Specializing in kalua-pig bites

A La Carte Columns

February 19, 2017

Story By: Caitlin Basilio | Photos by: CAITLIN BASILIO

Pork Plate ($10.29)

Pork Plate ($10.29)

Even on a rainy Kailua day, crowds flock to Kono’s. The beloved restaurant, known for its game-changing 12-hour slow-roasted kalua pig, opened its newest location in Kailua Jan. 1 and surely is making waves.

Kono, the famous surfing pig from the North Shore, is what inspired the name behind the kalua-pork haven. The eatery’s first location opened on the North Shore in 2002 and has been dishing out mouthwatering pork-inspired dishes ever since. Kono’s also has a location on Kapahulu Avenue and now in Kailua.

Specifically at its Kailua location, Pork Plate ($10.29) is most popular on the menu. “It comes with our homemade guava barbecue sauce and papaya seed dressing,” explains owner Stan Glander. Pork Plate features kalua pork, rice and salad, and is especially enticing to tourists because it embodies Hawaii’s iconic plate lunches. “I think we have more tourists here in Kailua and they’re looking for a plate (lunch) because they hear so much about them in Hawaii,” Glander adds.

Turkey Avocado Melt ($9)

Turkey Avocado Melt ($9)

Another dish that mustn’t be overlooked is Chun’s Breakfast Bomber ($7.99), a show-stopper at all locations, which features kalua pig, bacon, potato, eggs, cheese and a side of house-made salsa. The potatoes have an extra seasoning that makes them especially tasty. Plus, guests may add avocados, sour cream and jalapenos to any of Kono’s breakfast bombers.

For visitors looking for something other than kalua pig, try Turkey Avocado Melt ($9). It’s served on a toasted French roll with turkey, avocado, tomatoes, cheese and a little bit of mayo. Served on the side are Maui onion chips and a pineapple wedge.

Chun's Breakfast Bomber ($7.99)

Chun’s Breakfast Bomber ($7.99)

Finish off your meal with something extra sweet, as Kono’s also is loved for its milkshakes. With unique flavors such as Chocolate Haupia and Key Lime Pie, the staff at Kono’s always is coming up with new flavor ideas. All milkshakes have a vanilla ice cream-base and a unique ingredient to make them unforgettable. For example, all pie-flavored milkshakes are topped off with graham crackers to serve as pie crust.

As the number of regulars at each location continues to grow, little changes have been made to the menu at Kono’s because it simply isn’t needed. However, that’s not to say the restaurant doesn’t continuously work to keep its diners happy.

Kono’s offers catering services and, most recently, delivery to the surrounding areas. Kono’s in Kailua offers delivery through Bite Squad, while Kapahulu is affiliated with Aloha2Go and Dude, Where’s My Food? on the North Shore.


Merchant’s Row
131 Hekili St., No. 102, Kailua
(also in Haleiwa and Kapahulu)
Daily, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
(hours vary by location)

Kailua, HI 96734

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best