-to-miss when planning your schedule!

Getting excited? Here’s what you might need:
TIMINGS: Open every day from 4 PM -8:30 PM
ADDRESS: Located at 75-5995 Kuakini Hwy STE 1, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 United States

Come whet your palette at Jackie Ray’s Ohana Grill without breaking the bank! Trust me; the food fulfills beyond fantasies!

Island Fish and Chips – A Hidden Jewel for Authentic Hawaiian Comfort Food

Ever thought about biting into a piece of perfectly fried, authentic Hawaiian fish paired with special spiced fries? Well, let me walk you over to Island Fish and Chips, where tantalizing food aromas fill the air!

In search of the perfect fish and chips, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon this gem. We delved into their variety, slurping soup, and gobbling sandwiches down to those heavenly banana fritters! It was so delicious that we nearly burst at the seams! (hint: look out for stretchy pants 😄).

Let’s break down why we can’t resist going back:

  • Convenient Parking: They’ve got a private lot easily accessible even in rush hours. Bonus? A separate spot marked just for bikes!
  • No Reservations Needed: Just skip planning ahead because, thankfully, they welcome impromptu visits too.
  • Versatile Menu: Beyond lip-smacking fish and chips lay tempting tacos, irresistible crab cakes, hearty sandwiches & much more, all at stunningly affordable prices ranging between $3-$18 only.
  • Outdoor Bliss: Relish your hot meal amidst calming ocean sights from ample outdoor seating or inside their quiet interior – it’s oh-so tranquil that you could doze off instantly after gorging!
  • Live TV! Catch broadcasted live sports matches/news as an extra treat while dining.

Dog-Friendly Alert! Bring along your collared & vaccinated furry buddies!

Before swinging by:

Make sure on Google Maps to find directions as King’s Bakery folks are always happy to guide lost souls (these local shops cover up the restaurant well).
One note-this place doesn’t serve alcohol but don’t worry, they allow visitors to bring-your-own.
TIMINGS: Open from 11 AM till 8 PM throughout weekdays till Saturday
ADDRESS: Situated within Waikoloa Village, HI 96738 United States

Do make time during your stay here on the dazzling Big Island to sample our favorites – quick service comfort foods coupled with striking beachfront views exclusively at Island Fish & Chips!

Merriman’s – An Award-Winning Haven for Local Hawaiian Cuisine

When it comes to indulging into top-quality local fare in a comfy, upscale setting, there’s one place my boyfriend and I always find ourselves returning to: Merriman’s Waimea.

We’ve stood the test of their menu and give two thumbs up to the smoky kalua pig dish, crispy fish tacos, succulent short ribs and juicy lamb chops. If you ask my boyfriend, he’d tell you this is his number one pick when eating out! Also – did I mention how heavenly their tender meats feel?

A fun fact that never ceases to impress us: Merriman’s holds multiple ‘Best Hawaiian Restaurant’ awards and proven favorite among celebrities too!

Here’s what keeps pulling us back:

  • Parking Glut: Unwind about hassle-free parking as they’ve got ample spaces right upfront, or opt for their private lot if preferred.
  • Doting Servers: Expect warm familiarity along with handy recommendations as their servers excel at making dining experiences charming.
  • Ample Seating Space: They’re equipped with a roomy indoor hall that quickly filled up owing its popularity!
  • Extensive Food Selection & Full Bar Service: Debating over which dishes here is tricky! Be sure not to miss out on trying our favorites, such as Merriman’s burger, eggplant sandwiches or Hawaiin fillet mignons paired with exquisite imported wines/beers/iced teas/freshly-prepared non-alcoholics by skilled bartenders. Finish sweetly divine Chocolate Purse dessert!

Gladly serving visitors on wheelchairs through dedicated access ways.

Summed up useful inputs before visit:

Call ahead for Reservations; you wouldn’t want to spend time waiting when could be enjoying cosy meal!
There aren’t designated happy hour timings nor specific dress code (although pool attire be avoided).
So ready dig sheer delight rustic elegance offers? Note these:
TIMINGS: Business hours are 11:30 AM – 2 PM & 5 PM – 8:30 PM from Wednesday through Sunday while Mondays & Tuesdays reserved dinner service only set between 5 – 8:30PM
ADDRESS: Find them located conveniently at Opelo Rd B, 65-1227 Waimea HI 96743 United States

Absolutely can’t stress enough how worthwhile the experience of dining here turned out! Do swing Merriman’s at least once during your stay on magnificent Hawaii Island and enjoy authentic taste aloha spirit!

Da Poke Shack – A Local Hawaiian Secret for Seafood Cravings

Are you a fan of Hawaiian Poke? Look no further, head straight to Da Poke Shack! Trust me, their poke selection is quite simply the best across Hawaii.

Drawn by local suggestions, my boyfriend and I discovered this gem boasting an idyllic oceanfront location. Being first timers at sampling poke, we decided on experimenting with shoyu poke and dynamite poke – needless to say, both proved outstandingly delectable!

Here’s what makes this place a standout:

  • Parking: The restaurant hosts spacious private parking– absolutely free.
  • Breathtaking Outdoor Seating: Opt between cozy indoors or shaded outdoors overlooking heart-stirring views of rampant waves flanked beautifully by verdant greenery.
  • Rapid Service: Regardless of how bustling it gets inside their lightning-fast service will leave you super impressed!

The friendly servers along with the hospitable manager, genuinely help guide through menu options if you’re unsure about your choice.

Must tries here include sesame poke bowl, spicy garlic poke (my personal favorite), and appetizing seaweed salad aside from other popular picks like kimchi or potato salads as sides. Generous servings paired with notable quality make spending around $15-$20 per poke bowl absolutely worth every penny!

