Dining Options on Miyajima Island

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While researching Miyajima one may assume that this tiny island with its Shinto shrines and scenic views of nature might lack an entry in any culinary journal.  Those that make that assumption find how wrong they were the moment they walk around Miyajima’s main streets.  Step into any restaurant and feast on seafood caught in the local waters.  Get a jolt of caffeine while sipping espresso drinks or indulge in ice cream served on a sweet bun.  Satisfy your food cravings by sampling any of the snacks offered by the local street food vendors.

Tori-I

With Miyajima’s proximity to water, seafood dishes take the top spot at many of the island’s restaurants.  Miyajima’s most popular seafood dishes include conger eel and oysters caught in local waters.  For a taste of both conger eel and oysters visit Tori-I.  Those who wish to eat oysters may order inside the restaurant or from the takeout window to the right of the entrance.  Order the oysters raw, grilled, or deep-fried.  Those that order the grilled oysters will find them seasoned with a soy-sauce based sauce.  Diners sitting inside the restaurant may choose from such dishes as udon with shrimp or grilled conger eel.  The grilled conger eel sits on a bed of rice in a bento box.

Miyajima Itsuki Coffee

For a classic cafe experience head to Itsuki Coffee.  The menu at Itsuki Coffee has various espresso choices, served either iced or hot.  Besides espresso the menu features pastries such as muffins, scones, and biscotti.  This cafe is perfect for visitors needing a caffeine fix or somewhere to sit and unwind.  Itsuki Coffee’s décor is modern but warm with wood accents.  Seating is available inside, or outside with weather permitting.

Melon-Pan Ice

Regardless of the day’s temperature, few can resist the draw of warm baked dessert bread with ice cream.  The chain Melon-Pan Ice opened a location in Miyajima, where tourists and locals both line-up for tasty treats.  Melon-Pan is the name of a sweet bun popular in Japan.  The bread bun is soft in the inside but the top has a thin layer of crispy dough that resembles that of a cut and diced melon.  Melon-Pan Ice takes the fresh-baked warm bun, cuts it in half, and adds a scoop of ice cream.  The resulting combination is so delicious that a nearby sign proclaiming it as “Japanese soul food” isn’t an exaggeration.

Miyajima Street Food

For those in need of a quick bite, or if you don’t have time to sit at a restaurant, you’ll find many street side vendors selling various snacks.  One dish in particular to try is a fried pastry made in the shape of a star.  These fried stars come filled with your choice of cheese, custard cream, or red bean.  Non-fried options include fresh-baked steamed buns filled with beef.  Another popular street vendor sells rolled up fish cakes, grilled and served to customers right off the hot stove.

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Miyajima Dining

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Tori-I: 34.298210, 132.321439
Itsuki Coffee: 34.296495, 132.320779
Melon-Pan Ice: 34.295516, 132.321621
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Tori-I
Dining Options on Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Itsuki Coffee
Dining Options on Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Melon-Pan Ice
Dining Options on Miyajima Island
Miyajima, Japan
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Vancouver’s Granville Island

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Granville Island in Vancouver is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Set along the waters of False Creek, Granville Island offers visitors scenic views. Spend the day shopping or eating at the various stalls within the Public Market or in the surrounding buildings. Unwind while perusing galleries or drinking beer at the Granville Island Brewery. Enjoy the waterfront while strolling along nearby Island Park Walk. Granville Island has so much to offer that tourists will find it one of the top highlights of their trip.

Getting to Granville Island

Tourists planning to visit Granville Island will arrive either by car, bus, or boat. Granville Island is accessible by car but you will be fighting with other drivers for the few parking spots available. The better plan is to arrive at Granville Island by bus or by boat. To get from Downtown to Granville Island you will board the #50 bus. The route for bus #50 runs through various Vancouver districts. Visitors staying in and around Gastown, Chinatown, Downtown, or Yaletown will take bus #50 southbound. Hop on the #50 bus labeled False Creek via Granville Island and exit at the W 2 Ave at Anderson Street stop. From the bus stop it will be a four-minute stroll to Granville Island via Old Bridge Walk.

A unique way to reach Granville Island is via boat on the waters of False Creek. Two boat companies sail along False Creek, Aquabus and False Creek Ferry. Both boat companies have eight docking locations along the waters of False Creek. You can catch one of the boats in popular tourist locations such as Yaletown or near BC Place at the Plaza of Nations. Boats land at each of the docks every 15 minutes so you won’t have to wait very long to catch the next boat. The simplest thing to do is arrive at the dock and hop on to whichever boat company arrives first.

Once on board you’ll pay the driver the fare to ride the boat. The boats hold between twelve and twenty passengers at a time. Passengers sit on benches next to windows so everyone has a view during the ride. The boats sail quietly along the waters of False Creek and offer a relaxing journey while sailing past the buildings of Vancouver. Exit the boat at the Granville Island dock. From the dock you are steps away from the main building for the Granville Island Public Market.

Granville Island Public Market

The most popular place to visit on Granville Island is the Public Market. Inside this building you will find a vast array of vendors. You can buy baskets of various fruits or bouquets of flowers. Other vendors sell pastries and bread still warm from the oven. Locals decide between fresh pasta and ravioli to bring home to cook later. It’s easy to check off your grocery list at the Public Market.

A few vendors at the Public Market sell food products you can eat on site. Lee’s Donuts is a must for those with an inclination towards fried dough. The Honey Dip Donut is a popular choice and tastes delicious. Enjoy your food with a cup of coffee from either JJ Bean or Petit Ami. If you are in the mood for more pastries and heartier fare stop at Laurelle’s Fine Foods. Laurelle’s is a bakery deli that sells meat pies and muffins. The dough on the meat pies flake right off and melt in your mouth.

Next to the Public Market are more buildings full of shops, galleries, and other food options. Those who wish to sample a local beer will want to swing by Granville Island Brewing. To maximize your tasting opportunity order a flight which allows you to sample up to four different beers. The Island Lager is their original beer and a fan favorite. For a true Canadian experience be sure to sample the Maple Shack Cream Ale. In addition to beer Granville Island Brewing offers a food menu with dishes such as poutine.

Island Park Walk

After you’re finished with Granville Island head to nearby Island Park Walk. This path just on the other side of Granville Island offers views of Granville Island plus residential homes and boats docked at the harbor. The path is especially stunning in the fall time when the leaves have changed colors. Here along the path visitors can dream of living next to Granville Island. Imagine waking up on a weekend morning and heading over to pick up items for brunch at the Public Market.

If daydreaming leaves you famished, at the end of Island Park Walk you will find Go Fish. This popular eatery sells quality seafood dishes from a simple shack. For fried golden perfection order the classic fish and chips. Or try the fish sandwich with either seared ahi tuna or salmon. Afterwards take Island Park Walk back the way you came towards either the #50 bus or to the Ferry Creek docks to catch the next boat home.

 

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Granville Island

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Granville Island 49.270622, -123.134741 Overview of Vancouver, Canada and Vancouver’s Granville Island

 

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Jam Cafe in Canada: A Foodie Destination

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Food and Traveling

A tourist’s travel time is finite in that when we travel our trip has a defined beginning and end. We book our flights and know ahead of time how many days we will spend in a city. To maximize our time we plan our days and list out attractions to visit. We make concessions and leave places off our list but what can’t be missed out on is eating. Whether we admit it or not, eating is one of the main reasons we travel.

