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Restaurants & Bars in Hilo

Bayfront Kava Bar

This tiny, open-air kava watering hole sits smack in the boozy, touristy heart of Kailua-Kona, a counterintuitive spot for a mellow kava experience.

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Uncle Billy's Fish & Steakhouse

Uncle Billy's has local singers performing Hawaiian tunes accompanied by the most graceful hula dancers around. The menu is delicious as well. Follow up that dinner with some Haupia (coconut milk) ice cream at Uncle Billy's Store next door.

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Kay's Lunch Center

Kay's has a friendly atmosphere and serves a mix of Hawaiian, Japanese and Korean fare with an open salad bar. When they have fresh-caught fish, they fly the appropriate fish flag outside so you what is available. They also have many local favorites such as Ono, Mahi Mahi, Chicken Katsu and Teriyaki.

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Hilo Bay Cafe

The Hilo Bay Cafe is great for casual dining with an emphasis on local organic fare. The pork chops and the ravioli are favorites. There is also a food court next door for the budget conscious.

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Cafe Pesto

Cafe Pesto serves up some of the best food Hilo has to offer in a downtown Hilo setting. Also, their poki salad is the best.

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Info on Hilo


Hilo is the country capital and commercial center of the Big Island. It’s on a large crescent-shaped bay and ahs Hawaii’s second largest port. Hilo is ethnically diverse, with a lot of people of Japanese and Filipino descent. There’s also an alternative community that’s been filtering in since the ‘70s, attracted by Hilo’s affordability and the windward coast’s scenic appeal.

Twice the size of all the other major Hawaiian Islands combined, the Big Island is also the youngest. It is believed to have emerged from the sea about 800,000 years ago and as evidenced by the activity in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, it continues to grow. Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanoes and the islands sit atop the Pacific Plate, which is moving northward at the annual rate of 4 inches. The eastern edge of this plate is California's San Andreas Fault.

Hilo has been the victim of several major disasters. It was rebuilt twice after devastating tidal waves. The first tsunami struck in 1946 and what was not destroyed then was taken in 1960 when a second major wave hit the city.

 
 

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