Big Island Eats
Suisan Fish Market
Hilo, Hawaii Poke shops are popping up left and right over on the west coast, but here in Hawaii, we have been enjoying this delicacy for years. For those of you who don’t know, Poke is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer and sometimes as a main course in Hawaiian cuisine. You can’t get any fresher than straight from the Fish Market itself. Suisan Fish Market has some of the freshest fish on the island, you literally can see fishermen dropping off their massive catches as you walk in to their store front. This spot has a bunch of different flavored Poke, and the most popular are the Ahi Poke made from yellowfin tuna. You can also request a sample to see if you are more of a spicy ahi, or Hawaiian style type of guy or gal. The locals usually get a poke bowl, which comes with rice and makes an awesome, mouthwatering lunch!
Kona Brewing Company
Kona, Hawaii This is a must stop place on the list. This brewing company’s restaurant has a perfect variety of eats from salads, pizzas, burgers and local favorites. This is a place that everyone in your group will enjoy. There is also a variety of locally brewed beers available, our favorite thing to order is the sampler which is a flight of six sample-size beers of your choice. This is the perfect way to try a bunch at once! This spot is also located near Alii Drive, which has shopping and beaches. Kona Brewing Company is the perfect place to grab a pizza and a beer on a hot day!
TEX Drive in
Honokaa, Hawaii This is the number one spot on the island for a malasada. A malasada is a Portuguese donut, made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. Tex’s also fills theirs with Bavarian cream, mango, chocolate, haupia, guava and a few other options! This would be a good stop for breakfast or a snack along the Hamakua Coast drive on your way back to Kona. You might also want to grab a box to go because, trust me, you will want more.
Ululani’s Shave Ice
Kona, Hawaii Shave ice has been a special ice cold treat in Hawaii for many years. And Ululani’s has made it to perfection! This company originally opened in Maui, but just recently opened their first location on the Big Island. Ululanai’s has a way of making their ice super smooth, and their flavors just seem to pop in your mouth. You can also get ice cream, condensed milk and li hing mui added for an extra creaminess or sour flavor. This treat is a must have when visiting the islands, and Ululani’s will not disappoint.
Two Ladies Kitchen
This famous tiny mochi shop is one of the most popular stops for all visitors to Hilo Town.
Two Ladies Kitchen offers more than 20 different flavors, colors and creative shapes of mochi treats, from the non-traditional—filled with sweet potato, peanut butter or malted milk balls—to traditional mochi lightly scented with yomogi (mugwort leaf) and filled with azuki bean paste. The shop also sells a half-dozen varieties of manju. Most popular on the menu are the fresh fruit filled mochis, with strawberry at the top of the list. They also will have seasonal flavors during the holidays, such as pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving.
Mochi is a perfect dessert or midday snack, so grab a box of your favorite flavors, or try them all! Most days there is a line out the door, so call in your order for a quick and easy pick up.