Hilo Bay Cafe

4.4
1099 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 1099 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
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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RH
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Our male server was cold and preoccupied. When I asked for a photo of our table, he grudgingly took the shot without looking. We were not prepared. I am unable to share it with my group.

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was outstanding. The noise was totally beyond your control. It was a loud patron at a table close by.

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

Wonderful place! Food, service and ambiance was grand. Highly recommended

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MS
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had reservations but had to wait an extra half hour because we requested outdoor seating and the groups currently outside were taking longer than usual to leave. Staff apologetically informed us of this periodically during our wait. Once seated, we had to wait longer than normal for the server to take our order. After that point everything was smooth sailing and wonderful. The food was fantastic and service was friendly. I recommend the cauliflower appetizer. It sounds boring but it's delicious. House made coconut limeade is to die for. Nice selection of intriguing cocktails. Tasty vegetarian options. Something for everyone and, so far, everything we've had is yummy. Portions are somewhat smaller (which is a good thing), so order appetizers if you're really hungry. This might be our new go-to spot!

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BC
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We sat on the lanai as the weather was perfect. Service was excellent. It was a girlfriend lunch and we were allowed to stay and talk with no pressure to leave. My only complaint is the fresh ahi fish and chips, the ahi was overdone.

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b
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

One of our favorite appetizers to have at HBC was their poke. They totally changed the recipe. Yuck!!! Also, one of the waiters (not our waiter, but someone helping to serve), dropped 2 ramekins of ketchup right before serving our food. Luckily, it didn't make it onto our clothing. But the fact that it took him 3 times to clean up the spill and we had to ask him for ketchup (for our fries) was a bit uncomfortable. Lately, it's been a hit or miss having a meal there. :-(

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NG
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Great food & great atmosphere but our service wasn’t as expected.

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AG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is a tiny bit fancy, but not stuffy. The menu items are consistently tasty, but pay attention to the specials, as they're really lovely. I do recommend getting a reservation, as they might not be able to seat you otherwise.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

My family loves this place although the etouffé was not the greatest, was very bland though the mussles in it were good. The onion rings are always great as was the mahi fish and chips, drinks, and the rainbow roll.

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HB
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A perfect lunch with out of town guests. Excellent food, service and views.

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FM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

food came out at different times. 1/2 of our table's food was "taken " for another table. Some fries very well done.

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AC
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

We are local Hilo residents and have been to Hilo Bay Cafe many times. We were able to score a last minute lanai seating on New Year's Eve which was awesome to see the early fireworks folks were setting off. I assume that they must've been slammed for the holiday or had limited staff on duty because although we were seated on time, we waited nearly a half hour before anyone acknowledged us with an order. Then we waited another 45 minutes for our food which came room temperature at best, so almost cold. We splurged for steaks ($40) and it wasn't even hot! We also had to wait another 10-15 minutes for a refill on a coke. We were happy to sit in a lovely setting with the fireworks, but didn't anticipate having a 2.5 hour dinner.

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MG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Terrible slow service. It was 45 min before our waiter even came to the table after we sat down. My salad appetizer arrived before our drink order and at 7pm they had already run out of dishes. When the food finally arrived it was good, but hard to enjoy because it took so long and the service was so awful. Couldn’t wait to leave so I didn’t even finish my meal.

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AM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

'Cmon!... the kitchen out of Tenderloin on New Year's Eve?! That's almost unforgivable, except that when they DO have it, it's incredible... which is probably why they didn't have any more.

The alternative menu choices were all first-rate anyway, so other than my one complaint the evening was an excellent experience. Thank you once again, Hilo Bay cafe!

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MP
Hawaii
13 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoy the food and service by Chef Roy at the sushi bar. It’s a special treat to have the master create special dishes with the freshest fish on island.

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AY
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food & service. Been a regular here for pau hana Friday’s for years.

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JK
Hawaii
9 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

There was a glitch in the system where we didn't receive our main dishes in a timely manner. Our server was honest about it and owned up, not like Sam Choys in Kona. She gave us complimentary edamame appetizers x 2 and desserts.

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C
Seattle
15 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a delicious and well prepared menu to choose from and a very attentive staff make this one of our favorites. Few places on the mainland we go to hit all the marks like this.

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JG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Been to Hilo Bay Cafe many times and it never disappoints. Staff has always been friendly and always seem to accommodate my requests, no matter how odd they may be. Highly recommend for locals and visitors.

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OT
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Amazing time at our 2nd annual end of year dinner!

