Hilo

Hakalau • Keaukaha • Laupāhoehoe • ʻŌʻŌkala• Nīnole • Pāpaʻaloa • Papaikou

Its lush, tropical landscape and unparalleled waterfalls attract many visitors. It rains a lot in Hilo which helps keep the landscape green and the harvest plentiful. The largest city on Hawai`i Island, the first inhabitants arrived in this area in 1100 A.D., making Hilo the oldest city in the Hawaiian archipelago. There are a few theories behind Hilo’s namesake; one theory is that it was named after the first night of the new moon, another theory is that the city was named after Hilo, a famous Polynesian navigator. In the 1800’s Hilo became a cornerstone of commerce and industry stemming from the arrival of the sugar cane plantation era. This new and rapidly expanding industry engulfed most of the community with the arrival of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Portuguese immigrants. These individuals came to Hilo looking for work on its massive sugar cane plantations. Fast forward to present day Hilo, it has become a literal melting pot of culture and a place where diversity is celebrated. Deeply connected to Hawaiian Culture, Hilo serves as a foundation where traditional practices are passed down from generation to generation. A great example of this would be the annual Merrie Monarch Festival, a hula competition where the art of dance is passed down from Kumu (teacher) of Hula to their haumāna (students). This authentic cultural festival also showcases some of the best Hawaiian arts and crafts, along with a wonderful parade that celebrates Hawaiʻi’s past and present. Known as a working man’s town, Hilo’s primary industry is not tourism, but rather industrial contribution to this rapidly growing island. Hilo is known for its focus on family events, sports, agricultural farming, open farmers markets, art, delicious family owned restaurants and small businesses..

Blue Hawaiian Helicopter

Blue Hawaiian Helicopter

There are many ways to see Hawaii, but nothing compares to viewing this gorgeous island from the sky. Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tours offer an array of different aerial experiences.

Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Kickback and enjoy spectacular views of Hilo Bay, the Hamakua Coastline and majestic Mauna Kea from this awesome retro Hawaiian-style hotel.

Bite the Eye

Bite the Eye

A few of our favorites include their Korean Ahi, Blackened Ahi, Hawaiian Style Poke and Furikake Poke.

OK Farms

OK Farms

OK farms sits on 1,000 acres nestled up against the Wailuku River in a small area called Pueo.

East Hawaii Cultural Center

East Hawaii Cultural Center

Primarily supported by a group of devoted volunteers, East Hawaiʻi Cultural Center hosts an impressive schedule of art exhibits, performance art theater, musical performances and youth art classes focused on supporting and inspiring future artists of Hawai`i.

Wailoa Center

Wailoa Center

Wailoa Center is home to East Hawaiʻi’s local art scene and serves as the largest venue for showcasing the work of local artists, community groups and cultural events.

Two Ladies Kitchen

Two Ladies Kitchen

Opening their doors over 20 years ago, this little mochi shop on Kilauea Avenue has obtained fame across the Hawaiian Islands as the mochi shop of choice! With recipes straight out of O bāchan’s (Japanese translation for grandma) kitchen.

The Booch Bar

The Booch Bar

Named the Booch Bar for its fresh kombucha drinks, this down to earth hotspot serves up more than just mushroom inspired refreshments.

Restaurant Kenichi

Restaurant Kenichi

Affectionately known as Kenichi’s, this local Japanese restaurant is becoming increasingly popular for their savory food and expedient customer service.

Late Night Dining

Late Night Dining

Whether you are just arriving after a long flight, or find yourself out for a night on the town, Big Island Reviews has compiled a list of restaurants and bars open until 10 PM or later for your convenience.

The Seaside Restaurant

The Seaside Restaurant

Enjoy watching the brilliant Hawiian sunset, then stroll over to Seaside for delicious, high-quality locally grown food.

Suisan Fish Market

Suisan Fish Market

Located on beautiful Hilo Bay, Suisan fish market has some of the best poke in the State of Hawaii.

New Chiang Mai Thai Cuisine

New Chiang Mai Thai Cuisine

The food they serve is genuinely a labor of love. Every spoonful of smooth wholesome curry, or fork full of tender rice and noodles is cooked to unmitigated perfection.

Hawaiian Style Cafe

Hawaiian Style Cafe

Hawaiian Style is one of our staple breakfast and lunch spots in Hilo and Waimea.

Poke Market

Poke Market

This TINY blue storefront serves up some of the most delicious, freshest, and highest quality poke on the Big Island.

Big Island Candies

Big Island Candies

A few of our favorite goodies at Big Island Candies include the chocolate covered brownies, the Mika Chocolates, and the chocolate dipped shortbread cookies.

Aloha Mondays

Aloha Mondays

This restaurant is serving up delicious locally grown food in a unique fashion.

Coco Cantina

Coco Cantina

This restaurant is open 7 days a week, and boasts an amazing brunch menu as well.

Grand Naniloa Resort

Grand Naniloa Resort

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Hilo with a fresh modern Hawaiian style feel, then look no further.

Rainbow Falls Hawaii

Rainbow Falls Hawaii

Whether you live here or are visiting, this tropical natural wonder will inspire and rejuvenate your appreciation of nature.

Akaka Falls State Park

Akaka Falls State Park

Visit the tallest waterfall in the state of Hawaii, coming in at 442 feet, almost twice the height of Niagara Falls!

Honoliʻi Beach

Honoliʻi Beach

This East side surf spot is just minutes away from downtown Hilo!

Liliuokalani Gardens

Liliuokalani Gardens

These Japanese gardens have walking paths, scenic views of Hilo bay, and a lush landscape to enjoy!

Nicoco Hawaiian Gelato Shop

Nicoco Hawaiian Gelato Shop

Nicoco Hawaiian Gelato is locally sourced ingredients including fresh tropical island fruits and flowers.

Cafe Pesto

Cafe Pesto

This local favorite has something for the whole family to enjoy!

Coconut Grill

Coconut Grill

A staple breakfast spot in Hilo providing its patrons with a warm atmosphere and full stomachs!

Hilo Bay Cafe

Hilo Bay Cafe

This new American/Japanese cuisine cafe almost seems to float above the city of Hilo!

The Temple Bar

The Temple Bar

Pau hana time? Head to The Temple for a divine experience.

Ola Brewery

Ola Brewery

Locally sourced and locally brewed, Ola Brewery lives up to their name.

Hilo Bay Cafe

Hilo Bay Cafe

Hilo Bay Cafe is surrounded by the scenic Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, massive Banyan trees and the sparkling Hawaiian waters of Hilo Bay.

Lavaloha

Lavaloha

Your golden ticket to a chocolate paradise.