Kohala Burger is open 11am - 4:00pm on Christmas Eve and CLOSED on Christmas Day. I would like to wish everyone a joyous holiday season! Kohala Burger prides itself as being one of "Hawaii's Best Quick Serve Restaurant to Work" when it comes to both restaurant pay and schedule.Part of our employee, as family, philosophy includes paid vacations, free meals, and a safe and progressive learning environment.In order to express our commitment to family we offer short work days on Sunday's and all other state and federal holidays. We are also proud to allow our staff the following company holidays to enjoy with their families:Easter SundayFourth of JulyThanksgivingChristmas Day MahaloChef Cary 


Aloha,I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who came in to celebrate the Kohala Burger & Taco 5 year anniversary last week. As we embark on year six we find ourselves faced with new challenges.  As we have grown, so has our menu and food offerings.  Our current business flow and staffing abilities have forced us to reevaluate the menu.  As the Hawaii economy improves and unemployment levels drop to all time lows, the ability to grow our staff continues to be challenging.  Despite having a great work environment and offering some of the best pay on the Big Island, for Quick Serve Restaurants, we continually find ourselves understaffed for our business's  explosive growth. Something has got to give.. 

Over the next few weeks we will begin slowly transitioning to our new menu and format.  We have geared our new menu to focus on our original core offerings of primarily "burgers & tacos".  We have also done a thorough pricing analysis.The good news is that many of our prices will be staying the same or will be slightly reduced.  However we have identified a few cost trouble areas, where you will see some minimal increases. The most significant change is that we will be phasing out burritos and quesadillas, however they may be available occasionally as specials. The second adjustment you will notice is our new "Build your own" burger and tacos sections.  More than 50% of our guests insist on changing our menu items to adapt to their own preferences or dietary needs. The new BYO sections make it simple to do so without complicating regular menu items and slowing down everyone's experience.  Core menu items as described are priced to represent the best value. We will also be eliminating our "Early Eats" limited breakfast service, due to lack of interest.. We are really excited for this new chapter.  We are also pleased to present to you our new and improved taco salads and our new San Diego Style Fish Tacos. We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to serving you. Thank you for your patronage.

Chef Cary



Kohala Burger and Taco Holds 5th Anniversary $5 Menu Special!

by Julie Ziemelis on November 3, 2015    original article here

If you are traveling on the Big Island or are local and want to head up to North Kohala for a hike in Pololu’u Valley, or snorkeling at MahuKona or camping at Spencer Beach Park for the afternoon, I suggest checking out Kohala Burger and Taco at the Kawaihae Shopping Center. I have been there about four times and have enjoyed the food and especially the hamburgers, which are grass fed and super juicy. I wanted to share this with you because the restaurant is one of those “hidden food gems” on the Big Island and they are celebrating their 5th anniversary which also includes food deals! $5 burgers, malts, beef and fish tacos from November 16-19th until 3:30 each day. Affordable and delicious and while you are up there, go for a hike or a swim!

Here is more info: American Coastal Cuisine Meets Nostalgic Burger Joint-Kohala Burger and Taco Celebrates 5 Years

Kohala Burger and Taco was born in the middle of the Great Recession and has flourished into a restaurant that has received some of the best reviews on Yelp (234 reviews) and TripAdvisor (235 reviews) of any restaurant on the island with an average of 4.5 stars. A unique accomplishment for Chef/Owner Cary Peterson who opened his contemporary American coastal cuisine meets nostalgic burger joint in November 2010 in the Kawaihae Shopping Center on the Big Island.

“The vision for the restaurant is to utilize fresh and locally sourced ingredients, which embrace Hawaii’s grass fed beef supply and its abundance of fresh line caught wild fish,” Chef Cary explains.

Chef/Owner Cary Peterson grew up working in his family’s Mexican restaurant business. In 1991, Cary’s family opened a restaurant in Kawaihae, this was his first working Chef job. Eventually Cary moved to Southern California where he further developed his kitchen and management skills working with one of the nation’s largest Mexican restaurant chains.

After a nine-year corporate restaurant career, Chef Cary moved back to his hometown in North Lake Tahoe. In 2001, he purchased his childhood haunt the “World Famous”

Char-Pit.  This landmark restaurant, established in 1962, is where he learned the techniques and recipes used to create the those nostalgic flavors of the great 50’s style “Drive-In” burgers and shakes. The menu selections at Kohala Burger & Taco are a reflection of these truly classic items.

When it became clear that Hawaii’s Recession in 2009 was going to force a change, Chef Cary took all of his savings and went to work and began developing the Kohala Burger and Taco concept in the late summer of 2010. He created a value-oriented menu and provided systems to ensure speedy service. He purchased the equipment and leased the Kawaihae restaurant space. After some minor renovations, grass roots marketing and $80 left in the bank, he opened the doors on November 16, 2010. The restaurant prides itself on the fact that the food prepared at Kohala Burger and Taco is of the highest quality, hormone and antibiotic-free grass fed beef and sustainable fresh fish, fresh baked bread and Big Island made tortillas.