As food becomes a bigger part of our travels, the struggle becomes trying to cram in as many eateries as possible within the confines of our trip. Sometimes we eat at a restaurant at the start of our trip that changes our food outlook for the rest of our visit. This restaurant serves food so good it makes every meal afterwards pale in comparison. A restaurant that blows your taste buds away and makes you reconsider your list of other eateries. You planned on eating at different places every meal but you want to return to this one restaurant. In Canada’s British Columbia, Jam Cafe is that restaurant.

To categorize Jam Cafe as just a breakfast joint is an understatement. To classify Jam Cafe as reason enough to travel to Victoria or Vancouver isn’t hyperbole. Jam Cafe alone lifts these Canadian cities into full-blown foodie destinations. To qualify as a foodie destination the city needs restaurants where people will stand in line for hours to get seated. People will wait in line for the chance to sit and enjoy a meal at Jam Cafe. This restaurant holds its own against any of the top foodie restaurants in any major metropolitan city in the world.

Jam Cafe: The First Visit

Our first experience with Jam Cafe was on a five-day trip to Vancouver. On our second day, a Sunday, we were looking for somewhere to grab a hearty breakfast. We wanted a meal that could sustain us for the busy day we’d planned for ourselves. Our hotel was near the stadium, BC Place, which meant scant opportunities for a true breakfast experience. Yet according to Yelp within walking distance on Beatty Street was Jam Cafe.

When we reached Jam Cafe, we saw a line of ten people waiting to enter the restaurant. A true foodie will tell you, a line in front of a restaurant is good news. It’s not that anyone wants to wait to eat but the fact that people will wait means you can expect that whatever you order will be delicious. The goal of leaving a restaurant with a full, happy, and content belly is a worthwhile goal. We soon realized the folks in line were groups of three or more people. Going to Jam Cafe with a group is a great way to try multiple dishes but you must wait longer for a table. As a party of two it enabled us to jump to the front of the line when a smaller table became available. We were lucky, having only had to wait in line for ten minutes.

Our host guided us to our seats and once seated we took time to soak in our surroundings. Jam Cafe is one of those places that invoke a sense of eating at someone’s home. The warm atmosphere of the decor has a quaint rustic tone. Although the restaurant was busy, every single employee we interacted with was friendly to us the entire time we were at Jam Cafe. The friendliness of the staff, the atmosphere, and the high quality dishes combine for an excellent dining experience. With Jam Cafe you’ve got a restaurant you could eat at every day of your trip and be happy.

Here we are six paragraphs in on an article on a restaurant and we haven’t even started in on the actual food. That alone is proof of how Jam Cafe isn’t just a restaurant. It is a travel foodie destination you have to experience for yourself. The words and photos used in this article to describe the food don’t do it justice. Many of the dishes given to patrons are so full of food you could share with someone else and still be well fed. Open daily from 8am until 3pm the menu at Jam Cafe includes breakfast and lunch. Regardless of what time you visit Jam Cafe you can order from either the lunch or breakfast menu.

We were at Jam Cafe because we wanted breakfast so after careful deliberation we decided upon the chicken French toast and the fried chicken Benedict. The chicken French toast is a quintessential foodie dish. It’s a dish where the listed ingredients shouldn’t work together but they do, blending into a mouthful of deliciousness. The chicken French toast includes a buttermilk battered piece of fried chicken on brioche bread. On top of the bread and chicken are tomatoes, pickled cabbage, and green onion. The dish includes a dollop of jalapeno sour cream and over everything is a tobasco honey sauce. These ingredients culminate into a savory food melody for your mouth.

The cousin of the chicken French toast is the fried chicken Benedict. In the center of the Benedict is a whole chicken breast, fried to crispy perfection. Along with the fried chicken the Benedict comes with two poached eggs. The chicken and eggs sit upon an English muffin and comes with a traditional hollandaise sauce. Along with our main courses we ordered a side of biscuit and two coffees. In addition on the table was a bottle of maple syrup, a Canadian staple. The maple syrup added a sweet balance to each dish. It was a struggle not to pour the fresh delicious maple syrup over every bite.

Second Times a Charm at Jam Cafe

We left Jam Cafe so satisfied that even though we only had three more mornings in Vancouver we knew we had to return. On our last day we had an afternoon flight and planned on walking parts of Stanley Park before we had to head to the airport. We figured what better way to fuel up for a walk than to go back to Jam Cafe before taking the bus to Stanley Park. This second visit was midweek, on a Wednesday, and no one was waiting in line. Although seated right away, inside each table had patrons eating with huge smiles on their faces.

We wanted that same expression of joy on our faces and jumped right into the Jam Cafe menu. This time the dilemma was whether we try something new or dive back into what was now the comfort food we’d eaten on our first visit. We decided to try new dishes and ordered the Charlie Bowl and a cinnamon cream cheese swirl pancake. The Charlie Bowl has crumbles of biscuit, hash browns, ham, and cheese. On top of this food goodness were two eggs and a pouring of sausage gravy. The Charlie Bowl comes in two varieties the regular version and the Little Charlie. Both are good size plates and even the Little Charlie serving might leave you with leftovers. The cinnamon cream cheese swirl pancake was a dish that satisfied our sweet tooth. To cap it off, we added a side of sugar-cured bacon to each dish.

With the restaurant not being as busy as on the weekday we chatted with one of the owners of Jam Cafe, Jim Walmsley. It turns out that the Vancouver location is the second Jam Cafe. The first opened in Victoria, British Columbia. The Jam Cafe in Vancouver opened early 2016 and in just a few months had amassed a popular following of devoted foodies. Even without having to advertise the restaurant finds itself busy with a constant flow of diners.

Our second visit to Jam Cafe was coming to an end and this time around we weren’t able to finish our meals. The Little Charlie we’d ordered had leftovers we got boxed up to go. That precious food box made its way with us on the plane ride home. We couldn’t miss out on every last bite of the meals we’d ordered. Lucky for us when we got home the food was still edible. In the comforts of our own home we enjoyed our last bites of Jam Cafe. If we ever go back to Vancouver, we know we will have multiple meals at Jam Cafe.

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Jam Cafe

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Jam Cafe - Vancouver: 49.280234, -123.109717
Jam Cafe - Victoria: 48.430392, -123.367745
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Jam Cafe - Vancouver
Jam Cafe in Canada: A Foodie Destination
Jam Cafe, Beatty Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Jam Cafe - Victoria
Jam Cafe in Canada: A Foodie Destination
Jam Cafe, Herald Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Vancouver Dining

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Vancouver dining reflects the diversity that embodies the city. Within the various neighborhoods that make up Vancouver visitors will find every cuisine imaginable. This article aims to help travelers in choosing which restaurants to visit. Listed below are six of the best eateries in Vancouver. Each of these Vancouver dining options in this article embodies a different eating experience. From fine dining to food trucks, no one will ever leave Vancouver hungry.

Blue Water Cafe – Fine Dining in Vancouver

Being next to the Pacific Ocean means any Vancouver dining list must include at least one restaurant that serves high quality seafood. For the freshest seafood and a fine dining experience look no further than Blue Water Cafe. Here you will experience top-notch service from a knowledgeable wait staff. The menu includes a plethora of seafood caught in local waters. The chefs create each dish with extreme care. These chefs understand that eating is more than sustenance. For those that enjoy oysters Blue Water Cafe’s extensive menu won’t disappoint. The seafood tasting for two is a perfect way to sample four different seafood dishes. Although not a traditional Japanese restaurant, the sushi rolls and sashimi are delicious. The main course seafood selections range from scallops to lobster to local fish such as the sablefish. Other than seafood Blue Water Cafe’s menu includes steak and chicken options.

