Swami’s Dosa Grill Restaurant

Swami's Dosa Grill Restaurant – Experience Pure Vegetarian Goodness in Kailua-Kona
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Swami’s Dosa Grill Restaurant is a top spot for pure vegetarian goodness in Kailua-Kona. Their dosas never fail to steal the spotlight, but all their dishes are equally as good. Just put in your order at their self-service kiosk, and then chill in the food court while the chef prepares each item to order.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Are you looking for tasty food that you can truly feel good about eating? If so, you need to give Swami’s Dosa Grill Restaurant a try ASAP. At this Kailua-Kona eatery, they skip the meat in favor of bright, flavorful vegetarian fare. More often than not, their dishes end up wholly vegan as they leave out the animal products altogether. They elevate the flavors in each dish using high-quality ingredients plus tons of amazing spices.

To kick off their offerings, they have many incredible dosa creations for your consideration. This South Indian classic features a crispy crepe made from fermented black lentils and rice. Although you can get it plain, it’s best enjoyed stuffed full of delightful fillings, like spiced potatoes and onions, mixed veggies, or cheese, cheese, and more cheese. Although every last dosa comes off the grill perfectly good on its own, chutney comes alongside to add even more tastiness to the mix.

Dosas are not all they serve either. Their Uthappam is just as good. To create this iconic dish, they mix the fillings right into the lentil and rice batter and then fry up each selection pancake style. But if you want something a little different, you can go with their specials, like the Samosa, Fried Idly, and Kuzhi Paniyaram. If you’re not familiar with South Indian cuisine, you’ll want to read through the menu carefully to see just what you’re ordering. Then, take a chance on whatever sounds good, trusting that you’re likely to end up wholly impressed.

Even their drinks promise to tantalize your tastebuds from start to finish. They have the ever-popular Mango Lassi featuring a yogurt base elevated by fresh mango flavors. On top of that, their offerings include Masala Chai, Masala Lemonade, and Masala Dosa. Don’t miss out on the chance to try their Butter Milk either.

In order to try all their decadent creations, you’ll just need to head over to the food court in the Kona International Market. Then, go right up to the self-service kiosk on the front counter. Make your selections using the touchscreen, pay for your order, and then sit at a nearby table in eager anticipation of the flavors to come. The chefs will create your items using fresh, local ingredients, and then place them on the counter when they’re ready.

Their top menu items are:

Mysore Masala Dosa
If you absolutely adore spicy foods, treat yourself to the Mysore Masala Dosa. To make this dish, they put spiced mashed potato filling along the middle of a plain dosa. Then, they add their red hot chutney to the mix before rolling it up tight. Chutney and sambar come alongside to complete your meal. 

Chili Cheese Uthappam
Whenever you’re in the mood for a rich, cheesy dish, get the Chili Cheese Uthappam. This dish starts with their lentil and rice batter elevated by the addition of chili and mozzarella cheese. Then, they pour it on the flat top to create thick, savory pancakes to remember. Once they plate it all up, chutney and sambar go alongside to finish it off right.

Ven Pongal
A true South Indian comfort food classic, the Ven Pongal promises to warm you up and leave you feeling fully satisfied. They create this savory porridge from rice and yellow moong dal. Then, they elevate its flavors with a mix of pepper, cumin, asafetida, and many other spices.

As you enjoy all this eatery has to offer, do yourself a favor and save room for dessert. Their sweet treats are out of this world delicious, especially if you love sugary sweetness paired with warm spices. Their Kaju Kathli, Gulab Jamun, and Kulfi all feature the bright, bold flavor of cardamom before giving way to a nutty sweetness. Want something a little richer? Get their Nutella Dosa for a classic mix of chocolate and hazelnuts in every last bite.

Insider Tips:
-When planning your visit, keep in mind that they close for 1.5 hours between lunch and dinner.
-They offer locals a 25% discount with ID.
-Want to keep wheat out of the equation? Just browse their menu for items marked gluten-free.