The Paniolo Burger

“I created a restaurant that provides approachable, top quality food, and a great value with accurate and speedy service,“ explains Chef Cary. Kohala Burger & Taco is the culmination of my years of operating restaurants, honing my culinary skills and creating a cuisine all of my own, where handcrafted burgers are an art, fresh fish tacos and chocolate malts work perfectly together and stepping into my restaurant is an experience.”

Upcoming Menu Changes

 Aloha KBAT Guests,

I am writing to let you know about some exciting changes coming to our business, facility and menu.  Although we have not set an exact date for each menu change and new item roll out, we plan on phasing in some changes over the next month.  We expect all the changes to be complete by Memorial Day Weekend. It is a busy time at Kohala Burger & Taco, we are finished with the first phase of our remodel and kitchen expansion.  We have recently invested over $30,000 into the facility to better serve you and enhance your experience. Many of the upcoming menu changes are being made to accommodate our guest requests and dining needs. In addition to accommodating our guest requests we also must make some changes in order to continually execute great food.  Since our business volume has nearly tripled in recent years,  it is imperative that all of our menu items reflect our core operating principals and consistently deliver: Value, Speed and Accuracy.     Beginning May 1, 2015 we will no longer be offering "Uno Tacos"  This is and always has been an "off menu" category that has been previously offered as a "service" for lighter eaters.  The "single" taco offers little value and it was never what we set out to do.   From time to time we may offer a special which features a single taco. We are also working on a "Taco Combo" coming this fall which will include 1 taco. We will also be eliminating our "Tres Tacos Platters" the reasons for discontinuing these items are too numerous to mention here, the good news is that their removal makes way for several new and exciting menu items designed to better accommodate current palates. A few of the new items include Roasted Pork Tacos "Al Pastor" and "Beach Style" Fresh Fish Tacos, both feature a hand cut tropical pineapple salsa. Both of these new items are Gluten Free and Dairy Free.  We are also adding a basic Bean & Cheese Burrito and Crispy Bean Taco, both which are vegetarian.  These are just a few of the many great changes we are making, so don't worry all your favorites will still be here!

We are also simplifying our Milk Shake Menu and will be eliminating the "Premium" flavors this should help avoid confusion and speed up our milk shake process. Anyway you heard it here first. MahaloChef Cary

Expansion & Facelift

Aloha! It's an exciting time at Kohala Burger & Taco! We just want to remind everyone that we will have modified business hours during our kitchen expansion. Starting Monday, April 13th through Friday, April 17th our operating hours will be: 11:00am-5:00pm, CLOSED Thursday April 16th.

We apologize for any inconvenience as we make necessary changes to our facility. We hope you'll come to see our new look on Saturday, April 18th.

Be sure to check our website for our new "Late Spring" operating calendar, which begins April 19th, 2015. Happy Easter! KBAT Crew  

Hours Update Saturday February 21, 2015 - Open 11am-4pm

Aloha,Due to unforeseen circumstances and our ongoing labor shortage, we will not have enough staff to operate a dinner service on Saturday February 22, 2015.We will be open from 11am-4pm. We currently have 4 positions available, Weekend Malt Shop / Clean Up (no exp reqd), Cashier, Part Time Bookkeeper and Cook. Wages from $8-$18.

Please see our employment page. If interested simply apply in person Tues - Fri  8:30 am-10:00 - We can't do it without you!

Mahalo,Chef Cary


 #GETLUCKY@ #KBATValentine’sDay 2015 Prize Giveaway OFFICIALRULES: 
- No Purchase Necessary - One (1) entry per person - Available to first 180 guests Feb 14, 2015, entries given on a first come basis, no reservations - You Must be present to enter. - You Must be present to win - Your “Valentine’s Day Envelope” must be returned UNOPENED, and in person, on March 17, 2015
Your SEALED Envelope must be opened by the “Manager on Duty” at Kohala Burger & Taco ONLY - Your WINNING TICKET is VOID if envelope seal is broken or tampered. - Envelopes opened prior to March 17 th are VOID. - IMPORTANT: DO NOT OPEN YOUR ENVELOPE!! - In order to WIN it MUST BE OPENED BY THE KBAT MANAGER at Kohala Burger on March 17, 2015 - Unopened Envelopes must be presented during business hours March 17, 2015, 11am-4pm - Your Envelope “Entry”  is transferrable and still eligible as long as it is not opened - Transferred “Entries” become “holders” property and winnings will be granted to the “holder” - Winners agree that their names and photographs may be used for future Kohala Burger & Taco promotional campaigns or advertisements, without future or further compensation or consideration. - Every Envelope is a WINNER!!!! The Minimum prize value is $3 of Food & Drink Credit THE Grand PrizeWinner willreceive one (1) $25 Gift Certificate to use for every week remaining in 2015.Grand Prizevalue is (43x$25) = $1,075Only One (1)Dated Certificate per week may be usedDatedCertificates areTransferrable, feel free to “Send a Friend”DatedCertificates that go unused during the designated week are VOID. NO EXCEPTIONS