Hilo Bay Cafe

4.4
1076 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 1076 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
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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1
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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
8 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
59 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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AN
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of our must go to restaurants when in the Hilo area.

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A
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Table was available on time, great outdoor weather, good service. Local fresh fish (mahimahi) was perfectly cooked on fish and chips. Fresh local greens. A favorite Hilo restaurant.

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k
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

since you asked. the burger was dry....not pleasing.

the afterglow cocktail was great!!

very warm and humid on lanai....maybe chose to sit inside if there is a next x.

service was good tho we had to go and look for someone to get the bill...mahalo.....

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CS
New England
3 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our meal and they had good keiki options too.

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EK
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Everything was fine, except the seating was tighter than usual with chairs bumping and difficulty getting in and out of seating because of lack of space between tables. Not something I've normallly experienced at the restaurant, a bit of a disappointing surprise, esp. when dining with elderlies. The tightness of seating also took away from the usually pleasant view from the dining room, major views are the neighboring diners.

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GH
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great food. Friendly staff who take their time assuring fabulous service. Staff interaction is a positive reason for a customers returning.

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WD
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

No return of my phone call verifying my dinner reservation via Open Table prior to my reservation. Onion rings could be less oily as a bite pulled out the inner onion itself. Open air seating inside the restaurant was humid and very warm for dinner, no ventilation. Service person was excellent

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AN
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The atmosphere was enjoyable. Great menu options, which included vegetarian selections. The food was very tasty and the service was excellent.

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C
Salt Lake City
11 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always great at HBC

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AP
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal at HBC! Loved my surf n turf bowl and the desserts were amazing. Most impressed by how good the Keiki menu was. Best chicken tenders - homemade and fresh! We will come here for all our special occasions.

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AM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently fresh, excellent quality locally sourced food, wonderfully prepared and served by a friendly, efficient staff. We use this place for special occasions such as birthdays, holidays and visiting mainland guests. We recommend Hilo Bay Cafe with thanks and aloha.

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RG
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently good food and always have at least a couple vegan options. Also have gluten free. Amazing views of the bay and some outside seating. Love going there!

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MC
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Servers need more personality. Service was slow and food was moderate. Not very satisfied for spending $200 on dinner and drinks.

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We really enjoyed our waiter Pa'ele. He was very informative and friendly.

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FM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

nothing wrong with the table service but something went wrong in the kitchen so the waiting for food was VERY LONG.Extra popcorn and peanuts did not really help.

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JG
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Service and food were excellent. Wish they had a wider variety of cocktail drinks as well as maybe some pasta dishes

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VL
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! Went for a special dinner and everything was great! Food was delicious and many things to choose from. Had to answer a phone call and an email about my reservation after making it butnother than that it was great!

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BB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

We have really enjoyed HBC in the past and are willing to think this one night was just not a good night. That said, it was understaffed and very disorganized. And, the food was not its usual quality. I know they are staffing up again after the volcano....so, we'll try back again soon.

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KN
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are celebrating our anniversary for the week. Several people listed this place as a “can’t miss” for our trip. Food was amazing. Waiter was very helpful with his recommendations for things to see/do. I only wish we had gone during daylight to enjoy the view. We sat outside on the deck and I remembered the water front location!

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EG
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Starters came out with our entrees, my boyfriend ordered the spicy tuna rolls and the everything but the bagel sushi rolls which you could hardly distinguish what you were eating.

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EK
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Generally good, but on this visit when I specifically repeated we had a time constraint to our meal, the service was exceedingly slow, even absent for the first 10 mins. after our seating. A bit of a surprising disappointment.

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RT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The food was quite good--much better and more creative than in the past. The dishes were nicely plated. The service was attentive and prompt.

The only drawback was the noise--crying babies and loud families were not conducive to an adult setting.

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H
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was very good! But when we ordered additional drinks it took long time before they arrived.

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