Hilo Bay Cafe

4.5
1038 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Fusion / Eclectic

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 1038 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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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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MB
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

I made the reservation for my husband and I to enjoy for our 19th wedding anniversary. After a short wait we were seated outside over looking the water as I had asked for a view. It was super hot and there are no fans outside. The server was very nice and wished us a happy anniversary. I had said I wanted champagne in my reservation and my champagne was not cold. Shortly after our arrival a extended family with five small children were seated next to us and they were visiting and of course loud. We have five kids so similar to eating at home. My sushi was not cold, my husband's dish was okay. Not very memorable or special , we didn't drink anything else, skipped dessert , and were glad to get back into our airconditioned vehicle. The view was excellent and nice table inside or some outdoor fans would be great in the future. This place seems very clean and the décor is modern and fresh. Was about a hundred bucks before tip, we normally spend a lot and would have ordered more had we not been sittiing next to a loud table. The restaurant was not full and the family could have been seated else where. We could not even hold a conversation. It was our Anniversary, no ROMANCE! I had asked for an intimate table.

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J
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently delicious with outstanding fresh fish.

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FP
Charlotte
13 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

We were ecstatic to find Hilo Bay Cafe. It clearly is one of the better restaurants on the Hilo side of the island. We had dinner there twice during our vacation there. One of the few restaurants on the island that could make a decent martini. Everything on the menu was outstanding. Our servers were excellent especially Molly and we will certainly return on the next vacation there.

For restaurant management... may I suggest you understand lighting and ambiance. The blaring can lights after sunset were a bit much and had the ambience of a dinner. Dimming the lights with perhaps some fairy lights on the outside and candles on the tables could take this restaurant to a another level.

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FP
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Lovely for small group get-togethers, lunch, birthdays and special occasions. Locally sourced ingredients predominate. Good sushi bar and great cocktails.

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OT
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you great

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DP
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

OMG....We gathered here for our Red Hat Society luncheon! The service was really fabulous! Our waiter was Mathew and our hostess was Gina. They were both so accommodating to all our needs. Our meal was so delicious! My sistahs and I had a great time chatting and enjoying the great scenery. We will most definitely tell everyone we know of the great service, great meal selection, and great view we experienced at the beautiful HILO BAY CAFE!

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B
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Waitress was very attentive, but not hovering. Food was great. Water glasses always refilled. My friend & I talked and ate for 2 hours and no one rushed us out the door (there weren't other customers waiting). Very comfortable. On a side note ... I had been hospitalized recently and one of the things on my "recovery to-do list" was to go to HBC and order their grilled cauliflower appetizer. It was wonderful.

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BT
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and drinks at reasonable prices, and with great views of Hilo Bay!

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JM
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and Atmosphere was awesome! Roy and his crew at the sushi bar takes pride in their job. A must eat is the Eggplant Parmesan Custard!

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G
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 5

It was our first time there. We loved the balcony overlooking the bay, and we will most likely go again. Only two complaints: the slow service, due to not having enough waiters, and the music coming out of a speaker above our heads. Every song had lyrics, which made it difficult to carry on a conversation.
PS: I really appreciated the elevator. Stairs are hard on my old knees.

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E
Stuttgart Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food! Super location with tables looking out at the water. Excellent menu and many Gluten Free choices (which was VERY important to me, celiac). The service was 5 star!

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DA
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a fav go to restaurant for us. Never disappointed.

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SS
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a special birthday dinner. Food is great, interesting tasty appetizers

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LB
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The restaurant staff were accommodating! Turned down the music during lunch to help my hard of hearing husband enabling him to hear conversation better. We all had a tasty mealtime with pleasant conversation.

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HR
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed a dinner with our family there and had a very good time. Mahalo!

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DI
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great meal. Beef carpaccio is a must. Tried the mushroom cups this time, also great, nice and earthy.

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AR
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and the service is always so reliable. The only thing that made dining outside unpleasant was the high volume of the music. Waitress already turned it down once but made it very difficult to have a conversation without shouting or leaning over the table.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Très bonne adresse à Hilo
Carte variée. Tous les plats étaient très bons.
Service rapide et très aimable
N hésitez pas à y aller si vous êtes à Hilo
Je recommande

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KM
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food! It's always going to be a good meal when we have Paele as our server!

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RH
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Food was on a rating of poor-neutral-good: Neutral. Price was very high as is the case for most restaurants in Hilo due to high food and operating costs and I would imagine a decent profit margin to make it worthwhile. You could do a lot worse in Hilo though you could also do much better for the same cost.

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OT
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Hilo Bay Cafe - the best service, the best ambience, the best food. Mahalo for a fantastic lunch experience. Aloha.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our family loved it-especially the house-made focaccia

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F
Jackson Hole
11 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We had a wonderful time. The food was very good and great service. You could tell the food was of great quality. I am a picky sushi eater and it was very fresh!

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c
Los Angeles
11 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family lunch between Gardens of the World and Rainbow Falls. Good service. Good food.

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FK
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

The hand-made tagliatelle with Panang Curry, fresh assorted mushrooms, peas, etc. was delicious and the Filet Mignon never disappoints. A must try is the Beef Carpaccio.

The only reason 5 stars was not given all around was because it was uncomfortably hot. There was a stand alone fan right near our table that we moved to blow directly on us.

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DK
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently good food; good variety of choices and open on Mondays where most other restaurants are closed!

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KH
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As a vegetarian, often times the only choice on a restaurant menu is some pasta with a few pieces of vegetables tossed on top. Not so at Hilo Bay Cafe! We started out with Mushroom Lettuce cups and Crispy Onion Rings - both absolutely delicious. The entree of Big Kid Grilled Cheese was THE BEST grilled cheese sandwich I have ever eaten! It was crunchy and flavorful. The dessert of A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts was a perfect ending to this wonderful meal. And, the setting is lovely, no matter what type of weather.

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JG
1 review
Dined on July 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I invited friends visiting from the mainland for lunch at HBC. Adults and kids all loved it and the food was fantastic! I recommend the lunch bowl with the homemade spam...Ono!

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, drinks and VIEW!

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l
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Food's quality has stayed consistent even after moving to a much larger facility. Good job!

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SK
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved Hilo Bay Cafe so much that we returned the following night. We had great service, our waiter even recognized us instantly the following night and welcomed us back. Even though we weren't in his section the following night, he tracked down our table to say "hello". The food and drinks were amazing. We ordered an appetizer, cocktails, and dessert both nights and they were as delicious as the entrees. Would highly recommend ordering off of the specials menu they offer every day. Everything was delicious!

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C
London
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food and service
But ask for a table outside, they were empty and didnt let us sit on them becuase they were supposedly reserved

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MM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food, well presented. Very friendly service

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MP
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and our server, Matt, was very attentive. Only negative was my Old Fashioned was pretty mediocre, which I can live with given the food and location.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On other side of island for the day. Found restaurant on Open Table. Was even better than reviews. We’ve had some fabulous meals and this was on par with the 5 star resort meals - but wZy cheaper! Will definitely eat there again next trip to the Big Island.

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SI
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was unique and delicious. The eggplant Parmesan custard and mushroom lettuce cups were a big hit. Our waitress Sherry was a superstar and made us feel great. Highly recommended.

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

It was a lovely meal however when we tried to order off the kids menu for our 14 year old (very picky eater due to autism) the waitress said that they would need to charge us $5 more for the same food. My husband explained the situation and we were not charged the extra but I think the restaurant policy needs to be changed if this is standard practice.

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BK
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We did not wait at all for our table. We were seated outside and had a nice view.
Dinner was delicious and our server Zack was the best!!

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