1.  Kona Cold- Pick your own live lobster or Kempachi from this out of the way wholesaler.  Or grab some on the way home from the Seahorse Farm which is just down the road.

2.  Big Island Abalone. Fresh and fun to eat, if you can separate them  Also located just down the road from Kona Cold

3.  Sansei- Queen’s market.  Be smart. Go for the early bird special of 50% off.

4.  Cerviche Dave.  The last place you’d ever think of eating. Located in a parking lot near Costco, and only 4 types of cerviche served, but all are memorable

5.   The Angel Cafe at the Aloha Theatre- a pretty good drive if you are staying on the Gold Coast, but not so far if you are in Kona

6.   Keei, also down the road from Kona, but remarkable dining

7.   Kona Inn- calamari steak burgers.  If you are smart, order them on the garlic, cheese toast and add a strip of bacon.  It’s the first place my family eats when they arrive on the island

8.  Blue Dragon Musiquarium – fabulous music, fun place- outdoors with red and blue lights. Check line-up on their web site and make a reservation.

9.   Sushi Rock. A pretty good drive for most people, but worth it.  Asian with a touch of New York.

10  Parker Ranch Organic Spencer steaks at Waikoloa Market on hill . These steaks melt in your mouth.  Buy one and split it as they are huge.

Two more things not to miss

There’s lots of coffee on the big island, but for the absolute best hit Holualoa Kona Coffee Co  Buy the Coffee Shack Peaberry.

And take a designated driver and order the Café Pesto – li hing mui, liliko’i, margarita . Worth the brain freeze.  Lick the red rim for a hint of sweet and sour.

By: Shar Levine