Hilo's Best Restaurants Complete Any East Hawaii Adventure

The oceanfront town of Hilo may not have the large resorts and long white sandy beaches that Kona has, but it isn't lacking when it comes to great food. Offering an array of cuisines as diverse as Hilo's people and subcultures, the East Hawaii town is home to a selection of great restaurants offering delicious food. Although all of the eateries are pretty low key - fancy isn't found in Hilo - they all offer great food at decent prices.

Most of the best restaurants in Hilo define themselves by cuisine, rather than mixed menus. As the island's longest standing Italian restaurant, Cafe Pesto offers awesome Italian food, but with a Pacific twist across from the ocean. One of the more upscale places to eat in Hilo, Cafe Pesto the place for romantic or celebratory dinners.

For authentic Thai cuisine, Full Moon Cafe serves flavorful traditional Thai food as well as some American options. Their menu is accented by a bar that serves locally brewed beers that change with the season.

For the most modern and romantic dining experience in Hilo, make reservations at Hilo Bay Cafe. Offering a varied selection of gourmet dishes - from pot pies to fresh fish and local steaks - Hilo Bay Cafe is always sure to satisfy. An extensive wine list and exotic cocktails add to the experience in their new oceanfront location.

When exploring the lush side of the Big Island, utilize our list of the ten best restaurants in Hilo to have the best culinary experience.

Ken's House of Pancakes


As a tried and true Hilo breakfast staple, Ken's stays open 24-7. Breakfast is a serious affair, no matter what time of day, and the waitstaff ensures that patrons stay "well oiled" by leaving a full pot of steaming coffee at each table. Favored...  Read More



Best described as a natural food superstore, Island Naturals in an island staple for natural food, products, spirits, beauty products, and home supplies. What really awesome is that their breakfast hot bar serves just about everything you could...  Read More

Volcano National Park


Whetting appetites in the Big Island's "warm" Volcano community, Kilauea has garnered quite a reputation with locals and tourists alike. The cozy, lodge-like setting seems to step right out of the pages of a Western adventure novel �...  Read More

Nani Mau Orchid Restaurant


No visit to Nani Mau Gardens would be complete without an excursion to their tropical lunch buffet. They call it lunch, but with the timing of 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. it seems more like brunch to us. Even if you're not planning on exploring the...  Read More



Over 200 vendors of all kinds frequent the Hilo Farmers Market. This outdoor market is like many restaurants combined into one. Thai food, vegetarian, coffee, desserts, Hawaiian food and other cuisines can be found here. Although it's open...  Read More



Full Moon Caf� is a family owned and operated (by two brothers) restaurant that uses much local and organic ingredients in their menu. They call the menu new American and Asian fusion seafood. The international menu has a Pacific emphasis...  Read More



Hilo Bay's Cafe Pesto enjoys quite a reputation for innovative pizzas, which range from traditional Italian varieties to recipes bearing Mediterranean or Pacific Rim touches. The restaurant gets packed at lunch; everybody from local business...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Miyo's restaurant has been serving up great Japanese food for over a decade. You won't find sushi here, but you'll find amazing curries, katsus, salads, udon and soba dishes, and tempura. The portions are good sized, and you won't leave hungry....  Read More

Hilo Bay Café


Don't let appearances deceive you, there are more than just burgers and fries at this unassuming restaurant. You will find dishes like stuffed chicken breast with bacon and pine nuts, and artichoke, garlic, and cream cheese ravioli. Lunch...  Read More


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade