We just returned from 10 days on the Big Island. Thanks to all who have posted before we took your recommendations into account as we ate our way through paradise. We stayed at the Keauhou Beach resort and recommend it - low key, right on the water (look down at turtles from the bar railing), and next to a great snorkling beach. Now for the chow...
Sunset Grill, Alii Drive, Kona we ate here 4 times great salads (the lilikoi dressing is amazing) and good burgers and sandwiches. Prices are good salads $6-$9, burgers $7
Jamesons by the Sea, Alii Drive, Keauhou pricey but worth it. Looks like a dive from the outside but wonderful sunset views. Mahi mahi sautéed in lemon butter w/mac nuts, opakapaka with black bean sauce and seafood fra diablo all wonderful
Roys, Kings Shops, Waikoloa fantastic. We had small plates seared ahi with mustard sauce (my husband said this was as good as anything he has ever eaten). I loved the butter fish with sizzling soy vinaigrette, but the ribs were just ok. For dessert the orange sorbet was great and the cookies were out of this world.
Merrimans Market Café, Kings Shops, Waikoloa very good sandwiches. I had a Moroccan chicken on Focaccia and my husband has a fish pita.
Os Bistro (formerly Oodles of Noodles) in Kona. I had great summer rolls and a salad with plum dressing and my husband had another wonderful fish sandwich
Mac Nut Pie obviously the mac nut pie was great but they also had a lilikoi shortcake that was nothing short of amazing. I wish I had brought some home.
Shaved Ice at the Alii Gardens Marketplace I dont know the name of the stand but they had a wonderful shaka ice with fresh fruit the pineapple was my favorite.
Kona Inn great sunset place with good sandwiches and salads. The Hawaiian chicken salad was very flavorful.
The Coffee Shack, Route 11, Honaunau great view and good sandwiches. They have a pineapple and carrot yeast bread that is not too sweet and was good with ham. Their coconut cream pie was incredible.
Lava Rock Café, Volcano Village good burgers, great banana cream pie.
Keauhou Beach Resort (breakfast). Good buffet with lots of options Japanese breakfast with miso soup or traditional American. I loved their grilled basil tomatoes and grilled fish.
Huggos horrible. Over priced, mediocre food, lousy service. They served a ginger crème brulee that was cold, scorched and lumpy. Yuck. Their staff seemed more interested in running up the tab than actually serving us. The lighting was so bad that we couldnt see our food, which turned out to be a good thing.
Volcano House God awful food. We were cranky and hungry or we wouldnt have stayed.
Scandinavian Shaved Ice overly sweet and boring Ill take the shaka mentioned about (even at $5.50) anytime.
Izakaya Kai Japanese just off Alii Drive in downtown Kona. Good, interesting food (diakon salad, crispy rice ball with salmon) but over priced with rotten service. The waitress kept bringing us things we didnt order, charged us for them and argued with us about it after ward. Too bad, good food but not worth the hassle.
Keauhou Beach Resort (dinner) boring and over priced.