Chatime – For When You Need a Drink Break

Walk the many streets of Vancouver and you’re bound to get thirsty. When it’s time for a drink break stop by one of Chatime’s two Vancouver locations. Chatime proclaims itself as being the world’s number one place to get bubble tea. Although the title for world’s number one is always up for debate, Chatime is in the discussion for a good reason. Bubble tea originated in Taiwan and is a tea based drink served with milk and either tapioca balls or fruit jellies. Chatime brews their tea fresh in store and that freshness is found in every sip you take. Natural ingredients and natural flavors combine to make sure that your drink will be delicious. Besides Vancouver Chatime has a store in the nearby cities of Richmond, Burnaby, and Surrey. Other than Canada, Chatime is available in ten other countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and the United States.

Dinesty Dumpling House – A Chinese Restaurant Beyond Chinatown

To search for a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown is akin to searching for hay in a haystack. The trick is finding a good Chinese restaurant in parts of the city not designated a part of Chinatown. When the craving for Chinese food hits you and you’re on Vancouver’s busy Robson street head to Dinesty Dumpling House. Dinesty specializes in Shanghai style Chinese dishes. One of the more popular dishes is their Xiao Long Bao, dumplings filled with soup and meat. Diners can watch employees of Dinesty through large glass windows as they wrap the dumplings for each Xiao Long Bao order. Dinesty’s menu features traditional Chinese dishes and snacks. Other dishes worth ordering include spicy wontons, string beans with pork, and deep-fried prawns. Keep in mind that besides the Robson location Dinesty has three restaurants in Richmond and one in Burnaby.

Guu – Japanese Izakaya

With six locations in Vancouver, Guu has cornered the market on Japanese izakaya dining. Izakaya’s are Japanese pub style restaurants where diners order a variety of small plates. This tapas style dining experience makes Guu a great place for dining with a group. The more people in your party the more dishes you can order and try out. With Guu’s extensive menu making selections will be a difficult task. A refreshing seafood choice is the Tuna Tataki. The chefs sear the fish in this dish and serve it with a ponzu sauce and garlic chips. Another popular dish is the melt in your mouth Kakuni, known as pork belly. For noodles order the Yaki Udon. Those that enjoy beer will find Guuud Ale intriguing. This beer is a joint venture between Guu and the Russell Brewing Company. This beer is a perfect pairing fit with any dish you order.

Japadog – Street Food

Vancouver dining isn’t regulated to just restaurants. Along the streets of Vancouver you will find various food trucks. Before today’s food obsessed culture only the bravest of travelers dared to order food from a food truck. Times have changed and now food trucks lead the way in innovative cooking. Culinary fusion is at the forefront of many street food chefs. Japadog is no exception, serving Japanese style hot dogs. Each menu item is a twist on a traditional Japanese dish joined with a hot dog. A first reaction upon seeing the creations at Japadog might be curiosity. The moment you take your first bite any worry you might have had vanishes. The various flavors blend to form one perfect bite after another. Within Vancouver Japadog operates four stands, a truck, a trailer, and one store. Visit any location for a great food truck culinary experience.

Tim Hortons – Canadian’s Popular Restaurant Chain

For a Vancouver dining experience that screams Canada visit Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is one restaurant chain you won’t be able to avoid while visiting British Columbia.   In Vancouver alone you will find twenty Tim Hortons stores. Even those that have never been to Canada might have seen a Tim Hortons add while watching a hockey game. Tim Hortons may well be as synonymous with Canada these days as the maple leaf. You’ll even find two Tim Hortons at the Vancouver International Airport. Tim Hortons sells coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Lovers of donuts will enjoy Tim Hortons bakery selections. Their donuts are soft and fluffy, regardless of which chain you visit. Since you’re in Canada, be sure to try one of the maple-flavored donuts.

 

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Vancouver Dining

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Blue Water Cafe: 49.276155, -123.121129
Chatime: 49.286649, -123.128278
Dinesty Dumpling House: 49.290780, -123.134073
Guu: 49.284008, -123.125433
Japadog: 49.280244, -123.118355
Tim Hortons: 49.193316, -123.181198
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Blue Water Cafe
Vancouver Dining
Blue Water Cafe, Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Chatime
Vancouver Dining
Chatime Robson, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Dinesty Dumpling House
Vancouver Dining
Dinesty Dumpling House, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Guu
Vancouver Dining
Kitanoya Guu Original Thurlow, Thurlow Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Japadog
Vancouver Dining
JAPADOG, Robson Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Tim Hortons
Vancouver Dining
Tim Hortons, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Domestic and International Terminals, Grant McConachie Way, Richmond, BC, Canada

 

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Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast

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With so many dining options in Kailua-Kona and Kawaihae one may never eat a meal beyond those regions. Yet the Big Island of Hawaii has much to offer food lovers. Chances are during your time on the Big Island’s western coast you may venture into areas beyond Kailua-Kona and Kawaihae. Below we offer four restaurants sprinkled throughout the Big Island’s western coast to try out if you’re in the neighborhood.

The Coffee Shack

Tourist that are spending the day visiting coffee farms will find the Coffee Shack a great place for breakfast or lunch. In addition, the Coffee Shack is a great pit stop for those heading from the Big Island’s western coast out to the Volcanoes National Park. Even if you aren’t touring coffee farms or volcanoes Coffee Shack’s view alone makes it a worthwhile eatery. Enjoy the views of the ocean while sipping coffee and eating your meal. One of the best dishes off the breakfast menu is the French toast, made with their homemade Luau Bread. The Coffee Shack serves its own coffee, made from coffee beans from their own coffee farm. You can order a cup with your meal and buy a bag to take with you if you wish. For lunch choose from a variety of sandwich or pizza options. Homemade dessert is available for those with room to spare in their stomachs after their meal.

Manago Hotel Restaurant

Three miles away from the historic Kainaliu district in Captain Cook you will find the Manago Hotel. The Manago Hotel has on site a Hawaiian-American restaurant. This Big Island’s western coast restaurant is known for their famous pork chops. Grilled to perfection, the pork chops are tender in the inside and seared on the outside to ideal specifications. This attention to detail carries over to grilling other items on the menu such as the New York Steak and Mahi Mahi. Each entrée comes with a bowl of rice and three sides. Sides rotate daily and might include string beans, tofu, or macaroni salad.

Merriman’s

For a fine dining experience on the Big Island’s western coast dine at Merriman’s in Waimea. This region of the Big Island is cooler than the rest of the west coast. Contrary to other parts of the island if you are dining at Merriman’s for dinner bring a jacket or sweater to combat the cool breeze. Open for brunch Saturday and Sunday, and lunch and dinner daily once inside Merriman’s you will receive top-notch service. The staff is attentive and dedicated to providing you a wonderful dining experience. Menus change but always include cuts of meat from local ranches. The fish Merriman’s serves is straight from the nearby ocean. Those that enjoy a glass of wine with dinner will find Merriman’s wine list exhaustive with great selections from California and Europe.

Monstera

Four miles from the Waikoloa Beach Resorts and within the Shops at Mauna Lani is Monstera. This Big Island’s western coast restaurant specializes in Japanese-Hawaiian cuisine. Anyone who craves fresh served sushi will enjoy dining at Monstera. Select from a variety of sushi rolls or sashimi options. For those wishing to augment their sushi selections the menu includes small plates and noodle dishes. The head chef of Monstera trained in Tokyo and has worked at hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton. Having such a skilled chef at the helm means that the meal you consume is a feast for your mouth.

