From upscale and oceanfront seafood restaurants to food trucks parked in the middle of nowhere, the Hawaiian Islands are home to countless incredible restaurants. And nowhere will you find more incredible and diverse restaurants than on Kailua-Kona’s Ali’i Drive.
Before we dive in, let’s talk about the amazing city that is Kailua-Kona: Located along Hawaii Island’s scenic Kona coast, this historic seaside village is full of natural beauty, royal history, and plenty of charm. Established by King Kamehameha I to be the seat of his government when he was the chief of Mona before he consolidated rule of the island chain. The historic town later became the capital of a newly unified kingdom, before it moved to Lahaina, and later, Honolulu.
Everyone who visits this historic town can agree that the best spot in town to visit is Ali’i Drive where you will find breathtaking ocean views, spectacular shopping, and, of course, a collection of diverse restaurants sure to cater to anyone’s specific tastes. Here are just a few of the restaurants you’ll find here.
1. For french favorites and crepes, head to Frenchman’s Cafe.
This Hawaii Island eatery blends French, Caribbean and Polynesian flavors effortlessly. It is certainly hard to choose between their sweet crepes and savory omelets. With more than 250 reviews and five stars, this Kailua-Kona cafe is the 12th best restaurant in America — according to Yelp.
Kona Marketplace, 75-5729 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
2. Breakfast is best at Island Lava Java.
With 100 percent Kona Coffee, oceanside dining, and a bakery on site, could you think of a better breakfast experience than Island Lava Java? Oh, yeah, you could order one of their famous "cinnamon rolls and pull-a-parts" — if you get there before they're all gone, that is.
75-5801 Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
3. The treats from Holy Donuts are heavenly.
With Bavarian cream filled malasadas and a wide selection of donuts, this holy bake shop is a true Kailua-Kona gem. Made in small batches daily, we suggest you stop here early before the heavenly donuts are gone!
75-5729 Alii Drive #103, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
4. For a caffeine fix, head to Daylight Mind Coffee Company.
A waterfront café perfect for brunch, or even just a simple cup of coffee, you’ll never be disappointed a Daylight Mind Coffee Company. This waterfront cafe serves up its own premium roasts, baked goods, and an innovative seasonal brunch.
75-5770 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
5. Need more seafood in your diet? You’ll love Da Poke Shack.
his seaside eatery nestled in a condominium complex is known for their takeout poke, as well as local specialties and salads — and was once considered the best restaurant in America, according to Yelp.
Oceanfront Kona Bali Kai Condos, 76-6246 Alii Dr #101, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
6. Craving Italian? Try Mi’s Waterfront Bistro!
This intimate eatery is the perfect place for a date night with that special someone. Serving up housemade pasta and using island-sourced products, it doesn’t get much better than this.
75-5770 Ali'i Drive, 2nd Floor, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
7. Want ono grinds? Head to Kanaka Kava.
This laid-back cafe with outdoor seating is a local favorite. They serve up house-made kava and a variety of regional dishes sure to satisfy any Hawaiian food craving you might experience.
75-5803 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
8. The Fish Hopper is known for their mouthwatering seafood.
Located at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, this casual seaside eatery is a must-visit for surf ‘n’ turf, clam chowder, and Hawaiian favorites. They also have a phenomenal happy hour.
75-5683 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
9. Try something new at Kamana Indian Cuisine.
Who knew you could find mouthwatering Indian food in Kailua-Kona? It’s news to us, too, but we’re told the views are phenomenal and the views are even better.
75-5770 Ali'i Dr #2-3, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
10. Sushi, anyone? Visit You Make The Roll.
This sushi spot is a local favorite serving up sizable servings of sushi rolls for take-out only. Since there’s no seating, why not take your dinner to a nearby beach for a picnic?
75-5725 Alii Dr # D101, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
11. Acai bowls, shave ice, and more are found at Kona Wave Cafe.
Want to fuel up for a hike with an acai bowl? What about a serving of shave ice after a long beach day? A cup of locally-sourced coffee? Yep, you guessed it — head to Kona Wave Cafe for all of the above, and more!
75-5669 Alii Dr 1109, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
12. Grab a hot dog or burger from Island Ono Loa Grill.
Not sure where to go for lunch? Why not try Island Ono Loa Grill. Serving up a variety of hot dogs, burgers, and Hawaiian plate lunches, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your hunger here.
75-5799 Ali'i Drive Suite A4a, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
How many of these incredible restaurants have you visited before? Which is your favorite? For another spot with amazing restaurant options, head to
Haleiwa, the gateway to Oahu’s north shore and a foodie haven.