12 West Hawaii Restaurants Not To Miss

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A town is only as good as its food scene, right? Kailua Kona and the Kohala Coast boast many places to enjoy local, fresh and superb food with many restaurants having the added benefit of viewing the famous Kona sunset each evening. LUVA Real Estate agents are experts in the West Hawaii lifestyle and have recommended many of these restaurants and if you have been to Kailua Kona a few times, you know some are classic staples of a great time and good food. Enjoy!

    Don's Mai Tai Bar

  1. Don’s Mai Tai Bar – When the waves are up and sun is dipping into the ocean and you have one of their delicious mai tai’s in your hand, it’s always going to be a good day on vacation. They have a really tasty and reasonable Hawaiian Style Pork Quesadilla with Chipotle Sour Cream and Black Bean Corn Salsa and Sweet Chili Sauce. $15 and you can share it.
  2. Kona Inn-Their mai tai’s are known for their strength and their outdoor seating area is known for the sunsets. The restaurant has a fantastic view of Kailua Bay and if you sit on the right side, they pull the canvas roof off in a dramatic sweep right before sunset. This restaurant is great if you have children, as there is a large lawn in front of the restaurant that they can play while waiting for the food to come.
  3. Lava Lava Beach Club-Located up on the Kohala Coast near the Marriott, this restaurant is best known for its “feet in the sand, stare at the ocean” ambiance. Locals and tourists alike love the space for romance and fun. Happy hour pricing is good, but due to its popularity, it gets very crowded during the holidays. Get there early and stay for sunset. Wander up the beach, away from the resorts and you will find turtles galore.
  4. Umeke’s– Although they do not have an ocean view at either location in downtown Kona, but their food is classic Hawaiian and ONO! Be adventurous and get the ahi belly with garlic aioli and you MUST try their poke! One of the owners is one of the founders of the Poke Shack and makes a variety of fresh varieties to eat in or take out.
  5. If you are looking for special occasion venue: Brown’s Beach House at the Fairmont Orchid offers a beautiful view and it is not as crowded as other venues for high season. The servers make poke table side. The whole menu is local, fresh and amazing.
  6. Kohala Burger and TacoKohala Burger and Taco is located up in Kawaihae, but their food truck is down at the Kona StreetEatz food truck circle on Thursdays from 11-1. Juicy, grass fed beef burgers and fresh caught fish tacos, and some very tasty chocolate malts.
  7. Fishhopper. The view is one of the best features of the restaurant as you can see Kailua Bay across the street while enjoying your meal. You can park your car, enjoy your meal, cross the street and jump in the ocean. Their coconut macadamia nut French toast with OJ/lilikoi mimosa’s will have you coming each time you visit Kona.
  8. Splashers is really good for breakfast and lunch with very large portions. The view is further back from Kailua Bay, but you can definitely enjoy people watching from the balcony. Their California style eggs benedict with avocados provide enough for two to share. AND for only $2, they “upgrade” your cocktails to large!
  9. Kona sunset view from Alli Drive restaurants

    Kona sunset view from Alli Drive restaurants

  10. Huggos on the Rocks/Huggos-you almost can not visit Kona without going to Huggo’s on the Rocks and getting your feet in the sand with a cocktail in your hand and listen to live music. HUGGOS, located next door offers fine dining with fresh fish and local sourced dishes. Catch a beautiful sunset, enjoy a drink and perhaps you will catch the Spinner dolphins or a humpback whale in the distance.
  11. Jackie Rey’s – This is a local’s favorite and once visitors discover it, they put it on their list to return. Their daily specials are usually fresh fish and the chef is very creative with the flavors and presentation. Mahi mahi with purple potatoes with coconut milk is a favorite. You don’t go for the view, but you get it back with service and quality of food. If you have hit all the tourist restaurants and you are ready to go where the locals go…pick this one.
  12. Fosters Kitchen is a new addition to the Kona town food scene. Located on Alli Drive near Coconut Grove, the second floor restaurant offers a fantastic view of the sunset and they have a inventive menu with plenty of craft cocktail options. Here is a recent write up of the restaurant.
  13. Locals really love Quinn’s Almost By the Sea in downtown Kona. They are known for their fish and chips, fun bar atmosphere and large portions. They have a cute outdoor seating area that looks like a garden grotto.

If you would like any information about West Hawaii and its homes and lifestyle, please contact LUVA Real Estate!