Located at 2764 feet (842.47 meters) in the small ranching town of Waimea, this boutique brewery holds the distinction of being the highest brewery in Hawaii. Locals know this place as an extension to the ever-popular Tako Taco Mexican café. Located in the very heart of Waimea, the brewery was a long time in the making. The vats are anchored to the rear of the restaurant in an old barn with a variety of brews that are too long to list. There is live music three times a week, and that ever-popular Tako Taco menu of salads, burritos and quesadillas is ready for the asking.
Pick of the dining options within The Fairmont Orchid, Brown's is a beach-side retreat that sports a perfect setting for unforgettable meals. You can practically feel the sea when you dine in the restaurant's splendid outdoor setting amidst palm trees accentuated by tropical decor. The sweeping ocean views are to die for and sunsets are as romantic as they come. But it's not just the location that has made Brown's, a destination of such caliber. The restaurant has a firm local food philosophy with pretty much all the ingredients being sourced from top local farms. It's the same with seafood. The menu also assumes a local vein with Big Island cooking traditions at the forefront and a healthy choice in Pacific Rim specialties. Seafood is an absolute delight and should not be missed. For a more intimate experience, the restaurant offers the option of private dining in a setting that can only be termed as memorable. Call ahead or check website for reservations and more.
Kings View Café is probably one of the easiest eateries to find in North Kohala. Located across the street from the King Kamehameha statue, this open-air eatery offers an unobstructed view of the statue and downtown Kapaau. The country setting is quiet, laid back and the colorful colors of the eatery make for an uplifting atmosphere. The café specializes in salads, burgers and other lunchtime standards. The staff is a friendly collection of area residents who are certain to make a casual lunch a pleasant experience. There is parking just outside the entrance that just happens to be directly across the street from the photo opportunities at the statue.
Oenophiles will rejoice at this fantastic offering within the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel that gives as much attention to the food served as to the wine itself. The daily changing food menu centers around the restaurant's superb wine list, with the chef concocting excellent Hawaiian-inspired specialties with a creative bend. The restaurant boasts of an Enomatic wine storage system which allows patrons to sample pretty much every wine on the list by the glass; a sheer delight for wine lovers. The wine list itself is pretty diverse and throws up some great choices from the best wine producing regions. The restaurant changes character in the mornings to become a lively breakfast destination. The restaurant benefits from the hotel's stunning location and offers breathtaking water views from pretty much every seat. The light-filled outdoor area is an excellent choice for a romantic sunset meal.
One of the best restaurants in the Waikoloa resort, this contemporary sushi temple is a must-try. One of many restaurants owned by island celebrity chef D.K. Kodama, this eatery is fun, casual and comfortable. The menu is eclectic and ranges from traditional Japanese selections to creative sushi and unique fusion dishes. Arrive early for specials or come later for the karaoke. The shopping center offers an abundance of free parking, but it's also within easy walking distance of the larger resorts.
The chef here serves up his own style of Hawaiian Regional cuisine, which features seafood, poultry and plenty of cuts of prime meat prepared with an island twist. Local vegetables, fruits and herbs accompany meaty, savory main dishes. Expect to see many dishes that have been coconut-crusted or teriyaki-glazed. The decor is elegant in a relaxed sort of way. Tropical flowers border the outdoor patio, and a stream rushes over the rocks several yards away. A local musician serenades the room as the sun lazily dips below the horizon.
Enjoy Thai food prepared from delicious organic and gluten-free ingredients at Racha Thai. The restaurant is basically a kiosk with shaded tables where patrons can eat. Crab Fried Rice, Tom Kha Soup and Pad See Ew are some of the delicacies served here. The savory flavors of the Thai food can be balanced with one of the creamy smoothies Although tables can be a bit hard to come by, don’t let that deter you from trying out the amazing food served here. Note that Racha Thai doesn’t accept credit cards.
Pueo's Osteria is one of those restaurants where you walk in expecting an enjoyable experience and it never fails to deliver. Cozy and dimly lit, yet lively, the atmosphere in here is perfect for a leisurely meal with family and friends. An array of authentic Italian dishes, line the menu, each crafted to perfection using traditional recipes and fresh ingredients. Be sure to try their signature Riga Toni Ala Bolognese, Cannelloni al Forno and Veal Parmesan, while the wood fried pizzas are also well-worth a shot. To complement your meal you could opt for one of the heavenly desserts like the Lemon Ricotta Cake or the Housemade Cannoli.
Located at the 2500-foot level in the quiet ranching town of Waimea on the Big Island, this restaurant is one of the trendier in the area. The décor is Alpine cabin meets Hawaiian country ranch. Yes, the décor is very eclectic and so is the menu. The menu consists of a collection of saimin (noodle soups), burgers, sandwiches, salads and more. The sushi is creative and fresh and certainly goes well with any one of their many signature drinks. The dinner menu is a melding of California cuisine and Asian specialties. It is almost too eclectic, but the variety certainly ensures something for everyone. For lunch, choose seating on the patio. For dinner, sitting next to the fireplace is best, since the evening air in Waimea tend to be quite cool.
Located on the ground level of the Shops at Mauna Lani along the Kohala Coast, this café offers quick bites, wi-fi, ice cream and other quick treats. The airy shop features an ordering counter, tables and chairs (both inside and outside), and a friendly staff that is quick. What makes this place interesting is the selection of fresh juices. From simple orange and apple to exotic elixirs or blended vegetable specialties, the juices are a standout. They also offer a selection of smoothies that are perfect to beat back the tropical heat. Paninis and salads are also an inexpensive alternative to resort eating.