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Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i is easily one of my favorite places on this planet. Why? Because it is so easy to live a slow and nourishing life here! The pace of the island life, the locally-sourced food, and the efforts towards sustainable living make this a beautiful place to nourish your body, mind, and spirit. The weather is beautiful making it ideal for spending an abundance of time outdoors and connecting with Mother Nature. The ocean is plenty warm making it irresistible to ground and connect in the surf. Eating local is not only preferred, it is far more economical! It is so expensive to import food from the mainland. Fortunately, due to the fact that the Big Island is home to 10 of the world’s 14 climate zones, they can grow almost anything somewhere on this island. Another very appealing aspect of the island’s agriculture is that all of the cattle raised on the island are grass-fed! By eating local you are getting the freshest and most nutritious food at the best prices, win-win!
There are so many wonderful spots just in Kailua-Kona, I’m pretty sure this will just be the first of a few posts about the Big Island of Hawai’i. To kick it off, here are 10 spots worth recommending based on their ability to nourish both the body and the mind. Whether it is your first time or you are a Kailua-Kona local, take the time to nourish yourself in this beautiful paradise!
Kona Farmer’s Market
75-5767 Ali’i Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
What better way to kick off the Big Island life than by visiting the local Farmer’s Market? Due to the great diversity of climates and geography on the Big Island, you can find most produce grown locally. This makes the farmer’s market the best choice for the most economical and fresh produce in Kailua-Kona. Get to know some of the friendly local farmers and they will be happy to tell you about some of the exotic produce and how to eat it! You’ll also be able to shop for your local Kona coffee, macadamia nuts, and a wide selection of handmade crafts and gifts.
75-5805 Ali’i Dr Ste. Du. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
This restaurant is the perfect combination of fresh, local slow food and inviting atmosphere with stunning ocean views! Foster’s Kitchen prides themselves on sourcing as many ingredients as possible from local farmers on the big island and using them to create delicious meals from scratch. They opt for non-GMO and organic whenever possible and claim that by eating here you are going to support at least one local island farmer or business. The wait staff is happy to help you make any accommodations for your meal so that you nourish yourself with a meal that you feel good about. I went ahead and indulged in the grass-fed ribeye, which totally surpassed my expectations. With seasonal featured specials and a large variety in their menu, there is certainly something here to please everyone!
Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers
79-7460 Mamalahoa Hwy. #105, Kealakekua, HI 96750
Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers serves up some of the best burgers I have ever tried! Which makes sense because they are consistently voted the ‘Best Burger’ in west Hawai’i! Just a short drive south of Kailua-Kona, Annie’s offers a selection of grass-fed burgers as well as salads and sandwiches that are out of this world and not overly-priced! Like many island restaurants, they source local and fresh, which always leads to the most heightened flavors in every meal. Annie’s has a chill, laid-back vibe that pairs perfectly with a great burger and fries. If you are a fan of potato salad, definitely try their Purple Potato Salad, it’s delightful!
75-5831 Kahakai Rd, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
If you are looking for something fruity then Basik Cafe is the place to go! Basik cafe is this adorable little upstairs hut located on the south end of downtown and they serve up some amazing island-inspired acai bowls and smoothies. There is no shortage of flavor or options here and they happily make substitutions if something doesn’t fit your fancy. I tried both the Forager Bowl and the Banyan Bowl and they were both so darn delicious! It might seem a little pricey but you get a good size that will fill you up. Plus the benefits your body will receive from the myriad of superfoods that they use is worth every penny. Fun fact: they also have locations in Reno, NV, San Francisco, CA and Hood River, OR.
Island Lava Java
75-5801 Ali’i Drive, Bldg 1, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
I ate at Island Lava Java 3 times, once each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, over the course of a 10-day trip – it is an all-around great restaurant! Originally known for their breakfasts, which are fantastic (highly recommend the Waipi’o Stack Breakfast, ask them to substitute potatoes for the toast), they have more recently expanded to serving dinner in a fantastic new location overlooking the ocean. Each time I dined here I was impressed with the speed of service and the quality and flavor of each meal. I found the menu to be incredibly diverse and, dare I say, exotic. They also code their menu with helpful disclaimers like “wheat-free”, “vegetarian”, and “vegan”. Plus, they offer a Nicoise salad with fresh-caught seared ahi – my favorite!
Once again, sourcing most of their ingredients from right here on the Big Island, you can really taste the difference in your meal. They also have a full-service coffee bar serving up 100% Kona coffee and they bake all of their own bread, pizza doughs, and pastries on site each day from scratch. There is also another location in Waikoloa, HI.
