Da Poke Shack
If I could only eat one thing while visiting Hawaii, it’d have to be poke. A Hawaiian word meaning cut or slice, poke is a raw seafood salad typically made with fresh Ahi tuna. It’s refreshing, luxurious, and so simple. The best part? You don’t have to shell out the big bucks to indulge. Cue Da Poke Shack in Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island. It’s super casual, and what it lacks in atmosphere it makes up for with incredibly fresh tuna from local fishermen. You can order the poke with a variety of seasonings—sesame oil and seeds, soy sauce, spicy garlic, ground and roasted kukui nuts, and avocado. There are also a few Hawaiian specialties on the menu, such as lau lau (pork and butterfish wrapped in taro leaves). It’s a superb option for a cheap, quick and good meal.
76-6246 Ali’i Drive – Located in Kona Bali Kai
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Just north of Kona in Waikoloa, Roy’s is my son’s favorite spot on the island. Famed chef Roy Yamaguchi was responsible for the explosion of Hawaiian fusion cuisine in the United States, and his restaurants (he now has 31 worldwide) showcase that expert, island-inspired fusion of European and Asian cuisines. Try dishes such as the signature blackened ahi with spicy soy mustard, jade pesto steamed mahi mahi with braised daikon, grass-fed filet mignon from local ranchers, and wood-smoked Szechuan-style baby back ribs. It’s a great place for family dining.
250 Waikoloa Beach Drive
Waikoloa Village, HI 96738
Feature image courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Kirk Lee Aeder.