Sandy’s Drive In

Sandy's Drive In - A Family-Owned Local Stop for the Entire Family
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Local Hawaiian fare can run the gamut from food trucks to sprawling bbq joints, but Sandy's offers the best of both worlds. You won't be blown away by a shiny new building or touristy aesthetics. But you will find a convenient, budget-friendly stop with enough menu items to keep everyone happy. Expect 'ono (delicious) Asian-Hawaiian local favorites and a warm smile when you step in the door. 

- The Local Expert Team

Looking for a low-key stop for sustenance during your day on the Kona coast? Look no further. This unassuming drive-in offers an array of simple, filling local favorites at a price that won’t break the bank. 

Sandy’s maintains the quaint aesthetic of a classic drive-in. Think old-school signage, diner-style booths, and local favorites like Spam musubi and loco moco platters. Don’t expect a shiny new touristy eatery or a slew of gourmet menu options. Do expect a clean, friendly atmosphere and a healthy dose of aloha spirit. 

Some of our favorite menu options include… 

Local-Style Chili
Served up with rice, this chili is a Hawaiian staple. Don’t expect it to taste like the Tex-Mex chili you likely know and love; this is seasoned up a bit differently. A hearty meal in itself, Sandy’s local chili is typically enjoyed with a hearty side of steamed rice and topped with shredded cheese. 

A Hawaiian staple, the Loco Moco has that stick-to-your-guts heartiness that will have hours of island adventures. The loco-moco consists of a pile of steamed white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and a dollop of fresh brown gravy. Visitors consistently rank Sandy’s loco-moco as among the best they’ve ever tasted, so they must be doing something right. 

Sweet Potato Tempura
If you enjoy unique deep-fried delicacies, this one will be right up your alley. Sandy’s Drive-In serves up piping hot sweet potato tempura that keeps locals coming back for more. It’s sweet, crispy, and has that unmistakable melt-in-your-mouth experience that only the best-fried foods can offer. 

Burgers and Fries
Sandy’s Drive-In does the basics very well, too; their basic burgers and fries leave little to be desired. They’re served up hot, fresh, and relatively quickly–a quick staple, if not a culinary masterpiece. 

Of course, those are just a few of Sandy’s offerings; you’ll also find local staples like chicken katsu, teri burgers, mahi-mahi plates, and seasonal favorites. 

Sandy’s Drive-In is located just north of Captain Cook in Kealakekua, Hawaii. It’s a perfect, easy stop after a day of exploring Kahalu’u Beach, Captain Cook, or the local coffee farms. There’s something on the menu for everyone, from familiar mouthwatering burgers and fries to local favorites like bulgogi fries. 

Insider Tips:
-They don’t always have them, but when there are fresh house-made donuts available, you won’t want to miss them; Sandy’s homemade donuts don’t last long. 
-Don’t skip the fancy drinks. An orange whip or lilikoi drink might sound a little “out there,” but these fruity local soft drinks might become a new favorite. 
-At the time of this writing, Sandy’s Drive-In is closed on Mondays; check the hours before you go so you aren’t disappointed!