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  • Writer's pictureJyothi Vummiti

Where We Ate In Hawaii - Big Island

An important and fun aspect of traveling is trying out new cuisines and delicious foods. Hawaii has amazing choices. It is one those places where the food is served from farm to table, freshly harvested fruits and veg, freshly caught seafood everyday, cooked up into absolute deliciousness. 

Fish Wrap from What's Shakin, Pepeekeo

Like I always say, we rarely plan in advance on where to eat, normally we just wing it and see how it goes. On this trip, there were couple of places we definitely wanted to go after falling in love with the food the first time, rest were all unplanned.

Jamaican Food Truck: We landed on the island very hungry and were so glad to find this food truck in a beach park parking lot, close to Kona airport. We were somewhat discouraged by the looks of it, not very funky looking food truck you would normally expect and the place was absolutely deserted. But we were too hungry to go looking for other places so we went ahead and ordered jerk chicken and jerk fish, and the food was unbelievable. It has become our new favorite spot on the island.

Jerk Chicken

Sweet Cane Cafe, Hilo: This is a lovely find. We went to Sweet Cane Cafe for breakfast, a clean and healthy place, gluten-free and vegan friendly. We had a big bowl of acai and buckwheat pancakes, both were delicious and very satisfying.

Acai Bowl

What's Shakin', Pepeekeo (near Hilo): It was our second time and it is still the best hidden gem. What's Shakin is in a beautiful and relaxing location, where we could walk around the farm and check out avocado, coconut and other fruit trees. Everything including smoothies and fresh fruit were just so delicious. You have to try the taro burger, you won't think of anything else for days.

What's Shakin, Pepeekeo / Taro Burger

Thai Thai Bistro and Bar, Volcano: We stayed in a rental in Volcano village and Thai Thai Bistro came in very handy. We went there 10 mins before closing time and they showed us a table without any problems. Service was quick and the food was great. I couldn't get a picture of it though.

Eagle's Lighthouse Cafe, Volcano: A nice breakfast shop. Eagle's Lighthouse Cafe was a small place with covered area and tables outside. The atmosphere was very calm with lots of birds on the trees. Great place to pick-up sandwiches before heading into Volcano National Park.

Eagle's Lighthouse Cafe, Volcano

Punalu'u Bake shop, Naalehu: Anyone going to Big Island "must" go there. Punalu'u Bake Shop, the southernmost bakery in USA, is very famous for fruity breads and malasadas (donuts) that you will rarely find anywhere else. It was our second time here. Our favorites were guava and taro breads, taro and passionfruit malasadas, they were just delicious. Famous beaches - Punalu'u Black Sand Beach and Papakolea Green Sand Beach are in the area.

Punalu'u Bake Shop, Naalehu

Uncle's Kitchen, Kalapana: ​We would have never gone to that side of the island if not for our Lava Bike Tour, probably the case with most visitors. Fish burgers at Uncle's Kitchen were excellent, so juicy and flavorful.  There is Kaimu Black Sand Beach a short walk away.

Uncle's Kitchen / Fish Burger

Just Cruisin Coffee, Hilo: This is a drive thru shop with few tables and chairs placed outside for seating. Just Cruisin had a wide range of coffees, smoothies and shakes, and a small selections of baked breakfast items. You just have to try their mango smoothie. 

Just Cruisin Cafe, Hilo



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