 

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Big Island West Coast Eats

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The Coffee Shack: 19.475276, -155.892291
Manago Hotel Restaurant: 19.489198, -155.910803
Merriman’s: 20.023014, -155.676598
Monstera: 19.941275, -155.857801
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The Coffee Shack
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
The Coffee Shack, Honaunau-Napoopoo, HI, United States
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Manago Hotel Restaurant
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Manago Hotel, Mamalahoa Highway, Captain Cook, HI, United States
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Merriman’s
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Merriman's Big Island, Opelo Road, Waimea, HI, United States
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Monstera
Other Eats on Big Island’s Western Coast
Monstera, Mauna Lani Drive, Puako, HI, United States

 

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Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii

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Visitors that arrive to the Big Island of Hawaii by way of Kona International Airport will have their first look at Hawaiian city life in nearby Kailua-Kona. This quintessential beach town thrives off locals and tourists alike. Kailua-Kona has many restaurants so you know you will eat well whether you are in town to shop or sight see. There’s food to satisfy every craving from hearty breakfasts to fresh poke to delicious lunch plates to sweet shave ice. Below you will find listed in alphabetical order seven of the best Kailua-Kona eateries.

Mural inside 808 Grindz Cafe - Kailua-Kona, HI

Mural inside 808 Grindz Cafe

Loco Moco at 808 Grindz Cafe - Kailua-Kona, HI

Loco Moco at 808 Grindz Cafe

808 Grindz Cafe

808 Grindz Cafe is in a strip mall in Kailua-Kona. As you enter the restaurant the first thing you see is a huge mural on a wall depicting beachgoers relaxing. The mural emanates good vibes making you think you too are beachgoer just taking a food break. 808 Grindz Cafe might be a small restaurant with a tiny kitchen but it dishes out big plates of food. Order from a variety of classic Hawaiian favorites made with a special chef’s twist. Favorites include the kalua pork hash, the 808 Combo, and the loco moco.

If you’ve never had loco moco be sure to order it at 808 Grindz Cafe. A loco moco begins with rice as the base of the dish and a hamburger patty on top of the rice. Poured over the hamburger patty and rice is brown gravy. An egg placed on top of everything completes the dish. The 808 Grindz Cafe is open daily, except Mondays, for breakfast and lunch only.

Banana macadamia nut pancakes at Big Island Grill - Kailua-Kona, HI

Banana macadamia nut pancakes at Big Island Grill

Sign for Big Island Grill - Kailua-Kona, HI

Sign for Big Island Grill

Big Island Grill

The moment you enter the Big Island Grill you know you’ve stepped into a classic diner. Sit amongst the many locals and enjoy a great meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Take a moment and explore the menu at Big Island Grill. Their menus are full of traditional Hawaiian dishes. Choose from favorites such as the saimin, loco moco, katsu, or kalua pork. The Big Island Grill serves one of the best banana macadamia nut pancakes, not just in Kailua-Kona but the entire state of Hawaii. Order the short or full stack and remember to pour as much of the coconut syrup as your heart desires. A cup of the Kona coffee or guava juice will help you finish up those pancakes.

Garlic butter jumbo shrimp plate at Broke Da Mouth - Kailua-Kona, HI

Garlic butter jumbo shrimp plate at Broke Da Mouth

Spam musubi at Broke Da Mouth - Kailua-Kona, HI

Spam musubi at Broke Da Mouth

Broke Da Mouth

Broke Da Mouth is one of the most unassuming eateries in the world. Next to a laundry mat in an out-of-the-way strip mall you’ll find a foodie’s paradise. Chefs at this Kailua-Kona eatery cook up pile high food plates for starving customers. The portions are dense so bring your appetite. The best food options are those from the Grindz section of the Broke Da Mouth menu. Select from such savory options as shoyu butterfish, braised boneless kalbi, furikake chicken, or jumbo shrimp. Each plate comes with two scoops of white rice and your choice of macaroni or green salad. If you’ve never had Hawaiian macaroni salad try that island favorite.

For those still hungry add a foot long musubi roll. A musubi roll is rice and a filling, such as spam and egg, wrapped in seaweed. The musubi roll might just come in handy and tide you over if you’re waiting for a load of laundry to finish next door.

Entrance to Da Poke Shack - Kailua-Kona, HI

Entrance to Da Poke Shack

Poke Plate at Da Poke Shack - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke Plate at Da Poke Shack

Da Poke Shack

A popular dish to come out of Hawaii is poke. Poke is raw sushi grade fish sliced into cubes and marinated in sauces such as shoyu (soy sauce). Often mixed with the fish are onions and furikake. A dry Japanese seasoning, furikake includes sesame seeds and seaweed flakes. Da Poke Shack is one of the go to places for poke on the Big Island for both locals and visitors.

A great choice from the menu for those getting poke from Da Poke Shack is their Poke Plate. The Poke Plate includes two scoops of rice and your choice of poke. You get to choose two sides, such as edamame or seaweed salad.  Da Poke Shack has two locations on the Big Island.  The Kailua-Kona location has a few seats available for those that wish to eat on site. A second Da Poke Shack location is in Captain Cook, off Mamalahoa Highway at Mile Marker 106.

Breakfast sandwich at Green Flash Coffee - Kailua-Kona, HI

Breakfast sandwich at Green Flash Coffee

Entrance to Green Flash Coffee - Kailua-Kona, HI

Entrance to Green Flash Coffee

Green Flash Coffee

A great spot for breakfast or lunch in Kailua-Kona is Green Flash Coffee. This small coffee shop serves Kona coffee and Hawaiian inspired espresso drinks. The Haupia Latte and the Mauna Kea Mocha will satisfy the sweetest of teeth. Items on the breakfast and lunch menu are served throughout the day. The breakfast sandwiches Croque Madam/Monsieur and the French toast are delicious. The bread for the French toast, both the breakfast sandwich and the regular French toast, is Punalu’u sweetbread. Punalu’u sweetbread is fresh from the Punalu`u Bake Shop in the city of Naalehu. The lunch menu options include sandwiches made with their Panini grill. For those not craving a sandwich Green Flash Coffee sells smoothies made with fresh fruit.

Moo Bettah sign - Kailua-Kona, HI

Moo Bettah sign

Shave Ice at Moo Bettah - Kailua-Kona, HI

Shave Ice at Moo Bettah

Moo Bettah

When you crave dessert swing by Moo Bettah in Kailua-Kona. Perfect for those warm Hawaiian days choose from milk shakes, scoops of ice cream, or frozen yogurt. If those options aren’t enough you can pick from a list of smoothies, floats, and shave ice. Don’t confuse shave ice with a snow cone. Snow cones have crushed ice as opposed to shaved ice. With the shaved ice in a plastic bowl flavored syrups poured over the ice give the ice a sweet taste. To experience a real Hawaiian style shave ice add a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream at the bottom of the shave ice.

Poke and sides on display at Umekes - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke and sides on display at Umekes

Poke from Umekes - Kailua-Kona, HI

Poke from Umekes

Umeke’s

For many foodies poke is a religious experience. These foodies believe that their sworn duty is to eat the best poke from every region of the world. The Hawaiian Islands are full of places selling poke and Umeke’s is a front-runner for one of the best on the Big Island. The fish sold at Umeke’s in Kailua-Kona is fresh and delicious.

