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“Good Food - Nice Atmosphere”
Review of Hilo Bay Cafe

Hilo Bay Cafe
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Ranked #12 of 255 Restaurants in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$15 - US$40
Cuisines: American, Japanese, Hawaiian, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Contemporary restaurant with emphasis on innovative cuisine using fresh, local, and organic ingredients--a Hilo town favorite gathering place. Full food and beverage service with indoor and outdoor lanai seating and large room for special events. Much of the restaurant has expansive views of Hilo bay, Mauna Kea, and Hilo town. Full bar, original recipes, artisan sushi, and keiki menu. Large parties are welcome. Come as you are or come as your best dressed self--we appreciate both! Reservations recommended. *For current menus, please visit our website, as TripAdvisor does not give businesses the capability to update menu content.*
Reviewed 7 March 2018

The Food was good. A bit more expensive but it is more elevated. I had the fresh fish. Excellent!! I don't eat sushi but others that where eating it. It looked beautiful on the plate.

Thank SeaOtter55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 - 35 of 1,314 reviews

Reviewed 5 March 2018

There wasn't anything that we didn't love about Hilo Bay Cafe. We sat at the outside tables where we had a nice view. The food was outstanding. Our waiter was friendly, well informed and attentive. The restrooms were sparkling. The restaurant is upstairs, and I don't specifically remember whether there was an elevator. Probably there was. Not an inexpensive restaurant, but a wonderful place.

    • Value
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Thank TravelingOn49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2018

Hilo really does not have a fine dining restaurant in the sense of what you find in San Francisco or other larger cities but is does have some really good dining in interesting venues. Your choices are Pineapples and Cafe Pesto downtown, Jackie Rey's just off of downtown, and Hilo Bay Cafe and Hula Hula's on Hilo Bay along Banyan Drive. This is a review of Hilo Bay Cafe.

My last review of Hilo Bay Cafe stated that I would not go back again and for a long time I boycotted this restaurant. I have finally returned and was very pleased with the improvement both in service and in presentation and quality of the food.

Hilo Bay Cafe is located in a raised building toward the north end of Liliuokalani Park. (Take a stroll around the park before dinner if you have the time. It is a wonderful place.) You enter the building up a broad set of steps in the front (but there is also an elevator for the physically challenged) into the reception and dining area. There is an inside dining area with booths and small tables, a bar area and a larger dining area which can be set up to take larger parties. The prime seating though, is on the outside lanai which has a full vista of Hilo Bay.

The food is very good and excellent with a wide range of choices using local ingredients. The portions are appropriate and the presentation is very attractive. Overall an appropriate value for the price.

Overall I would give the atmosphere a 4 plus and the food a 5. There are still minor problems with the service, mostly the attentiveness of the wait staff, but the service was markedly better than the last time I was here. Small delays in attendance by the waitress were only mildly annoying and really did not detract from the overall experience.

I will come back here on special occasions when I want a special treat or when I need to entertain special guests from out of town. I will also recommend it to others.

With the improvement in quality and service, the restaurant has become quite popular so make your reservations as far ahead as you can. Request a table on the outside lanai or with a view of the bay.

    • Value
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1  Thank jm2hilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2018 via mobile

We made reservations and were seated promptly. Our waiter was very helpful and able to answer questions and help make a few modifications in our choices. I had the California roll and my husband had the onion soup and we both had the mushroom chicken pot pie. All the food was well presented and deliciously prepared. Would definitely go back.

Thank Foxonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

In looking for an upscale lunch on Valentine's Day, we tried the Hilo Bay Cafe at 1115 in the morning. The seating hostess was appropriately snooty, and asked if we had reservations, knowing we did not simply by our demeanor. She said she'd try to seat us, even though we could plainly see about a dozen open tables. 15 minutes later we were escorted to a place that looks like it's reserved for people like us. Possibly the most uncomfortable dinning experience I've had the privilege of paying $75 for. The food tasted great, as expected. We will return, but only with a reservation on the lanai, with a killer view of Hilo Bay. Our server was outstanding as well. Next time I see the seating hostess, I will ask her if she happened to loose a stick, because if she did, I know where she could look for it.

Thank thegoatfarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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