Home » Big Island » Big Island on a Budget: Big Island Cheap Eats

Big Island on a Budget: Big Island Cheap Eats

Are you planning a trip to the Big Island on a budget? Scroll to find out the best Big Island cheap eats that taste amazing!
This list of Big Island cheap eats and restaurants on the Big Island on a budget was written by Marcie Cheung (a Hawaii travel expert) and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Love food? Hate spending a fortune on it while on vacation?

If you’re looking for some of the best food during your trip to Hawaii, but are staying on a tight budget, here are all the Big Island cheap eats that are delicious and affordable. 

You’ll be able to savor local flavors and other dishes that are amazing but won’t cost you an arm and a leg. With this guide, you can visit the Big Island on a budget without sacrificing any of the amazing food!

Keep scrolling for my ultimate guide to visiting Big Island on a budget with all the cheap eats in Hawaii!

Why turn to me for Hawaii advice? I’ve been there over 40 times and gathered lots of tips!


Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Big Island Itinerary complete with daily schedules, fun activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.

Big Island Travel Guide by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel Spot

Best Cheap Eats on the Big Island

These Big Island must-eats are very affordable and absolutely tasty! Whatever you choose from this list will be amazing and great for your budget too. 

1. Big Island Grill

The Big Island Grill has some of the best food in Kailua-Kona that is cheap and tasty. It is a family-owned business that has been here for over 20 years! Locals and tourists alike love this place. 

Here you can find breakfast and lunch items, including loco moco, pancakes, fried shrimp, roast pork, and many more options. Most of the items on their menu are under $15, making it a perfect place to visit for your budget. 

The Big Island Grill is open from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. 

2. Manago Hotel Restaurant

The Manago Hotel Restaurant is a great place to find cheap eats on the Big Island. They have a wide variety of menu items, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Head there for some good old-fashioned island-style cooking!

Everything on the menu is under $18, with most ranging from $8 to $10. For breakfast, have some pancakes or french toast, and for lunch or dinner, try some teriyaki beef or chicken or a tuna sandwich. It is not a fancy place, but it is pretty cheap! 

You can find this place in Captain Cook, and it is open all day long, every day except Monday. 

3. Island Fish & Chips

The Island Fish & Chips restaurant does an excellent job of satisfying your hunger without breaking the bank. It is a restaurant located in Waikoloa that is open every day from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. 

Most things on the menu are around $15. Popular meals to get from Island Fish & Chips include fish and chips, fish tacos, or crab cake sliders. 

3. Foster’s Kitchen

For another great place to eat in Kailua-Kona, head to Foster’s Kitchen. A lot of the meals here are more expensive, but their menu does include some cheaper items. 

They have a small bites section where you can get some steak, ribs, chicken tenders, or fish for under $16. They also have soups, salads, sandwiches, and appetizers that are around $16 as well. 

Foster’s Kitchen is open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm every day! 

4. Hawaiian Style Cafe

Hawaiian Style Cafe is another one of the best cheap eats on the Big Island! This restaurant offers breakfast and lunch and serves unique Hawaiian-style food. 

The most expensive item on the menu is $16, and most of the foods you can get here are around $10 to $12. 

Here you can find some lamb, ribs, burgers, steak, teriyaki loco mocos, and so much more. You will definitely want to grab a bite to eat from this place at least once during your trip! 

The Hawaiian Style Cafe is located in Waimea and Hilo. 

5. Tex Drive-In

You will find plenty of cheap things to eat at the Tex Drive-In. This is another place where nothing on the menu is over $16. 

Best Big Island Cheap Eats: Image of loco moco from Tex Drive In on the Big Island
Loco Moco from Tex Drive In. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Enjoy some breakfast, lunch, or dinner here! From pancakes to taco salad, shrimp plates, Hawaiian burgers, chili cheese fries, and hot dogs, this place has it all! 

This cheap eats restaurant on the Big Island is in Honoka’a and is open daily from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. 

6. Ultimate Burger

One of the cheap eats in Kona that you will find is Ultimate Burger. All the meat here is fresh, 100% grass-fed beef from Hawaii! The burgers are always handmade fresh that day and never frozen, so you know they will be mouth-watering and delicious! 

Image of Ultimate Burger in Kona
We LOVE Ultimate Burger! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The most expensive burger is $16, comes with 4 patties, and a regular one is $8. All the ingredients are from farms on the Big Island, with most of them being organic as well. 

This is one of the best places you can eat on the Big Island and is very affordable! Ultimate Burger is open between 10:30 am and 8:00 daily. 

7. Ba-le Kona Restaurant

In the Kona Coast Shopping Center, you will find the Ba-le Kona Restaurant. This is another one of the Kona cheap meals you will find. If you are looking for vegetarian Vietnamese sandwiches, this place will be perfect for you! 

The most expensive item on their menu is only $10. Sandwiches range from $4 to $8 and are super healthy! 

The Be-le Kona Restaurant is open every day from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. 

8. Mahina Pizza

Mahina Pizza is another one of the cheap eats on the Big Island. You can enjoy some pizza, salads, and some of the best cheesy garlic bread you’ve ever tasted. A 10-inch pizza starts at just $9, and the 14-inch is $13.50. 

Currently, Mahina Pizza is only open from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm and is closed Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday. 

9. Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse

If your budget is around $15 per meal, then Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse is perfect for you! Here they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and are open all day long, from 8:00 am to midnight every day of the week. 

