The area around Kawaihae is one of the most diverse and beautiful parts of the Big Island, where you can find vast lava fields and also lush forests, cool elevations and incredible views. Just a short drive from our restaurant you can snorkel and swim on amazing beaches like Hapuna Beach Park or Spencer's Beach Park, but there are also several important, historical sites of the Big Island.
Visit Pu'ukohola Heiau, a national historic site, just down the road from us. This is the last temple that was build in Hawaii by Kamehameha I. It was finished in the summer of 1791 and is the place where Kamehameha began his journey to unite the Hawaiian Islands under his reign. The massive structure was erected in only one year by artfully placing rock on rock, with no mortar to hold them together.
From here you have an excellent view of Kawaihae, its harbor and another ancient sacred site located right below the great heiau. It is the old shark temple, Hale of Kapuni, where sacrifices were made to the shark god. Still today, you can see sharks patrolling the area every now and then.
Going north from Kawaihae and stopping by Kohala Burger and Taco for lunch the landscape will change once again and you'll find quaint, artsy villages, the birthplace of Kamehameha I and eventually the Pololu Valley Lookout. From there it is just a short and scenic hike down to a black sand beach.
Today our little town of Kawaihae is mostly known for its active harbor, but it was once the seat of the Kingdom of Hawaii under King Alapaʻinuiakauaua. In the late 1700 it became known for its sheltered location and started to develop as a safe and centrally located shipping hub. From 1790 t0 to 1794 it was the main place of residence for King Kamehameha I and just about 30 years later the first missionaries set foot on the island in Kawaihae.
As you can imagine, there are many more stories and places to discover and we'd be happy to help you stay well nourished during your adventures along the Kohala Coast. Stop by for lunch and enjoy a healthy, fresh meal in our fun, family friendly and unique nostalgic ambiance.
Many say we have the best burgers and tacos on the Big Island. Find out for yourself!