Island Naturals Market & Deli
74-5487 Kaiwi Street, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
If you are able to do some cooking while you are in Kailua-Kona, then I highly recommend doing your shopping at the Island Naturals Market & Deli. This is a great source of locally-owned organic and natural real foods. It is like the local’s version of Whole Foods. In addition to local produce, meat, and seafood, they offer all of your healthy dry packaged foods, bulk foods, health & beauty items, and an award-winning deli and organic bakery. They also have locations in Hilo and Pahoa.
In addition to local produce, meat, and seafood, they offer all of your healthy dry packaged foods, bulk foods, health & beauty items, and an award-winning deli and organic bakery. They also have locations in Hilo and Pahoa.
Huggo’s On the Rocks
75-5824 Kahakai Road, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
What can possibly beat a tasty meal on the beach accompanied by live music? Look no further than Huggo’s On The Rocks! You can literally dine with your toes in the sand at this fun and casual restaurant. Featuring local musicians every night, this is the perfect place to kick back and catch a gorgeous Kona Coast sunset while enjoying a fresh island meal. Their menu offers everything from salads and burgers to tacos, ribs, and of course, fresh poke! They are known for their exotic tropical potions if you are in the mood to indulge in an island libation. The Sweet Potato Waffle Fries may quite possibly be the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had!
75-5801 Alii Dr, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
As far as coffee shop vibes go, this has got to be among the best! Nothing beats the ocean view and breeze while you enjoy a delicious cup of 100% Kona coffee grown just a few miles up the road. Kona Haven has been farming coffee in Kona for more than 100 years! With the free wi-fi and plenty of seating, this is a wonderful spot to work or chill with a friend. Not in the mood for coffee? They also offer a variety of teas, smoothies and ice cream. I was enjoying the atmosphere so much, I totally forgot to take a picture!
Botanical World Adventures Gardens & Waterfalls
Mile Marker 16 on Highway 19, 31-240 Old Mamalahoa Highway, Hakalau, HI 96710
While not exactly in Kailua-Kona, if you are looking for a beautiful zip line experience, then I highly recommend taking the less than 2-hour drive to Botanical World Adventures! The zip line experience is 2 hours of multiple zips through lush gardens and over gushing waterfalls. The guides here are so fun and friendly and really make for an enjoyable experience, especially if you are a bit nervous about heights.
If you don’t fancy ziplining, they have plenty of other activities available. You can take a stroll through their botanical gardens and learn about all of the different types of flora that grow in the area, hike the nature trails, ride through the rainforest on a Segway, or learn about exotic tropical food plants in the arboretum. Spending active time outdoors in this beautiful, lush landscape is so good for soothing the soul, getting clean air into your body, and connecting with Mother Nature.
Hawaii Beach Yoga
Various Beaches, Kailua-Kona, HI
Yoga by itself is already such a holistic way to nourish the body and mind. Add the ocean and the sunset and I don’t know if anything can be more blissful! I was so happy to stumble upon Hawaii Beach Yoga because it felt like the perfect culmination of Hawaiian living: heart-centered, nature, health & vitality, community, and aloha.
They graciously accept donations for their outdoor classes in whatever form speaks to you in hopes that by removing the walls and fees you free yourself from perceived limitations. They offer sunset yoga classes every evening as well as 3 morning classes and an afternoon martial arts class. What a beautiful way to stay nourished in Kailua-Kona!
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Want to enjoy a few home-cooked meals while you are traveling? Check out Airbnb! Airbnb is my favorite way to travel because I can stay in a home with a kitchen and enjoys the comforts of healthy, real food while exploring a new destination!
If you would like help staying healthy and nourished while you travel, then Transformational Nutrition Coaching could help!
Book a FREE Discovery Session with me today and let’s work together to create a plan and transform your life!
I have saved a ton of money while eating Real Foods by shopping at Thrive Market! This has been my favorite place to shop for real food pantry staples and non-toxic home and personal products for over 2 years! You can read my review of their service in a previous post. Think Costco + Whole Foods + delivered to your doorstep!
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Disclaimer: The information in this post is not intended as medical advice, or to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. Marcelle encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research, and in partnership with your doctor, licensed dietitian, or nutritionist. The information provided in this post and the entire contents of www.marcellephene.com are based upon the opinions of Marcelle Phene and are for general educational purposes, and have not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.