Umeke’s has two locations on the Big Island.  Depending on what time you visit the Umeke’s at Ali’i Plaza, you might see the staff working on large cuts of fish and preparing the poke. The various poke Umeke’s offers is on display in a glass case. Umeke’s sells poke by the pound or in a local style lunch bowl or plate. The lunch specials include poke, rice, and your choice from a variety of sides. One side dish you can buy is the Hawaiian favorite lomi lomi, a tomato and salmon salad. For dessert Umeke’s sells a Hawaiian favorite, the coconut-based Haupia.

The Umeke’s at Ali’i Plaza is a takeout establishment but if you want a more traditional sit-down experience, visit Umeke’s Fish Market Bar and Grill.  Located in Kailua-Kona, here you will find a full-service restaurant that has food and a bar that serves wine, beer, and cocktails.  Umeke’s Fish Market Bar and Grill has won awards for the food it serves and has appeared on the Cooking Channel.  Be sure while visiting the Big Island to visit either of Umeke’s locations for a poke feast you won’t soon forget.

 

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Kailua-Kona Dining

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808 Grindz Cafe: 19.642470, -155.994061
Big Island Grill: 19.640135, -155.992239
Broke Da Mouth: 19.648566, -156.000360
Da Poke Shack: 19.607898, -155.977167
Green Flash Coffee: 19.622141, -155.985421
Moo Bettah: 19.570480, -155.962074
Umeke\'s: 19.638445, -155.991071
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808 Grindz Cafe
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
808 Grindz Cafe, Kopiko Street, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Big Island Grill
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Big Island Grill, Kuakini Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Broke Da Mouth
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Da Poke Shack
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Da Poke Shack, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Green Flash Coffee
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Green Flash Coffee, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Moo Bettah
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Moo Bettah Frozen Fun, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Umeke's
Dining in Kailua-Kona Hawaii
Umeke's Poke Bowls And Local Lunch Plates, Hualalai Road, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States

 

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Big Island Coffee Farms

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Ask anyone what exports are synonymous with the state of Hawaii and more often than not the top answers will be pineapple or sugar cane. Ask that same question of the Big Island of Hawaii’s Kona region and the answer will automatically be coffee beans. Known the world over as one of the top coffee bean producers, packages sold with just 10% Kona beans will come at a premium price. Buy a bag with 100% Kona coffee beans and you know that you are getting liquid gold. Pure Kona coffee comes from beans grown in the north and south regions of Kona. A cup of 100% Kona coffee is smooth and silky, with each sip lacking any bitterness. The cup brewed from Kona coffee beans is so pure that those who drink coffee with milk or sugar won’t need those additives to enjoy their cup of coffee.

A must for lovers of coffee when visiting the Big Island is a tour of one of Kona’s coffee farms. Even passive coffee drinkers, those who just have a cup of java every morning to get their day started, will find the tours informative and enjoyable. With hundreds of coffee farms in the Kona region to choose from it might be difficult selecting which coffee farms to visit. To help you decide on which coffee farms to visit we have written this article covering our two favorite coffee farms. Two of the best Kona coffee farms on the Big Island of Hawaii are Greenwell Farms and Holualoa Kona Coffee Company.

Greenwell Farms

In the town of Kealakekua you will find Greenwell Farms off the Mamalahoa Highway. Greenwell Farms traces its history to 1850 and ever since has been growing and roasting coffee beans. As a long-standing fixture in Kona’s coffee scene the guided tours tell the story of the Greenwell family and the history of coffee on the Big Island. Tours are held everyday and offered throughout the day between the hours of 8:30am and 4pm. Once you’ve parked at Greenwell Farms head to the Greenwell Store. Tours begin at the Greenwell Store and from there the tour guide takes visitors past rows of coffee plants. Visitors lucky enough to be at the farm when the coffee plants are in bloom will see what locals call Kona Snow. When the coffee plants bloom the green leaves appear as if they have had snow fall upon them.   After the rows of coffee plants you will pass by sorting equipment and bags full of coffee cherries. Plucked straight from the coffee plants, coffee cherries come in various shades of red depending on ripeness. Greenwell Farms takes those coffee cherries and turns them into the coffee beans we are familiar with finding in our stores and coffee shops. These coffee cherries are meticulously sorted and afterwards laid out on rooftops and dried by the sun’s rays. The tour includes a view of the processing equipment and the drying rooftops. As the tour concludes you will have a chance to sample the Greenwell coffee blends at the Greenwell Store. Be sure to buy the coffee brews you enjoy at the Greenwell Store since they are not sold in stores beyond the state of Hawaii. Coffee bags come in a variety of sizes and either ground or whole bean, and regular or decaf. Greenwell sells their coffee online if you wish to buy more coffee once you have returned home.

Holualoa Kona Coffee Company

Holualoa Kona Coffee Company is in the city of Holualoa, off Mamalahoa Highway. A certified organic estate, Holualoa Kona Coffee Company offers self-guided tours and coffee tastings. The entire estate feels tucked into the island, with large trees offering shade and protection as you tour the grounds. Serenity flows throughout the estate and is prominent as you conduct your tour at your own speed and leisure. The self-guided tour affords you a close look at how coffee cherries plucked from the coffee plant become roasted coffee beans. Large arrows guide visitors through the estate and signs outline the work that takes place at each station you visit. The tour begins at the top of a rooftop where what once were bright red coffee cherries are now drying into the familiar shape of coffee beans. From the rooftop you will pass by various equipment used to sort the beans as they prepare to go to the roasters. The tour continues past rows of coffee plants and ends at the main Holualoa building where you can witness the roasting of the coffee beans first hand. Next door to the roasters you will find the Holualoa store where you can sample the coffee and buy bags of coffee to take home with you. Choose from either medium or dark roast and decaf or regular blend. Besides blends Holualoa offers you a choice of which roasting style roasted the beans, either by an air roaster or drum roaster. The preference between the taste of an air roaster or a drum roaster is subjective. You can decide which roasting is best for your palate through the samples offered inside the store. Once back home if you wish to buy more Holualoa coffee you can do so through their website.

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Big Island Coffee Farms

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Greenwell Farms: 19.511027, -155.920496
Holualoa Kona Coffee Company: 19.594735, -155.947748
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Greenwell Farms
Big Island Coffee Farms
Greenwell Farms, Inc, Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI, United States
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Holualoa Kona Coffee Company
Big Island Coffee Farms
Holualoa Kona Coffee Co, Mamalahoa Highway, Holualoa, HI, United States
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Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii

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Locals and visitors to the state of Hawaii can attest that Hawaii encapsulates tropical serenity. The views of paradise stretch from lush green hills to white sandy beaches and warm ocean waters. Hawaii’s main islands for tourists are Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Island of Hawaii. The Island of Hawaii, referred to as the Big Island, is the largest of the islands. Visitors to the Big Island will be in for a topographical shock. Other Hawaiian islands are awash in swaths of greenery. Upon landing on the Big Island you will notice lava rock stretching for miles. The lava rock throughout the island reminds you of the surface of the moon. Yet the entire island is not just visible lava rock. There are lush hills and green trees aplenty. The Island of Hawaii is diverse not only in its topography but in its climate. One could start their day at the top of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano, and on this the tallest peak on the Big Island see snow. In the afternoon you can warm up by flying over an active volcano or sunbathe at a black sand beach with turtles. Regardless how one spends their time on the Big Island the best way to end the day is by watching a sunset at one of the soft white sand beaches.

