Hawaiian Food Companies on the Big Island

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Traditional restaurants and eateries aren’t the only food experiences available on the Big Island of Hawaii. Three Hawaiian food companies have sites on the island open to visitors. Each of the Hawaiian food companies mass produce their products for sale on the islands and export them to other parts of the world. By visiting these Hawaiian food companies in person one can learn the secrets behind producing these foods. This article explores the Hawaiian food companies of Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company, Kona Brewing Company, and Punalu’u Bake Shop.

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company - Kawaihae, HI, USA

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company

Flavoring Panner at Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company - Kawaihae, HI

Flavoring Panner at Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company

Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company

Macadamia nuts are as synonymous with the Hawaiian Islands as pineapples. Established in 1994, Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company brings macadamia nuts to the masses. Visitors to this Hawaiian food company’s cannery will see machinery and assembly lines used to bundle the macadamia related products Hamakua sells. Behind glass pane windows visitors witness first hand as Hamakua employees work on macadamia nuts in various stages. Visitors see macadamia nuts being weighed, in flavoring pans, and vacuum sealed in cans. Besides viewing these assembly lines visitors can sample a variety of macadamia nuts. Samples include both regular and flavored macadamia nuts. Be sure to visit the Hamakua gift shop to buy your favorite macadamia nuts, macadamia nut cookies, and macadamia nut brittle.

Kona Brewing Company - Kailua-Kona, HI

Kona Brewing Company

Beer at Kona Brewing Company - Kailua-Kona, HI

Beer at Kona Brewing Company

Kona Brewing Company

As the lone liquid food on this list, the Kona Brewing Company is a Hawaiian food company specializing in handcrafted beers. Their brewery is in the city of Kailua-Kona and offers daily tours. The tours include a history of the Kona Brewing Company. During the tour visitors learn the techniques behind brewing beer. At the end of the tour visitors have the chance to sample the beers. After the brewery consider retiring next door to the Kona Brewing Company restaurant. At the restaurant patrons can drink glasses of beer while eating traditional pub fare. The Growler Shack is between the brewery and the restaurant. Here you can buy growlers or kegs for home consumption. The growlers are half-gallon glass jugs that make for a great souvenir. Kona Brewing Company sells a standard rotation of beers including their popular Longboard Lager and Big Wave Golden Ale. Kona Brewing Company sells their standard beers in grocery stores throughout the United States and around the world. In addition to the standard beers Kona Brewing Company brews seasonal beers. Visiting the Kona Brewing Company in person allows you to sample these unique beers.

Punalu`u Bake Shop - Naalehu, HI

Punalu`u Bake Shop

Taro Sweetbread Rolls from Punalu`u Bake Shop - Naalehu, HI

Taro Sweetbread Rolls from Punalu`u Bake Shop

Punalu’u Bake Shop

It turns out that the southernmost bakery in the United States is on the Big Island of Hawaii. The bakery is Punalu’u and the Punalu’u Bake Shop is in the city of Naalehu. To reach Naalehu visitors to the Big Island will need a rental car. The drive to Naalehu takes 90-minutes from either the city centers of Kona or Hilo. Visitors to the Punalu’u Bake Shop get to try samples of the bakery’s famous Hawaiian Sweetbread. The traditional Hawaiian Sweetbread made by Punalu’u Bake Shop is soft and fluffy. The specialty rolls Punalu’u Bake Shop bakes are delicious. For a real island treat sample the Taro Sweetbread. The premises of the Punalu’u Bake Shop include the visitor’s center, retail bakery, gift shop, and a restaurant. The facilities at Punalu’u Bake Shop will entice those traveling from Kona to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Punalu’u Bake Shop is midway along that journey on Highway 11 and a great place to refuel.

