Big Island Food Tours: The BEST Tours + What To Expect 2024

Mike & Laura Travel Disclaimer

Looking For The Best Big Island Food Tours? We Picked Out The Best Ones Just For You!

It’s no secret that Big Island is a hot spot destination for people looking for amazing beaches, unparalleled sunshine, and beautiful island views. Hawaii is a bucket list destination for pretty much everyone, and one spot you can’t miss during your trip is Big Island. 

As the largest island of Hawaii, Big Island has plenty of things to do, a ton of space to explore, and, of course, some amazing local cuisine that will make your mouth water. 

Without a doubt, the best way to make sure you don’t miss any of the best tastes in Hawaii is by taking a Big Island food tour! From fresh ahi tuna to slow-roasted Kahlua pork, the flavors of Hawaiian culture are waiting for you! 

Big Island Food Tours

Big Island is the place to go for food tours during your trip to the Hawaiian islands. Since it is the largest island, you’ll find that there is such a wide variety of foods and tastes to try that set it apart from other places like Hawaii.

Plus, there are plenty of guided food tours offering basically every experience you could ever imagine.

First and foremost, Big Island is well-known for so many different foods. You have the illustrious Kona coffee, the amazing local cacao and chocolate, plus plenty of unique things like Hawaiian barbecue or sea salt! 

Many tours will take you around to multiple different venues, allowing you to really get a taste of the full island!

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    As if that weren’t enough, the beauty of Hawaii is on full display on Big Island. As such, many Big Island food tours will also add in some kind of historic or local sightseeing in addition to your tastings! 

    Where the tours go range from a jaunt through the Hapuna Beach State Park to a private tour of a Kona coffee plantation and just about everything in between.

    No matter which food tour you decide to take, you’re bound to come away with a unique memory to treasure. Many of these things you just can’t see, taste, or do anywhere other than Big Island!

    Best Food Tours In Big Island

    Taking a food tour in Big Island is something that has to be on your Hawaii bucket list! Even if you’re not the most adventurous eater, there’s something for everyone to try on these delicious food tours: 

    Best Walking Food Tour

    If you’re looking for the best walking food tour on Big Island, the Kona Walking Food Tour is easily where you want to be. With 7 different stops on this tour, you’ll leave with a massively full belly and a taste of some Hawaiian history to boot!

    The tour begins at the Kailua Pier and ends about a half mile from its starting point. You’ll meander the half mile throughout the tour as you make your tasting stops.

    Laura with a bowl of ice cream in Hilo.

    You’ll have the opportunity to try things like fresh clam chowder, traditional Hawaiian Lua pizza, and even some desserts and cocktails!

    Your tour includes food and drink at every single stop, so all you have to worry about is showing up!

    Although it’s primarily a food tour, the Kona walking tour also includes stops at Hulihe’e Palace and Mokualkaua Church. This is just another added benefit to the tour, giving you a chance to marvel at the history of Kona or take a few photos.

    💡Pro Tip: You’ll also have the chance to explore some local haunts that were featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, so you know they’re delicious!

    We love that this is a small group tour, meaning that you won’t be traipsing into local restaurants with a ton of people. Instead, you’ll experience some of the lesser-known areas of Kona as you taste unique foods through the local’s eyes with a maximum of 12 people total!

    ✅Small group tour (12 people max)

    ✅7 stops with food and drink included

    ✅Bonus stops at Hulihe’e Palace and Mokualkaua Church

    ❌ Not suitable for gluten free or vegan travelers

    Best Full Day Tour

    There’s so much to explore on Big Island, so the Historic Kona and Farm Tour, a full day tour that combines a food tour with some other amazing activities may be the best way for you to pack plenty into those busy vacation days!

    This full day tour of Kona and the Kealakekua Bay area is the perfect way to get a taste (literally and figuratively) of Big Island. You’ll spend seven hours exploring Hawaii!

    Get picked up at your Kona or Waikoloa hotel as you begin your adventure! The first stop is a visit to Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park.

