Papajac’s Cafe

Papajac's Café – Kickstart Your Hilo Adventures with Tasty Lunchtime Fare
The Bottom Line:

Do you want to kick your Hilo adventures into high gear? All you have to do is jet on over to Papajac’s Café for lunchtime fare to remember. Their fine dining cuisine promises to satisfy your cravings in an instant while their friendly service will make you feel right at home.

- The Local Expert Team

For a truly delightful lunchtime dining experience in Hilo, you cannot go wrong with a stop at Papajac’s Café. Set right by the bay, this popular eatery keeps things casual while serving up fine dining cuisine. Their aloha spirit shines through all they do, too, ensuring you feel right at home during every visit.

So, whenever hunger strikes, it just makes sense to waltz through the doors and start your picture-perfect dining experience. Although they have a small bistro-style eatery, you don’t need to make reservations. You’re likely to find at least a couple of tables open whenever you come by, making it easy to fill up and hit the road.

Upon walking inside, warm welcomes will come your way along with an inquiry on how you’d like to dine that day. You can either grab a table and settle in for a great meal or order takeout at the front counter. Either way, your server will direct your attention to their menus, so you can decide how to best satisfy your cravings.

When dining in-house, you can go for the full multi-course meal if you wish by starting with a drink and appetizer or soup and salad of your choice. On the drink side of things, delightful options await, like Ginger Beer, Coconut Water, and Strawberry Lemonade. As for their small bites, they have Escargot, Oriental Chicken Salad, Minestrone Soup, and everything in between.

No matter what you order, you can count on the items coming to your table absolutely bursting with flavor. They use ultra-fresh ingredients sourced from all over the island and beyond. Then, they transform those items into decadent dishes by using imaginative recipes all their own. You can expect your main course to be just as delicious as the starters, rounding out your visit beautifully.

You’ll want to try their:

Charcuterie Board
For the ultimate small bite experience, start your meal with a Charcuterie Board. The chef prepares this appetizer by artfully arranging meats, cheeses, and crackers on a board. Then, they add even more flair with seasonal fruits and nuts galore.

Kombucha Squash Soup
Available by the cup or bowl, the Kombucha Squash Soup promises to warm you up right every time. To create this fan favorite, the chef roasts butternut squash, onions, carrots, ginger, and cilantro until flavorful. After that, they blend it up until smooth before adding curry to the mix.

Pesto Flatbread
The Pesto Flatbread never fails to delight with its crispy crust and incredible mix of flavors. To kick off this dish, the chef spreads pesto all over the flatbread. Over that, they add mozzarella, red onions, tomato, and bacon. The whole lot goes into the oven after that until perfectly golden and melted up top.  

Meatball Sub
For a true classic sandwich, the Meatball Sub is the way to go. This tasty entrée begins with the preparation of their Italian meatballs and marinara sauce. After that, the saucy meatballs land on a fresh-baked roll along with mozzarella cheese. The sammie goes into the oven after that, and then gets your choice of potato salad, green salad, or pea salad alongside.

Want to take your meal to the next level? Treat yourself to an after-lunch dessert. Although it might sound far too decadent, their sweet treats are the perfect way to elevate your day. If you love ice cream, sample both their Vanilla and Lemon Ginger flavors at least once. Otherwise, go straight for the Cheesecake to get pure richness in every last bite.

Insider Tips:
-Ask about their daily specials before ordering. Otherwise, you might miss out on the chance to try decadent creations, like Lobster Ravioli.
-Their menu changes often because they try to use local ingredients as much as possible. So, get ready to try something new whenever you come by.
-If you’d like to add a side of garlic bread to your soup, just ask and it’ll be an extra charge.