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Favorite Local Spots

Make memories and visit our favorite spots in Kona for a local treat.

Food is often the centerpiece for some of our favorite and most memorable moments in life. I imagine you can recall some of your favorite dishes from holidays and birthdays. Grandma’s famous pie, spam musubis on the beach or grilled steak BBQ’s at Old A’s. Food is intertwined in our family stories and culture. It is something we put our heart and soul into. We bond as we share it and make fond memories that we revisit often in our imagination. I vividly remember the Saturday afternoons when my Dad would take me out for lunch. Those moments made me feel loved and special. If you’re looking for a way to create a special moment with one of your children or looking for an exciting dinner date with your spouse we’ve got four “must-sees”. From simple treats to exquisite dining, these are some of our favorite gastronomic experiences in downtown Kona. We hope that a few of them will catch you by surprise. But more importantly, we hope that this month you’ll think about who you can create a memory with. They say it’s not quality time that is important, rather it is the quantity of time that creates bonds. So even if it feels like a quick run down to the local shop, that special person will cherish the moments.


Sushi Sam

This eatery is exquisite. Sushi Sam has world-class fish, knowledgeable servers and an incredible selection of nigiri, rolls, sashimi and appetizers. The restaurant is intimate and has seating at tables and the sushi bar. If you look at the menu and don’t know the difference between Amaebi and Ikura, don’t fret! The servers are warm and helpful. They can help you pair drinks with your order or tell them to bring out the chef’s favorite catch of the day. 

Puna Chocolate Company

The Puna Chocolate Company grows cacao in Hawaii by local independent farmers. Their cafe and gift shop in Old Industrial is full of delicious treats. Besides an interesting selection of chocolate, like their Rose Cardamom Pistachio Dark Chocolate bar, they have an assortment of chocolate drinks too! Try the Frozen Chocolate Shake or one of their “choc-tails” like the Aztek Old Fashioned with Rye Whiskey and chocolate bitters. With all the variety, this cafe is a fun spot for children and adults.

Swirl Tea

Bubble tea is a tea-based drink accompanied by chewy tapioca balls that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s. Its popularity has exploded and one of our favorite Boba spots in Kona is Swirl Tea. Alongside the tea, they also serve up an incredible assortment of ice cream with toppings and fresh waffle cones. This place is guaranteed to make memories. Their tea flavors include Thai Tea, Jasmine, Taro, Mango and many more. 

KTA Donuts

One of my favorite memories was when Dad brought home donuts on the weekend. It might come as a surprise but the best place to grab a dozen is the KTA Bakery. There’s nothing fancy about this “must-see” but you shouldn’t wait to try them. The glass window display is full of delicious, freshly baked donuts. They’ve got mochi, buttermilk and glazed donuts, malasadas, apple fritters, danishes, turnovers and many more assortments of doughy glory. 

  • Sushi Sam
  • Sushi Sam
  • Puna Chocolate Company
  • Swirl Tea
  • Swirl Tea
  • Malasadas
  • KTA Donuts Photo by Rebekah Moyer
  • Photo by Rebekah Moyer