There is no doubt that food on Hawaii, the Big island is expensive. The cost of a gallon of milk might just have you headed towards the hills. Don’t loose hope though. With a little planning and research you will know where to eat in Kona at a price that can fit your budget along with a whole lot of family friendly options.
- Island Lava Java 75-5799 Alii Drive Kailua-Kona Tel: 808.327.2161. This was by far my favorite breakfast place on the island. Make sure you go early on Sunday for brunch and have the Guava Bread Pudding French Toast
- Kona Farmers Market 75-5769 Alii Drive, Kailua Kona. If you like your breakfast fresh and on the go this is the best place to stop before hitting the beach. Grab a bag of freshly cut pineapple, a bunch of bananas and some cinnamon bread and you are good to go.
- Tacos El Unico 75-5729 Alii Dr Ste T103, Kailua-Kona Tel: 808.326.4033. Decent tacos, rice and beans. Your choice of meat includes the usuals plus beef cheek and tongue, which by the way are delicious.
- Bianellis Gourmet Pizza & Pasta Keauhou Shopping Center, 78-6831 Alii Dr., Suite B106, Kailua-Kona Tel: 808.322.0377. Easy pizza and pasta spot if you are looking for take out or casual sit down. They have some pretty tasty specialty pizzas or you can build your own. Pastas seem to run along traditional lines. Gluten-free pasta is available.
- Ultimate Burger 74-5450 Makala Blvd # E112 Kailua-Kona Tel: 808.329.2326. Decent burgers at a decent (for the island) price tucked into a shopping mall.
- Big Island Grill 75-5702 Kuakini Highway Kailua-Kona Tel: 808.326.1153. This stop is hailed to be authentic island cuisine. Since I have no knowledge of island cuisine I’ll just have to take everyone’s word for it. Huge piles of meat with sides like mashed potatoes and rice arrived at our table laden with gravy. It was pretty darn good, but not the most healthy of options. I definitely didn’t have room for dessert. It looks like the restaurant took over an old Denny’s. It is great for big families and large groups.
- Sima-Ichi Sushi 75-5742 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona Tel: 808.747.0152. We happened along this little sushi shop one month after its grand opening. They were still running their 50% off any roll special, saving us a ton of money. Even without the discount the prices were good and the fish was fresh. Although the interior is small, they do have a very nice patio. Just keep an eye on little ones as the parking lot is right in front of the patio.
- Hawaiian Ice Cones 75-5595 Palani Rd, Kailua Kona Tel: 808.895.8390. This tiny shack in the middle of a strip mall was a great place to introduce our son to the fine art of shave ice. They had fantastic flavor options. You could also add ice cream to your order. No macadamia nut ice cream like we had on Kauai though.
- Da Poke Shack, 76-6246 Alii Dr # 101. Due to my pregnancy and some bad planning on our part we never got to try the poke, but the owners of our rental and their kids swear by it.
- The Coffee Shack, 83-5799 Mamalahoa Highway, Hōnaunau. We never got a chance to stop at this island favorite. Every time we drove by we had either already eaten or were just too tired to stop. My friend over at EmeraldCityKids.com loves it. She wrote a great post about her trip down with her boys filled with fond memories of eating along side geckos.
Check out the Big Island, Hawaii page for more information on this diverse and family-friendly island.