    A tour guide will lead a seaside walk to a sacred temple filled with petroglyphs. On the way, you may also have a chance to sight sea turtles or monk seals!

    A seal laying face up in the sand on the beach on Big Island Hawaii.

    A second walking tour of Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park will share some interesting Hawaiian history. Once you’re done exploring on foot, enjoy a fresh cup of the famous coffee that Kona is so popular for along with a picnic lunch as you meander through the Bay View Farm orchards.

    Believe it or not, this full day is still not over! You’ll finish out the afternoon by visiting a beekeeping farm where you’ll learn about beekeeping and taste some natural Hawaiian honey

    ✅Small group tour (12 people max)

    ✅2 Historic walking tours

    ✅Kona coffee and local style picnic lunch at Kealakekua Bay

    ✅Fresh from the hive honey tasting

    ⚠️ Moderate level of fitness required

    Best Coffee Tour

    One of the most exceptional things that Hawaii and Big Island in general is known for is its delicious coffee. Kona, in particular, is a hot spot for this drink. 

    What better way to explore the roots of coffee in Hawaii than by taking a Big Island food tour directly focused on coffee! 

    The Kona Coffee from Crop to Cup private and exclusive VIP tour takes you through the entire coffee growing and making process- truly helping you understand and experience the Kona coffee firsthand.

    Ripe coffee cherries growing on a coffee tree in Big Island, Hawaii.

    Visit a micro-batch coffee roasting farm that sits atop the Hualalai volcano.

    You’ll take a personalized walking tour around the property, being led by the coffee farm owners themselves. During your tour, learn all about how the higher elevation works to nurture Kona Typica (Arabica) trees and create this unique coffee bean. 

    Of course, it wouldn’t be a worthwhile visit or food tour if there wasn’t a tasting involved!

    Finish out your trip with coffee tastings and a snack of banana bread as you sit above the Pacific Ocean and take in the stunning view. 

    You’ll leave your tour as a coffee expert, having tasted plenty of Kona coffee and armed with a free sample to take home

    ✅Private VIP Tour

    ✅Personalized tour at a micro-batch volcanic farm

    ✅Farm fresh Kona coffee tasting with banana bread

    ✅Free coffee to take home

    Most Unique Tour

    A unique Big Island food tour experience is just what your Hawaiian itinerary needs! What better way to make memories than to do something out of the ordinary?

    So which unique tour should you take? A Hawaiian salt farm tour! That’s right- salt farm! In fact, this experience will take you through the only salt farm in the Hawaiian Islands!

    You’ll take a guided tour through the seven acres of farmland that make up the Kona Sea Salt Farm, learning all about how salt is made here.

    You might be surprised to learn that it is hand-harvested!

    Palm trees in the wind on a sunny day at Two Step Beach on the Big Island, Hawaii.

    This salt farm uses the ocean to harvest salt and even utilizes it to create other ocean mineral products. Finally, a salt tasting will make sure that your day ends on a high note!

    Although it’s not included in the tour price, there is an option at the end of the tour to finish off with a deep sea foot soak.

    Take away the stress of your day with the healing benefits of Hawaiian sea soak to really commemorate this fantastic experience!

    ✅18 people max

    ✅Tour of the only salt farm in Hawaii

    ✅Unique salt tasting

    💲Optional deep sea foot soak

    Best Time To Visit Big Island

    The best time to visit Big Island can vary, but many people choose to visit during the dry season, which runs from April to October.

    Overall, it’s worth noting that the weather on Big Island is pretty consistent throughout the year. Unlike many places, there’s no real colder wintertime or off-season months that you might want to avoid.

    💡Pro Tip: Consider what you want to do while you’re on Big Island. This will help you determine the best time to visit for your trip.

    The best time of year to visit Big Island really depends on your interests. There are fewer tourists on Big Island in the spring and fall, since many people choose to travel as a winter getaway or during summer vacation. 

