Local Grinds that are Easy on the Wallet

There are so many great places in Kailua Town to find a quick meal at wallet-friendly prices that deciding where to eat can be almost as daunting as deciding what to order.

If your cravings lean toward local flavors – and even if they don’t – this short list of locally owned eateries can help you refine your search. We didn’t go so far as to give an opinion on our personal menu favorites. Instead, we asked each restaurant to tell us which plate/bowl/sandwich is their best-seller.

We leave the rest of the research up to you as you explore your options.

Fatboy’s: Where Locals Eat Local

Best-seller: Fatboy’s signature crispy garlic chicken plate ($10.49)

What’s on the menu: More than 20 choices of lunch and dinner plates, most in the $10-$12 range, and popular bento box lunches, from $6.59 to $10.99 for the “everything” Ali‘i Bento (2 types of chicken, teri beef, hot dog, Spam, fried shrimp and fish on a bed of rice). A robust breakfast menu also features local favorites, from loco moco to “Empty da Fridge Fried Rice” plus griddle items and sides.

Fatboy’s | 301 Hahani St Ste A, Kailua, Hi 96734

The Hibachi: As Fresh as Poke Gets

Best-seller:  It’s a toss-up between the spicy tobiko (fish roe) and spicy Thai chili pepper ahi poke bowls (prices vary by weight).

What’s on the menu: It’s hard to beat Hibachi’s poke bowls, made with fresh (not frozen) fish and a variety of house-made sauces. Mini-bowls (1 scoop rice) average $7 while the regular bowls (2 scoops rice) average $12. Grilled-to-order plate lunches, currently available Fri-Sun, start at $9.50 and include rice and two banchan (small sides).

The Hibachi | 515 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734

HI Steaks: Grilled with Aloha

Best-seller: HI Steaks signature grilled top sirloin with choice of housemade sauces ($12.99)

What’s on the menu: Meal plates are the main attraction, with beef, chicken, smoked pork and shrimp options plus rice and salad ($11.99-$13.99 for single protein plates; $15.49 for 3 choices). Burgers, bowls, breakfast items, sides and salads, too. Check online for daily specials such as ahi katsu plate or lilikoi BBQ smoked chicken and steak.

Family deal: Meal for four includes grilled top sirloin, teri chicken and sides ($50/$12.50 per person)

HI Steaks | 108 Hekili St, Kailua, HI 96734

K&K Bar-B-Que Inn: Local-kine Classics

Best-seller: Garlic shrimp plate ($10.25) followed closely by garlic chicken and mochiko chicken plates (both $9.65)

What’s on the menu: Go for a plate lunch where the options run deep, from local favorites like katsu, cutlets, and curries; BBQ chicken and ribs; to Chinese specialties like shrimp with black bean sauce, char siu pork and chicken with oyster sauce. Prices for most regular size plates are under $12. Burgers and sandwiches are under $6.

Family deal: Family BBQ package includes BBQ chicken, BBQ short ribs, BBQ teriyaki steak ($24.99)

K&K Bar-B-Que Inn | Kailua Beach Center, 130 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734

Mahaloha Burger: Grass-fed Goodness

Best-seller: Char-broiled cheeseburger ($7.95) with a side of sweet potato fries ($3.85). The Loco Moco burger (topped with an over-easy egg and crispy fried onions) comes in close behind.

What’s on the menu: Burgers, of course. But not just any burgers. Mahaloha makes theirs with fresh (not frozen) Big Island grass-fed beef. Don’t pass up the flavorful fries: truffle, bacon cheese, garlic and sweet potato. All-beef hot dogs on house-made buns also available.

Mahaloha Burger | 143 Hekili St Ste 150, Kailua, HI 96734

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers: Burger Joint Reinvented

Best-seller: The Bacado – your choice of burger topped with bacon, cheddar cheese and avocado (price varies).

What’s on the menu: Regular burgers with a variety of protein choices – 100% fresh ground chuck, chicken, turkey, fish, Beyond burger, topped with Teddy’s special sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles (from $7 to $14, for Teddy’s 1-pound Biggest Burger). For an additional cost, add specialty toppings such as onion rings, grilled pineapple, bacon and mushrooms, or try one of the specialty burgers like the Kailua, topped with teriyaki sauce, swiss cheese, mushrooms and grilled onions.

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers | 539 Kailua Rd Ste 101, Kailua, HI 96734

You don't have permission to register