Hawaii can be a challenge for restaurants. Eat lots of fruit from the plentiful markets and you'll be happy and healthy.

We spent a week on Hawaii, the Big Island recently and found that dining out can be a disappointment. 

I know that living in Vancouver we are spoiled with great restaurants and even the simplest spots are competing to be the best they can. Hawaii is full of tourists who may never come back and I think the quality of restaurants are a reflection of that.

We had enjoyed Roy's restaurants in Maui and Oahu, but Roy's Waikoloa was a disappointment.  Over priced and noisy with sloppy, rushed service.  Does rapid expansion every really work?

I was expecting a lot from Umeke's Grill and Bar.  Known to have the best poke on the island, it was good but Vancouver has so much more going on with their poke bowls.  The best seller is the fish tacos.  I wish I'd tried them instead.

The best we tried was Holuakoa Garden Cafe, a slow food restaurant in the little town of Holualoa, high above Kona.  Tables were set around a garden, under trees with twinkling lights.  The food is sourced as much as possible locally and the freshness shined.  The Mahi Mahi was the best fish we had on the island and the vegetable lasagna got a thumbs up from David (lasagna aficionado).  The service was good too. 

We also loved the markets in Waimea, Hawi and Kona.  The fresh fruit is great and some of the markets had chefs cooking up some of the best food available.