Merriman's – Waimea – Big Island

4.8
3671 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Hawaii Regional Cuisine
Located in the heart of the Big Islands farm community is Peter Merriman's original restaurant; Merriman's Waimea. Chef/Owner Peter Merriman is one of the founders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine and uses 90% or more of local produce, fish and beef. All dishes are handcrafted to highlight the natural flavors of each menu item. Our award winning wine list has selections for all to enjoy. Merriman's knowledgeable and friendly staff will guide you through a culinary experience you will not forget. We look forward to serving you!
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CH
Chicago
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently excellent!

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Hawaii
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We don't get to dine as often as we'd like here but when we do it never disappoints. The food is always fresh and savory. The service is five star with a touch of Aloha. We will always return!

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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Repeat, repeat, repeats customers! Though not inexpensive, the food and service are always perfect. Merriman’s Waimea is always the first restaurant reservation we secure when we visit the Big Island. We give it our highest recommendation.

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CM
Portland
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Finest shrimp and creme brûlée we ever had. Rest of the meal was also excellent.

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OT
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for lunch and it was fantastic. They took us right in (had reservation) Chris was extremely helpful on picking from the multiple delicious choices. We went with the mushroom soup (divine!) fish tacos (mahi) and the kampacha fish. All were fantastic. Couldn’t have chosen better. All were extremely fresh and well prepared. We had the dessert of Waimea chocolate with Tahitian vanilla ice cream... decadent! Would easily return again

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came here from Kona, so close and amazing food!

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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unbelievable a must go to restaurant. Once you go you will understand.

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p
Denver
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

We always look forward to dining here but we’re very disappointed with our experience this year. The steak was over cooked and the preparation for the mahi-mahi was not our favorite. The service was very slow for a dining room that was half empty. We will not hurry back next year.

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TB
Vancouver
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Had booked for 4 of us to go to Merrimans for my birthday, but having never eaten here before was a trifle apprehensive. There was absolutely no need to worry. The food was outstanding. My husband thought the steak was one of the best he had ever had; my friends fish disappeared very quickly and my lamb was meltingly tender. The bread pudding and chocolate purse desserts were delicious. We were so impressed we booked to go back again. Easily the best meal we have had on the island.

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H
Los Angeles
22 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant on the Big Island. Food, waitstaff and ambience are superb.

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JP
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always good. It's refreshing to return to a spot where the emphasis is on what you're eating.

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M
Boise
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food as always. Nice proportions for those of us that enjoy food without being overwhelmed by plates full of food. Flavors are intricate and well balanced. We come every year we are here and are always pleased with the consistency! Enjoy

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d
Edmonton
32 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We have been many times and Merrimac always is good. Loved the soup and both fish dishes were excellent. Good wine list. Restaurant fills up quickly. Reservations probably necessaryy

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San Diego
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed a delicious dinner here to celebrate our wedding anniversary and were greeted with such wonderful hospitality the moment we entered their doorway til the end. Our favorite meal and overall dining experience on Big Island. Thank you.

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Salt Lake City
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Recommendation to visit came from a local island friend so we were excited. The menu provides an ample sampling of both local and mainland foods though I would recommend staying with local offerings. After all, that is why you are in Hawaii. Our server (Irene) was fantastic. She was polite, well versed in the foods and always there to take care of us. The staff made us feel welcome from the time we arrived to the completion of our visit. Make sure to book early as good times are gone well in advance.

Three items could use a bit of improvement:
1) toward the end of our meal it was a touch noisy which I suspect is a drawback to the open concept dining.

2) the mixed drinks were a bit light on the alcohol. Wine or liquor may be the way to go.

3) the pineapple bread pudding was too sweet though still good.

In all, I would recommend a visit as it is still one of the best restaurants on the island.

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MF
New England
16 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never ever disappoints!!!! Fabulous experience all around 👍👍

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JS
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food as always! Our first time on a Saturday, it was lively!

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HG
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite Hawaii restaurant and one of our top favorites worldwide. We have eaten at Merriman's Waimea about half a dozen times over the past two decades. We go there whenever we are on the Big Island, and one time we went two nights in a row because we did not want to eat anywhere else. The food is always excellent, with a nice selection of fish and meat. Desserts are wonderful, especially the chocolate purse--I order that every time. Cocktails expertly made. We have never had a bad experience. Service is absolutely superb. They set the bar very high. Everything from salads to main courses to dessert makes you think Wow after each bite. Even the bread and butter is memorable. Will be back whenever possible.