    Whale watching is amazing during the winter months as it is migration time. In contrast, if you want to snorkel or enjoy other watersports, it may be best to do that during the summer months. 

    Where To Stay In Big Island

    Navigating accommodations on the largest island in the United States, the Big Island, can indeed be a bit of a challenge. To ensure you have the most enjoyable stay, our top suggestion is to settle in on the western shores, ideally near charming Kona.

    Here, we’ve rounded up a selection of our favorite places to call home during your Big Island adventure. They all have fantastic reviews, beautiful scenery, and are conveniently located within reach of Kona International Airport:

    📍Best Budget Spot: Hilton Grand Vacations Club Kings Land Waikoloa is a top spot to stay on the Big Island with cozy suites, a lovely resort and loads of fun things to do. You’ve got four awesome swimming pools, a cool restaurant, and it’s super easy to get around the island from here.

    And guess what? Every suite comes with a kitchen, so you can kick back, relax, and take it slow no matter what you have planned for your epic Hawaiian vacation.

    📍Best Mid-Range Spot: Holualoa Inn is the Big Island’s top bed and breakfast and easily one of the best places to stay during your next vacation.

    The property offers spectacular views and grounds, amazing breakfasts infused with local flavors, and opportunities to unwind, including spa treatments, all within the serene atmosphere of a working coffee farm. This makes it the perfect place for a home away from home!

    📍Best Luxury Spot: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is the best luxury resort on Big Island, hands down. You’ll find a magnificent beachfront property fitted with spotless, airy rooms and a staff that goes above and beyond to make every moment an amazing experience.

    Four Seasons Resort Hualalai truly has it all. Spend your Hawaiian days soaking up the sun, snorkeling in the hotel’s waters, or taking a signature experience like an island helicopter ride!

    Visiting Big Island FAQs

    Visiting Big Island can come with a lot of questions. Here are the most frequently asked questions and some helpful answers about Big Island: 

    What Is Big Island Famous for in Food?

    Big Island is famous for a crazy amount of foods- everything ranging from coffee to Portugese treats like malasadas (fried doughnuts) and of course, the popular shave ice!

    Our favorites, poke bowls, are also an incredibly outrageous food famous on Big Island, packed with fresh seafood, vegetables, and toppings, that will literally change your life!

    Does the Big Island Have Food Trucks?

    There are plenty of fantastic food trucks on Big Island, and most of them are legitimately some of the best foods we’ve ever tried! However, it can be tough to nail down just where these food trucks will be each day.

    Most of them rotate locations (and sometimes don’t publicize them), so while a food truck on Big Island is well worth your time, it may be somewhat difficult to find!

    Why Is the Big Island So Cheap?

    Big Island is a cheaper option when compared to other Hawaiian islands due to things like volcanic activity, a smaller population, and its large size. 

    Since there is so much natural activity, much of Big Island is undeveloped, volcanic lands. This drives down the population relative to the land mass size, making things on Big Island somewhat cheaper than you might find elsewhere in the islands. 

    Wrap Up: Big Island Food Tours

    To wrap it up, the Big Island of Hawaii isn’t just about beaches, amazing national parks, and volcanoes, it’s also jam packed full of fantastic food tours that you don’t want to miss out on!

    When you dive into a food tour on this island, you’re embarking on a unique adventure that’ll leave you with a belly full of flavors and a heart full of memories.

    In no time at all, you’ll be wandering through lively Hilo markets, tasting the delicious local Kona coffees, and munching on some of the most well-reknowned cultural foods that Big Island is famous for! 

    There are so many things to do and see on Big Island, but when you plan your getaway make room for a food tour.

    It’s not just about eating; it’s about soaking up the aloha spirit, connecting with local restaurants, and delving into Hawaii’s rich food traditions.

    Whether you’re munching on fresh poke, experiencing fresh pork, or sipping on some Kona coffee, these Big Island food tours will be the highlight of your trip!

    And if you’re spending time in Hilo don’t miss the best things to do while you’re there.

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