Humpy's in Kona
Humpy’s in Kona. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Get a delicious loco moco for breakfast or some fluffy pancakes. For lunch or dinner, you can enjoy some buffalo wings, nachos, calamari, cheeseburgers, and aloha spinach salad, amongst plenty of other options. 

Most of the items on the menu are around $15, which is very affordable. You’ll find Humpy’s Big Island Alehouse in Kona. 

10. Naung Mai Thai Kitchen

At the Naung Mai Thai Kitchen, you will find delicious Thai food that will fit your budget-friendly vacation on the Big Island. They do their best to have fresh organic produce from the farms in Hawaii and use the raw cane sugar from Maui. 

Here you can find a variety of curries, Pad Thai, fried rice, and stir fry. Most items on the menu are under $15. 

This restaurant is in Hilo and is open every day from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. 

11. Quinn’s Almost by the Sea

For another one of the best cheap eats in Kona, head to Quinn’s Almost by the Sea. While the dinner entrees and the specialties they offer are more expensive, they have a wide option of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and appetizers that are budget-friendly and will fill you up! 

Image of Quinn's Almost by the Sea in Kona
Quinn’s Almost by the Sea in Kona. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

From a fish sandwich to a Kona bleu hamburger, sashimi, chicken wings, oriental salad, and homemade soup, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Most items on the menu are between $10 to $16. 

Quinn’s Almost by the Sea is open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm every day of the week except for Wednesdays. 

12. Kona Brewing Co.

The Kona Brewing Co. is not fancy, but it makes the list for the best Kona cheap eats. Go on a brewery tour and then enjoy some incredible Hawaiian beer and some food. 

Image of the Kona Brewing Co.
Kona Brewing Co. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

There are a few options to choose from, including sandwiches, mac and cheese, hand-tossed pizzas, salads, and plenty of appetizers that could easily fill you up. While there are a couple of more expensive items, most are around $15. 

It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. You will find Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua-Kona. 

13. Pine Tree Cafe

The Pine Tree Cafe, located in Kailua-Kona, is an awesome Hawaiian restaurant that will fit right with your budget. This place offers mini plates, which help you save even more money while still giving you plenty of food to eat. 

You can eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner here. Try out the loco moco, Reuben sandwich, spicy garlic chicken plate, beef stew, fried poke, or the seafood platter. Most items on the menu range from $12 to $18. 

Eat at the Pine Tree Cafe any day of the week from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, and you won’t be disappointed! 

14. Poi Dog Deli

If you want a delicious sandwich, head over to Poi Dog Deli in Kailua-Kona. The most expensive item on their menu only costs $17 and they have a huge variety of sandwiches to choose from. 

First off, you have the option of having a full sandwich or half. From there, you can choose from a Reuben, notorious P.I.G., mardi gras wrap, hot tuna, or an avocado Caprese sandwich. 

The Poi Dog Deli is open from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm every day except for Sundays. 

15. Broke Da Mouth Grindz

You’ll definitely want to try the garlic furikake chicken from Broke Da Mouth Grindz; it is their most popular and delicious meal! Most of the food here will be between $12 to $16. You also have the option of doing a mini plate which will make the meals even cheaper! 

Other items you can grab here include BBQ chicken, kalua pork, garlic butter shrimp, lau lau, or avocado burger, among others. 

Broke Da Mouth Grindz is located in Kona and is open from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday. 

Cheap Eats in Hawaii FAQS

What are the cheapest things to eat in Hawaii?

There are plenty of cheap things to eat in Hawaii. On the Big Island, you can find some fish tacos, musubis, poke bowls, and acai bowls which are all cheaper meals you will love!

How can I eat in Hawaii on a budget?

If you want to go to Hawaii on the Big Island on a budget, it is best to eat at some of the cheap eats mentioned below. You can share meals with your spouse to save, and you can always ask the locals for suggestions as well!

How much is food on the Big Island?

It all depends on the food you choose to get. If you are trying to go to Kona on a budget, it is probably best to budget around $45 per person for every day you will be there.

Tips for Finding Cheap Eats on the Big Island

Here are a few tips to help you get the cheapest meals possible for your budget-friendly vacation to the Big Island! 

  • The food sections are stores like Foodland or even Costco that have a variety of cheap and delicious food that is perfect for on the go. 
  • Because a lot of the restaurants here give you such big proportions, you can always order from the Keiki (kids) menu. You will get a cheaper meal but have the perfect size you need! 
  • Or you can always get one menu item and then split it between the two of you. 
  • If you have a kitchen where you will be staying, you might find it cheaper to cook some of your own meals. Get some produce from the farmer’s markets and food at Costco to help keep it simple and cheap! 
  • Check out these restaurants and their websites beforehand and plan out where you will go to eat each day. That will help you save money and not eat out at an expensive place because you don’t know where to go. Add restaurants to your itinerary! 
  • Some of the smaller places to eat only accept cash. It is best to keep some cash on you just in case. 

Cheap Big Island Must Eats Wrap Up

If you are looking for budget-friendly meal options and other cheap things to do in Kona during your trip, this list has got you covered. Eat at any of these places for some of the best Big Island cheap eats you will love! Your belly and your pocket will stay full, and everyone will be happy.

Looking for more Big Island travel resources? Check out the best free things to do on the Big Island, best Big Island waterfalls, kid-friendly Big Island restaurants, the best Kona coffee plantations, and romantic restaurants on the Big Island!

Leave a Comment