Kona is a district on the big island of Hawaii in the state of Hawaii known for Kona coffee and the venue of the Ironman World Championship Triathlon. The region is filled with stunning green scenery, various historical sites, diving, and snorkeling activities.
All of this together makes Kona the perfect destination to enjoy your vacation. Kona district of Hawaii offers tourists and locals incredible restaurants that combine local products, seafood, and flavors to create exclusive meals.
The volcanic soil of Kona-Kailua and the highland rains result in the finest quality coffee, avocados, and tropical fruits. The local restaurants use these fresh local products to prepare the dishes, which enhances the flavor of the cuisine.
In this post, I’ve put together 24 best restaurants in Kona Hawaii that you will like.
24 Best Restaurants in Kona Hawaii
Hilo, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, driving, snorkeling activities, and natural beauty combine to make Kona one of the best vacation destinations that will fill your day with lots of fun and excitement.
After you’re done exploring all of the above-mentioned activities, you are probably starving for some tasty and elegant cuisine, so check out the places listed below.
1. Beach Tree Bar and Lounge
If you are looking for an outdoor dining experience with delicious food, Beach Tree Bar and Lounge is the perfect one for you. The restaurant serves Mediterranean-inspired California cuisine made with ingredients that directly come from Hawaii Island farmers, ranchers, and fishermen.
Lunch is served in open rooms where you could be able to enjoy the sound of the waves and soak yourself up in the sung while enjoying your meal.
The restaurant hosts a live entertainment show every evening which you can join and enjoy while sipping on your wine, locally brewed beer, and hand-crafted cocktail.
2. Don the Beachcomber Restaurant and Mai Tai Bar
Don the Beachcomber Restaurant and Mai Tai Bar serves vibrant food and drink in their bold tiki architecture and tropical, open-air setting. They serve exquisite Hawaiian and international cuisine, with a blend of the freshest local ingredients, using European cooking methods and putting Asian influences in the foods that are further enhanced by beautiful ocean views.
This restaurant is one of the best oceanfront dining places in Kona which serves you flavorful meals along with a welcoming atmosphere and also you can enjoy seeing the beautiful sunset views from the restaurant.
They host aerial performances by spinner dolphins and humpback whales, while enjoying the show don’t forget to order fresh seafood and handcrafted drinks.
Don the Beachcomber is a must try restaurant with amazing ocean and sunset views from every seat.
3. Da Poke Shack
Da Poke Shack is famous for its nutritious and delicious poke bowls. They use fresh fish to create poke bowls that are not frozen or from yesterday and are served with fresh veggies, rice, and various sauces.
If you don’t like fish or seafood, you can try their Classic Lau Lau and Kalua Pulled Pork. They even have a vegetarian poke bowl option that is completely gluten-free.
So, this restaurant’s poke bowl is something you shouldn’t miss out and to enjoy it with the amazing view from the restaurant you should arrive early to get an outside table.
4. The Fish Hopper Seafood and Steaks
The Fish Hopper is another open-air restaurant which is located near the north end of Ali’i Drive in the Kona-Kailua district. The dining area of this restaurant is very comfortable along with a classy island atmosphere and friendly servers.
They provide a variety of fresh seafood that is imported weekly from the West Coast’s mainland. They also offer an extensive beverage menu, which includes their signature Bucket of Fire, Flaming Volcano, and gluten-free Big Island Mai Tai.
So, if you are looking for a spot to enjoy your day with your buddies then Hopper Seafood and Steaks is a must-visit restaurant.
5. Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill
Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill has been a family-run business since 2004. They offer a range of food items made with locally grown fruits & vegetables and fresh local fish & seafood.
Their menu includes seafood to steaks, spaghetti to fresh salads and you can pair these foods with wine.
They have happy hour on their menu that includes seasonal soup from Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill and kalua pork Quesadilla. You can also try the chef’s special guava BBQ glazed baby back ribs or simply guava glazed ribs, the chicken and shrimp angel hair pasta.
You will find various drinks options in the Wine by the Glass section from the menu such as the Hawaiian Margarita, Da’ Best Mai Tai, Lilikoi Martini, and Bartender Special are also offered.
