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10 Best Restaurants near the Hilo and Kona Cruise Ports



On the Big Island, the east side town of Hilo, and the west side town of Kailua Kona are where the cruise ships come in to dock. In both locales visitors can find and abundance of great restaurants that offer delicious food, and in close proximity to the ports. In Kona, these eateries can all be reached on foot, but in Hilo most are just a few minute drive away.But we've put together of the ten best restaurants near the ports, and narrowed it down to five in Kona and five in Hilo for your convenience.

In lush Hilo visitors will find gems such as Cafe Pesto, located right across from the ocean in the town's hottest neighborhood, Bayfront. The gourmet eatery offers Italian dishes, but with a unique Pacific Rim flare to them. A new place in the neighborhood offering Pacific Rim Asian fusion is Pineapples, a classy a fun place. A few minutes away you'll find another of Hilo's best restaurants, Miyo's home style Japanese food.

Over in Kailua Kona, walk just a few short minutes to island style delights such as Huggo's and Bubba Gump's Shrimp facorty. Both offer fresh local seafood in an ocean side setting. A real gem is the Kona Brewing Co., with locally brewed seasonal beers and tons of great food. It's also a good place for nightlife.

So enjoy the time on land, and explore what the Big Island has to offer in a culinary tour in Hilo and Kona.


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As a family owned and operated restaurant in downtown Hilo, Pineapples brings fresh, local ingredients to a menu of Pacific Rim cuisine. Located in Hilo's historic Pineapple Building, the restaurant take advantage of an open air, corner location with a full view of the hip neighborhood. A full bar pours exotic tropical cocktails such as the Coconut Dream and the Kohala Cooler. The menu features a combination of Pacific Rim, Mediterranean and Asian inspired dishes. Whether you're in the mood for olive tapenade, vegetable tempura, a curry, or steak or fish plate, you'll find a varied selection of dishes to choose from. Pineapples embraces its community featuring artwork in the restaurant by local artists from One Gallery, located across the street. Live music is features Tuesdays through Sundays, with an array of local musicians.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Pineapples is one of the most fun and delicious new restaurants in Hilo serving Pacific Room Asian fusion.

Jade's expert tip: Pineapples offers a 10 percent discount to active duty military personnel.

Read more about Pineapples →


Kona Brewing Company: Kailua-Kona Pub & Brewery


Just across the street from the cruise port, the pub at the Big Island's most famous brewery is a terrific place to wind down after shopping. Brewery tours are quick and personal – an added bonus is that visitors over 21 get to sample the products. Kona's on premises brewpub serves cold mugs of the brewery's top sellers, including Fire Rock Pale, Pacific Golden Ale, and Longboard Lager, and the cozy setting easily pulls you in, making it difficult to leave. Great Hawaiian influenced pub grub – pizzas, salads, and sandwiches – is also available. Sample what's in season since the rest of the brews can be found all year long.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: This brewery serves delicious, locally crafted beer with a menu of top tier bar food.

Jade's expert tip: Go with a brew that's uniquely in season, the rest is always on the shelves.

Read more about Kona Brewing Company: Kailua-Kona Pub & Brewery →




"For beer lovers, by beer lovers" is the slogan at Humpy's Alehouse where a huge array of beers on tap and really good bar food make for happy days and fun filled nightlife. Humpy's is the new spot in Kailua Kona for a good beer with an ocean view, and it's close to the cruise port in Kona. Located on Kailua's main and front street along the ocean, the pub is centrally located to be enjoyed while shopping, at the beach, or eating elsewhere along the strip. It's a popular hangout with both locals and visitors alike so you'll get the best of both worlds.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Located across from the ocean, and close to the port, Humpy's is a fun restaurant with great views.

Jade's expert tip: Check out the website to find out about live music nights.

Read more about Humpy's Big Island Alehouse →


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Island Lava Java


Coffee fans love the Big Island for many reasons, and this place is one of them. You'll find freshly brewed, 100 percent Kona coffee here, along with an assortment of sweets and sandwiches. The menu is pretty thorough, and you can get a variety of eggs, waffles, and other savory breakfast dishes. A great place to people-watch, it's situated directly across from the beach, where human activity is non-stop. It's a short walk from the Kailua-Kona cruise port, and a quick stop if your exploring the ocean front town on foot. Grab a bite to eat and enjoy it across the street at the beach.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: In close proximity to the Kona port, Island Lava Java is the best coffee shop in Kona.

