Hilo Bay Cafe

4.4
1158 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Fusion / Eclectic

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About

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. From nearly every seat, the restaurant has expansive views of Hilo bay, Mauna Kea, Hilo town, and the ocean. 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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Fusion / Eclectic, Organic, Hawaii Regional Cuisine
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Hours of operation
Monday thru Thursday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday 11:00 am to 9:30 pm
Sunday CLOSED
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Phone number
(808) 935-4939
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Joshua Ketner
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Private party facilities
Our bay front location offers a private dining space for hosting special occasions, luncheons, business meetings, family gatherings, receptions, reunions, holiday celebrations, and more. The space has a private lanai with ocean, mountain, and bay views. Full food and beverage services are available for cocktail and pupu parties, banquets, fully plated meals, and more. Choose from our Event menus or request special accommodations to match your budget and preferences.
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Catering
We are currently not offering off-premise catering.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Kamehameha Street
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Parking details
Our private parking offers quick, comfortable access to the restaurant. Covered handicap stalls available only a short distance from elevator.
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Public transit
Banyan Drive pick-up and drop-off site for public transportation. Available Monday through Saturday from early morning until 4 pm.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1158 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 5ambience 5

Customer service was great they were fast and attentive ambience was very impressive food was not to our liking the poke was frozen the dishes was not for locals.If they change there menu we would go back.

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KC
Anchorage
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food as usual!

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love HBC. Food and service are consistently fantastic and the consistency makes the prices worth it. Plus, the view of the bay is gorgeous.

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JB
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have again dined at the best restaurant in Hilo

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AR
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hilo Bay Cafe is said to be the finest restaurant in the city and my wife I would agree wholeheartedly. It's location cannot be improved upon for one thing. The building, decor, ambiance and service are excellent. The menu is not huge, but imaginative and varied. The preparation of the dishes we ordered was first class. We highly recommend HBC and will return with pleasure on our next visit to Hilo.

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FD
Baltimore
19 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I love Hilo Bay Café. We dined there every time we go to Hilo, which is about once a year. The food is always interesting and delicious, the restaurant has a lovely view, and the staff could not be friendlier.

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f
Denver
9 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lunch on the lanai with four friends ….we all had mahi mahi...fish sandwiches or fish and chips. My fish and chips were the best I've ever had. Perfectly prepared with a light batter. The fries were awesome. Our friends loved their mahi sandwiches, also perfectly cooked. And the view was lovely. Great service too.

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C
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best mahi mahi I’ve had on all the islands. It was cooked to perfection, seasoned well, and beautifully plated. I highly recommend this place.

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VS
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The whole experience was wonderful, the food and service excellent, I would recommend this place to all my friends, can’t wait to return on my next visit to the island!

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OT
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend’s birthday. We had a good time. I had the fish and chips (mahi mahi) and my friends had the steaks. We had the Parmesan custard for appetizer and bread pudding for dessert. Everything was delicious. Service was top notch. We had a booth seating with a nice view of the ocean.

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J
Philadelphia
33 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 1

I read some bad reviews before I booked this place and wish I had gone somewhere else. Service was good. Food was not. Husband's meal needed to be refired and it came out wrong the second time. He ate it very slowly as he waited to bite down on some shell bits. I mean what would be the point of asking the kitchen to do something a third time when they already screwed it up twice? My veggie burger was fine, but not anything special. Didn't enjoy this place, would not return and would strongly recommend going elsewhere

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RH
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We had a wonderful evening with friends once again at Hilo Bay Cafe! The food was absolutely fabulous. Service was super friendly. All in all a great evening! Only suggestion would be a little more frequent water refills and to replace cutlery between appetizer and main entrees. Small things really in the big picture. We loved our waiter so wouldn't fault him at all - even though it was a Monday it was a full house there as usual and he was super busy.

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CN
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

Got my drink spilled on my lap. Server was very apologetic and frazzled and I tried to be very nice about it even telling her the glass was too tall to begin with. After the incident we seemed to get very little attention. My husband could have used another beer but seems like we were being avoided--for the prices, ambiance and amount of staff on floor at a restaurant like HBC a second beer should be offered, we shouldn't have to flag someone down to ask for another. Food was decent, fries were served warm and duck leg was overcooked. However, the sushi was fresh and nicely presented. So what is the deciding factor and reason why I wouldn't recommend this place? We got charged for the $10.50 drink that I had wear on my lap for the entire dinner.