Please note before planning your visit:

It’s always better ring them first since they often run out food midway through day.
Expect heavy crowd but worry not; organize yourself seat outside dining area beats pass time till course arrives.
Point to remember also that entry/exit is accessible to anyone in a wheelchair too.
Open all week long from 10 AM till 4 PM
Visit them located conveniently in Kailua-Kona at 76-6246 Ali’i Drive, HI -96740, United States

Quite hands-down best find experimented so far personally recommend times over relishing fresh seafood spread amidst paradisiac setting ever visited enchanting island Hawaii give a miss heartwarming experience!

L & L Hawaiian BBQ – Spot for Affordable, Scrumptious Hawaiian-Style Barbeque in Big Island

Is your mouth watering for authentic Hawaiian barbeque and sumptuous local friend delicacies? Say no more! Be ready to be dazzled by the enchanting flavors at L & L Hawaiin BBQ. They’re famed for their array of meat wonders that won’t have you breaking the bank!

My boyfriend, along with our friends accompanied us on our culinary adventure here where we reveled in their luscious Hawaiian burgers, creamy macaroni salad and crispy shrimp. The crowning jewel was undoubtedly their BBQ platter – an absolute must-have if you come here!

You’ll adore these unique offerings of this inviting eatery:

  • Ample Parking: A sprawling private lot ensures an easy parking experience, even during rush hours. No Reservations Needed : Choose to visit spontaneously as they welcome walk-ins service exclusively. Flexible Seating Option: Dine-in within their cozy interior or enjoy a relaxed outdoor meal under shade- especially fantastic on breezy days.

Their menu is every carnivore’s dream, including highlights like exclusive Hawaaiin BBQ Platter, appetizing loco moco alongside musubi and deliciously breaded pork chop.

Size Matters Here! Prepare yourself for enormous portions; one serving generously suffices two well-hungry bellies.

Drinks galore offer a wide variety of refreshing sodas apart from distinctively flavorful champagnes.

Prices remain accessible, ranging $3-$60 per dish served ensuring everyone gets great value for money spent while entertained by catching live news/sports drama airing multiple screens across restaurant

Note: While they don’t serve alcohol, you’re allowed to bring-your-own alcoholic beverages!

Timings operations set between Sunday through Thursday early risers from 6 AM winding down towards 9 :30 PM while Fri-Sat extends till late night operating up until10 PM
Get Directions onto79 Palani Road Kailua-Kona HI96740 United States

Do carve out time to visit sunny Hawaii to enrich your vacation by tasting bona fide island vibes right plate. Discover firsthand why L&L’s renowned gastronomic destination never disappoints barbecue lovers!


Big Island, one of the Hawaiian Islands, is celebrated for its sumptuous local food. As a gastronomic paradise, it offers a plethora of local dishes reflecting the island flavors and Hawaiian food traditions. Prices are affordable, and these enticing meals are conveniently available, making it hard to resist the allure of the Big Island’s cuisine.

Not sure what to savor? The welcoming staff in most restaurants, such as Da Poke Shack, Big Island Grill, Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill, and Ulu Ocean Grill, readily assist new visitors with their comprehensive dinner menu selections. These range from meat dishes, salads, and soups, to local favorites like burgers.

Traditional Hawaiian style poke from Da Poke Shack, a specialty that incorporates fresh fish and raw fish like no other, is a must-try. Local cuisine also showcases the unique loco moco, a delightful mix of hamburger patty, fried egg, and white rice, best served at Ken’s House, the home of the original loco moco.

Consider making a stop at the Lava Beach Club, another resort restaurant offering enticing meals. Here, you can savor the irresistible Kalua pork, accompanied by live music that adds to the ambient atmosphere. They also serve Hawaiian barbecue, a true testament to the island’s culinary traditions.

For a sweet ending, head to Punalu’u Bake Shop at the southern end of the island, or try the best shave ice at the Two Ladies Kitchen. For coffee enthusiasts, the Coffee Shack, known for its aromatic Kona coffee, is an unmissable stop. Alternatively, the Hawaiian Style Café or the Island Lava Java serve excellent coffee as well.

Indulge in the Great Food of Big Island of Hawaii. From the sweet pineapple slaw at Four Seasons to the strawberry mochi and macadamia nuts from Ladies Kitchen, it’s impossible not to be drawn to the wide variety of local dishes.

In conclusion, on the Big Island, you are set for a journey of flavors. So, prepare to savor every bite, as it’s almost impossible to stop once you start exploring the myriad of local food choices on this vibrant Hawaiian Island.


What should I not miss when on Big Island?

Big Island has the best things in Hawaii. From luxurious resorts and adventurous cruises to delicious, inexpensive food, you will love everything in Big Island. The special local food in Big Island includes Macadamia nuts, Malasadas, Hawaiin fish and BBQ, etc.

Where do local Hawaiians eat?

Local Hawaiians love eating traditional basic food; some of the most famous places locals frequently visit are:

  • Cafe Pesto
  • Merriman’s
  • Da Poke Shack
  • Island Fish and Chips

What is grown on Big Island?

Big Island is known for its fertile, lush green fields, which harvest many day-to-day needs and tons of fruits and vegetables, some of them which are guava, mango, star fruit, lychee, and papaya.

How much does a local meal on Big Island cost?

Big Islands food is not too expensive. Whether it is street food or dining in luxurious restaurants, the food costs range from $2 to $200. The main local dishes and desserts are budget-friendly, and tourists can easily enjoy food without worrying about their expenses.

Last Updated on July 23, 2023 by Brigitte