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“Go for lunch!”

Hawaiian Vanilla Company
Ranked #1 of 3 Restaurants in Paauilo
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Hawaiian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed March 14, 2013

My hubby and I booked their lunch with tour option. I'm glad we booked early, as they were completely sold out after we took the last two spots. I was concerned when I learned the lunch menu included chicken (something I can't eat), but they were so gracious with coming up with a vegetarian option for me. They made this incredible pastry-covered brie with a fruit chutney, a red pepper soup, and an amazing pound cake with ice cream... all featuring vanilla. It was the best meal I had on the island!

After lunch, the owner's eldest son conducting our tour and he was fabulous. You could tell he's given the speech a million times, but he would throw in his own commentary, as well. And he was great about answering questions.

We loved every aspect about this stop and had them ship back several goodies from their gift shop for us to share with friends and family back home.

2  Thank breoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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169 - 173 of 182 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2013

Make reservations for a teriffic lunch and learning experience for a well known and well loved spice!

Thank Haightsite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013

I love vanilla, gift store has lot's of it, but it seemed very expensive and no vanilla beans growing as far as we could see.

3  Thank Neil G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 2012

Living on the Big Island, we're often asked by visitors: 'what should we do that's unique to Hawaii'? There are coffee farm tours, lava flows, golf, zip lines over waterfalls, snorkeling, and hiking, just to name a few. I then will offer my 'top picks' of vendors or locations in each category. Something new has been added to the list, and I must admit that mention of a visit to a vanilla farm is often received with a questioning look and a response of 'really'?

If you are someone who loves to cook, are a chef, or enjoys good food, or likes to learn about new and different things, this place is for you!

Hawaiian Vanilla Company is family-owned and operated , located on the North Shore of the Island. They have a wonderful and informative website that offers on various 'packages', all affordably priced. Please make reservations as this destination is not a 'general restaurant' and the staff creates sumptuous meals from scratch. While their gift shop is open during regular business hours, please do yourself a favor and make reservations if you want to enjoy their creative, tasty, and fresh creations!

From Kona or Hilo, it's a nice drive, and the roads are in good condition. Please follow the directions given by the Hawaiian Vanilla Company, NOT your GPS. GPS will take you through back roads and gravel roads and then dump you in the middle of nowhere. You can technically get to the destination via back roads, however I promise you it's not fun when you know you have a seating for lunch at 12:15pm and you're looking at an intersection of two roads without street signs and no GPS signal!

My husband and I joined out of town guests for a luncheon (which I highly recommend) and found the location clean, bright, and cheery. The staff was very accommodating, pleasant, and informative.

The food was amazing, all fresh, and every item served included vanilla, which may sound strange, until you are greeted by a staff member who will take a few minutes in the dining area to talk about 'vanilla'. And, I must admit while at first I thought the 'talk' was going to lean toward a sales pitch, it's not the case, in fact quite the opposite. They 'teach' you about using vanilla, and even how to make it at home! If you have a source at home to buy your vanilla beans, great, however they also have beans for sale, and they are quite nice indeed.

For those who love cooking, this place is amazing! The experience broadens perspective on using vanilla in cooking, it's intention when used in cooking, and how you can enhance your dishes by adding extract, challenging you to think beyond adding vanilla to ice cream, cookies, and whipped cream!

While the tour after lunch did include a trip to the 'nursery' where (again) very informative staff gave an educational and enlightening perspective of this labor-intensive endeavor, we did not see the actual 'greenhouse', which I fully understood as to WHY after learning about the plants and the importance of climate, atmosphere, and exposure to 'stuff' that may harm the plants.

Overall, in my opinion, this is the perfect, relaxing 'day trip' from Kona or Hilo, filled with knowledge, a great luncheon, and I can't forget, sumptuous vanilla ice tea, vanilla lemonade, or vanilla 'Arnold Palmer'. Yum!

Enjoy, remember to make reservations, and follow the Hawaiian Vanilla Company's directions to the destination! Bon Appetit!

    • Value
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    • Food
Thank KBrownKAT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

I stopped here on the way to Hilo and had their Vanilla luncheon. A great lunch where every item had something vanilla in it. Salad dressing had a vanilla, chicken was spiced with a vanilla prep, vanilla ice cream for dessert, etc. They gave a great talk about the whole process of growing vanilla while we ate and then gave a tour of their actual farm. It was yummy and educational! Highly recommend this for anyone driving from the west side of the island to Hilo if your timing of passing through matches their luncheon.

Thank IslandFoodie808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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