Suisan Fish Market

Sample the Freshest Poke in Hilo Straight from the Sea at Suisan Fish Market
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

You won’t find fresher poke bowls anywhere else on the Big Island. Fresh seafood straight from the bay makes Suisan Fish Market a standout for poke and more.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Rethink where you go for the freshest poke on the Big Island. Instead of a restaurant, visit Suisan Fish Market where deliveries of freshly caught ahi, salmon, and hamachi arrive in the back of this market straight from the bay it sits beside. This market has the freshest poke possible in a variety of tasty flavors plus several flavorful sides to accompany the seafood.

You’ll have a no-frills experience at Suisan Fish Market. In many ways, visiting here feels more like going to a deli than a restaurant. You order bowls or plates, which include poke by the 1/3-pound scoops or sides. Much like a deli, food comes served for takeout. The staff focus on getting food out to customers as quickly as possible to keep the line that typically forms moving.

Specializations of Suisan Fish Market include poke bowls, plates, and salads. Both bowls and plates come with rice while salads, when available, replace the rice with romaine lettuce for a low-carb alternative.

The bowls give you the option to choose poke or sides while the plates let you choose both. Most visitors find bowls sufficient for single servings. If you choose a plate, you may end up with more food than you expect when ordering for one. Most diners find that a plate can easily serve two people or one very hungry person.

When visiting, realize that everything is exceptionally fresh and locally harvested. Therefore, you might not find every type of fish or vegetable available when you visit. Plus, the time of day that you visit will make a difference since popular options sell out quickly early in the day. If your favorite dishes are gone, try one of the remaining options. Most people report enjoying everything they have from Suisan Fish Market, due to the extreme freshness and care put into creating the seafood and sides.

If you see any of the following at Suisan Fish Market, make sure to order it:

Kimchee Tako
Kimchee Tako combines the spiciness of Korean kimchee with octopus (tako) for a popular dish that quickly sells out when available. For the uninitiated, kimchee is salted and fermented vegetables that taste exceptionally spicy. These flavors pair well with the octopus served in Suisan Fish Market’s Kimchee Tako. If you don’t want to have raw fish, try the Kimchee Tako instead for a seafood alternative to raw tuna or salmon.  

Mango Habanero Ahi
The fruity Mango Habanero Ahi is a flavorful and highly popular poke option. Despite the inclusion of habanero peppers, this dish is not as spicy as the Spicy Ahi the market also serves occasionally. Frequently, visitors who try Mango Habanero Ahi and another poke, note that the former stands out as their favorite from the meal.

Spicy Ahi
Spicy Ahi has a buttery flavor from the fish and a slight kick from the spices. The extra heat makes it a highly popular option among people who like their poke bowls to have a fiery flavor. With this option, you have large, rich chunks of tuna that retain full texture and taste, which keeps the spices from overpowering the fish. Everyone who eats Spicy Ahi mentions how fresh and flavorful it is. Try it for yourself to see the difference fresh fish can make when enjoying poke.

Li Hing Pineapple or Mango
The side options change often, but many times, you will find Li Hing Pineapple or Li Hing Mango. Both fruits provide you with salty, tart li hing powder over fruit. Tangy pineapple and slightly underripe mango have the necessary texture and flavor to compliment the li hing powder’s saltiness. If you order a spicy poke option, one of these fruits as a side will provide a perfect foil to the spiciness of the seafood.

Superior poke starts with the freshest seafood. Thanks to its location on the water and the ability to get seafood right off the local fishing boats, Suisan Fish Market can serve up fresher poke than anywhere else on the Big Island. Make it your stop to experience poke at its freshest and best tasting.

Insider Tips:
-Prices and availability vary daily. Subscribe to the Suisan Fish Market’s newsletter for the latest prices each day.
-Grab a street parking spot if the small lot for the market is full.
-No seating inside or outside the market. Everything is to go.
-When in doubt about what to order, choose the items that have the least left in the serving trays under the counter. With everything brought in fresh daily, items that sell out quickly are the most popular and often the tastiest.