The Big Island: Hilo and Kona

To reach this island paradise visitors will arrive at either of the two main cities, Hilo on the eastern side of the island and Kona on the west. The fastest way between the two cities cuts through the island and is a 77-mile drive taking an hour and forty minutes. Another route includes more time by the coast but is over 90-miles and takes closer to two hours to drive. As the two cities aren’t close most visitors will choose to stay in one city their entire time. Others will decide to begin their trip in one city and then end up in the other. Hilo and Kona have their own airports. If you wish to see both cities the most time economical approach is to fly into one city and fly out from the other city. Hilo leans more towards the local scene with bed and breakfasts. It is the city to stay in for those wishing to explore the Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. The Volcanoes National Park is an hour away from Hilo versus two and a half hours from Kona. Kona has big hotel resorts and is within driving distance of many coffee farms. Most tourists stay on the Kona side of the island. With a rental car staying in Kona affords you the luxury to visit coffee farms, beaches, scenic overlooks, and petroglyphs. Not to mention go shopping and explore the historic districts of Kailua Village and Kainaliu.

Kona International Airport - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Kona International Airport

Kona International Airport

Kona International Airport is a tiny outdoor airport. Exiting your plane and feeling the warm island breeze is a great Hawaiian welcome. It’s not a perfect greeting when it’s raining so whether you are landing or waiting to leave keep an umbrella handy just in case. If you are renting a car follow the signs to the rental car van pick up location. You’ll be on your way to the rental car agency in no time. The airport has minimal shopping or dining options. When flying out if you plan on arriving early and want to eat at the airport consider bringing a lunch plate with you from a local restaurant.

Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook

Kona Scenic Overlooks

Routes 19 and 11 will be your primary highway arteries as you navigate the Kona coast. Each route has a scenic overlook worth the stop. On Route 19 the Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point is a great place to view Kiholo Bay and the surrounding lava fields. On Route 11 is the Kona Coast Scenic Overlook. Besides the ocean view you will find the Ohi’a Lava Tube Caves. This historic preserve of lava tubes run underneath the ground from the spot of the overlook to the ocean. Although access to the tubes is off-limits the lava rock and ocean in the distance make for striking photos.

Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve

Kona Sights and Shopping

Close to the Waikoloa Beach Resorts is part of the Ala Loa Trail, or Kings Trail. This trail, once used for horse travel, leads travelers to the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve. At the Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve you will find ancient rock carvings on sacred land. Visitors must stay on the well-marked trails, as tourists may not walk or climb on the sacred rocks. The trails are not paved so wear comfortable and sturdy shoes. Besides petroglyphs you will see cave shelters and rock shelters. For those staying at the Waikoloa Beach Resorts you will access the Kings Trail and Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve by foot. Visitors from other hotels may park at the nearby Queens’ Market Place or Kings’ Shops. Shoppers will want to spend time exploring the stores and restaurants offered at both the Queens’ Market Place and Kings’ Shops.

Mokuaikaua Church - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Mokuaikaua Church

Kona Historic Districts

The historic district of Kailua Village Kona is off Ali’I Drive. Ali’I Drive is where the Ironman Triathlon competition starts and finishes.   Kailua Village and Ali’I Drive have two historical buildings. Visitors will pass by the Huliheʻe Palace, a museum that was once a vacation home for Hawaiian royalty. Close by is Hawaii’s first church on the islands, Mokuaikaua Church. Visitors stroll along Ali’I Drive while enjoying the waterfront and exploring the various stores and restaurants. Kona’s Farmers Market is a favorite tourist stop with over forty vendors selling souvenirs, flowers, and fresh fruits.

Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store, Dirty Balls - Milk Chocolate Covered Mac Nuts - Kealakekua, Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store, Dirty Balls – Milk Chocolate Covered Mac Nuts

Another nearby historic district is Kainaliu off Route 11. Kainaliu is an old plantation town that is now home to specialty stores and restaurants. A popular store is the Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store. The store sells packets of various chocolate covered macadamia nuts named by using puns. You’ll find the labels on the packaging either hilarious or offensive. Puns aside the chocolate covered macadamia nuts inside the packages are delicious morsels that make for great souvenirs. Besides sweets The Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store sells a variety of BBQ rubs, packaged in the same witty style as the macadamia nuts.

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Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii

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Mauna Kea: 19.820611, -155.468094
Hilo Airport: 19.718834, -155.041687
Kona International Airport: 19.736916, -156.042925
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: 19.419370, -155.288497
Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point: 19.841805, -155.921574
Kona Coast Scenic Overlook and Ohi\'a Lava Tube Caves: 19.574186, -155.958996
Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve: 19.916992, -155.880135
Queens\' Market Place: 19.913617, -155.880590
Kings\' Shops: 19.916323, -155.882090
Kailua Village Kona: 19.637090, -155.990203
Huliheʻe Palace: 19.639334, -155.994352
Mokuaikaua Church: 19.639574, -155.993832
Kona Farmers Market: 19.637065, -155.991840
Kainaliu: 19.533105, -155.926751
Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store: 19.531545, -155.925824
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Mauna Kea
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Mauna Kea, Hawaii County, HI, United States
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Hilo Airport
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hilo Airport, Kekuanaoa Street, Hilo, HI, United States
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Kona International Airport
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kona International Airport, Kupipi Street, Kona, HI, United States
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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI, United States
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Kiholo Bay Scenic Overlook Point
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kīholo Bay, North Kona, HI, United States
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Kona Coast Scenic Overlook and Ohi'a Lava Tube Caves
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Keauhou, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Waikoloa Petroglyph Preserve
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Waikoloa Petroglyph Reserve, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Queens' Market Place
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Queens' MarketPlace, Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Kings' Shops
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kings' Shops, Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
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Kailua Village Kona
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kailua Village, Kuakini Highway, Kona, HI, United States
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Huliheʻe Palace
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Hulihe‘e Palace, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Mokuaikaua Church
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Mokuaikaua Church, Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Kona Farmers Market
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kona Farmers Market, Ali'i Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Kainaliu
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Kainaliu Union, Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI, United States
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Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store
Introduction to the Big Island of Hawaii
Original Donkey Balls Factory and Store., Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, HI, United States

 

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Hong Kong Eats: Part Two

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In part one of our “Hong Kong Eats” series we highlighted seven privately owned restaurants serving delicious dishes to locals and tourists alike. In part two we explore eating options of restaurant chains and street vendors. As the restaurant chains have multiple locations throughout Hong Kong you will want to consult the restaurant’s websites for the location closest to you.

Front entrance to an Ippudo in Hong Kong, China

Front entrance to Ippudo

Ramen at an Ippudo in Hong Kong, China

Ramen at Ippudo

Ippudo

In 1985 Ippudo’s first restaurant served tasty ramen dishes to customers in Japan. Ippudo grew in popularity and expanded with restaurants now open in fourteen different countries. In Hong Kong alone you will find six Ippudo restaurants. Ippudo is most famous for its ramen, having won multiple awards for the delicious broth. The menu at Ippudo has a variety of broths you can select from such as tonkotsu, shoyu, and miso. Along with the broth you’ll find various ingredients such as pork, egg, bamboo, seaweed, and noodles. The flavor combinations of the broth and ingredients make a bowl of Ippudo ramen very satisfying and one of the best ramen bowls you can get without traveling to Japan.

