Top 5 Pet-Friendly Restaurants on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii has become a lot more pet-friendly than it used to be. Where it once took months to get a dog or cat approved to come to Hawaii, now that process has been so streamlined that just about anyone who regularly sees a vet will have minimal issues getting approved and can take their pet straight from the airport to their lodgings and beyond.

So, whether you live on the Big Island or are coming to vacation here, you will enjoy a significantly more dog-friendly culture than what was previously available. Including places to dine with your pooch. Just consider the following list of pet-friendly restaurants on the Big Island of Hawaii:

1. Island Lava Java

Photo Credit by @alfienalec on Instagram

Island Lava Java is a unique spot that is open from early in the morning to fairly last in the evening. This Big Island restaurant bills itself as part coffeehouse, part bakery, and part American bistro, offering a nice array of beverages and light fare to satisfy those looking for a tasty and affordable breakfast, lunch, snack, and even dinner. Plus, for every style of meal and beverage, you will find that Island Lava Java takes Buy Local seriously with their sourcing of beef, lamb, cheese, produce, and coffee locally. In fact, the company itself owns its own small coffee bean operation on a farm not too far from the restaurant side of Island Lava Java.

This restaurant has a massive oceanside patio that offers a spectacular view of Kailua Bay on Hawaii’s western coastline. This patio features plenty of large tables as well as a comfortable horseshoe-shaped bar. 

2. Huggo’s 

Huggo’s is a bit of a historic favorite on the Big Island. Located on the waterfront in Kailua-Kona, this restaurant first opened in 1969 as a casual gathering spot, mainly marketing itself to locals who wanted a good steak, fresh fish, and a cold beer. Naturally, such sensibilities have wide appeal and Huggo’s soon found themselves swimming in booked reservations from locals and tourists. They grew their location, started adding in live acts, and today Huggo’s has become one of the most popular spots on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Yet, while they are incredibly popular and busy and could deny pets, they’ve chosen not to. Huggo’s has retained its simple, classic community charm and has kept its outdoor patio that overlooks the water decidedly dog-friendly. Go here with your pooch and go big with the Huggo’s Signature Teriyaki Steak which features sliced island-style steak that has been marinaded in a delicious homemade teriyaki sauce. This entree comes with local Asian greens and bamboo steamed rice on the side. 

3. On the Rocks

Remember, that above bit where Huggo’s grew because of their popularity? Well, we did mean that in a physical sense. On the Rocks is an extension of the aforementioned Huggo’s restaurant, but they are a bit more casual and focus primarily on cocktails and more small-bite menu items. Here, lounge tables have been placed on a covered patio as well as on the sand itself so that beach-loving diners and cocktail drinkers can quite literally curl their toes in the sand as they enjoy the view, the menu, and, of course, the entertainment. On the Rocks has built a small entertainment stage at the water’s edge for some spectacular musical experiences. 

As with Huggo’s On the Rocks welcomes pets throughout the lounge area (no part of the dining area has walls up). Best of all, there’s a nice open yard area just to the right of this business that makes it easy to give a pet who’s been sitting a long time a bit of a stretch before or after dining. 

4. Poi Dog Deli

It’s a crime that not every business that has the word “dog” in it is dog-friendly. But Poi Dog Deli won’t disappoint you in this manner. Poi Dog Deli is locally owned and operated by a family that loves traveling. Inside, you’ll find the walls filled with memorabilia from those places traveled and inspiration sources for many of the items on this restaurant’s menu. In fact, the name “Poi Dog” is a local term used to describe a person or pup of mixed backgrounds. That’s exactly what this place is.

Poi Dog Deli is a small sandwich shop that is tucked within a small shopping center on the northern outskirts of Kailua-Kona. They do have several tables set in front of the store where patrons can enjoy their hot or cold Poi Dog Deli sandwiches with their own dog. They even have a good selection of bottled and canned beer and one of the island’s best Happy Hour specials from 3 to 5 pm. 

5. Ola Brew – Hilo

Ola Brew is a popular brewery and taproom, but it also has a pretty good food menu that has expanded recently to include a specialty Sunday Brunch menu. The menu here includes big beef options like the Ola Burger which features two three-ounce beef patties topped with American cheese and served with pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, and Ola sauce with a helping of fries or house salad on the side. They also have vegan and vegetarian options like specialty salads and the Fried Tofu Sandwich which comes highly recommended. But whether you choose to go for the food or the beer foremost, you can enjoy your Ola Brew items on their spacious patio with your pooch

Learn More About the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii has a lot more to offer dog owners than just a few great places to eat. Here, you will find a ton of wonderful hiking trails, picturesque beaches, luxurious accommodations, and so many more locations and activities that are amenable to humans and pets. Learn more about these best-ofs by making sure to visit our other pages to see all that this tropical paradise has to offer you and your household.