With so many cultures residing here we have an equally wide array of restaurants and places to eat. Some will be more local and some international. US Mainland chains often come out for a time, but few get the business to stick around for very long, that said there are McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, Panda Express, Starbucks, Subway and Baskin Robbins in town, if you're missing your mainland flavors.
That said, we are only listing a few around, just google "Hilo Restaurants" and you will have plenty from which to choose.
Ken's House of Pancakes
Considering you're a college student, you will want to know where the 24hr restaurants are. This is the most common solution to the late night munchies. More info
If you want monstrous portions of Mexican food and freshly made chips, this is your place. It's a lively place with music and features a different artist's work every few weeks. More info
Let's face it, we live next to an ocean! And with ocean based cultures comes sushi! Consider this a budget friendly outing, where each roll can be as little as $3 though the average is around $5. More Info.
Naung Mai is a casual hole-in the wall Thai Restaurant with all types of curry, stir fry, and Pad Thai. Large portions for around $11-18. (As spicy or as mild as desired)
Fancy dinner location for you and a date. Pineapples has a nightly singer and is usually by reservation as it tends to fill up fast. Entrees range anywhere from $11-25.
Again, these are only a few. We have Japanese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Hawaiian restaurants and more in addition to the typical burger, ice cream or dinner options to which you may be accustomed.
Around the Island
These locations will probably need a car, or may be hit on the way to and from your island adventuring!
Tex's Drive In
Known throughout the island for Malasadas, a dessert pastry, similar to a donut, with many options of cream filling. These tasty deserts are around $1-2 in addition to their other meal items which are all under $13..
Waimea's Hawaiian Style Cafe
The original Hawaiian Style Cafe, filled with Loco Mocos, burgers, and good sized portions ranging from $8-17.
Punalu'u Bake Shop
On your way to South Point go sample some of the sweet Hawaiian Breads and Ka'u coffee they have to offer. And enjoy it in their outdoor garden picnic tables.
Aliʻi Drive in Kona
It is the street which tourist gather around on Kona side. Therefore, Aliʻi Drive is lined with shops and restaurants of all kinds.