Jade's expert tip: Take the meal to go or enjoy people watching at an outdoor table near the ocean.

Read more about Island Lava Java →


Miyo's
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. There's plenty of vegetarian options on the menu, and lot's of fish dishes made with locally caught fish. The full meals come with miso soup, a small salad and Japanese pickles. Miyo's keeps it sustainable by serving Hilo Homemade Ice Cream for dessert (try the ginger or green tea) and it always has been and still is, BYOB (bring your own beer or wine). Miyo's is a favorite for any locals, and that's why it's usually pretty busy. The low key restaurant mixes simplicity with elegance and the brand new building features wooden tables and walls, a kitchen full view, and a fountain and live acoustic music.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: A short drive from the Hilo port, Miyo's is easily one of the best restaurants in Hilo.

Jade's expert tip: Always make a reservation, and it's BYOB.

Read more about Miyo's →




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 want in the morning, no matter your taste. Eggs, sausage, fake sausage, tofu, pastries, and more along with really good Hawaiian coffee. Take it on the road or enjoy outside at tables. With locations in Pahoa, Hilo, and two in Kona, natural food can be obtained all over the island. The store has just about everything organic, natural and eco-friendly you could need. A highlight here is the hot bar and salad bar, with a changing menu each day that offers really good ready to eat food all day long.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Island Naturals serves healthy and organic food, and is a short drive from both the Hilo and Kona ports.

Jade's expert tip: Get there before 10:30 for breakfast.

Read more about Island Naturals Hilo Market & Deli →


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 features salads, sandwiches, and comfort food entrees (try the vegetarian pot pie). An even balance of meat and meatless plates keeps everyone happy, and the waitstaff are happy to suggest wine pairings for your meal. This is one of Hilo's most upscale eateries, and even though it's perfectly acceptable to go casual, it's a fun place to dress up a bit to blend with the modern decor.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Just a short drive from the Hilo port, Hilo Bay Cafe is one of the most modern and gourmet eateries in HIlo.

Jade's expert tip: Always make a reservation at the this restaurant.

Read more about Hilo Bay Café →




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 and a strong focus on fresh and raw fish The fish are caught by local fishermen and they use grass fed Big Island beef. A unique menu boasts dishes such as: -Yaki Udon – Sweet shrimp and house cured Kiawe-smoked bacon, sweet cabbage, ali'i mushrooms, brussels petals, chili-garlic sticky sauce. -Crispy Flatbread – Smoked ahi and white bean puree, organic lemon zest-infused olive oil -Market Fish Plate – Pan-roast uku fillet, ripe ulu & wild boar hash, Ka'u sweet corn, farmers' market vegetables, mahi-bone and red miso reduction Just a short drive from the Hilo cruise port, Full Moon is located in Downtown Hilo, an area every visitor should explore while in town.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: As one of Hilo's newest Asian fustion restaurants, Full Moon Cafe offers delicious and fresh gourmet food.

Jade's expert tip: Live music is offered Thursday through Sunday and you can bring you're own wine or beer.

Read more about Full Moon Cafe →


Cafe Pesto


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 types to tourists clamor for a daily fix of pizza topped with shiitake mushrooms, artichokes, chipotle-seasoned chicken, or chili-grilled shrimp. Diners wanting to go a different route may opt for an Asian catch stromboli with shrimp tempura and an Oregon wasabi snow crab caesar salad or a Sandalwood panini (Japanese eggplant, marinated artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, and rosemary gorgonzola). Another location is in Kawaihae on the western side of the island.

Recommended for Restaurants near Cruise Port because: Cafe Pesto is a long standing Hilo staple, and serves the best Italian food in town.

Jade's expert tip: Check out the create your own gourmet pizza menu, and make reservations.

Read more about Cafe Pesto →


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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

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