Good food is nestled in between the many eateries in Hilo, Keaau, and Pahoa on the Big Island. There is a lot of places to eat, although unfortunately, not all are great. So here’s a brief directory of where to eat and drink while exploring the east side of the Big Island.
-Full Moon Cafe has great authentic Thai food. The decor is casually nice, and the food is good. 808/961-0599
-Next door is Full Moon Coffee. Recently opened, they serve coffee, tea, and other drinks and quick eats. 808/961-0599
-Sweet Cane Cafe serves up homemade sugar cane juice which is highly beneficial and healthy, along with smoothies and other juices. 1472 Kilauea Ave.
-Bears Coffee has coffee (of course), and good waffles. 808/935-0708
-Cafe Pesto has unique pizzas, many with a Pacific flair, along withe pasta dishes and calzones. Try a lilikoi margarita for a really tasty drink. 808/969-6640
-Miyo’s is an personal favorite. Wonderful traditional and vegetarian Japanese food, and it’s BYOB. Everything is good here and the casual restaurant overlooks ponds. Don’t miss the homemade ice cream on the menu. 808/935-2273
-Nearing Keaau, Emma’s Mexican food is a good stop for lunch. The food is pretty simple, but usually good. 808/966-6300
-Out in Pahoa, Luquin’s Mexican restaurant is… well the food is far from gourmet, but’s it’s usually satisfying and the restaurant is fun. They have a full bar, and it’s a good stop for a simple lunch or dinner in a very casual atmosphere. 808/965-9990
-A real gem is Paolo’s Bistro. Owned by a real Italian, Paolo is usually in at night, chatting with diners as they wait to be served his homemade noodles. The eatery is casual, but can be romantic with a calm, candlelit atmosphere. 808/965-7033
-Pahoa has two Thai restaurants, and both are really good. Some locals are fans of Sukothai, while others are loyal to Ning’s. Both are good bets if you like Thai food. Ning’s-808/965-7611/Sukothai-808/965-5449
So go eat and enjoy locals flavors and food.