View of Hamakua Coast | Photo by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Heather Goodman

View of Hamakua Coast | Photo by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Heather Goodman

Best Places To Eat In Waimea & Hamakua

Jessica Rohr

In Waimea and Hamakua you’ll find some of the most recognized food-stops on the Big Island.

Enjoy local flavors and fresh ingredients for any meal of the day as you explore the island’s northern side. 

These are some of the best places to eat on the northern side of the Island of Hawai‘i!

Big Island Brewhaus

Cost: $$-$$$
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Hours: Sunday 12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Monday – Saturday 11:00 am-8:30 pm
Address: 64-1066 Mamalahoa Hwy, Waimea,
Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-7309

Features a menu carefully pieced together with locally sourced ingredients. Along with items like Chile Relleno and the Brewhaus Green Chili Burger, they also serve their Cumin Roasted Kabocha Squash and other delicious, vegetable-based dishes. As their name suggests, they also serve a selection of craft beers.


Fresh lobster tails displayed on a wooden board.Merriman’s

Cost: $$$$
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Hours: Sunday – Saturday 11:30 am-2:00 pm
Sunday – Saturday 5:00 pm-9:00 pm
Address: 65-1227 Opelo Rd, Opelo Plaza, Waimea,
Island of Hawaii, HI 96743-8401

A fine dining experience noted for its regional cuisine, Merriman’s dishes are made with local produce, fish, and livestock.

The authentic Hawaiian country atmosphere and hospitality are a delight. Try mouth-watering dishes like the fresh macadamia-nut-encrusted fish and the grass-fed steaks.

They also have an extensive wine selection. Lunch is a more casual atmosphere with affordable lunch prices.

At dinner time, the restaurant is more upscale. Also, don’t miss the live music at happy hour on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! 

Merriman’s has restaurants on every island which are known to be some of the best places to eat in the Aloha State.

Tex Drive-In

A plate with a sandwich and tater tots, a classic combination of a meal.Tex Drive In

Cost: $
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Hours: Sunday – Saturday 6:00 am-8:00 pm
Address: 45-690 Pakalana St., Honokaa, HI 96727

Located in Honoka‘a on the Hamakua Coast. At Tex Drive In, you can dig into a hot, gravy-licious loco moco and finish up with a guava malasada!

Tex serves options for every meal; their menu ranges from wraps to chili cheese fries. Enjoy their “ono kine grindz” on the open-air patio, overlooking the ocean.

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Sea DandeLion Cafe and Awa Bar

A plate with a dessert and a flower on top, creating a visually appealing and appetizing treat.Sea DandeLion Cafe and Awa Bar

Cost: $$
Accepts Credit Cards: No
Hours: Monday 11:45 am-6:00 am | Tuesday 11:30 am-4:15 pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 11:45 am-6:00 pm | Friday 4:30 pm-9:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 pm-6:00 pm | Sunday 12:00 pm-3:45 pm
Address: 45-3590 Mamane St., Honokaa, HI 96727

Friendly service and fresh-from-the-garden ingredients make this cafe a special treat. Vegans and vegetarians will love their items like Superfood Sliders and Vegan Poke.

And don’t forget to try the vegan Coco Cocoa Shake and the Banana Mac-Nutta! For a cultural experience, try the awa, or kava, a traditional beverage from the Pacific Islands known for its mood-enhancing effects.

Donna’s Cookies

A variety of cookies and a slice of cake arranged together on a plate.Donna’s Cookies
Cost: $
Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Hours: Monday – Friday 6:30 am-2:00 pm
Address: 42-1019 Hawaii Belt Rd Paauilo, HI 96776

One bite of a cookie from this bakery and you’ll be addicted! Let the staff make you feel at home by their cooking assembly line, and try flavors ranging from shortbread to almond to chocolate chip.

It’s one of the best places to eat sweet treats, and they are a Big Island institution!

These are just a few of the best places to grab some great food when you’re out catching some sun on the northern coast. 

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RELATED: Big Island Farmers Markets and Where to Eat Around Volcanoes National Park 

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