Welcome fellow food enthusiasts and Big Island adventurers!
My boyfriend and I have spent countless hours exploring Kailua Kona, savoring delicious food along the way. It’s been quite a journey, let me tell you! We’ve experienced everything from exquisite gourmet meals under the stars to hidden gems tucked away in unassuming corners. And now it’s my turn to share our delicious discoveries with all of you at the best restaurants in Kona.
I must confess that finding the best restaurants in Kailua Kona was no easy feat. But after many late nights filled with tantalizing flavors and culinary delights, I believe I have finally compiled a list that caters to everyone – locals and visitors alike. From romantic fine dining experiences, mouth-watering seafood dishes, exotic fusions of cuisines – we’ve got something for every taste bud out there.
You see when it comes to eating on vacation (or any time really), making decisions can be pretty daunting – especially if you’re like me who wants to try it all! So fear not because my trusty taste buds are here to guide you through your gastronomic adventure on our beloved Big Island.
Warning: Trying these amazing spots may lead to spontaneous bursts of happiness or intense cravings upon returning home!
Now grab your fork (and perhaps an expandable waistband) as we embark on this scrumptious quest through Kona’s top 8 irresistible eateries!
Da Poke Shack – The Best Restaurant in Kona with Breathtaking Beachfront Views
For an authentic Hawaiian food dining experience at an affordable price, look no further than Da Poke Shack. This local favorite is the go-to spot for fresh seafood, especially their delicious poke bowl.
Notorious for its impressive and fresh seafood selection, Da Poke Shack offers a variety of seafood dishes, salads, and Hawaiian cuisine. They take pride in always serving fresh (never frozen or day-old) poke options like ahi, tako, scallops, and more. Their Garlic Furikake Chicken is a must-try, topped with a sweet and savory sauce that leaves you wanting more.
In addition to their famous poke bowls, they also serve mouthwatering lau lau and Kahuna plates with limited but tasty options. For those with dietary preferences or restrictions, they have vegetarian and gluten-free choices on the menu too.
Generous servings come standard at Da Poke Shack as each plate features rice alongside local-inspired side dishes. Open from 10 am daily; it’s best to visit early since some popular items sell out quickly due to their commitment to freshness.
Whether you prefer eating at their communal-style table or taking your meal to-go, there’s something for everyone.
Here are some highlights of our visit:
- Consistently fresh fish marinated to perfection
- Cash-only transactions preserve authenticity
- Limited parking can sometimes be challenging
- First-time visitors get an unparalleled introduction to delicious poke
Whether you prefer eating at their outdoor seating area or taking your meal to-go, there’s something for everyone.
Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge – Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Kailua Kona
For those seeking a fine dining experience, Kona boasts a range of delectable options. Ulu Ocean Grill stands out among them for its heavenly food and romantic, starlit atmosphere.
Nestled inside the Four Seasons resort, Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge offer an array of delicious food from the freshest Pacific flavors, sourced from local fishermen with a focus on sustainability. The locally caught fish is cooked to perfection, offering a unique taste of the Hawaiian Islands.
Choose between their delightful à la carte breakfast or lip-smacking dinner offerings. Whatever you do, don’t miss their sensational sushi rolls – simply unforgettable!
- Arrive hungry to fully appreciate each course
- Plan on enjoying 3 to 5 courses for a comprehensive taste of their menu
- Make reservations well in advance – aim for sunset time slots to fully appreciate the spectacular view
With exceptional service from attentive staff, top-notch culinary creations, and enchanting surroundings at Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge; your night is bound to be memorable. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!
Kamana Kitchen – Authentic Indian Cuisine with a Gorgeous Oceanfront Setting in Kona
Craving something different from seafood, burgers, and familiar island options? Then check out Kamana Kitchen for an authentic Indian dining experience complemented by breathtaking ocean views.
Kamana Kitchen uses local ingredients and local produce for its delectable offerings. The result is a unique fusion of Indian flavors with a Hawaiian twist, setting it apart from other restaurants in Kailua Kona.
Perfect for those special occasions, Kamana Kitchen can also accommodate parties with their impeccable service and versatile menu.
