Tina's Garden Gourmet Cafe

Overall rating: 3.5 stars 3 Reviews
Serves meat, veg options available. Majority of Chef Tina's artistic food has a vegetarian option. Also every dish is prepared to order so every dish can be made vegan. Price: Moderate more-less
Vegan-friendly, Lacto, American, Chinese, Thai, Non-veg
168 Kamehameha Ave (Waianuenue Ave )
Hilo, Hawaii 96720

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  • Accepts credit cards


First Review by tomatochild
  • vegan

My favorite restaurant in Hilo

Posted on 09 / 23 / 2012

I love Tina's Cafe. Never had anything bad here, but some things are better than others. It is not traditional Thai so don't expect that. If you get nothing else, please try the Tina's spaghetti. It's one of my all time favorite things at any restaurant. Service is often so so, like I usually have to ask for water repeatedly. I'd avoid the asparagus and hearts of palm salad. They both sound better and more interesting than they are. Portions tend to be large to too large. They have changed recently and only have regular menus on the weekends. Other nights they just have a hot pot option so do not bother. It's actually pretty disappointing that they don't have full dinner every night

Pros: many vegan options, Tina's Spaghetti, Centrally located
Cons: Limited menu most nights
  • vegetarian

Tina's Garden Gourmet Cafe

Posted on 05 / 08 / 2012

My family first discovered Tina's when the restaurant was tucked behind the Garden Exchange. We LOVED their tofu/peanut-sauce/pineapple sandwich. Sounds strange, but its wonderful!
They are now along Bayfront--so more poeple will be able to easily find them.
My friend and I usually meet for lunch each week. We almost always choose Tina's and end up ordering the same thing each week. We get one order of summer rolls and a small bowl of coconut/veg soup. They bring us an extra bowl and we split it. Its PLENTY of food for lunch--and it costs us under $15 for both of us. Delicious healthy food for the price of a Subway sandwich.
Tina buys her organic vegetables from my friend's farm--so we know firsthand how fresh and good they are!
Her recipes are unique and interesting--not really Thai, but some sort of fusion.
Some of the items are relatively expensive--$15 salads that really are not all that special. Plus they are big enough for four, and I am no tiny picky eater! But the smaller sized papaya salad, and the items I mentioned are truly delicious, our favorites on the menu, and very inexpensive.
Service is great too. They keep your glasses full of lemony ice water--
I love Tina's for lunch!

Pros: inexpensive, fresh crisp veggies, never crowded
Cons: parking sometimes hard to find
  • vegan

Hawaiian-styled Thai cuisine, good for families

Posted on 09 / 11 / 2011

My husband stopped here for a late lunch/early dinner and had the place to ourselves. The service was a bit slow and inattentive at first, but after we placed our orders and the food started arriving the waitress was very good about refilling our glasses and checking on us.

The menu appears to be mostly Thai items with a Hawaiian influence, such as curry and rice dishes with local fish species. Most dishes offer tofu as a protein option.

We had an order of the tofu spring rolls and a bowl of the tom kha coconut milk soup. The spring rolls contained lots of fresh vegetables -- avocado, cucumber, carrot, lettuce -- and were cut into multiple rounds. They also came with a lovely, sweet dipping sauce. The soup serving was enormous (and at $15, it should be) that could've fed a family of 6. It was also the BEST tom kha soup I have ever had. The broth was a little thicker and creamier, possibly because it was blended with pumpkin, and though it was missing the usual ingredients of traditional tom kha soup (onions, basil and cilantro), it had a beautiful, velvety flavor and texture and had other ingredients that complemented the soup nicely (like fresh spinach leaves). I was so sad to leave some of it behind because it was simply too much food for two people, and since we were staying in a hotel we couldn't take it to go.

I think this place is worth checking out, but keep the large portions in mind when ordering. Also, prices are on the high side, so expect to spend $20-30 for two items and drinks.

Pros: good local flavors, nice twist on Thai cuisine, easy to locate -- right on bayfront
Cons: service can be slow, pricy, portions too large for small groups


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Last updated: 2011/06/14


Added: 2011/06/14


Added by: Guest