The Seaside Restaurant
They serve a nice variety of locally raised and/or caught fish (the aholehole and mullet are farm raised) at reasonable prices. Come early if you would like to enjoy the vistas of the surrounding lake and watch the herons perched on the nearby tree, each hoping for a little farm-fed fish of their own. If you arrive later, call first and make reservations as they fill up quickly.
The Seaside Restaurant: 1790 Kalanianaole, Hilo; (808) 935-8825.
The Hilo Bay Cafe
Located in the Walmart shopping center, the Hilo Bay Cafe is great for casual dining with an emphasis on local organic fare. The pork chops and the ravioli are favorites. There is also a food court next door for the budget conscious.
The Hilo Bay Cafe: 123 Lihiwai St, Hilo, HI 96720; (808) 935-4939
Ken’s House of Pancakes
At the corner of the Hawaii Belt Road and Kamehameha, Ken's serves very reasonably priced meals in large portions and is occasionally visited by Dwayne Douglas Johnson of "Scorpion King" fame; his autograph is on the wall . My favorite is the teriyaki ribeye but the sumo-sized saimin noodles and the tripe stew are local favorites. Come early as Ken's is really popular.
Ken's House of Pancakes: 1730 Kamehameha Ave.; (808) 935-8711.
Uncle Billy’s Fish & Steak House
If you would like some entertainment along with your dinner, Uncle Billy's has local singers performing Hawaiian tunes accompanied by the most graceful hula dancers around. The menu is delicious as well. Follow up that dinner with some Haupia (coconut milk) ice cream at Uncle Billy's Store next door.
Uncle Billy's Fish & Steak House: 87 Banyan Drive, Hilo; (808) 935-0861.
Finally, if fusion cuisine in a casual setting tickles your fancy, Cafe Pesto serves up some of the best food Hilo has to offer in a downtown Hilo setting. Also, their poki salad is the best. (Seafood Risotto shown above)
Café Pesto: 308 Kamehameha Ave., Hilo; (808) 969-6640.