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Foodie Favorites on Hawaii, the Big Island

Posted on February 25, 2015

Hawaii, the Big Island is home to many inspiring producers of savory goods such as wine, honey, and coffee. We asked a few of them for a local take on where their products can be enjoyed. Read on to get the scoop and also find out where the artisans themselves go for a tasty meal.

Kuaiwi Farm
The five-acre certified organic farm in Captain Cook offers two-hour tours through its lush rows of produce waiting to be harvested. When owners Una Greenaway and Leon Rosner seek a satisfying meal, their favorites include Mi’s Italian Bistro in Kealakekua for delicious food in a romantic environment, and Kenichi Pacific in Kailua-Kona for contemporary Asian cuisine and world-class sushi.

           Volcano Winery in Volcano, Hawaii Island (photo courtesy: Marie Bothof)

Volcano Winery
Retired Oahu veterinarian Lynn “Doc” McKinney handpicked the Volcano area on Hawaii Island nearly 30 years ago for its unusual climate to begin what would become an expansive vineyard. After exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, be sure to stop by the winery’s tasting room to sample a flight or have a picnic with the winery’s house-made cream cheese blends. Volcano Winery’s reds and whites can be found served nearby at Thai Thai Restaurant, Volcano House, and Kilauea Lodge.

When friends and family are in town, Volcano Winery’s owner Marie Bothof enjoys taking guests to Kilauea Lodge, Hilo Bay Café, and Reuben’s Mexican Food (known for its lilikoi margarita) for a memorable experience.

Aikane Plantation Coffee Company in Holuloa, Hawaii Island (photo courtesy: Doug Hansen)

Aikane Plantation Coffee Company
Grown from rich, fertile volcanic soil, Aikane Plantation’s coffee is a local and visitor favorite. Aikane Plantation Coffee Company traces its roots back to 1894, when its first coffee crop was planted in the Kau District on the base of the slopes of majestic Maunaloa. Today, the farm featuring fields of coffee and an expansive variety of local plants is still on the family’s estate and operated by Phil and Merle Becker.

Those seeking this delicious brew can find Aikane’s homegrown coffee in a number of local eateries around town. Hana Hou Restaurant in Naalehu bakes its rich ground coffee into their specialty pies and desserts. Java lovers are also encouraged to sample the thirst-quenching iced coffee at Aloha Bayfront Café in Hilo to complement an afternoon sandwich.

Where do Phil and Merle turn to for local-style comfort food? Hawaiian Style Café in Hilo is a go-to spot.

Lehua blossom, one of Big Island Bee’s unique honey flavors. (photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority; Tor Johnson)

Big Island Bees
This family business has been buzzing on Hawaii, the Big Island since 1972. Whendi Grad, co-owner, notes that the honey is produced from single floral sources and organically raised bees. With flavors like lehua blossom and macadamia nut blossom, it’s hard to resist stopping by the tasting room to sample each unique flavor.

If you can’t make it to the farm, Annie’s Burgers in Kealakekua makes a delicious BBQ sauce with their honey and is one of Whendi’s favorite local restaurants for its fresh and healthy selections using local ingredients. And for those celebrating a vacation well spent, Big Island Brewhaus in Waimea makes a light and refreshing honey beer.

Cheers to a productive (and delicious) Hawaii Island vacation!

- by Big Island Visitors Bureau

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