Hawaiian Style Cafe, Hilo (Big Island, Summer 2022)

And so I come to my last formal meal report from our time on the Big Island. We ate lunch at Hawaiian Style Cafe in Hilo after a morning spent visiting the wonderful Tropical Botanical Garden (a stop I very highly recommend if you are ever on the Big Island). Hawaiian Style Cafe has another location in Waimea—I’m not sure which the original is but I believe they both serve more or less the same menu. It’s a large restaurant but we arrived for a late lunch on Sunday and ran into a very long wait for a table. We were told that takeout would be much faster and that there was a park not too far away where we could comfortably eat our lunch. And so we opted for that.

In practice the outdoor seating at the restaurant became completely empty—with no one waiting—long before our food was ready. But when we asked if we could just eat our takeout meal there with no expectation of table service we were told we couldn’t do that as the takeout operation was completely separate from the restaurant operation. It was a bit annoying as by now there was no wait for a table. But the story had a happy ending after all. The nearby Liliuokalani Park that we took our food too was very beautiful and only a minute or so drive away. We found parking easily and ate lunch at a park bench right on the water. A nice view and the food was pretty tasty too.

That food is in the same Hawaiian comfort genre that we ate in at a number of places on this trip. By this point, however, we were a bit loco moco’d out and so opted for some different selections. The boys ate most of a couple of dishes: the restaurant’s signature Kalua hash and eggs, and the garlic chicken plate (which came with rice and salad). Both were quite tasty. My mother-in-law, for whom the week’s meals out so far had been uncharacteristically meaty, wanted only hash browns and rice (which she ate along with the boys’ salad). The missus and I shared the spicy poke bowl and the luau stew featuring pork and taro leaves. These were both very tasty though the luau stew was very difficult to eat as takeout as they had not placed any spoons in the takeout box. (In another takeout screw-up they’d also failed to include the toast that came with the Kalua hash and eggs.)

For a look at the restaurant and at what we ate, launch the slideshow below. Scroll down to see how much it all cost and to see what’s coming next.

All of the above plus a couple of soft drinks came to just about $80 with tax and tip—which is pretty good value for the quantity and quality of what we ate. On the whole, I’d recommend Hawaiian Style Cafe if you are looking for a place to eat in Hilo. If no tables are available I’d also recommend eating at Liliuokani Gardens as we did but I’d suggest double-checking your takeout bag before leaving the restaurant and making sure you have all the utensils etc. you need.

Alright, that’s the last of the Big Island restaurant reports. It’ll be on to Kauai next Sunday. The Los Angeles meal reports will continue on Saturdays—I will not get to my Ireland meal reports till September. Before that on Tuesday I’ll have a report on another dinner at Tenant in Minneapolis. And, of course, a trio of whisky reviews and a recipe as well.



One thought on “Hawaiian Style Cafe, Hilo (Big Island, Summer 2022)

  1. We ate here as well, for take out. The lines were too long, and our AirBnB was only 15 min away. I totally second that suggestion of checking the bag for utensils, they left out ours as well. But, going back to an AirBnB, it made no difference. I’m sure I’d have been annoyed otherwise. I didn’t realize the park was that close, would’ve been a good change of pace.


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