Family Friendly Dining in Pahoa and Hilo
I’m not sure that it is possible to find a restaurant that isn’t family friendly in the small town of Pahoa just outside of Hilo. This bohemian town seems to welcome all who pass through it. The main drag is about 4 blocks long. It consists of a few shops, restaurants and a natural food store. It’s easy to see why people come here and never leave. It’s laid back and an easy way to immerse yourself in island life.
We didn’t eat out much while we were staying in Kapoho, just down the road from Pahoa. We did a little take out, hit the farmers market (a must!) and grabbed one nice meal. Our ventures into Hilo turned out about the same; some dessert, the farmers market and breakfast during a downpour. It’s not that Hilo didn’t have some incredible restaurants to explore; it’s just that our rental house was kind of out of the way. We were exhausted after long days exploring and were trying to save a little money cooking at the house. Plus I had bought so much produce in Hilo we had to finish it up before we left the island.
All that said, here are our family friendly finds when it comes to dining in Pahoa and Hilo.
- Pahoa Farmers Market Hands down my favorite farmers market on the island. We met a ton of locals and got some great tips on which vendors had the best produce. I experienced chili nirvana with a chicken and white bean chili with a scoop of rice served up by the owner of Pothead Soups. I had to keep fighting Dek for the last bite.
- Boogie Woogie Pizza Half cheese/half pepperoni for $14? Not bad for the island. Pizza was OK. Not the best I’ve had, but certainly not the worst. It was ready to pick up about 30 minutes after we ordered with no problem, something other reviewers have complained about in the past.
- Kaleo’s By far the fanciest spot we ate in on the entire island. The menu was inventive with offerings like macadamia and blueberry crusted mahi mahi with champagne beurre blank and goat cheese polenta. The food was pretty tasty but the prices were steep, especially for Pahoa.
- Hilo Farmers Market- A must shop spot for all your produce needs. Stock up on fruity snacks and some homemade passion fruit jam while gulping down a fresh coconut juice.
- Ken’s Pancake House A large menu (that’s an understatement) with decent food. The French toast was huge and quite tasty. Lots of local specialties and some you have never even heard of. Saimen or oxtail soup anyone?
- Two Ladies Kitchen If you like mochi then you will love this shop. Get there early. Don’t over order like I did. Grab 2 fresh strawberry mochi (they are huge) and a few other flavors to sample and share with your family.