A cup of coffee at a Pacific Coffee in Hong Kong, China

A cup of coffee at Pacific Coffee

Logo for Pacific Coffee - Hong Kong, China

Logo for Pacific Coffee

Pacific Coffee

Pacific Coffee has coffeehouses not only in Hong Kong but Macau, Mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cyprus. Hong Kong alone has over 100 Pacific Coffee locations so chances are you’ll pass by one of these coffeehouses during your visit. When entering a Pacific Coffee you may get a distinct United States Pacific Northwest vibe from the decor. This is because the founder of Pacific Coffee was from Seattle, Washington. Similar to coffeehouses in the United States or Europe you can come to a Pacific Coffee and buy a cup of java and a pastry or sandwich. If you need caffeine to start your day or need somewhere where you can recharge after sightseeing, the place to go is Pacific Coffee.

Fish balls in sauce sold by a street vendor in Hong Kong, China

Fish balls in sauce sold by a street vendor

Eggettes from a street vendor in Hong Kong, China

Eggettes from a street vendor

Street Vendors

Throughout the streets of Hong Kong you will find food stands selling local snacks. These food stands are saviors if you need a quick bite to eat on the go. A variety of foods sell at these stands, such as chicken skewers or skewers with fish balls slathered in curry sauce. You can buy steamed buns filled with BBQ pork or steamed buns filled with lotus paste for those with a sweet tooth. There are carts that sell mochi that you can buy filled with fruits such as mango, kiwi, or durian. Other desserts include the Hong Kong style waffle snack called eggettes, or the dim sum favorite of egg custard tarts. Vendors may sell fruit juices made of real fruits such as peach, orange, and pineapple. These same vendors will sell milk teas filled with red bean, grass jelly, bubble tea pearls, or taro. Please note that the above-mentioned food stands will most likely only accept cash as payment.

Baked buns with BBQ pork at a Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, China

Baked buns with BBQ pork at Tim Ho Wan

Ha Jiao (steamed fresh shrimp dumplings) at a Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, China

Ha Jiao (steamed fresh shrimp dumplings) at Tim Ho Wan

Shao Mai (steamed pork dumplings with shrimp) at a Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, China

Shao Mai (steamed pork dumplings with shrimp) at Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan

A trip to Hong Kong isn’t complete without at least one dim sum meal. Dim sum refers to bite sized food portions served on small plates or in steamer baskets. Places that serve good dim sum can get crowded in particular on the weekends so arrive early if you don’t want to wait for a table. A well-liked dim sum chain is Tim Ho Wan. Tim Ho Wan has locations in seven countries. Hong Kong alone is home to five Tim Ho Wan restaurants. You can’t make reservations for Tim Ho Wan and the lines form the moment they open their doors. So if you plan to eat at a Tim Ho Wan arrive early. Once seated, you will find a paper menu with boxes you check next to the dishes you want to order. Steamed and deep-fried selections tantalize your taste buds and make choosing what to order very difficult. Popular dishes include the baked buns with BBQ pork, Ha Jiao (steamed fresh shrimp dumplings), and Shao Mai (steamed pork dumplings with shrimp).

Front entrance to a Triple O's in Hong Kong, China

Front entrance to Triple O’s

Hamburger at a Triple O's in Hong Kong, China

Hamburger at Triple O’s

Triple O’s

Triple O’s hails from Canada and is the place to visit if you’ve got a craving for Western style fast-food restaurants. Six Triple O’s are located throughout Hong Kong. The Triple O hamburger is bursting with a large beef patty, lettuce, tomato, and their signature sauce. On top of the hamburger bun you’ll find a thin slice of pickle. Just as any other fast-food restaurant you can order sodas and french fries to go with your hamburger. Unlike other fast-food joints Triple O’s will sometimes serve specialty burgers such as one filled with peanut butter, bacon, and jalapeno. If you’re feeling adventurous try one of the specialty burgers!

Breakfast at a Tsui Wah in Hong Kong, China

Breakfast at Tsui Wah

Front entrance to a Tsui Wah in Hong Kong, China

Front entrance to Tsui Wah

Tsui Wah

Tsui Wah is a Hong Kong style cafe serving traditional Hong Kong dishes. Established in 1967 Tsui Wah now has over thirty locations throughout Hong Kong. Tsui Wah’s dishes include roasted and barbeque meat selections, vermicelli soups, traditional Asian fried noodles and rice dishes, and grilled steak or pork. Tsui Wah is a great place to go to for breakfast with popular breakfast items such as crispy buns with sweet condensed milk and pineapple bun with butter. Both breakfast options come with your choice of coffee, tea, or milk tea. Besides locations in the city Tsui Wah is found within the airport terminal. Out of the food options at the airport Tsui Wah is one of the busiest and most popular but the order line moves at a quick pace. Tsui Wah at the airport is a great place to grab a snack or a meal before your flight. The eatery is near other dining options so plenty of seating is available. Keep in mind that you can ask for your food to go if you want to take it on board the plane.

 

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Eat Your Way Through Portland

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Portland is a food lover’s paradise. There are so many varieties of cuisine throughout the city for you to indulge your stomach. From fusions to classics to new age there’s a dish for everyone. After visiting Portland when your stomach grumbles you’ll know what it’s trying to say is, “take me back to Portland, I want to eat!”

Portland Mornings

Voodoo doll doughnut at Voodoo Doughnut - Portland, Oregon

Voodoo doll doughnut at Voodoo Doughnut

A motto of Portland’s is “Keep Portland Weird”. A way to experience that weirdness both in visual form and with your taste buds is by stopping over at Voodoo Doughnut. Visitors line up early at either of Voodoo Doughnut’s two Portland locations to buy theses tasty pastries. Both locations open late so you can satisfy your doughnut craving from morning to night. There are over fifty doughnuts to choose from and the doughnuts run the gamut from the extreme to the classics. The namesake doughnut is the “Voodoo Doll” doughnut. This doughnut is in the shape of a person with a pretzel stick jutting out just as a pin on an actual voodoo doll. Another fan favorite is the “Bacon Maple Bar” doughnut. Other popular items are the various cereal-topped doughnuts such as “Captain my Captain” (Captain Crunch) or “The Loop” (Fruit Loops).  Keep in mind that transactions are cash only, so bring money and not your credit cards. The original location, Voodoo Doughnut ONE, is next to Caffe Vita. Caffe Vita is a coffee stand that serves coffee and other beverages for those needing a drink to go with the doughnuts.

Breakfast at Pine State Biscuits - Portland, Oregon

Breakfast at Pine State Biscuits

For those that prefer a heartier meal head over to Pine State Biscuits for breakfast. Fresh buttermilk biscuits can be ordered plain, with a spread such as jam, or as a sandwich. The biscuit sandwiches include a breakfast favorite made with biscuit, cheese, egg, and your choice of meat (bacon, country ham, sausage, fried chicken, or steak). Other biscuit sandwiches include a chicken club and a BBQ biscuit, meaning you could eat at Pine State Biscuit for each meal of the day.

