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Big Island restaurants

As with other Hawaiian islands, fine restaurants on the Big Island often serve "Hawaii regional cuisine," an early-'90s phenomenon pioneered by such chefs as Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, Sam Choy, Beverly Gannon, and Peter Merriman. Its hallmark is a commitment to fresh, local ingredients, often used in haute or healthy renditions of local favorites—grilled short ribs, poke (marinated raw fish), kalua-style shredded pork—the original (greasier) versions of which are typically sold for $7 a plate at take-out joints. Vegetarians and people watching their cholesterol should proceed with caution: Big Island food tends to be salty and oriented to red-meat eaters. The majority of upscale restaurants on the Big Island are located on the Kohala Coast, many of them in five-star hotels. However, the agricultural area of Waimea (an hour away from Kohala) hosts two of the island's best, the namesake restaurants of Hawaii chefs Thiebaut and Peter Merriman. Along the spectacular scenic drive of the Hamakua Coast, you can find esoteric gems like Tex's Drive-In. Hilo, the largest town on the island, has midrange (and delicious) restaurants, like the Hilo Bay Café.

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Big Island Candies, Hilo

Everything is just right in this happy place—the production area is clean and pristine, the goods are beautifully packaged, and most important, the...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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