Hawaii remains one of the world’s most desired destinations, and the one of choice for a true getaway. The beautiful beaches, stunning views, waterfalls, unique landscapes… and we must not forget some of the best dining options in the world.

On a recent trip to the Big Island, I had the opportunity to discover some of the best restaurants in Hawaii.

First stop… Binchotan Bar & Grill at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel. Experience a fresh take on Asian cuisine by exploring the traditional northern Japanese grill known as robatayaki, the centuries-old practice of fireside cooking. Curated with the communal sharing spirit in mind, the menu features the time-honored tradition of grilling meat, fish, seafood and vegetables over an open flame. The establishment’s impressive, full-service bar boasts an inventive menu of artisan cocktails, and a stellar selection of fine wines, whiskeys and sake.

We were lucky to have the full Binchotan Experience, with Robata Edamame and Root Vegetable Salad to start, followed by Tempura Cauliflower, Tuna Crispy Rice, and Pork Gyoza, with a third course of skewers of ribeye, tiger prawns, chicken yakitori, and salmon, served with asparagus, mushrooms and delicious Pork Belly Fried Rice. And we couldn’t resist dessert of Japanese Cheesecake and Chocolate Mochi, a sesame ash ice cream.

Next, take in the breathtaking sunset views from the spacious lanai of Tommy Bahamas, located at The Shops at Mauna Lani, while you indulge in the aloha-inspired flavors of Chef Stennis’ fresh local produce and mahi-mahi.

Start your culinary experience with the restaurant’s World Famous Coconut Shrimp, Macadamia-crusted Goat Cheese, served with flatbread, or the Bungalow Salad. For the main course, there are so many incredible options, including Tamarind-Pineapple Glazed Mahi-Mahi, Thai Shrimp & Scallops, or the Seafood Pasta special.

In addition to a wonderful wine list, the specialty cocktail selection features elevated Martinis, Mojitos, Margaritas, and Frozen Mai Tais, as well as some inventive zero-alcohol options. You cannot leave Tommy Bahamas before you try the incredible Pineapple Crème Brûlée. It’s truly out of this world. Catch Happy Hour from three to five p.m. daily.

And you must visit Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill before heading to the airport. A local favorite, located a little inland off the main highway, the restaurant lives up to its tagline “so fresh it’s off the hook.” Umekes prides itself in serving dishes using local ingredients that are of the highest quality, sourcing as many ingredients as possible from local fisherman, farmers, and ranchers. The restaurant is known for its poke, created with only the freshest fish from Hawaiian waters, and was voted best on the island for the past 15 years. Try the Poke Nachos for a new twist on the classic dish. Other tempting delights include the Fish Tacos and the Lau Lau, steamed pork and Hawaiian salt wrapped in taro leaves.

Take in the daily Happy Hour with local, live island-inspired music to cap off the day!

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