Portland Food Trucks

Waffle from Gaufre Gourmet - Portland, Oregon

Waffle from Gaufre Gourmet

In Europe every Christmas a multitude of cities break out market stalls serving such delicacies as mulled wines, warm dishes with cheeses as its main ingredients, and desserts a plenty. The problem is that these markets only appear in December. In Portland food stalls are open every month of the year. Although these stalls are stationary and don’t truck anywhere they are called food trucks. There are plenty of choices to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Sprawled throughout the city in clusters no one food truck is the same. You may find the same style of cuisine, for instance, a few Vietnamese food trucks. Except each truck must offer something different from its regional cuisine neighbor. This means that one Vietnamese truck may sell pho while the other focuses on selling only rice plates. Ensuring no two food trucks are alike means so many choices your stomach may get full just thinking of the sheer enormity of everything it could consume. The best thing to do is to dig right in and pick whatever fits your fancy. One example of a great food truck is The Gaufre Gourmet. They serve up a Belgian style waffle that will satisfy your sweet or savory tooth.

Portland Dining

Seoul Sliders at KOi Fusion - Portland, Oregon

Seoul Sliders at KOi Fusion

For those that prefer to sit while eating Portland offers great restaurant choices. KOi Fusion has both food truck locations and indoor locations. One of their indoor locations is shared with a couple other eateries and has plenty of seating available. KOi Fusion serves up Mexican-Korean fusion dishes that rival similar food trucks and restaurants found in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Choose from tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and even sliders. These dishes are made with your choice of meats such as bulgogi, kalbi, chicken, or pork. The “Seoul Sliders” with bulgogi BBQ beef on a soft bread bun with zesty coleslaw is a feast for the senses.

Burger and Fries at Lardo - Portland, Oregon

Burger and Fries at Lardo

For the hog fanatic, Lardo serves up an assortment of hog cuts on scrumptious bread rolls filled with fancy spreads. These aren’t your average sandwiches with offerings such as the “Double Burger” made with porkstrami. Lardo’s menu includes a “Pork Meatball Banh Mi” and a “Griddled Mortadella” sandwich with provolone. Lardo’s “Pho’rench Dip” sandwich is made from the same ingredients found in a bowl of Vietnamese pho. If you are looking for a classic sandwich order the “Porchetta” sandwich. There are three Lardo locations in Portland each of which serves up various sandwiches, fries, and beers.

Chicken wings at Pok Pok - Portland, Oregon

Chicken wings at Pok Pok

Those wishing for more of a romantic dinner setting will want to eat at Toro Bravo. The ambience is low light and the wood tables evoke a warm and comforting vibe. With a rotating menu of Spanish style tapas it’s possible to never have the same meal at Toro Bravo twice. Another great restaurant worth making time for is Pok Pok. This restaurant serves a variety of Thai dishes. The restaurant staple is their chicken wings a dish that has become so popular that travelers come to Portland just to eat them.

Portland Drinks

Beer tasting flight at Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) - Portland, Oregon

Beer tasting flight at Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB)

With so much food consumption one undertakes in Portland it makes for a thirst that must be quenched. Portland doesn’t disappoint in that regard either, having many coffee shops, ranging from chains and local joints. Besides coffee Portland is home to more breweries than any other city in the entire world. With so many to choose from selecting just one brewery to visit is hard. If you have to a good choice is HUB, which stands for Hopworks Urban Brewery. What sets HUB apart is that is serves organic beers at both of their two locations. An item on the beer menu is their flight of ten beers, a way to sample the various beers brewed by HUB. HUB is not just for adults but a place you can bring the whole family. Their locations include a restaurant that serves pub fare such as chicken wings, burgers, and pizzas.

View of the surrounding area of De Ponte Cellars - Dayton, Oregon

View of the surrounding area of De Ponte Cellars

Besides beer Oregon is well known for the wine produced in the state. In just over an hour from the city center of Portland you will find a few of Oregon’s best wineries. Top wineries include De Ponte Cellars, Domaine Drouhin, and WillaKenzie Estate. At each of these locations you’ll find full-bodied pinots and crisp whites wines. These wines are sipped in tasting rooms that overlook gorgeous views of vineyards, trees, and on cloud free days even Mount Hood. The tall magnificent trees that are found throughout the Pacific Northwest adds a special quality to the experience of wine tasting in Oregon. You won’t see trees of this kind wine tasting in places such as Napa or the Loire Valley, so soak it in during your visit.

 

 

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Portland, Oregon

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Portland Building: 45.515663, -122.678500
Pearl District: 45.530209, -122.681204
Downtown, Portland: 45.513454, -122.680134
Pioneer Courthouse Square: 45.518300, -122.678905
Chinatown Gates: 45.523512, -122.674157
Washington Park: 45.512640, -122.712736
International Rose Garden: 45.518951, -122.705273
Portland Japanese Garden: 45.519136, -122.706780
Multnomah Falls: 45.576160, -122.115776
Wahkeena Falls: 45.574181, -122.127430
Vista House on Crown Point: 45.539579, -122.244446
Voodoo Doughnut ONE (original location): 45.522621, -122.673111
Caffe Vita: 45.522447, -122.672914
Pine State Biscuits: 45.558886, -122.642744
Gaufre Gourmet: 45.521057, -122.680316
KOi Fusion: 45.450419, -122.781197
Lardo: 45.522021, -122.683540
Toro Bravo: 45.540813, -122.663611
Pok Pok: 45.504565, -122.632159
Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB): 45.496893, -122.634884
De Ponte Cellars: 45.262715, -123.058269
Domaine Drouhin: 45.265540, -123.055634
WillaKenzie Estate: 45.360877, -123.137926
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Portland Building
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Portland Building, Portland, OR, United States
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Pearl District
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Pearl District, Portland, OR, United States
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Downtown, Portland
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Downtown, Portland, OR, United States
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Pioneer Courthouse Square
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland, OR, United States
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Chinatown Gates
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Chinatown Gates Portland, Northwest 4th Avenue, Portland, OR, United States
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Washington Park
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Natural Portland

Washington Park, Portland, OR, United States
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International Rose Garden
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Natural Portland

International Rose Test Garden, Southwest Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR, United States
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Portland Japanese Garden
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Natural Portland

Portland Japanese Garden, Southwest Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR, United States
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Multnomah Falls
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Natural Portland

Multnomah Falls, Multnomah County, OR, United States
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Wahkeena Falls
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Natural Portland

Wahkeena Falls, Multnomah County, OR, United States
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Vista House on Crown Point
Portland: Keeping it Normal
Natural Portland

Vista House, Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett, OR, United States
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Voodoo Doughnut ONE (original location)
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Voodoo Doughnut, Southwest 3rd Avenue, Portland, OR, United States
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Caffe Vita
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Caffe Vita, Southwest 3rd Avenue, Portland, OR, United States
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Pine State Biscuits
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Pine State Biscuits Alberta, Northeast Alberta Street, Portland, OR, United States
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Gaufre Gourmet
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Gaufre Gourmet, Southwest 9th Avenue, Portland, OR, United States
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KOi Fusion
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Washington Square, Southwest Washington Square Road, Portland, OR, United States
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Lardo
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Lardo, Southwest Washington Street, Portland, OR, United States
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Toro Bravo
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Toro Bravo, Northeast Russell Street, Portland, OR, United States
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Pok Pok
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Pok Pok, Southeast Division Street, Portland, OR, United States
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Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB)
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Hopworks Urban Brewery, Southeast Powell Boulevard, Portland, OR, United States
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De Ponte Cellars
Eat Your Way Through Portland
De Ponte Cellars, Northeast Archery Summit Road, Dayton, OR, United States
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Domaine Drouhin
Eat Your Way Through Portland
Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Dayton, OR, United States
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WillaKenzie Estate
Eat Your Way Through Portland
WillaKenzie Estate, Northeast Laughlin Road, Yamhill, OR, United States

 

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