 

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Hawaiian Food Companies - Big Island

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Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company: 20.049097, -155.835638
Kona Brewing Company: 19.643110, -155.997546
Punalu’u Bake Shop: 19.061248, -155.585891
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Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company
Hawaiian Food Companies on the Big Island
Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co Inc, Maluokalani Street, Waimea, HI, United States
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Kona Brewing Company
Hawaiian Food Companies on the Big Island
Kona Brewing Co, Pawai Place, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
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Punalu’u Bake Shop
Hawaiian Food Companies on the Big Island
Punalu`u Bake Shop, Mamalahoa Highway, Naalehu, HI, United States

 

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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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Big Island Eats in Kawaihae

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Kawaihae is a tiny port town on the Big Island of Hawaii. Located thirty-five miles north of Kailua-Kona, Kawaihae is known for surfing, art galleries, and restaurants. This small town boasts four of the best eateries on the entire island. Café Pesto, Kawaihae Kitchen, and Kohala Burger & Taco are in the Kawaihae Shopping Center. Original Big Island Shave Ice is less than half a mile away from the Kawaihae Shopping Center. With so many wonderful eateries within reach of one another it’ll be hard not to eat at each of them in the same day.

Café Pesto

On the first floor of the Kawaihae Shopping Center, Café Pesto serves up what they refer to as “creative island cuisine”. This sit-down restaurant can get busy but takes reservations. Café Pesto is open every day for lunch and dinner. Their menu includes soups, pastas, pizzas, and island inspired dishes. Those struggling to decide what to order should try the Crispy Coconut Crusted Calamari. This appetizer comes with a honey mustard-mango dipping sauce that balances well with the squid. For your main course the Pacific Island Seafood Risotto is an opportunity to sample a variety of fresh local seafood. If your stomach has any room left at the end of the meal for dessert you can’t go wrong with the Macadamia Nut Cookie.

Kawaihae Kitchen

Those with a craving for Hawaiian style lunch plates just have to go to Kawaihae Kitchen. The easiest way to approach Kawaihae Kitchen’s menu is to focus on the three main parts of the menu. Choose from a category marked either plate lunch, rice bowls, or bentos boxed lunch items. For the plate lunch you have options such as chicken katsu or shrimp tempura. Each plate lunch comes with rice and Hawaiian macaroni salad. The rice bowls include the same options as the plate lunch as well as an ahi bowl. With the ahi bowl you get fresh local ahi fish piled on top of rice, along with avocado, cucumber, and lettuce. The ahi bowl is refreshing and delicious. Whichever choice you go with your order will be to go. Kawaihae Kitchen is a takeout eatery with only seating for a couple of people inside their tiny establishment. For those needing to eat on site the Kawaihae Shopping Center has a few benches available on which you can sit and eat your meal.

Kohala Burger & Taco

When dining in Hawaii you tend to notice that many meals are fusion style dishes. These dishes pick from a few different cuisines to create a tasty blend. That’s why a fish taco joint in Hawaii isn’t so far-fetched of an idea. With the fresh caught seafood available daily fish tacos on the island are fantastic. What you don’t expect to find in the Hawaiian Islands is a good burger. Kohala Burger & Taco is a great place for both fish tacos and burgers using local grass-fed beef. When eating the burger the grass-fed beef dissolves in your mouth. The burgers come with a ¼lb patty on a brioche bun. Their famous fish tacos are made with local fish and wrapped in warm tortillas. Cap off your meal with a Dole Pineapple Whip for dessert.

Original Big Island Shave Ice

For the best shaved ice on the Big Island head to Original Big Island Shave Ice. This stationary food truck is family owned and operated. Begin your order by selecting either the small or regular sized cup. Once you’ve decided on the size you will choose which ice cream you want in the center of the ice. You can pick up to three flavors of syrup to pour over the ice. The syrups contain natural ingredients using recipes passed down within the family from generation to generation. The syrups and the ice melt in your mouth, causing a burst of deliciousness for your taste buds. You can even add toppings such as gummy bears or mochi. Enjoy your shave ice cone while sitting on the benches next to the food truck.

 

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Kawaihae Eats

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Cafe Pesto: 20.038872, -155.829890
Kawaihae Kitchen: 20.038968, -155.829971
Kohala Burger and Taco: 20.039083, -155.829863
Original Big Island Shave Ice: 20.037341, -155.826791
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Cafe Pesto
Big Island Eats in Kawaihae
Cafe Pesto, Hawaii 270, Kawaihae, HI, United States
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Kawaihae Kitchen
Big Island Eats in Kawaihae
Kawaihae Kitchen, Akoni Pule Highway, Waimea, HI, United States
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Kohala Burger and Taco
Big Island Eats in Kawaihae
Kohala Burger & Taco, Kawaihae, HI, United States
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Original Big Island Shave Ice
Big Island Eats in Kawaihae
Original Big Island Shave Ice Co, Inc, Kawaihae Road, Waimea, 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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Big Island Beaches

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The beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii are as picturesque and popular as the beaches found in the state’s other islands. Travelers staying on the Kona side of the Big Island have three distinct beaches they should plan to visit. Three Big Island beaches worth soaking up the sun’s rays at are Anaehoʻomalu Bay, Hapuna Beach, and Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park.

