Tom Karren

Local style, generous portions

She looks nice but she probably wont share

Rating: ****

Location:

Midtown Waimea, right on the Mamalahoa Highway.

Description:

It’s a very well done, Hawaiian-style cafe, and from what we could tell it was a family-run operation. My wife loved the Poke here. I enjoyed one of the other breakfast entrees. Bring cash because they don’t take cards. We highly recommend grabbing a bite here if you are chilling in Waimea or just passing through.

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Food truck in paradise

Best picture I had at this spot

Rating: *****

Location:

About 1 mile before the end of H270, or a mile back from Pololu.

Description:

This “off the grid” food trailer is an amazing highway stop. It is truly a sublime spot. The food is delicious and the vibe is as serene as it gets. They also have picnic tables and when we stopped on a Sunday they had chill live music.

Best of all the food coming out of this trailer is delicious. They have smoothies and various natural foods. The show stopper was the Poke Nachos. We pulled over just to get coconut water but ended up staying for an hour and eating all kinds of tasty treats.

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Quiet, sandy, shade trees, ocean.

Location:

Drive ~1 mile south of Kawaihae Harbor west of H270.

Description:

It’s chill here, and if you like shade and no crowds, this beach is your ticket. There are also some ruins here if you want to do a small hike and self-guided tour.

Amenities:

It’s a full-service beach. Parking, tables, showers, bathrooms, bbq grills, even camping.

Precautions:

I don’t recommend camping here for security reasons. Be careful and aware as always any time you get in the water.

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Waimea BBQ joint with excellent “Poke Nachos”.

View from the highway

Rating: ****+

Location:

Right off H19 on the east side of Waimea. There is plenty of parking right off the side of the road.

Description:

The joint is a standout in Waimea. The food and service are both excellent. It’s casual, cozy, and good, which means it’s usually busy because there are not a lot of good restaurants in Waimea.

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Classic Hawaiian Shave Ice Walk-Up

My squad (circa 2015)

Location:

Located on the west side of the highway in the small shopping area adjacent Kawaihae Harbor.

Description:

You know the drill. Get it with ice cream at the bottom and cream on the top. Bring cash and prepare to possibly wait in line.

Pro tip here is to get the Mac-nut ice cream. It’s made on the island by Tropical Dreams Ice Cream. You can actually buy their ice cream directly from the dairy and take it back to your hotel with you. Because I am so nice, I just dropped that little knowledge bomb for you here. You are welcome, and you can thank me later.

You can also sometimes find this ice cream at local grocery stores even in Kona proper.

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