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This is one of those places where generations of families come to enjoy reasonably-priced family dining and a casual, amicable atmosphere. Located at the very heart of Waimea, this restaurant is not only a landmark but a Waimea institution. Menu specialties are the tasty ribs, burgers and the delicious Macadamia Nut pancakes that are always on the breakfast menu. Parking is free, but the lot is limited. Waiting for a table on Sunday mornings is almost expected and afternoon jam sessions with island musicians in the bar is certainly a treat. Stop in and soak up the local scene.
Located in a local shopping center in laid-back Waimea, this no-frills restaurant serves up plates of hearty Korean barbecue, along with kim-chee, sweet potatoes, katsu and other favorites. Carnivores and vegetarians alike can enjoy the flavorful entrees and side dishes. The food is inexpensive, filling and quite tasty. It is definitely something to sample at least once; most locals, Korean or not, eat here at least a few times a month.
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.
One of the most famous island hole-in-the-wall joints, the Hawaiian Style Café is known throughout the islands as the spot to go for local dishes. Loco moco, Hawaiian plates and much more are offered at this counter-style diner. Be sure to have the country-style breakfast that will feature local grass-fed beef and huge portions. Cash only!
Chef Peter Merriman, the former culinary star of Mauna Lani Resort, has received critical and public acclaim for his Upcountry venture. Serving the best and freshest Big Island products with contemporary flair, this restaurant is on a par with the finest resort gourmet rooms. Mr. Merriman personally supervises the purchase of ingredients from local farms and makes sure to give credit where credit is due. Fresh seafood, creative salads and decadent desserts are always present on the ever-changing menu.
One has just got to love a small town where the pizza franchises are absent and you can find a classy upscale pizza that will awaken the senses instead of just a hunger-numbing pie. This small spot offers the best pizza in town, along with flavorful gourmet sandwiches everyday but Sunday. The soba salad and the pan seared-fish sandwiches are beyond good.