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More about Huggo's

Whether looking for a romantic rendezvous or a place to schmooze a business buddy, Huggo’s has it all ~ seaside location, balmy breezes, expert service and cuisine that refuses to compromise.

Huggo’s opened in 1969 as a casual, gathering spot where you could get a good steak, a slab of fresh fish and pile it on at the salad bar. With its waterfront location, it proved to be a favorite haunt for local fisherman who gathered to share a salty tale or two.

Our Story

Steering Huggo’s on its course were founders Hugo and Shirley von Platen Luder who ran the restaurant with the motto “good food and good fun”. The couple introduced Huggo’s now famous Teriyaki Steak and was one of the first local restaurants to set up daily communications with the fleet of boat captains in the area to insure they served only the freshest fish available. With the use of cell phones, this practice is continued today. More often then not the fish you are having for dinner may have been caught just hours before being served. Huggo’s practices the farm to table philosophy of procurement and sources as many products as possible form local farmers and fishermen.

The surf at high tide swirls and foams just a few feet below diners who gaze out at a never-ending horizon, hoping to catch the elusive green flash. Anglers fish almost nightly off the rocks fronting the restaurant and every catch gets a rousing applause from diners. Bus boys join in the fun by hurling soft dinner rolls into the surf to cause a frenzy among awaiting fish and eels. After dusk, Huggo’s brightly lit facade sometimes attracts graceful manta rays that glide in and out of the reef.

While menu items like Teriyaki Steak die hard, Eric and Huggo’s Chef are continually updating Huggo’s menu to reap the best of the local harvest, whether from the sea or the shore. Huggo’s focuses on just-caught fish using a Pacific Rim style of preparation, innovative chicken fare, salad offerings that utilize the Big Isle’s fresh bounty and desserts that offer a grand finale to a satisfying repast.

Huggo’s restaurant executive chef, Big Island born and raised Laine Uchida

From a very young and impressionable age, Laine volunteered to work at Teshima’s to observe and learn from the day-to-day operations of a restaurant. Prior to joining Huggo’s, Uchida was sous chef under master chef Alan Wong at Hualalai Grill.
Uchida comes from a long line of family that have been in the restaurant industry beginning with his grandfather who worked at Kanaraku Teahouse on Oahu who was discovered by the owners of Teshima’s Restaurant and was asked to run their kitchen. He credits his grandfather’s for his interest and love for the culinary arts.

President Eric von Platen Luder

In 1982, Eric took over the day-to-day operation of Huggo’s from his parents and restaurant founders, Shirley and Hugo von Platen Luder. A fourth-generation Chinese-Hawaiian, Eric has worked in every capacity at Huggo’s. He began as an aspiring 11-year-old bus boy, joining his brother and sister who also pitched in during summer vacations.

Just as Eric continually updates the menu, he keeps Huggo’s sprawling facility fresh with expansions and improvements. Both the patio and Huggo’s on the Rocks are available for private parties and buy-outs. (For more info see the Bookmark on Private Events). Look for continued expansion with the addition of an upper level, doubling the size of the restaurant.

Hand Crafted Cocktails

Mai Tai
As Old as the Gods and Huggo’s House Drink Since 1969. Exotic Fruit Juices, Light and Dark Rums 7.50

Hand Crafted Cocktails

Mai Tai
As Old as the Gods and Huggo’s House Drink Since 1969. Exotic Fruit Juices, Light and Dark Rums 7.50

Manta Ray
The Nectar of the Amakua with Hawaiian Rum and Brandy. Keep the Glass on this One! 7.75

Tropical Illusion
An Ancient Concoction of Guava, Coconut and Vodka. 7.50

Da Green Flash
A Melon Delight at Sunset Time. If you watch the Horizon Closely You May See Our Legendary Green Flash as the Sun Enters The Sea. 7.50

A Flaming Experience for Two or Four Daring Souls. Served in an Old Hawaiian Drinking Bowl with Extra Long Straws. 14.00

The Nectar of the Amakua with Hawaiian Rum and Brandy. Keep the Glass on this One! 7.75

These two pictures taken just before opening

Organizing and participating in fundraisers is a key community component for Eric and Huggo’s. The largest billfish tournament in the world for women is Huggo’s annual Na Pua O Ka Kai, which benefits non-profit organizations like Family Support Services of West Hawaii, and most recently The Neighborhood Place of Kona. Started in 2000, the tournament raised over $50,000 in its’ first eight years. It is still going strong today.


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