The cuisine provided here is a combo of Italian, American, and Hawaiian Island flavors. They also provide shareable appetizers, food with local seafood and meat, and delicious desserts. This restaurant must be on your list to end your day with some good food.
6. Gertrude’s Jazz Bar
Gertrude’s Jazz Bar is famous for live music and is a perfect place to go to spend the evening listening to it. The bar plays a wide range of music from jazz blue to Latin, reggae, and rocks.
The event is hosted by various talented musicians from Hawaii and other parts of the world. The Jazz Bar has received Best of Hawaii West for best music for five years in a row.
They also host dancing, painting, and woodworking performances making this restaurant popular among tourists. This restaurant is a great place with a blend of music, dancing, art, and food. You should surely go here with your friends and family to have a good time.
7. Kona Brewing Company
Kona Brewing Company is the place to go for locally brewed beer. The company was founded by Cameron Healy and the Spoon Khalsa family in 1998. At present, Kona Brewing Company is one of the most popular craft beer brands in the world.
They provide a wide variety of craft beers, including Big Wave Golden Ale, Longboard Island Lager, Kona Light Blonde Ale, Gold Cliff IPA, Hanalei Island Bay, and Lave Man Red Ale.
Non-alcoholic beverages are also available. One of the best things about this place is that they offer local food trucks.
8. Hualalai Grille
Hualalai Grille’s open-air wrap-around terrace offers a golf course and beautiful sunset views. This restaurant has fine dining options, including Prime Steak with handcrafted local sides and local fresh fish, Hamakua mushrooms from Hawaii Island, Big Island WOW tomatoes, and Macadamia nut toffee ice cream pie.
They have American flavors as well as Island-infused flavors dishes. Hualalai Grille uses ingredients from the island as well as fresh imported and sustainable ingredients in all of their dishes. The ingredients are supplied from over 160 local farms.
The Hualalai Grille is one of the best Kona Hawaii restaurants that you must visit with your friends and family.
9. On the Rocks
Huggo’s On The Rocks is the ideal place to spend a Saturday night in Kailua Kona. They provide lunch, Pupus (Hawaiian version of traditional American pub food like nachos and fries), Cocktails, and fine dining.
Their main menu ranges from burgers to sandwiches, soups, salads, Tacos, and many more. All of their dishes are cooked with fresh local ingredients from Hawaii’s Big Island and the food here just tastes amazing. On the Rocks also have a Happy Hour meal that runs from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. every day.
They also offer live music performance events that will keep you entertained throughout the evening as you enjoy your food.
10. Shaka Tacoz
Shaka Tacoz is located on the Mamalohoa Highway in Kailua Kona and has become a famous tourist destination.
They are famous for their tasty tacos and breathtaking views of the south Kona Shoreline. Choose from chicken, asada, pork, or fresh fish for your taco, which may be topped with sides like lime cream, pickled onion, and their homemade shake sauce.
The Shaka Tacoz food truck serves first-rate tacos and burritos that are unique, tasty, and at a reasonable price.
11. Kaaloa’s Super Js
There is no better restaurant than Kaaloa’s Super Js, if you’re looking for traditional Hawaiian cuisine. It is a family-run restaurant, located directly off Highway 11 in a yellow building with a parking lot.
The most famous dish of the restaurant is Lau Lau, which is pork or chicken wrapped in taro leaves steamed for 8 to 10 hours before being served hot, aromatic, and tender. You can add rice, salad, or lomi salmon as side dishes. Kalua pig and cabbage are additional options you can add to your meal.
On most days, their famous Lau Lau gets finished before they close. Outside of the store, they provide an average long table with plastic chairs or picnic seats for seating.
Although, Kaaloa’s Super Js is a small restaurant tourists, as well as, locals enjoy dining here because of the authentic handmade foods that are served here.
12. Izakaya Shiono
Another restaurant that has lately become well-known among tourists is Izakaya Shiono. They provide Japanese food with a Hawaiian twist and use a variety of Island-specific ingredients.
