1

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Paleo attractions on Hawaii's Big Island?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2011 at 8:57 PM

My wife and I are taking a trip to Hawaii in a couple months. We'll be staying in a condo north of Kona and renting a car, so we're highly mobile. Any recommendations? We have a full kitchen, so we're not just relegated to eating out.

Markets, farms, restaurants, particularly grueling/adventurous hikes or treks, great beaches are all welcome.

Many thanks.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on July 19, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Big supporter of fruit. Yeah, I've been to the island many times before (got family there), but never in my current paleoish incarnation, so it should be interesting. I'm really looking forward to some good, local purple sweet potatoes. Ah, yes, Waipio valley is incredible. I forgot about that place. Thanks for the tips!

20a303dc36ea98aa5d1e4989efa3fcd1

on July 19, 2011
at 09:26 AM

Thanks! I've been lurking here since the dawn of time, but had to pipe up for this one.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 19, 2011
at 06:56 AM

Hi Denise -- nice to see you here on PaleoHacks.

C1e6fe7bfc8687be41eb0a02b2f10723

on July 19, 2011
at 05:00 AM

I agree. I just came back from Kauai. They have wonderful farmers markets with interesting native fruits and vegetables. Fish is also good from there. Costco is wonderful there.

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7 Answers

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3
20a303dc36ea98aa5d1e4989efa3fcd1

on July 19, 2011
at 04:36 AM

Definitely check out the Kona Farmers Market on Ali'i Drive (http://www.konafarmersmarket.com/). Not much in the way of meat there, but it's your best bet for fresh produce, sometimes eggs, and chilled young coconuts (if you don't mind getting ripped off a bit). I hope you like fruit, because you can typically get eight or nine papayas for $2 there, mangoes, exotics like longans and mamey, jackfruit, as well as amazing pineapple that doesn't chew your tongue up like the ones sold on the mainland do.

There's a local dish called "poke" (POH-kay) sold at most of the grocery stores in town. This is basically raw fish, usually local tuna, chopped up and mixed with seaweed, nuts, and other seasonings. Some of the poke varieties have some questionable oils added, but most are paleo-friendly and delicious -- even if you don't normally like raw fish. Definitely try some. It tends to actually be cheaper than buying whole fish.

If you want to see (and swim/snorkel with) sea turtles, go to the Honokohau Marina off the Queen K, a bit south of the Kona airport. You'll see turtles all over the water, usually right next to the shore.

The northwest tip of the island (North Kohala) has fantastic black sand beaches (e.g., http://www.letsgo-hawaii.com/waipio/index.html). If you're staying on the Kona side of the island, you'll have to drive a bit to get to the best hiking, which is typically on the north and east part of the island. If you're into strenuous multi-day hikes, consider the Muliwai Trail to Waimanu Valley. I haven't done this one yet so I can't vouch for its difficulty, but it's 17 miles round trip and is supposed to be breathtaking: http://www.hawaii-guide.com/big_island_of_hawaii/spot/muliwai_z_trail_waimanu_valley/

There's a very paleo-friendly pan-Asian restaurant called the Lotus Cafe here too. All their food is gluten- and dairy-free, no MSG, mostly local and organic, cold-pressed oils only, and they'll easily cater to anything you request (no sugar, etc.): http://thelotuscafe.com/menus.aspx

Aloha :)

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on July 19, 2011
at 05:00 PM

Big supporter of fruit. Yeah, I've been to the island many times before (got family there), but never in my current paleoish incarnation, so it should be interesting. I'm really looking forward to some good, local purple sweet potatoes. Ah, yes, Waipio valley is incredible. I forgot about that place. Thanks for the tips!

20a303dc36ea98aa5d1e4989efa3fcd1

on July 19, 2011
at 09:26 AM

Thanks! I've been lurking here since the dawn of time, but had to pipe up for this one.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on July 19, 2011
at 06:56 AM

Hi Denise -- nice to see you here on PaleoHacks.

0
8d454fc50d6d58643d6f8b0d1e7ea8ea

on September 29, 2012
at 08:04 PM

I was just on the Big Island and had the most amazing, (almost) Paleo pupu platter of my life at Kanaka Kava. I'm actually doing more of a Perfect Health Diet thing right now, so it was perfect. There was poke made with sesame oil (AMAZING), another (cooked) fish, pulled pork that had been cooked in the ground for like three days, sweet potato with lots of butter, taro in coconut milk, and poi (taro mashed into a liquid consistency). There might have been something I'm forgetting - but best of all, the server assured me that the only oils they use are sesame and olive. I get weird reactions to hydrogenated oils so this was like heaven to me.

I had an awesome time eating Paleo/PHD in Hawaii - the farmer's market in Hilo had a stand selling local grass-fed sausage with sides of fermented sauerkraut, lots of Vietnamese-style spring rolls stuffed with shrimp and avocado (I do rice, so the wrappers were fine for me), fresh young coconut milk, coconut milk-based smoothies, cheap sushi, green papaya salad...sigh...

0
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 19, 2011
at 06:31 AM

I was still eating SAD when I visited there, but seeing Kilauea is the thing you can't miss. Who cares about food when you are thisclose to an active volcano.

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on July 19, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Try some sailing and snorkling on the Sea Smoke

0
65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on July 18, 2011
at 10:54 PM

I could help you out more if you were coming to Oahu! There are so many farms and ranches on the big island and plenty of farmers markets. I will ask around about specifics.

0
149b995e86368f21dfa912f88dbaf12d

on July 18, 2011
at 09:47 PM

Never been to Hawaii so I'm not sure about the lay of the islands, but blogger "M" at NomNomPaleo just went to Kauai in June and posted some good insight I think here: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/6482335132/paleo-eats-6-12-11-first-day-in-kauai (if the link doesn't work, start her blog at June 12th).

C1e6fe7bfc8687be41eb0a02b2f10723

on July 19, 2011
at 05:00 AM

I agree. I just came back from Kauai. They have wonderful farmers markets with interesting native fruits and vegetables. Fish is also good from there. Costco is wonderful there.

-2
0a306c34ba0c6f8dbcdce6eb0ee7bd52

on July 19, 2011
at 12:20 AM

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