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“Simple, local, good value.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Yen's Cafe

Yen's Cafe
235 Waianuenue Ave Ste 101, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-2437
(808) 933-2808
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Ranked #50 of 206 Restaurants in Hilo
Restaurant details
Ashland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Simple, local, good value.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2012

This is the kind of place we enjoy: simple, used by locals, clean, inexpensive. It's a Vietnamese local diner. Service was pleasant and the food was plentiful if not gourmet.

Visited February 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    8
    2
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Not a tourist hang-out. Thank goodness.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011 via mobile

Great selection of vietnamese and Chinese food that is delicious and quick. No frills here but not a tourist trap either. Two adults and 2 pre-teen boys - $35 for lunch with water for drinks.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SF Bay Area, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Bun up to par with San Jose Vietnamese restaurants”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

After visiting the famous Saturday Hilo Farmer's market, and not finding anything savory I wanted for lunch, I started craving vietnamese bun (cold vermicelli salad). I thought...if it's hot in San Jose, what do I eat? Bun! So after yelping, I ended up at this hole in the wall, mom and pop restaurant.

Just like in San Jose, the kids were helping out running the restaurant. I felt bad cuz the little boy had to vacate the only table left for me. I told the girl he could stay....but he had to play in the kitchen.

Ordered the chicken/fried roll bun. Was deeeelish! Good porportion of the greens, herbs, noodles. The fried rolls were skinnier than usual but just as good. Chicken was less portion than restaurants back home, but fine w/me cuz it filled me up...and the quality was tastier. I was also surprised, as the fish sauce wasn't watered down for the unseasoned tourist palates. Spice just right. Noodles were "al dente". No skimpping on the herbs. I have a feeling this is a locals place.

If you are into service, decor etc, you should probably go else where. In my experience, whether in the states or abroad....the BEST food are at places that look sketchy.

When I left, I saw all these suckers next door eating expensive fried foods, when Yen's was just next door! Their loss ; b

  • Visited August 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keaau, Hawaii
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Excellent Pho, reasonable prices”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

Yen's serves Vietnamese and Chinese-like food. I almost always get a bowl of Pho, a big bowl of noodles with some kind of meat in a clear beef broth with bean sprouts and greens to add to the mix. In fact, my wife and I often just split one bowl and end up comfortably fed for $7.50 or so plus tip.

Don't expect atmosphere unless you thrive on formica, but the staff are friendly, and the service is fast.

  • Visited July 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great Thai food from a little, ol' cafe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2010

After a long day of ziplining with the Kapokapine "Umauma Falls" (highly reccomended), the guide had highly recommended this "hole in the wall" for some great, authentic Thai food. Located in a little old shopping center behind Blaine's Drive-In, we didn't allow the appearance off the street to steer us away.

The owners aren't the friendliest of people however, the food was amazing! My husband had the spicy pork plate and I had Pho with rare beef and tendon.

Good food at a decent price, ok service.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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