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10 Best Big Island Restaurants for Romantic Dining Experiences



It's no secret a large percentage of visitors to Hawaii are honeymooners and couples looking for romance.  Luckily, Hawaii's largest island is home to an abundance of romantic eateries to enjoy while exploring the island. And it really is a big island, the rest could fit inside of the Big Island twice. So it's good to have a guide to the best romantic restaurants as a guide around the island.

On the eastern side of the Big Island in historic Hilo Pacific Rim fusion can be enjoyed over beautiful Hilo Bay at Hilo Bay Cafe. As Hilo's most high end restaurant, this eatery provides class and romance in one. At Cafe Pesto, gourmet Italian food served on a table decorated with a rose will satisfy the palate after an evening beach walk across the street.

High up in elevation in the chilly climate of Volcano is the Kilauea Lodge. Complete with a fireplace and stone construction, the lodge serves a changing menu with exotic meats and gourmet dishes. Meanwhile the Lava Lounge in Waikoloa on the beach serves as a spot for a romantic dinner as well as a good place for after dark fun. 

The options continue, and with our 10 Best list here you'll no doubt find the perfect meal and the right environment for quality time.


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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 Romantic Dining because: Full Moon Cafe is casual, yet serves delicious food in an intimate atmosphere.

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 →




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 Romantic Dining because: Pineapples is a new addition to Hilo offering a lively and fun yet romantic atmosphere.

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

Read more about Pineapples →


Blue Dragon Restaurant & Musiquarium


Blue Dragon Coastal Cuisine & Musiquarium is known for giving guests a really good time. Always crowded with locals and visitors alike dancing away the evening and taking breaks for bites of delicious food. The menu is locally based and presents local fish, meats and produce. The menu also notes which items are vegetarian, vegan and/or gluten free. The live music is a big draw here, and often times the place turns into a club like atmosphere. Children are welcome and there's a keiki menu, but it's best to bring them earlier on in the night before the party scene gets going.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Blue Dragon serves a delicious menu, provides live music, and offers an open air dance floor under the sky.

Jade's expert tip: Check out their website for the week's musical guests.

Read more about Blue Dragon Restaurant & Musiquarium →


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Peter Merriman, whom many regard as the man who helped put Hawaii's regional cuisine on the world map, owns and operates this eponymous restaurant just outside Waimea. His award-winning dishes continue to reveal imagination and an understanding of local ingredients that amazes and tantalizes even the most discerning diners. Featured items include ponzu-marinated mahi mahi with shiitake mushrooms and hearts of palm, roasted natural chicken with vegetable ragout, and "Kansas City Cut" New York steak platter. A uniquely Hawaiian dining experience that you shouldn't pass up. Reservations are a must, especially during peak seasons, and don't be afraid to dress up a bit for fun.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Merriman's is the state's most popular high end restaurant that utilized as much locally grown ingredients.

Jade's expert tip: Make sure to reserve a seat.

Read more about Merriman's →




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 along the Kohala Coast.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Cafe Pesto is Hilo's answer to a busy yet romantic and classy romantic restaurant, complete with roses on the table and live piano at night.

Jade's expert tip: For those really counting on a romantic dinner, make reservations, and for a table by the window.

Read more about Cafe Pesto →




Quite literally "over the edge," Huggo's allows patrons to enjoy both oceanside dining and premiere seafood dishes. While taking in the view of spectacular Kailua Bay, be sure to sample one of the house specialties – steamed clams and flavorful garlic chicken earn particular nods. After dinner, make your way to thatch-roofed Huggo's on the Rocks, a popular outdoor bar and dance club whose specialty drinks and beautiful clientele always ensure a great time. Patrons may choose either one and both options are great for couples, they can move from a private romantic dinner to a fun night with music by the ocean.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Huggo's is the quintessential romantic place in Kona, serving fresh local fish and Pacific Rim fare by the water.

Jade's expert tip: Call ahead to reserve a table by the water for sunset.

Read more about Huggo's →




Restauranteur Roy Yamaguchi has garnered quite a reputation for himself, both in the Paradise State and on the mainland, and it's little wonder. Specializing in Pacific Rim cuisine, the Kohala Coast edition of his culinary empire dazzles diners with Szechuan-style baby back ribs, a kiawe-grilled rib-eye, and curry seared ahi tuna. Despite the shopping center locale, the restaurant offers an upscale scene that tends to get noisy during peak hours. The best tables offer clears views of either an adjacent golf course or a nearby lake. This is one of the more romantic restaurants on the island, the ambiance is wonderful.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Roy's is the middle ground between fancy and casual, but offers a romantic atmosphere and delicious gourmet food.

Jade's expert tip: Casual wear is okay for lunch at Roy's.

Read more about Roy's Waikoloa Bar & Grill →


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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 � stone fireplace, vaulted wood-beamed ceiling, koa wood furniture, and rustic hardwood floors. The menu sports a Continental theme, and featured dishes range from duck � l'orange to lamb Proven�al with papaya mint sauce to Parker Ranch prime rib au jus with whipped horseradish. Located high up in the island in the chilly climate, it's a wonderful place to cuddle up for a romantic dinner.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Kilauea Lodge is famous for its delicious and unique dishes served in a cozy environment.

Jade's expert tip: Enjoy after exploring Volcano National Park.

Read more about Kilauea Lodge Restaurant →


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. The sleep, modern and elegantly classy atmosphere creates the perfect experience for a romantic date night. You'll feel alone at your dimly lit corner table.

Recommended for Romantic Dining because: Hilo Bay Cafe now rests over the ocean offering gorgeous views and a sushi bar.

Jade's expert tip: Try local beers on tap and the fresh caught fish.

Read more about Hilo Bay Café →


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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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