Farm to Table and Fresh Foods on the Island of Hawaii

Boasting local industries from beef cattle to seafood and macadamia nuts to papaya, the Big Island produces abundant fresh food that allow restaurants and markets to serve up delectable, healthy, and local fresh meals.

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.
74-5612 Pawai Pl, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
It hardly seems like Hawaii could be a part of the United States without its own brewing company. The most popular brewery is the Kona Brewing Company on the Big Island. With its year-round beers including Longboard Island Lager, Firerock Pale Ale, and Big Wave Golden Ale, the brewery sells mostly within the Islands, though its year-round beers can be found elsewhere. Kona Brewing Company also produces three seasonal “Aloha Series” beers that include Koko Brown Ale, Wailua Wheat, and Pipeline Porter. Along with their selection of five “Island Only” beers, connoisseurs will have plenty to taste and may need an extra visit or two to the Brewery! Tours of the brewery can be booked from 10:30am to 3pm daily.
1 North Kaniku Drive
Is it is possible to be romanced by a property or courted by a restaurant? My luxurious and beautiful dining experience at the Fairmont Orchid Resort’s Brown’s Beach House Restaurant had me hooked as soon as I arrived on the resort property just after sunset. Immersed in aloha, and comfortably seated on the restaurant’s outdoor patio, a solo voice and the sound of ukulele danced through the air in concert with the tropical ambiance. Sustainably grown and locally sourced foods are exquisitely prepared to please the palate, and an air of romance is enhanced with the lull of the surf rolling into the sand, only steps away. For a truly memorable experience, private dining is available on a knoll under swaying palm trees. Reservations recommended.
332 Keawe Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720
This open-air, family-run gem has an old-school Hawaiiana feel, but takes a fresh, sustainable approach to sourcing its ingredients. Expect classics here with a local twist, like island-style onion soup topped with provolone and beer-battered jumbo shrimp with a dipping sauce of miso, ginger and Japanese Furikake seasoning. Aficionados of adult beverages may want to sample the Volcano Winery’s red blend or one of the state’s craft beers on draft, especially Pineapples’ private-label brew with—you guessed it!—the restaurant’s signature fruit in the mix. It also showcases local art and musicians, who play nightly from 6:30pm. Closed on Mondays.
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!
72-100 Kaupulehu Drive
A beautiful example of locally sourced food on the Big Island, Ulu Ocean Grill at the Four Seasons Hualalai works with more than 160 farmers and fisherman to put together a menu full of culinary masterpieces. Every guest will find pleasure in their dish while watching the sunset and listening to soft Hawaiian music play with the trade winds. Private dining areas are available, or sit beachside by a fire pit, to add some more romance to the evening.
1 N Kaniku Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
Prepared on Norio’s signature cedar plank, Norio’s Crispy Salmon, Kulana Farms 31 Day Dry Rib Eye, or sustainably caught Hawaiian Ahi will tantalize your tastebuds and leave you craving more. You can eat at a sushi bar or at tables in the comfortable dining room located within the Fairmont Orchid Resort. Open for dinner only (6 to 9 p.m.); reservations are recommended.
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