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“Best Restaurant We Found in Hawaii”
Review of Hilo Bay Cafe

Hilo Bay Cafe
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Ranked #13 of 254 Restaurants in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $40
Cuisines: American, Japanese, Hawaiian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Contemporary restaurant with emphasis on innovative cuisine using fresh, local, and organic ingredients--a Hilo town favorite gathering place. Full food and beverage service with indoor and outdoor lanai seating and large room for special events. Much of the restaurant has expansive views of Hilo bay, Mauna Kea, and Hilo town. Full bar, original recipes, artisan sushi, and keiki menu. Large parties are welcome. Come as you are or come as your best dressed self--we appreciate both! Reservations recommended. *For current menus, please visit our website, as TripAdvisor does not give businesses the capability to update menu content.*
Reviewed November 16, 2013

Crisp, clean Asian ambiance. Interesting and tasty dishes. Lovely presentation. Good-sized portions. We had dishes (pork Porterhouse, mushroom pie) that could have been muddled, but the flavors were nicely delineated. If we lived in Hilo, we'd become regular patrons.

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Thank Iambic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 16, 2013

The new location has not helped this over-priced eatery. The Pasta Puttanesca lacked flavor and did not live up to the menu description. It was an over priced plate of spaghetti that was given a fancy Italian name. The stingy portion of Grilled Vegetable Kabob was so meager that my wife filled up on my spaghetti. The service was lacking and I had to catch the servicer as he walked by so that I could get a coffee refill. The water glasses were never refilled promptly, either.

This visit was to celebrate a birthday and we had hopes for a more pleasant experience. Next time, we will spend our money somewhere else.

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1  Thank ChrisinPuna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013

We have eaten here several times in years past but not since the Hilo Bay Café moved from its location in a shopping center to a stand-alone building near downtown Hilo and overlooking Hilo Bay. This is a nice place for lunch after visiting the farmers’ market in downtown Hilo.

The new location is much nicer and the interior of the building has been renovated with hardwood floors, a nice paint job, bar and lots of windows.

We visited at lunch time on a Saturday and business was light but we also arrived a little before lunch time. We were seated quickly and offered drinks and menus.

Two of us ordered the fresh catch of the day which was fish and chips and one of us ordered a California roll from the Sushi menu (which is fairly extensive). The fish and chips is not the typically, heavily battered, bready, greasy stuff that is usually served. The breading was light and crunchy and the white fish was tender. It was under seasoned, but still quite good. The fries were hot and crispy.

The California roll comes in two sizes small and large. It contains crab, avocado, cucumber and masago. The small one is quite generous - and our dining companion enjoyed it.

The service was a bit slow - we assumed because all of the sushi is made to order. Our waitress was friendly but not intrusive and all of the orders were correct.

The restaurant serves several types of draft beers, cocktails, wine and sake, as well as a full range of non-alcoholic drinks like juice, espresso and tea.

The price for three of us including one beer and a non-alcoholic drink was $46 without the tip - which is pretty reasonable for Hawaii.

There is a lot of parking at the restaurant. The main entrance is up a flight of stairs, although we did observe an elevator if needed.

If you are looking for a great spot in Hilo, give Hilo Bay Café a try. The food is delicious and a nice change from the usual island fare.

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1  Thank Chicharone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013 via mobile

This used to be our "go to" place in Hilo for great food. The old location in some corner of a strip mall was odd, but the food was soooo worth it.

Well, no more. Last night we had ahi poke ( too oniony, not marinated enough ), chicken ( sauce was toooooo salty ), and lemon miringue ( looked like it was just blow torched, and the crust seemed off ).

It was ok to eat, but not up to the standards of the old location.

But the view is now amazing!

1  Thank tietack
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed November 8, 2013

This place is beautifully decorated and so much fun. The bartender makes great drinks, and the wait staff is friendly and attentive. Good wine list, wonderful fresh-tasting food. Dessert delicious. Get a seat on the patio, if you can. Reservations definitely recommended. This place is very popular with the locals.

Thank foodiemomof4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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