In a new(ish) location overlooking the bay, this perennial Big Island favorite weaves local, organic, and free-range produce into culinary alchemy. Deceptively simple dishes dance on the taste buds; the rich umami of the mushroom potpie and the spicy ahi poke do a particularly fabulous fandango, along with the jalapeño-hamachi-belly sushi roll. The peppered beef carpaccio has a dedicated following, pairing soft grass-fed beef with sea salt and fried capers—as does the half-pound burger that comes topped with Gorgonzola. Even vegetarians can indulge here, starting with the cauliflower grilled with black-garlic aioli and moving onto a taro-quinoa veggie patty beside hand-cut fries. Make sure to save room for the legendary chocolate lava cake!
Hilo Bay Cafe in Hilo
Don’t let the dull exterior of the Hilo Bay Cafe fool you, inside there lies a stunningly gorgeous restaurant with magnificent views and great seafood and sushi to match. Serving locally caught sustainable and organic dishes (vegetarian too!) with a very refined touched, this is a do-not-miss spot while visiting Hilo. Their ahi poke is outstanding, but don’t miss also trying the Hamakua mushroom poke roll. They roast the mushrooms lightly and then make the rolls to order, this dish might turn you into a vegetarian! Friendly, knowledgeable staff that knows a lot of local history, take advantage of sitting at the gorgeous mango wood sushi bar and chat up the chefs.