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MM
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

This is an excellent restaurant overall with a stunning view and lovely ambience but service could be a little bit more attentive and the music was a bit loud this time.

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JK
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent as well as the service. Our friends arrived that morning from Japan direct into Kona
and we took the long route to Hilo via South Point. We knew they would be tired but since they had only one night in Hilo we decided HBC was the place to take them for dinner. It was a hit! We had three entrees
and a salad that we shared among the four of us. We got to sample different dishes and nothing was so heavy we were full and very satisfied. Our friends are from Kanazawa known for their fresh seafood. They
enjoyed the chirashizushi and the tenderloin fillet steak from Kulana Foods. I usually order a dessert but
I was full so had to pass this time. All in all it was a very enjoyable time. They have already requested to be
taken back to HBC when they next visit. Thanks HBC you never disappoint.

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DS
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 5

My wife and I went for my birthday. Our seat and view was fun but food was overpriced and undercooked. My wife asked for well done steak and recieved medium rare. We brought this up but didn't have time to have it re-cooked as we had to get back to the babysitter. They didn't try to do anything to make it right. High prices for little food and not good quality. For a special date night go somehwere else.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

I was very disappointed in the service. Very poor service... constantly waiting for the waitress. I was in this type of business for over 15 years and this was very unacceptable. Customer service should be your top priority and food! I spent $30 on my entree which the main dish had no flavor. I even had to ask my hubby to try it because maybe it was my taste buds but he also said it had no seasoning or flavor.

The remodeling was nicely done .... I like it but I won't be coming back unless I have to.

I saw a couple that I knew there and I happened to see him today and I asked him about the service and food. He said maybe the service wasn't as bad but the food he ordered didn't have enough flavor.... so I'm not the only one that feels it needs more flavor (2 different entrees).

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g
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Servers Jess, Tyson, and Isaiah were outstanding!

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KN
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and a really nice atmosphere! Oceanfront and clean. Diverse enough menu and everyone loved what they got!

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L
Minneapolis
10 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 5

Courtney was nice, but there was a long wait to order drinks and receive them. One beer was flat and it took ten minutes to replace it. It also took a long time for someone to take our food order.
The sushi was terrific! The meals were mostly good except for the stuffed Mahi which was just ok. The ambiance is amazing here and I would recommend highly.

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SL
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful restaurant with a view and great healthy food! What happened to the great salad menu? No Blue cheese, no Cobb or Caesar? Sorry a Shrimp Louie and kale salad just doesn’t do it!!

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KC
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had heard mixed reviews but for me it was outstanding! I did an easy on-line reservation, got a beautiful table, excellent fast service, food was so delicious (crab cake salad). I would highly recommend it. It was my first experience there. The service in particular was exceptional!

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d
Dallas
61 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was wonderful. Loved the view of the bay. Dirty martini was perfect. Overall we had a very delightful time. French onion soup was beautiful to see and delicious. The Kailua pig sandwich was so good.

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LC
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food, GREAT, friendly service from the minute you walk in the door, beautiful location and restaurant . . . always a great experience.

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RP
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Make reservations to avoid waiting a long time. The service was great minus my drink getting “lost” but over it was great.

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OT
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great waiter, Zack. Service great w a smile always

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TC
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Vegetarian special sold out with a 7 pm reservation which was really disappointing because it sounded wonderful. Brussels and mushroom app was amazing. Pot pie mediocre. Chirashi unbelievable. And most of all bartender was impeccable... all drinks were awesome but saketini on another level!

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SB
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and like to go there on our anniversary. The food is delicious. Service is great. If your getting up in years it will be nice being able to go up to the dinning room in an elevator.
We have only gone to dinner there but I think I am going to ask him to take me there for lunch.

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C
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 2

The service was very good but the seat we where in it was very hot even with a fan blowing on us the food was just ok I had the Filet steak little over priced for what you got

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Date night with my husband was wonderful. We had our wedding reception here at Hilo Bay and we love going back to enjoy and. Remember our special day!

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ML
Sacramento
51 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Two of us had lunch on the lanai overlooking the bay -- it was shaded and comfortable and lovely. Overall, the restaurant is designed in a sophisticated minimalist way that I appreciate very much. The menu, too, reflects this. Everything has a special touch.

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S
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing in every way. Anna was amazing and attentive to my wife’s allergies (gluten). Food was perhaps the best we’ve ever had in a restaurant setting. Amazing amazing amazing!

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E
New England
14 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was delicious! Great final meal for us in Hawaii!

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