Foodie Favorites Of South Kona, Hawaii
Spring is in the air. The coffee flowers have bloomed again and the sweet scent of Kona snow perfumes the farm. We have also seen the return of regular tourism to Hawaii and every day we are asked regularly where to get something good to eat for lunch!
It’s not an easy question because everyone has their own personal likes and dislikes, but there are certain things here in the islands that visitors should experience. Let me share with you a few categories of “must eats” while visiting South Kona and a few places near our farm where you might find these great food and beverage experiences.
In most, “must-eat-while-in-Hawaii” blogs they like to list local favorites like Poke, Laulau, Malasadas, etc. but I’d like to take a slightly different approach. Within 5 miles in every direction of our farm, there are some really interesting and unique specialty dishes that most people won’t ever hear about. You have to be a locavore who dines in the neighborhood frequently to discover these hidden treasures.
Bryan’s Mai Tai Burger
Found just 5 minutes North of Greenwell Farms, find the Kona Grill House. Home to great poke bowls, grilled fish, burgers, and Bryan’s Mai Tai Burger. This is more than just a burger, a grilled patty topped with a house-made lobster cake topped with cheese and grilled onions. This is a big burger, a delicious meal, and you’ve never had anything quite like it.
Right off the highway and just a few minutes from the farm is the husband and wife-run Rebel Kitchen. A place that prides itself on homemade food and is certainly fresh and flavorful. If you’d like a lunch salad like no other try the carnitas salad, a beautiful bed of fresh lettuce topped with pulled pork, olives, onions, tomatoes, and cheese in a super tasty lime vinaigrette. An excellent lunch selection!
Randy’s Huli Chicken Plate
Every Thursday and Friday Randy’s Huli Chicken and Ribs set up their roadside Huli Chicken stand a few minutes North of the farm and it is more than worth it. Marinated whole chickens BBQ’d over a rotating spit with aromatic woods and you get an amazing, smoky, juicy half chicken plate with rice and sides. Portions are big enough to share and good enough to have leftovers for breakfast the next morning.
Pub House Battered Fish and Chips
The Korner Pocket Bar & Grill is the local watering hole in our neighborhood and if you are ok to visit a bar/restaurant that leans toward a bar (with darts and pool tables), they have really good and reasonably priced food. Their battered Cod and Chips are fresh, crispy, and delicious and served with tartar sauce and malt vinegar. All that for about $10.
As local as it gets! This small family operation makes tender, slow-cooked, authentic Hawaiian Laulau and it satisfies both belly and soul. This double plate is for a couple. The double pork Laulau plate gives you 2 Laulau steamed to perfection, and a scoop of rice, mac salad, and lomi salmon. You will be full!
The Sweet Beet Salad
Heading South 5-6 minutes from the farm you will come across Black Rock Pizza. In addition to great pizza, a nice selection of beers and ciders, and homemade cannoli, they have a couple of great salads including the Sweet Beet Salad. Spinach and raw greens topped with Sweet Beets, cooked walnuts, goat cheese, and a honey curry dressing that comes together in a perfect balance of flavor and healthful dining.
The Manago Hotel was established in 1917 and has what they bill as “Hawaii’s Oldest Restaurant”. You will be transported back in time with old Hawaii ambiance and if you are a fan of unique fish dishes, the butterfish is soft and rich and a true Hawaii experience. Entrees include rice and three side dishes. A dining tradition for over 100 years!
These are some of my foodie favorites within a few miles of the farm. Hope you have a chance to stop by and enjoy lunch after enjoying our coffee farm tour!
Matt Carter is a retired teacher (1989-2018), part-time musician, farmer, and currently manages Greenwell Farm’s Tour and Retail Store Operations.