We stumbled upon this eatery by chance but will undoubtedly return during our next Big Island visit. Our unforgettable experience included:
- Well-informed wait staff who provided excellent recommendations tailored to guests unfamiliar with Indian cuisine
- Delicious Chicken Tandoori cooked to perfection
- Tender and aromatic Lamb Korma that won us over instantly
- Refreshing mango lassi (sweet yogurt-based drink) as a delightful finishing touch
Generous portions ensure everyone leaves satisfied while savoring each dish under the allure of spectacular ocean vistas—making Kamana Kitchen a must-visit while in Kona.
La Bourgogne French Restaurant – Top Fine-Dining Destination in Kona for Exquisite French Cuisine
Since the 1980s, La Bourgogne has enchanted guests with its classic French dishes and luxurious ambiance. Nestled within an air-conditioned dining space adorned by charming art and décor, this elegant eatery transports you to a timeless Parisian bistro.
Ideal for special occasions or memorable milestones with loved ones, La Bourgogne never fails to impress. Choose from delectable favorites such as Lobster Bisque and Duck Confit while exploring their diverse menu catering to discerning palates.
With seating limited to around 35 people, reservations are highly encouraged at this cozy establishment. Gift vouchers offer a delightful surprise for anyone yearning for fine French cuisine or romantic experiences.
La Bourgogne’s allure extends beyond scrumptious offerings; attentive service effortlessly elevates each visit into an unforgettable occasion. Here’s what makes it stand out:
- Its intimate setting is perfect for creating cherished memories
- Exceptional food quality paired with impeccable service
- Reservations are required due to the limited seating capacity (approximately 35 guests)
- Ideal gift option for those who appreciate exquisite dining experiences
For a unique culinary adventure amid the bustling energy of Kona, don’t miss your chance to dine at La Bourgogne French Restaurant.
Kona Wave Cafe – Best Budget-Friendly Breakfast Spot in Kona, Renowned for Acai Bowls
Kickstart your day at the delightful Kona Wave Cafe, an affordable choice featuring a vegetarian-friendly menu and a relaxed ambiance perfect for breakfast enthusiasts.
Renowned for their fresh Acai bowls made from never-frozen fruits and topped with crunchy granola, Kona Wave Cafe leaves you craving more. Pair your bowl with coffee or latte (try the Kona Wave Latte) to fuel your morning adventures.
Just steps from the beachfront, this cozy cafe offers outdoor seating as well as easy access to dine by the waves—an idyllic spot during beautiful mornings.
Beyond breakfasts, savor indulgent desserts like Hawaiian shave ice boasting unique flavors or one of their many delicious frappes.
Kona Wave Cafe stands out due to:
- Fresh Acai bowls crafted with quality ingredients
- Accessible vegetarian options on the menu
- Proximity to ocean views for al fresco dining
- Diverse dessert choices such as shave ice and frappes
Kona Wave Cafe is the ideal place to enjoy delicious breakfast sandwiches while soaking in the ocean views. Don’t forget to try their coconut cream latte, a perfect complement to their fresh Acai bowls.
Willie’s Hot Chicken – Ultimate Destination for Flavorful, Budget-Friendly Fried Chicken in Kona
The star attraction at Willie’s Hot Chicken is, undoubtedly, their delicious fried chicken. Served with their housemade shake sauce, it’s a local favorite and a must-try when you visit Kona.
Families can have a fantastic time at Willie’s – watching TV, sipping on beers – all while indulging their taste buds. Portion sizes are generous – even kids’ chicken tenders can easily serve two!
Additional perks include:
- Outdoor seating
- Online ordering and pickup options
- Excellent value and reasonable pricing
Whether you’re a local or just visiting Kona, don’t miss out on the exceptional customer service experience found at Willie’s Hot Chicken. From warm greetings upon entry to attentive care throughout your mealtime journey; you’ll feel right at home as you feast on unforgettable creations.
Gypsea Gelato – Affordable and Delectable Dessert Destination in Downtown Kona
In search of a quick dessert or snack? Look no further than Gypsea Gelato, an Italian-inspired oasis offering mouthwatering flavors at pocket-friendly prices.
