Hilo Bay Cafe, Hilo Hawaii

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When Jay and I went to Hawaii I was determined to see lava!! Since this is only at the Big Island on the Hilo side we had to go!! It's about $100 a plane ticket to get from Oahu to the Hilo Airport. It is annoying because you have to go through security and all the BS that goes along with airports but in the end it was worth it! I will write about my lava experience in another blog post. This one will be about a restaurant I found on my phone as we were waiting for the plane to taxi in. We were SO hungry!! Hawaiin airlines does not take care of you like Delta does and we didn't eat anything before leaving. After a long wait in the rental car line we were off to the Hilo Bay Cafe! I didn't know much about this place other than these Guinness Onion Rings I was dying to try. The guy at Hertz told us this grill place down the street was good but we drove by and it didn't look good.
Our GPS directions took us through a loop trying to find this place though!! Since I saw it was ranked number 1 on tripadvisor I was looking for a singled out fancy restaurant type. Not the case!! I called them and they are about 3 stores away from a HUGE Walmart super center. So I have to say after that I was a little skeptical. The Walmart in Hilo is the place to be! Probably because there is not a whole lot else to do Hilo pretty much shuts down at 9PM you will not find a restaurant opened.
This place is very small, it is jammed packed with as many tables as they could fit in and you can barely open the door without hitting the host stand! Luckily we got here about 5:00 PM and were seated immediately after every single table was full and they were on a 2 hour wait! Once I saw that I knew this place had to be the bomb. As I scrolled through the menu I noticed that the Guinness Onion Rings were not on there and the waitress said they were a special they only do some days. Darnit!! I settled for some fried mac and cheese bites and Jay cringed at me. He thought that they sounded disgusting.
The drink menu is happening! They have a great selection of traditional drinks with a twist. Since I used to be  a bartender and love alcohol I was very excited about this as well. Went ahead and ordered a Cilantro Mojito which was just a blend of Cilantro and Mint I thought it would pair well with the fried mac n cheese and it was fabulous. The herbs and limes were very well muddled. I always drink these without the straw because it tends to get clogged easily.
The fried mac and cheese was really delish! They have like half marinara and half pesto sauce on the plate and they are fried in these perfect little cubes. We thought they probably put them in ice cube trays and refrigerated them to get that perfect cube size. I thought it was cool! Afterwards I ordered my next drink! The strawberry basil spritzer! It was not what I was expecting, the basil was faint and they just used real crushed up strawberries and sugar. Not sugar syrup like most bars and restaurants use. I was surprised and happy because I felt more healthy drinking it! ;)
For dinner we had a filet cut of a sirloin meaning it was a thick cut of meat. It was OK I am a huge fan of Filet Mignon and it's pretty much the only steak I will order. The potatoes are probably the best potatoes I have ever had in my life! They were perfect texture buttery and rich! It wasn't until after the dinner I found out everything was grown local and organic so that's why all of the food was so amazing because I am not used to that!


Below is my Cilantro Mojito! It was refreshing and paired well with the fried mac n cheese. 

Hilo Bay Cafe, Hilo Hawaii


As you can see I am looking very refreshed after my flight! 

Hilo Bay Cafe, Hilo Hawaii

Fried mac n cheese twas delish! 

Hilo Bay Cafe, Hilo Hawaii

Strawberry Basil Spritzer

Hilo Bay Cafe, Hilo Hawaii

Our dinner! Forgot to take pictures of the salads!! They were very tasty and refreshing as well! We also had a soup it was a mushroom bisque that tasted obviously homemade and was so amazing!! 

Hilo Bay Cafe, Hilo Hawaii
Bottom line- This was one of my favorite restaurants that we ate at! The food was fresh, local, and delicious although service was not on point we left satisfied. I would totally come back here it's a perfect stop because once you drive out of this little area there is NOTHING!! No grocery stores or restaurants that will guaranteed being open a lot of these places are family owned and when they are not busy they close shop! Always call ahead before visiting a small restaurant in Hilo. It was nice to eat and get some food items for a reasonable price at Walmart before heading back to our guest house. Even though half a carton of milk leaked out of the bag onto my jacket it was still a good stop. (who still sells cartons of milk?!?!?)  (they also sell liqour there)

So good we came here twice!! Lunch the day we left!! 
Hilo Bay Cafe, Hilo Hawaii

Hilo Bay Cafe, Hilo Hawaii