Only on Hawaii’s Big Island can you experience 10 different climatic zones throughout the island’s 4,028 square miles, everything from molten volcanic eruptions to arctic conditions, at the summit of Mauna Loa. However, for many vacationers, it’s the beautiful black sand beaches and stunning ocean views that draw them to this exotic location. Much like Hawaii’s tourists, Big Island restaurateurs are taking note of the allure of the shore with countless fine dining options popping up along the coasts. From the picturesque Kohala Coast, to serene seaside sights of Kailua-Kona, the Big Island’s expertly trained chefs and innovative restaurateurs have transformed what was once barren, volcanic land into the Hawaiian Island’s most extravagant luxury dining locales, with spectacular ocean views. Soak up the sun and breathe in the breeze at the Big Island’s 10 best beachfront restaurants.
10 Ocean Terrace at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Few views rival that of the Ocean Terrace at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. A large open-air restaurant that overlooks the snow-white sands of Hawaii’s Hapuna Beach. With several tiers of outside terrace seating, there isn't a bad seat to be found. Bask in the island’s radiant sunrise, with a breakfast of fresh fruits, omelets, pancakes, and fish or marvel at the beautiful colors as the sun melts into the sea during the Friday evening, 'Let’s Go Crabbing' event. Breakfast for two will average about $40-60 while the resort’s, 'Let’s Go Crabbing' buffet will cost roughly $130 for two adults. Resort attire is required when dining.
For more than 45 years, locals and tourists craving a luxury dining experience right on the Pacific have turned to Huggo’s for a chic, yet casual seaside atmosphere, serving only the freshest seafood, much of it caught offshore within hours of reaching your plate. With an open-air dining space that juts out slightly into the ocean, Huggo’s provides diners with a premier view of the sun, sand, and surf where fish, eels, and manta rays swim about, putting on a seaside show during the evening hours. This Kona restaurant is renowned for its view, but its notoriety extends beyond unmatched ocean sights to its menu of locally harvested ingredients, used to prepare favorites like Chef Ken Schloss’ legendary teriyaki steak, crab-crusted Ono, and Hualalai ice cream pie. Oceanside dinner at Huggo’s for two will average between $42-78. Eight different bottles of wine are also available, priced from $14-167.
8 Honu’s on the Beach
King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel presents one of the best ocean views of the Big Island’s Kailua Bay, from its newly remodeled Honu’s on the Beach, lavish open-air dining space. Located near the home of Hawaiian royal King Kamehameha, Honu’s on the Beach delivers big on romantic ambiance with fire pits on the restaurant’s sprawling lanai, Kailua-Kona’s premier spot to watch the sunset. Dinner entrées are fit for King Kamehameha himself, featuring a variety of fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, sushi, salads, and homemade desserts. A buffet of prime rib and seafood is available every Friday and Saturday evening. Two daily main dinner entrées, with an additional side and two desserts will run you about $56-86. For two adult Honu’s Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet dinners, expect to pay around $86 without tax and gratuity.
7 Don the Beachcomber Restaurant
For a true tropical atmosphere, book your reservation at Don the Beachcomber, Royal Kona Resort’s answers to fine dining and million-dollar views. The restaurant’s water edge seating offers a prime position to watch the spinner dolphins and humpback whales that frequent nearby Kailua. But it’s not just the views that receive rave reviews; the Polynesian-inspired buffet is prepared with European touches and a hint of Asian flair, evident in the menu’s selection of Tsunami Praws, Ahi Furikake, and original island Mai Tais. For an average price of about $53-$105, two can indulge in a dinner of local favorites, steaks or seafood entrées, and pupus.
6 Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar
On the ocean bluff at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Manta Ray Point, sits Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar, which boasts Kaunaoa Beach’s most awe-inspiring panorama of the Pacific. The view is quintessential Hawaii, as is Manta’s menu that proudly features the Big Island’s abundance of locally grown and harvested ingredients prepared by Executive Chef Peter Park, Chef Yoshi Sogi, and Mauna Kea’s culinary experts. The restaurant’s exclusive Enomatic wine experience with its 48 available wines is the perfect way to end the day in celeb-worthy style. Salads and dinner entrées for two, costs about $104-125.
5 Napua at Mauna Lani Beach Club
Chef Keoni Regidor blends traditional Hawaiian tastes, with the contemporary, at Mauna Lani Beach Club’s Napua. A beachfront restaurant, named after Keoni’s mother from whom he learned to cook. A brisk walk from the water that leads you past Kalahuipua’a fishponds, to this intimate indoor-outdoor restaurant overlooking Makaiwa Bay. Enjoy Sunset Cocktails and nightly specials featuring fresh lobster, mahi mahi, Ahi, or ribeye steak, but be sure to leave room for dessert. Napua’s mud pie, banana lumpia, and haupia cake are post-dinner favorites. An appetizer, plus salads and dinner entrées for two, will average approximately $90-130. Corkage fee is $20.
4 Brown’s Beach House at The Fairmont Orchid Hawaii
Take in the beauty of the Big Island at The Fairmont Orchid Hawaii’s luxury beachfront restaurant Brown’s Beach House. This AAA Four Diamond restaurant is the Kohala Coast’s pioneer of fine dining and a top choice for foodies who turn to this seaside spot for its generous menu that can accommodate dietary necessities like raw, gluten-free, vegan, and diabetic. An open-air dining area, perfectly lit by tiki torches and the sun setting over the Pacific Rim, makes Brown’s Beach House the ultimate choice for a romantic meal for two. Salads and dinner for two costs approximately $102-168. Dining attire is resort casual.
3 Kamuela Provision Company
Breathe in the Hawaiian breeze, with dinner on the lanai at Kamuela Provision Company at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Early evening is the best time of day to catch the Big Island’s most breathtaking seaside sunsets, which you can do surrounded by the dreamy ambiance of tiki torches and the sounds of live Hawaiian music. If the view, however, is what lures diners to this beautiful beachfront steak and seafood restaurant, it’s the perfectly prepared, locally sourced cuisine that keeps them coming back for more. Two can dine on everything from lobster and fish to prime steak and decadent desserts for approximately $95-198.
2 ‘ULU Ocean Grille
The Big Island’s surf, sunset, and stars are even more impressive from the partially covered Makai Lanai dining tables of ‘ULU Ocean Grille, situated just feet from the ocean on the Kona-Kohala Coast. No matter where you’re seated in this swanky and modern restaurant—the Makai Lanai, intimate Moana Terrace, or private Kohala Room—you’ll be surrounded by the magic that is the Big Island, with its majestic sunset views. While the atmosphere is one hundred percent pure Hawaii, Chef Ricardo Jarquin and Executive Pastry Chef Melissa Logan’s entrées and desserts combine a mix of traditional Hawaiian flavors with Polynesian and Asian tastes. A four-course meal for two will cost about $200.
1 CanoeHouse at Mauna Lani Resort
There’s no better pairing than the vast ocean views and authentic Hawaiian plantation-style entrées you’ll find at the Big Island’s CanoeHouse restaurant. Tucked away amidst swaying palm trees, at the lavish Mauna Lani Resort on the breathtaking Kohala Cost, CanoeHouse prides itself on serving only the island’s freshest sustainable fixings, handcrafted by Chef Allen Hess. Whether you want a meal fit for a rancher, famer, or fisherman, you’ll find it here, thanks to a diverse menu featuring lamb, grass-fed beef, bacon, fresh fish, and shellfish. Salads, a shared appetizer, and dinner for two will cost about $119-154 or you can choose the “Captain’s Table” blind tasting menu for two, complete with wine pairing, for $280. Complimentary valet parking is available.