Izakaya Shiono restaurant’s chefs make classic sushi using high-quality and fresh ingredients that are purchased locally and directly from Japan.
They offer an extremely peaceful and brimming dining atmosphere to their customers. The staff here are so friendly and welcoming even many regular customers know them by name.
If you’re craving Japanese food, then Izakaya Shino is the restaurant you must go to. You will get the best sushi and much more traditional Japanese cuisine like Gyoza and Katsu.
13. Broke Da Mouth Grindz
Locals in Kona love Broke Da Mouth Grindz, a quick and casual restaurant. You will get some amazing pick-up foods here and even have a picnic on the beach with your buddies.
They specialize in Asian-inspired cuisine, and some of their best-selling dishes include crab-stuffed salmon, crispy roast pork with mushroom sauce, and garlic furikake chicken. They also have Classic American burgers, Korean bibimbap, and pork belly adobo.
14. La Bourgogne Restaurant
If you’re looking for French cuisine and some good wines, then La Bourgogne restaurant is the best one in Kona Hawaii.
La Bourgogne restaurant serves delicious French cuisine and is designed in such an amazing way that gives classy and comfortable vibes. The head chef Ron and his wife Collen, also the owner of La Bourgogne prepare all of the dishes with fresh ingredients and take care of their presentation and service.
Some famous French cuisine on their menu is baked brie, escargot, French onion soup, sweetbreads, scallops, and profiterole.
15. Umekes Fish Market and Grill
Umeke is a Hawaiian word that means bowl. So, at Umekes Fish Market and Grill almost everything on the menu is served in a bowl.
They use the freshest and most local seafood, directly sourced from the local fishermen. This is a must-visit restaurant if you want to experience authentic Kona seafood.
They have a wide variety of seafood on the menu including sizzling shrimp oysters and grilled ahi. All of the dishes are full of flavors and delicious.
Don’t worry if you don’t like fish as they also have local meats and vegetables that come from local farms that you will enjoy all these foods.
Nakoa Pabre is the owner, main cook, and seasoned professional who strives to provide guests with the freshest, most interesting, and most varied foods the Big Island has to offer.
The restaurant is fully air-conditioned and has a full bar, retail poke, a fresh fish counter, and a selection of Hawaiian-inspired cuisine. The restaurant also has an outdoor seating facility.
You can further customize your meal by selecting your favorite Entree of Hawaiian style which can be combined with certain side dishes.
16. Papa Kona Restaurant
Papa Kona restaurant is just a perfect place to start your day with a luxurious brunch.
The restaurant’s breakfast menu is quite extensive such as local fruits, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, big Island omelet, vegan scrambles, poke bowl, French toast, fish tacos, loco moco, avocado toast, traditional eggs benedict, corned beef hash, salads, firecracker shrimp bowl, seared ahi benedict, and Kona burger.
Apart from breakfast they also provide lunch and dinner where you will get to taste authentic Hawaiian flavors and Asian as well as American classics. Some of the local favorites are quesadillas and Kalua pork arancini.
17. Magics Beach Grill
If you are searching for a restaurant where you may spend your holiday peacefully while admiring the lovely Hawaiian beaches then Magic Beach Grill is the perfect place to go.
Magic Beach Grill serves classic Hawaiian flavors. This is a grill restaurant with an oceanfront bar and a beach hut where you can enjoy delicious foods and beverages while admiring the views.
This restaurant uses fresh local ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen to enhance the flavors of the dishes.
Overall, Magics Beach Grill is an excellent restaurant to enjoy your day with a perfect sunset view.
18. Canoe House
Another restaurant where you can experience the spirit and cuisine of authentic Hawaiian culture is Canoe House. The setting of this restaurant is quite fun, and they have multiple dining areas.
You must visit their Tiki Bar which is located under a suspended outrigger canoe. The restaurant is designed after a Classic Hawaiian beach bungalow.
Canoe House has put their restaurant’s specialties on the top of the menu so that customers may choose from them if they are unsure of what to eat. Lemongrass and coconut cream soup with cilantro and crab are one of their most popular starters.
