Hilo Bay Cafe started in 2003 by a small group of dedicated food lovers. For 10 years, the 70-seat restaurant flourished against odds in a small central Hilo strip mall location. From the start, it was well loved by locals and visitors alike, serving seasonal and organic food and wines with a fun and comfortable “come as you are” attitude. Living up to the aspirations of its name, Hilo Bay Cafe moved to a bigger, brighter location on the shores of beautiful Hilo Bay in October 2013. Here, familiar faces and new fans mingle. Diners enjoy contemporary, locally inspired dishes, artisan sushi, and they still love the wine, but the craft beer and cocktails now fly out the door into the hands of happy customers sitting on the lanai.

KIM | Owner and General Manager

So much good has come out of being the owner and general manager of Hilo Bay Cafe. Every day that the restaurant is open, Hilo Bay Cafe feeds its favorite regulars, special occasion guests, and many visitors to the Big Island – and they leave smiling! “We don’t cut corners – anytime, anywhere,” says Kim. “I need to sleep at night. We succeed because we have great customers and a great staff.” An amazing staff, really! One crew member put it best, “HBC has heart.”

JOSHUA | Executive Chef

After a handful of years away, one of the original HBC visionaries and all-around creative chef, Joshua Ketner, has returned to lead our kitchen. Approachable, hands-on, and always one to maintain high standards, Josh brings tremendous good to our proverbial table. He believes in sourcing locally and nurturing positive relationships with our farmers, fishermen, and distributors. We are looking forward to ringing in a new year and new era of Hilo Bay Cafe with our opening chef back at the helm!

ROY | Master Sushi Chef

Roy! He’s a Hilo Town favorite and has been for many years. Chef Roy Kaneko learned his craft from a female master Japanese chef at a time when she had to be disguised as a man in order to be accepted in her profession. Thankfully, times have changed! Hilo Bay Cafe offers time-honored sushi as well as innovative, new twists with unique ingredients, preparations, and serving methods. The sushi staff is constantly moving the conversation forward. If you are new to sushi and don’t especially like the idea of raw fish, Chef Roy recommends vegetable sushi or sushi with cooked ingredients. There’s sushi for every palate and diet at Hilo Bay Cafe!

TANTRA | Dining Room Manager

With seven years at HBC under her skilled belt, Tantra Bates has long been an asset to our crew. Tantra is a veteran of the industry, as evidenced by her wealth of wisdom and capability. She brings her highly efficient, polished, and reasonable manner to leading our front of house staff. Looking for what needs to be done, or what can be improved, she jumps in to support with a smile – and a quick wit! How was your dining experience at HBC?
Tantra wants to know: tantra@hilobaycafe.com