Anaehoʻomalu Bay - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Anaehoʻomalu Bay stretches along the west coast of the Big Island. A section of the Bay connects to the Waikoloa Resorts, including the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. With portions of Anaehoʻomalu Bay being attached to the Waikoloa Resorts the Bay is often referred to as Waikoloa Beach. The part of Anaehoʻomalu Bay that is closest to the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa includes an inlet of water. Between the inlet and the Pacific Ocean is a stretch of sand for beachgoers to enjoy.   The contrast of the Bay along with the Pacific Ocean and the narrow stretch of sand provides a perfect setting for photos. In fact, the entire Anaehoʻomalu Bay is a great place to view the magical sunsets of Hawaii. Near the beach Anaehoʻomalu Bay has trails that lead through lava rock. Among the lava rock are tide pools and petroglyphs. Any time you see ancient petroglyphs you know you are on sacred land and should not step on those rocks. Enjoy your time at Anaehoʻomalu Bay by strolling through the lava rock trails or relaxing on the beach.

Anaehoʻomalu Bay - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Sunset at Anaehoʻomalu Bay - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Sunset at Anaehoʻomalu Bay

Hapuna Beach

The Northwest coast of the Big Island is home to the Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area. As one of the few actual white sand Big Island beaches, Hapuna Beach is popular with locals and tourists. The white sand is so soft that beachgoers find it hard to leave Hapuna Beach. Since Hapuna Beach is popular arrive early if you want to claim a spot to lounge on for the duration of the day. Besides sand Hapuna Beach offers picnic tables for those who might bring their own food and wish to eat while watching the Pacific Ocean waves. Although the beach now is only for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking the beach has an interesting history. The military conducted training sessions on Hapuna Beach during World War II. Even to this day due to these training sessions sometimes pieces of old ordnance, or artillery, will wash up on shore. Warning signs even great visitors to Hapuna Beach alerting them of the possibility of unexploded ordnance. Sweeps for ordnance occur on a routine basis ever since the military ceased training sessions on Hapuna Beach. If in the rare case that you find a piece of ordnance do not touch it. Contact the authorities by calling 911 and let them handle the ordnance.

Hapuna Beach - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Hapuna Beach

Punalu’u Beach

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park is often referred to as Punalu’u Beach or Black Sand Beach. The Punalu’u Beach is on the southern part of the Big Island. Although not on the Kona side of the Big Island the black sand found at this beach make this a worthwhile drive. The drive from central Kona is an hour and forty minutes. Visitors staying in Hilo can reach Punalu’u Beach in an hour and fifteen minutes. Long ago lava flowing into the ocean created the black sand. Around the black sound is lava rock that extends into the ocean. With the lava rock so prominent once you wade into the water you find that the ground is full of rocks. This makes swimming in the Pacific Ocean here a challenge. Besides experiencing the unique black sand, Punalu’u Beach is home to sea turtles. The sea turtles are an endangered species and protected by state and federal law. This means that people may not disturb the sea turtles. Visitors must stay at least 25 feet away from the turtles. You may take photos of the turtles but do not engage these rare creatures. Leave the turtles to bask in the sun and enjoy the nature along with them.

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach Park - Big Island, Hawaii, USA

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park

 

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Big Island Beaches

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Anaehoomalu Bay: 19.916124, -155.893224
Hapuna Beach: 19.990617, -155.825596
Punaluu Black Sand Beach: 19.136057, -155.505065
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Anaehoomalu Bay
Big Island Beaches
Anaehoomalu Bay, Puako, HI, United States
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Hapuna Beach
Big Island Beaches
Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Waimea, HI, United States
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Punaluu Black Sand Beach
Big Island Beaches
Punaluu Black Sand Beach Park, Pahala, 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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