My family and I have been living in Waikoloa for the past seven years and it has been amazing to see how much our little corner of the island has changed over the years! My husband and I met in Chicago and our favorite thing to do was try a new restaurant every week. And I don’t mean it was always a fancy restaurant! In fact, our favorite spots were usually hole-in-the-wall joints where you could get a great dinner for under $15! And now with a little one, we love an easy, affordable dinner spot whenever we can find one! Over the years, we have come up with a few top favorite Waikoloa dinner spots for those nights where cooking just isn’t in the cards.
Waikoloa Dinner Gems
Here’s a list of our five favorite spots to grab dinner in Waikoloa. This list doesn’t include any of the incredible restaurants at the resorts in Waikoloa. Look out for a future blog post with those restaurants coming soon!
Kuleana Rum Shack
This has been a favorite of ours since they opened a few years ago! Their menu has changed a few times, but the dessert malasadas (Portuguese donuts) haven’t left the menu. And for good reason! Their food offerings are Hawaiian influenced and they make all of their rum right here on the Big Island. In fact, they grow the sugar cane used in their rum here on the island as well. Must visit Waikoloa dinner spot!
This location is a new addition – their original restaurant is in downtown Kailua-Kona. Their food is hearty and their menu has something for everyone! During the height of Covid, my pregnancy cravings had us ordering their porkchop and gray dinner at least once a week. No regrets!
Los Tres Mex
This is one of those hole-in-the-wall places I was telling you about. A family-run Mexican restaurant, this is one of the best kept Waikoloa dinner secrets! I only recommend this spot for take-out as seating is limited. Also, note that this place gets slammed on the weekends so call ahead to order. Our favorite is the carnitas dinner plate which is enough to feed two (or one if you’re hungry from a day out adventuring!).
In the mood for sushi! Sansei in Waikoloa is the place to go. Because we don’t eat in restaurants right now due to Covid, we like to get their large sushi platter and have dinner on the grass right there in the Queen’s Marketplace.
Waikoloa Cinemas Bistro
You don’t have to see a movie to eat at this restaurant but reservations are strongly encouraged. This is a great spot for families – all of the dinner seating is outdoors – and the menu is surprisingly extensive. One of our go-to orders is one of their spiked milkshakes and the In-N-Out copycat burger! Yum! They also have a great kids menu and my 9-year-old nephew announced this was “the best mac n cheese he’s ever had”. So now you know!
More Posts to Help Plan your Hawaii Visit: