A night out for dinner in Kailua-Kona doesn't have to be an expensive proposition. You just have to know where to go and what to order when you get there.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Bongo Ben's Island Cafe serves up generous portions from its extensive menu. The popular oceanfront restaurant on Alii Drive attracts both visitors and residents. Some appetizers are large enough to share between three people, like the half Seafood Platter for $13 laden with beer-battered fish, coconut shrimp, calamari strips, peel & eat shrimp, and coconut onion rings. Compared to other restaurants along Alii Drive, Bongo Ben's prices on fresh catch seafood cannot be beat. Grilled ahi served with sauteed veggie and a side is prices at $21.95, compared to neighboring "resort" style restaurants that might charge up to $40 for a similar offering.
Located across from King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel, Splasher's Grill is a great spot to enjoy an upstairs view of Kailua Bay while feasting on an enormous juicy burger and fries. Happy Hour at Splashers offers some great deals from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For under $7, you can get everything from spicy ahi poke and crab-stuffed mushrooms to tequila lime sweet shrimp and cheeseburger sliders. $5 mai tais and margaritas are available during happy hour.
Another nice restaurant for sunset dining, Don The Beachcomber at Royal Kona Resort offers the absolute best view of Kailua Bay. Instead of getting a table at the restaurant, however, just grab a seat or at Don's Mai Tai Bar and order from the happy hour menu (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.). Discounted items include the house salad, coconut prawns, Hawaiian chicken wings, baby back ribs, and Don's Beach Burger.
Located at Keauhou Shopping Center, Bianelli's Italian restaurant offers pizza by the slice that you can pair with a delicious house salad. Another must-go destination for pizza is Kona Brewing Company. The best special (not shown on the regular menu but advertised on the restaurant's blackboard) is the slice of pizza and a side salad, priced at under $8.
For the absolute best value for the buck, Denny's at Crossroads Shopping Center offers the $2, $4, $6, $8 Value Menu featuring great deals like all-you-can-eat pancakes for $4, or a Southwest Turkey Sandwich and cup of soup for only $6. Priced at $8, the Country-Fried Steak and Eggs includes a beverage! Denny's Kona also presents a unique, local menu that includes popular island favorites like the Loco Moco.