Featuring a wide range of classic and Hawaii-inspired gelato flavors, there are choices for everyone, including gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options. What’s not to love?
Emphasizing local ingredient sourcing from Big Island farms results in fresher products like white pineapples, mint, ginger, and lemon while keeping their carbon footprint low.
We stumbled upon Gypsea Gelato during a Big Island food tour and were delighted by its rich creaminess. We couldn’t resist the unique Hawaii-inspired flavors that would become our favorites: lilikoi (for me) and coconut with chocolate chunks (for my boyfriend).
Other must-try flavors include chocolate with macadamia nuts & coconut as well as haupia sweet potato.
Reasons to visit Gypsea Gelato:
- A tantalizing selection of around 500 rotating monthly flavors
- Friendly staff ensuring customers move through queues swiftly
- Opportunity to taste several flavors before making your choice
Visit Gypsea Gelato on your next trip to Kona for a gratifying dessert experience you won’t regret!
Peaberry and Galette – Chic Kona Restaurant Serving Delightful Sweet & Savory Crepes
Picture yourself stepping into a modern-day “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” setting when visiting Peaberry and Galette. This trendy café is renowned for its mouthwatering sweet and savory crepes, as well as an assortment of elegant soups, salads, quiches, cakes, and other desserts.
Each dish served here boasts incredible flavors that perfectly complement the delicious Kona coffee also available at this charming spot.
Our recommendations include customer favorites such as Smoked Salmon Crepe, Shrimp & Calamari Crepe, and Quiche Lorraine. For dessert lovers, indulge in the Chocolate & Banana Crepe or their twist on the classic Suzette with tangy Lilikoi Lemon Bars.
What keeps us coming back to Peaberry and Galette?
- Fast, efficient service despite steady customer traffic
- An excellent coffee selection to savor during your visit to Kona
- Generous crepe portions suitable for sharing between two people
- Convenient parking right outside the restaurant
- Limited outdoor seating for those who wish to dine al fresco
With these fantastic offerings in food quality—and memorable experiences—Peaberry and Galette is a must-stop destination on your next trip to Kona.
After reaching the end of my list, I hope I’ve helped you narrow down your choices in choosing the best restaurant in Kona. You can even choose to visit every restaurant on the list.
That’s what I love the most about the Big Island, and it’s so diverse that there’s always something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it’s in terms of activities or dining, Kona offers the best of the best. Be sure to check out restaurants in Kailua Kona for a taste of local cuisine and great food during your next visit.
Where can I find the best restaurants in Kailua Kona with outdoor seating and fantastic service?
Some of the best restaurants in Kailua Kona featuring outdoor seating and fantastic service include Beach Tree Bar, Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill, Magics Beach Grill, and Foster’s Kitchen. These eateries offer a variety of delicious dishes that cater to different tastes while ensuring an enjoyable experience for their guests.
What breakfast buffet options are available in restaurants in Kona known for their good food and casual atmosphere?
While this article doesn’t specifically mention breakfast buffets, there are several good food dining options in restaurants in Kona that offer casual atmospheres perfect for starting your day. For example, consider trying the Acai bowls at Kona Wave Cafe or exploring other local bites like coconut shrimp macaroni salad served at various eateries around town.
Although not explicitly mentioned as a Japanese cuisine restaurant within this list of top 8 eateries, Ulu Ocean Grill is known for offering fresh sushi rolls alongside Hawaiian-inspired dishes perfect for weekend evenings. Its location on the oceanfront allows you to enjoy both live music events nearby and the beautiful surrounding scenery.
Can you recommend any island bites or craft cocktails to try from popular spots featured on Food Network while visiting local meats-serving venues with cold mugs?
Two particularly noteworthy recommendations include experiencing fish cooked to perfection with sustainability practices at Ulu Ocean Grill, where you can also indulge in sensational sushi rolls; alternatively, explore creative culinary offerings such as poke nachos combined with unique craft cocktails found at Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill or Foster’s Kitchen.
Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Brigitte