The most popular items on the entree menu are Sauteed fresh salmon with avocado, Thai hot chili, garlic mashed potatoes, fresh sauteed spinach, and another one is short rib loco moco plate with white rice, sunny side up eggs, and onions.
In addition, they serve traditional cocktails including margaritas, mai tais, and mojitos as well as local and imported beers.
19. ‘Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge
‘ULU Ocean Grill & Sushi Lounge, located at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, is an amazing oceanfront fish and seafood restaurant. The restaurant offers Hawaiian-style foods in a stunning setting right next to the surf and beneath the starlight.
The restaurant’s structure is a demonstration of a stylish combination of Hawaiian architecture and modern flare and you will be amazed as well as pleased by the Hawaiian beauty and flavors of the Pacific.
Their menu includes various flavorful dishes from breakfast to dinner that are oven-roasted, flame-grilled, or wok-cooked. They also have a selection of wine which you may order alongside your food.
This modern Sushi lounge delivers the freshest Sushi while the ocean-view bar serves unique cocktails, shakes, and Japanese beer. The staff are polite and welcoming, and they will undoubtedly advise you on which dishes would suit your tastes.
20. Foster’s Kitchen
Foster’s Kitchen is well-known for using natural products sourced from the land and sea of Hawaii, which are always of high quality and healthy.
They cook using a slow cooking approach, which always makes the food delicious and they make every dish from scratch. Their menu is quite extensive offering appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and flatbread pizzas.
Herbivores are owned and operated by a mother-and-daughter vegan team. They began this business after both of them turned vegan in 2012. They both like cooking and offer flavors ranging from Hispanic to Native American and Jewish.
The cuisine served here is all plant-based which makes it a perfect place to visit if you are a vegan.
The breakfast menu includes breakfast burritos, burrito bowls, breakfast sandwiches, vegan and carrot lox, salads, and loco moco. The lunch and supper menu includes nachos, burgers, burritos, sandwiches, pohaku bowls, and salads.
The restaurant has an outdoor dining area and parking right in the middle of the restaurant.
22. Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai
Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai is located in Keauhou Shopping Center which is a perfect go-to spot for authentic Hawaiian cuisine. Sam Choy is the owner of the restaurant and he is also Hawaii’s culinary ambassador.
You can enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean and sunset at the restaurant while sipping handcrafted cocktails and eating Pacific Rim fusion cuisine.
Their signature dishes are Asian pork and noodles and lamb chops with soy, ginger, and local bird peppers, macadamia-crusted chicken, and Kona orange duck.
23. Kamana Kitchen
Are you guys looking for Indian cuisine? then Kamana Kitchen at the Waterfront Row shopping center is the place to go.
They provide traditional Indian food and their menu is full of flavorful and delicious dishes. They make everything from scratch including high-quality ingredients, delectable sauces, and unique spice blends.
Popular dishes of the restaurant include Veggie pakora, biryanis, tandoori, panner tikka, special Punjabi curry, tikka masala, vindaloo, and saag. They also sell a range of non-alcoholic beverages such as masala chai, soft drinks, iced tea, and lassis.
24. Kenichi Pacific
Kenichi Pacific, located in the Keauhou Shopping Centre, delivers Japanese Pan-Asian fusion food and sushi in a modern setting.
They serve authentic handmade sushi and sashimi, as well as Asian-inspired beef, chicken, duck, and lamb. They offer side dishes, fresh salads and vegetables, and delicious desserts.
Signature dishes include Dynamite Shrimp with smelt aioli and Teriyaki sauce, Chinese five-spice cured duck leg with wild mushrooms, and grilled Ono Tataki with mashed yams and Japanese mushrooms.
Kona, Hawaii is a beautiful place with fresh foods, lovely sunsets, and beach views. The island’s fresh ingredients and seafood will make your day full of flavors and experiences. If you are still thinking about visiting Kona, Hawaii then don’t just think about it, book your tickets and get your beach dress and go there. And, I hope that this article might have helped you find the perfect restaurant in Kona, Hawaii.