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S
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

Very confused about this place - we made reservations a month prior for 4:30pm and when we arrived the place was not even half full. We waited to be seated while 2 parties entered without reservations and were seated before us. We were placed inside (not given a choice for outside as we would have preferred and was empty). Oddly we noted that all of that tables around us had cloth napkins excerpt ours (Not a big deal but was strange ).

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CJ
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun. Delicious food. Great service and value. And last but not least fantastic views of Hilo Bay.

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TJ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Good food served in a beautiful spot on the bay. Staff was friendly.

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OT
Hawaii
8 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent restaurant with bayfront views from the lanai tables. Wait staff is attentive and food is consistently good.

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KW
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food and service. Restaurant was a bit noisy where we sat.

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M
1 review
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

Not enough vegan options, not even plant based milk to have a latte!). Wait staff seemed short handed, and way too noisy inside.

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S
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent! This was our third dinner engagement and there will be more. Thanks

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LT
Portland
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

I like the restaurant as well as the staff. They must improve on their menu since they don’t offer enough local flavor items. That’s why you don’t see many kamaainas there. But if they are comfortable the way it is, they will eventually suffer when the tourism gets slower. Just my opinion.

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OT
Hawaii
37 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent!

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SO
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Everything was good until we double checked our bill the next day and found we were charged with drinks that we didn't order. Everything else was great.

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b
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a nice experience.

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OT
Hawaii
37 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best food on big island.

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N
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Slow service

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time and everything was wonderful.

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OT
Hawaii
37 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Christopher is an excellent server and very knowledgeable on food and the HBC menu.

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BK
Montreal
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Ma femme a reçu pour entrée un plat qu’elle n’avait commandé. Puis, même erreur avec le plat principal.

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K
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Since open table does not let the guest select a preference on table location, the hostess worked very hard to get us a very nice table on the lanai. I will book my future reservations over the phone with direct contact to the excellent personal employed at Hilo Bay Cafe. Thank you for a wonderful meal. Aloha

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JG
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was awesome, as usual! My favorite restaurant in Hilo!!

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L
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My guests were visiting from Cape Cod which has some topnotch seafood restaurants. Jim and Judy had some of our fresh local fish and they were impressed. Dining outdoors on a sunny day in Hilo was definitely one of the highlights of their vacation!

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CM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

Great view and lovely cocktails but food was not impressive and was very expensive

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SH
Toronto
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Very disappointed. Ambiance is non existent. Bright lights and hard surfaces. Food....chose waiter recommended sashimi salad and it seemed very dry, just wet lettuce but was served with soy sauce?...waiter arrived later and noticed that there was no dressing on the salad. Too late to make much difference at that point but a little container of dressing was brought. Then the main courses arrived in the middle of the salad appetizer. The server noted that it was prepared "super fast" and we declined to have it then. They reappeared 20 minutes later, mine had been under a warmer and the other dish had been redone (fried fish). Mine was lukewarm. The waiter did not pour our wine other than the first taste. No apologies were made. Poor service, ok food, unappealing ambiance. Enough said.

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VO
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Everything was great, however the waitress ordered an extra salad for me even though my dish came with a salad. I willingly took the blame for it, however she totally did not understand that a salad came with the dish, and she did not attempt to correct her error when I pointed it out. Very disappointing.

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JK
Hawaii
10 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Traditional Chirashi was ono! Was seated right away. Excellent service.

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M
Hawaii
7 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We made reservation for Valentines and we had a great time. The food and service was great. Thank you Brianne.

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NV
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently one of the best places in Hilo for quality, creative, and well-executed food and drink

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AD
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great location and we were sucky to have a table on the outside deck — the food was quite good— beef was delicious as was sushi

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KT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server BREE was awesome. Everything was delicious. We could not have asked for a better afternoon. Already planning our next get together at Hilo Bay Cafe, hopefully we will have Bree again as our server!

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