Breakfast and Brunch on the Big Island

Tropical flavors infuse a Big Island breakfast... Think coconut, macadamia, and pineapple with a side of local bacon. If the food isn’t enough to get you out of bed, perhaps the Kona coffee will encourage you to rise and shine!

27-999 Mamalahoa Hwy, Pepeekeo, HI 96783, USA
What’s Shakin’ is a fantastic local food spot located outside of Hilo, on the Big Island, along what is labeled the ‘Pepe’ekeo Scenic Drive.’ They are known for their fresher-than-fresh smoothies, but also boast a menu that’ll appease even the hungriest of visitors. Walk up to the window, order up some grub, and then sit at the picnic benches and enjoy the afternoon as the friendly staff prepares your order. We ate here on the first and last day of our visit, it’s really that good.
Volcano, HI, USA
Why I was so surprised to find a food truck in the village of Volcano outside of Volcano National Park, I’m not sure. All I know is that it was one of the many culinary surprises on the Big Island. This truck was packed with all kinds of wonderful things, and almost all of it was healthy too. If you can find it, and I have no way of telling you where they will be parked, ask for the special drink they mix up daily, I think it has ginger it in, but they’ll know what you mean. The company is called Higher Taste Vegetarian Cafe, and this truck was parked outside of the Rainforest Gallery at Niaulani near Volcano Village. That’s the best I can do, but then again, finding the truck is half the fun!
78-1377 Bishop Rd, Holualoa, HI 96725, USA
The best Kona coffee I have ever tasted. EVER! When he pronounced the winner in Gevalia’s Cupping Contest in 2010, judge John King said, “We were in 100% agreement that Buddha’s Cup is the winner. The trick is keeping the classic Kona mellow, sweet profile. and clearly Buddha’s was the truest to that old style, old school Kona profile. " Well done to the ohana of Brewmaster Manny Ochoa and Chris Coleman. Visit all 3 award-winning farms in the area; Imagine, Kona Kulana and Buddha’s to see hand selected coffee beans drying in the sun and learn about the multi- step process expertly done by this family to bring you the best coffee EVER! 808-322-6712 for tour info and to order. Their gift shops sell some beautiful tote bags made from coffee sacks and repurposed aloha print fabric. The coffee cups are a favorite of mine.
and, Kamehameha Avenue, Mamo St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
The Huffington Post named the Hilo Farmers Market the best in the United States. For fresh local flavors, the market is open every day except Sunday. The big market days are on Wednesdays and Saturdays where more than 200 vendors including farmers and crafts people gather to sell their goods. If you’re looking for local souvenirs to take home or just a place to grab a quick fresh and tasty lunch, the Hilo Farmers Market will provide a beautiful morning or afternoon of shopping and eating.
969 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Invented in Hilo, the Loco Moco is a very local breakfast item with its own following. Most restaurants put their own little twist on the meal. Cafe 100 in Hilo serves theirs in more than 30 varieties, though the basic loco moco is simply rice, a hamburger patty, and Hilo-style brown gravy with an egg on top. The Loco Moco is a cheap and still substantial meal that can be eaten any time of the day.
45-690 Pakalana St, Honokaa, HI 96727, USA
On the Northshore of the Big Island is a local little drive-in that serves hot malasadas and loads of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options including burgers, pancakes, miso soup, and other sorts of local and American food. The prices are good (a malasada will only set you back a buck or so). It’s a bit of a drive from both Hilo and Kona, but you can enjoy the Big Island’s changing landscape on the way around the top of the island.
HI-11, Naalehu, HI 96772, USA
For travelers who find themselves driving on the southern end of the Big Island, a stop at the Punaluu Bake Shop should be required. The shop is clean, has an outdoor picnic area, and has a case full of tremendously delicious bakery items. Malasadas are a Hawaiian favorite food and perfect for breakfast, but the bakery also sells sandwiches, ice cream, and some local souvenirs and kitchen items.
1730 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
We walked into Ken’s House of Pancakes and instantly felt the small-town diner experience wash over us like the waves in Hilo Bay. Classic coffee cups with Ken’s logo splashed on the side, massive stacks of pancakes, and plates of the loco moco sat on tables full of people enjoying their morning. The large restaurant serves up local food and local culture. With daily specials and warm waitresses, you will feel exactly like you are in a Hawaiian country town.
68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
To experience a peaceful and private Hawaiian morning, enjoy room service in the quiet of your own with a view of the Pacific Ocean. Listen to the waves roll on shore while enjoying pancakes and tropical fruit at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows where you will feel like a Hawaiian King or Queen.
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AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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