We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Ono!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Nori's Saimin & Snacks

Nori's Saimin & Snacks
688 Kinoole St, Ste 124, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
(808) 935-9133
Improve this listing
Ranked #61 of 205 Restaurants in Hilo
Cuisines: Hawaiian
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Salem, Oregon
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Ono!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Definitely will return to this family-run restaurant next time I'm in Hilo. I asked the lady who took our order the difference between small and large saimin bowls. She smilingly said, "The small is sufficient." True! I couldn't finish the generous portion of traditional saimin topped with house-grilled char siu, wontons, egg strips, fish cake, & bok choy served in hot broth, plus bamboo-skewered grilled beef served separately When we left, the lady (who was then making wontons) asked if her advice was correct. I thanked her for advising us.
Near the front door, read some of the framed articles about Nori's, plus many awards This modest restaurant is famous!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Write a Review

29 reviews from our community

78% Recommend
    11
    12
    4
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bristol
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Awesome Saimin!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Nori's has got some of the best saimin in the islands. Old style. Local style. The kind of saimin I remember from the 1960s, when I was growing up. It's getting trickier and trickier to find virtually unchanged local saimin these days. We have the popular and ubiquitous ramen -- which is not saimin. And we have pho from Vietnam and laksa and all sorts of trendy new sorts of noodle soups that you can purchase almost anywhere in the world these days. But saimin is genuine local cuisine. You're not going to find this amazing bowl of noodles anywhere else in the world, only in the Hawaiian Islands.

There are loads of places in Hawai'i that will serve you up a bowl of saimin. Some places have fast-food saimin in styrofoam cups. Some places have a saimin that's more like ramen. At Nori's, though, you will be served an authentic, and yummy, heartwarming, nourishing, colourful, flavourful bowl of unadulterated genuine local saimin! It's the best! A rare treat and well worth the stop.

Nori's can be a little tricky to find, so t if you get a bit lost, just remember that if you reach either Hualalai or Kukuau St, you've gone too far. It's tucked away partly underground in a small business complex. Don't let that deter you! This is a cultural and culinary experience not to be missed. Nori's staff are friendly and helpful, too. Be there -- aloha!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“where the locals go”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We were told about Nori's after asking a bartender where to go for an inexpensive meal. It is hard to find, we drove past it twice. Turn in to the parking area and drive towards the back, you'll see it midway down. It has a cafe feel, with small booths and a few long tables in the center. The menu is mostly Japanese offerings, but the Hawaiian influence is easy to spot.

We had stir fried noodles and the Hilo saimin (Japanese pho). The portions were large and the prices were very reasonable. Everything tasted fresh and was hot. It started to fill up after we arrived, and was full by the time we left. All the dishes looked good, and everyone was cleaning their plates. They have daily fish and meat specials, and they bake their own desserts. We were too full, but will have to go back and try some.

Don't go for the atmosphere, go for the food and the local vibe.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilo
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Mmmmm :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Great local kine saimin, wonderful "hot pot" additions to their menu, sizzling platters with tofu and/or fish, chocolate mochi cake ala mode and so many fresh local daily specials. ;P Noriʻs is a cozy space that has customers seated close and possibly sharing a table next to each other. The key is to be patient with service and your experience will be well worth the wait.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
89 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Inconsistent Saimin, but lots of food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

It's the only Saimin place in town, so I go there. The broth is inconsistently good. I go there for the nori burger and strawhaupia pie. The Saimin is plentiful, but you may want to request a pot of hot water to dilute the saltiness.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Nori's Saimin & Snacks also viewed

 
Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Hilo, Island of Hawaii
 

Been to Nori's Saimin & Snacks? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Nori's Saimin & Snacks, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.