I'm really bad at writing long articles with lots of recommendations, so instead I decided that I'm going to recommend one spot a day from my trip to the Big Island (Hawai'i).
We didn't find this amazing hole-in-the-wall cafe until the end of the trip, but it turned out to be one of our faves! They have a tiny menu - acai bowls, smoothies, beef or pork lunch bowls, and tacos - but the food is so delicious that it doesn't get old. We tried the acai bowls and the lunch bowls, and both were extremely flavorful. The lunch bowl, especially, was filled with so many delicious goodies that our mouths exploded from happiness; goodies such as sauerkraut, peanut sauce, fresh veggies, brown rice, and flavorful marinated meat.
Aside from the food, the owners and clientele are also chatty and awesome. Both times we came, a variety of people came and went, and we enjoyed chatting with all of them. On the second day, we had a prolonged conversation with 3 different Californians who moved to the Big Island for different reasons, and a family on vacation who just made the decision to move as well. The owners of this shop bought land and built a completely off-the-grid house, so they their only bill is property tax - a whopping $200 per year.
The cafe is just a tiny kitchen with a small bar and stools outside, but the it's the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast or lunch. It sits on the main street of Pahoa. "Main street" is a loose term, because while it is the street where all of the restaurants, bars, and stores are located, don't expect any city vibes here. The town and the main street are tiny and bohemian, and overrun with nature. People don't wear shoes or shirts because it's forever 85 degrees, and they don't have to. For the size of the street, it's surprisingly packed with incredible eats (this is coming from a San Francisco foodie, so it's a tall order to impress me).
If you're ever on the Island of Hawai'i, you have to come here. It's worth the drive.
Tip: lunch bowls and tacos don't start being served until 11am. This place also taught me that "spider" in Hawaiian is "nananana," which makes them a lot less scary.
I'll be sharing my faves from Pahoa and other parts of the island over the next few days and weeks, so stay tuned!
Address: 15-2929 Pahoa Village Road, Pāhoa, HI 96778
Hours: 9AM-4PM mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri/Sat
Julia O Test is a lifestyle blogger and photographer based in San Francisco.