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.

“Disappointing”

Holuakoa Cafe & Gardens
Ranked #1 of 3 Restaurants in Holualoa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Description: Welcome to Holuakoa Gardens and Cafe. We are a Slow Food establishment committed to "a food system that is based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability, and social justice." Sit back and relax in our lush garden setting and experience Slow Food at its best, locally grown and lovingly prepared. For the best cup of coffee in Kona, visit our famous coffee shop, located right out in front of the restaurant in the historical town and artist community of Holualoa.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

The concierge at our hotel spoke of this restaurant in glowing terms, so we decided to go there. We arrived near the end of service at lunchtime on a Sunday. We were seated quickly in a lovely outdoor setting. We ordered coffee and the hand-squeezed limeade (quite nice) while we looked over the menu. I ordered the burger with brie cheese, which came with "herbed potato salad". I'm not a fan of potato salad and asked to get a small green salad instead, and was told flat out "we don't substitute anything for the potato". I said I'd be happy to pay extra, but the response was the same. My companion ordered the huevos rancheros. My burger arrived very well done and dry, despite being ordered medium rare. There was a generous portion of brie on the burger, which saved it somewhat. Both meals were, however, VERY bland....not even the "herbed" potato salad tasted of anything but potato and mayo. Service was barely adequate. We had to flag down the waitress to get coffee and water refilled. In all, a disappointment.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank aksam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (613)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

489 - 493 of 613 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2012

Incredibly lush and romantic setting on veranda; dinner -- I had the brisket, wife the tenderloin-- superb, service good, really worth visiting and revisiting

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank John J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

We had been told many times how good this was and on our last trip we got lost trying to find it for lunch - at long last our hosts on this trip took as here for dinner - needless to say the meal was outstanding - why you ask - well 1) selection 2) service ) 3 quality.
We shared a mushroom/cheese toast appetizer which was outstanding. For mains I had a beef brisket which was the best I had tasted my entire life no exaggeration.. My wife had Mahi Mahi which was done to perfection with a Balsamic vineger type sauce with corn and other veggies. One of our hosts had a valentine chicken which was out of this world - done with a wild rice risotto.His partner had a Gorgonzola pear pizzetta which was fabulous., Although not extensive their wine list had a good assortment of California and Oregon wine. We started with a Pino Gris and then move to a Chablis - recommended but our waitress who was very knowledgeable.
The only disappointment was the fact our hosts had raved about the Lilikoi cheesecake and our waitress said they had a full on. However when it was time for dessert there was only ONE PIECE left and we had to split it four ways - for compensation the waitress also brought a lemon ginger cheesecake which was great but was a distant second to the Lillikoi.
The service was very attentive - the atmosphere was awesome as the owner had a nicely constructed set of jazz tunes playing in the background. We have come to Kona several times and we would have to say this is the best meal EVER. We have been to Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill twice but the meal we had was far superious

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Cicero12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

We have been eating out at quite a few places in and around Kona and for most part have been disappointed on many levels - food, service, etc. We had used TripAdvisor and other sources to find places but when you search in Kona, Holuako Cafe does not come up - we actually read about it in Big Island Revealed. Mahalo to them!! My faith in restaurants on the island has been restored and on future trips we will skip the so-so commercial places in Kona and come up here a few times.
In fact, there are few places I want to go to a second time (with exception of Poke Shack and Lava Java - but they are entirely different experiences from Holunkoa Cafe.) We had passed the cafe the previous week and later when out biking so we knew exactly where it was. Short drive up the mountain - only about ten minutes up from Ali'i Drive but it does help to know where you are going. We had a reservation and though we may have gotten a table without one, we were given a better table on upper patio after waiting a few minutes. We were in an area with about six tables but there was plenty of room and it did not feel crowded. Other sections of outdoor area had larger tables and if there was a big group next to you it might get loud. Someone mentioned noise from street and it is a very quiet area so this was not an issue - only noise we heard was from the tree frogs!

Interesting menu with many good choices for small plates, salads, and entrees. We started with a selection of olives, cheese, and bruschetta - just enough for three - and enjoyed out first bottle of Hahn Pinot Noir. We each had a different main course - vegetable lasagna, gnoochi, and beef brisket. All were very good with amazing flavors - but brisket may have been the best! We ordered a second bottle of wine with the meal. No desert but with wine, the dinner for three was double what we paid at Kona Island Inn and more than double other restaurant meals but it was definitely worth it - as I said earlier, I would rather go to Holuakoa more often and skip lesser restaurants since they are not worth it.

We were curious about restaurant and the waitress was informative - we asked her to please tell the chef how much we enjoyed the meal and towards the end, he came out and greeted us and chatted for a bit - this was very much appreciated. The restaurant and dining experience was the best in the three weeks we have been in Kona. Other posts have mentioned lack of decor and twinkling lights - not sure what they meant - setting is charming - and ladies room was quite lovely. Can't wait to go back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank ADavisS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Great food and atmosphere. Beautiful little spot on a country road in coffee growing region of Kona. Service was excellent from Daniel. Visit the little art galleries in town also.

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

Travelers who viewed Holuakoa Cafe & Gardens also viewed

Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
 
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
 

Been to Holuakoa Cafe & Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing