Hilo Bay Cafe

Enjoy Breathtaking Views and Award-Winning Fare at Hilo Bay Cafe
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Enjoy award-winning dishes in a beautiful atmosphere with breathtaking views of Mauna Kea and Hilo Bay at Hilo Bay Cafe. Dine here for either lunch or dinner, in-person to take it to go. Dessert and drink menus are also available for dine-in through lunch and dinner hours. The cuisine options include contemporary, American, local, and artisan Sushi selections. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Serving up contemporary food with an emphasis on utilizing fresh, locally sourced ingredients since 2003 is the Hilo Bay Cafe. While the fare is amazing, the sweeping view you can enjoy while dining is perhaps even more impressive, though determining which is better— the view of the menu— is quite a conundrum. 

The Hilo Bay Cafe is situated right on Hilo Bay, meaning it hosts breathtaking views. It is located in Hilo’s historic downtown. You can dine in the dining room indoors or enjoy uninhibited views of the ocean on the outdoor lanai. If you aren’t wanting to eat on-site, you can opt to take the fresh dishes to go, as well as try curbside pickup, all available through Hilo Bay Cafe’s Take Away program. 

The beginnings of Hilo Bay Cafe began with a small group of dedicated food lovers. For some 10 years, the 70-seat restaurant flourished, against all odds in a small central Hilo strip mall location. From its inception, Hilo Bay Cafe was beloved by locals and visitors alike thanks to its specialized menu of seasonal and organic food, all presented in a fun, comfortable “come as you are” atmosphere. Eventually, Hilo Bay Cafe moved to its current location, on the shores of the picturesque Hilo Bay in 2012. You can enjoy locally inspired dishes, artisan sushi, and refreshing range all in a contemporary backdrop at this picturesque location. 

The scrumptious, innovative dishes of Hilo Bay Cafe were featured on the popular Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, on the “Cookin’ From Scratch” episode. They were also voted the best of fine dining by the Tribune-Herald, winning 1st place in the Best of Hawaii East category in 2021.

The unbelievable, award-winning, and TV-worthy dishes and amazing atmosphere are made possible by a whole team of professionals, led by Joshua the Executive Chef. Joshua leads the kitchen with hands-on, high standards. He utilizes locally sourced ingredients and works in conjunction with area distributors, fishermen, and farmers, which makes his goal of creating ultra-fresh, culturally-based dishes a reality. 

Karlee, the Sous Chef is responsible for creating delicious and savvy treats, including pastries. She is also in charge of maintaining Hilo Bay Cafe’s social media presence. Master Sushi Chef Roy learned his skill from an immensely talented Japanese chef. Roy successfully combined the traditions of sushi while incorporating a local touch to all sushi offerings. The Hilo Bay Cafe’s team also includes many other professionals, including owner Kim, General Manager Tantra, and Tiff the Sushi Bar Manager, who all utilize their skills to make a trip to Hilo Bay Cafe a worthwhile addition to any vacation itinerary. 

You can enjoy lunch at Hilo Bay Cafe from 11:00 to 2:00, while the dinner menu is available from 5:00 to 8:30 pm, Wednesday through Saturday. Both dessert and beverage menus are served in-house throughout lunch and dinner. Reservations are recommended when dining in. 

Hilo Bay Cafe offers a wide range of delicious choices to choose from, however, the main dishes for dinner should be a must-try for any island visitor. The main dishes you must try at least once include…

Grilled Angus Ribeye
This dish is a 10 oz ribeye with chimichurri butter, creamy chipotle sautéed onion, green beans, crispy old bay potatoes, and pickled Fresno peppers. 

Pastrami-Cured Pork Chops
This 12 oz bone-in chop comes with chives, pickled beets, pickled mustard seeds, kale and onion, shishito pepper, and farro. 

Hamakua Mushroom Pot Pie
This dish can come alone or with chicken, and features yellow curry vegetable filling, a side salad, and a pastry crust. 

Much more
Other specialty dishes include Fried Chicken Thighs, Maui Rum Bbq Ribs, House Garlic Spatzle, Duck Duck Demi, Blue Bay Burger, Taro-Quinoa Veggie Burger, Herb Butter Ribeye, and more. 

Insider Tips:
-You can order food online or make online reservations to dine-in. 
-There is a kid’s menu for children aged 12 and under.