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MK
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Merriman's Waimea is such a special treat. Exceeds my expectations every time. The food was delicious - Kalua Pig Quesadilla and Hirabara greens to start, filet of local beef, bottle of Petalos and coffee for dessert. Service with Jennifer was excellent.

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u
Seattle
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WOW. best meal ever. great wine selection, great ambience. fabulous selection of food; loved my experience here

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LF
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful fresh food, excellent service. Great place to have a birthday lunch! I just wish people wouldn’t eat at such a nice restaurant in T-shirts, flip flops, and wearing baseball caps. Me, I wore a dress. Is that so hard? It’s an island, but slobs are slobs anywhere.

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W
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service from the greeting at the front desk to the end of the meal was wonderful!. We lived the food, especially the lobster salad!

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W
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always superb. This time we made reservations only two hours ahead. Lucky and happy to get in but seated in a front alcove that was extremely noisy due to acoustics. Worth asking for a table (anywhere) in the main room, if available.

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MA
Orlando
13 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The lobster was like rubber. No compensation for the poorly cooked lobster, manager didn’t even come over after the food was sent back.

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MS
New England
155 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Not the usual outstanding experience we are used to at this very fine restaurant. Service was very good and quite attentive. Soup was delicious. The Ahi classic lacked flavor, and the $49 fish special being served that evening was also ordinary. The sequencing of appetizers and entrees was off at our 5:45 sitting, and we waited quite a bit for food that I suspect had been waiting for our server. But we always enjoy the relative elegance of being in this restaurant. Things were just not up to the usual level of excellence on this Friday night

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CC
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If we could give more than five stars we would! Absolutely perfect in every way.

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DM
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very nice find for a dinner experience. Friendly service and good food.

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IM
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Service was excellent, food was fresh but ordinary ( also we ate off the lunch menu)and over priced . Kimchi seemed like vinegar was added as opposed to fermented ie not really kimchi.

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B
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Beautiful fresh food served by really nice people. Warm and inviting atmosphere. We had a lovely evening!

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San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Merrimans was a very noisy restaurant which for me took away from the experience. The food was very good and nicely presented. The staff was attentive and friendly but very busy

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A
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was excellent. We both had the special of opah (moonfish), which we never had before. It was served over black rice with a lillikoi dressing. We shared an heirloom tomato salad with arugula. Fantastic! And we ended with a lillikoi mouse. A nice ending to a perfect meal. Our waiter, Jim was really helpful and pleasant, a real professional.

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f
Savannah
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Merriman's is such a wonderful restaurant from the moment you walk through the door, you are greeted by the host/hostess who sat us promptly at our table for 6. We began our evening with a selection of cocktails while perusing the menu and listening to our waiter as he described the evening's specials. The garlic steamed clam appetizer was a big hit in addition to the Ceasar salad (probably the best on the island). I personally had the lamb chops with jalapeno mashed potatoes - awesome! This dish was cooked to perfection. There is a wonderful selection of local fish which was a hit with my friends. I would be remiss if I did not mention the pineapple bread pudding with toasted Macadamia nuts - to die for! Merriman's works closely with local farmers on the island to bring fresh produce to the table which is evident by the freshness of their salads. This is one restaurant not to be missed on your visit to the island.

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R
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Fewer local protein choices than expected. In general not very many choices relative to expectation

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S
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service like no other.

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J
Minneapolis
23 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Went for lunch. Dishes were interesting and well prepared. Waitstaff are top notch. Next trip to the island may want to try their dinner service

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MS
Minneapolis
9 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is always delicious. The house made sauces and dressings make each dish extra special.

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N
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was outstanding.

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OT
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Apps were awesome. Chocolate purse is worth every penny

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Food was not impressive.
I have visited the restaurant on the Big island five years ago and Tuna was excellent at that time but not now

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

The food was absolutely phenomenal and I truly appreciated the connection noted with the sourcing of the ingredients and to that of the terroir of the big island, and you could definitely taste the difference here. However, with so much emphasis on connection I was rather surprised of the energy we received from our server that lacked any real effort for connecting and giving us a welcoming feeling as a guest to the restaurant. It was rather robotic (albeit knowledgeable) and was not warm and inviting as I had initially expected due to the concept. I will say that the server’s assistant clearing our items made more of an effort than our main server in connecting with us. The food will be what brings us back.

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