ADDRESS: 67-1185 Hawaii Belt Road, Waimea, HI 96743
It was my last day at work before my Hawaii vacation and about an hour before lunch, my friend Mark (in an attempt to make me starve even more) forwarded me a list from MSN that mentioned the top burgers in all 50 states. Out of curiosity, I checked out the spot that they listed for Hawaii and found out that it was only a half hour away from where my family was staying on Hawaii Island. Not to pass up an opportunity, my family decided to trek north up the hills into the town of Waimea to get a sampling of what Village Burger had to offer.
Attached to a food court area of a shopping plaza, Village Burger practices the farm-to-table concept, where all of their ingredients are sourced locally and nothing is ever frozen. On one of their walls, they have a cool “sign post” that indicates all of their suppliers and how far each of them are from the restaurant. Most are within 10 miles, with the furthest being 122 miles away.
The restaurant itself only has one bar area along the window to seat maybe six people max, so anyone else looking for seating would have to go out into the food court area. When you order, however, the cashier gives you a buzzer that lets you know when it’s time to go back to the restaurant and pick up your order.
By the time that my family arrived at the restaurant, it was about 7:30 p.m., and they had already sold out of their veal burger and Wagyu beef burger, leaving only their traditional beef burger remaining on the menu. It turned out not to be an issue though, since I had heard their traditional burger was still just as good as the others. I ordered my burger topped with sharp cheddar, avocados, baby greens, grilled onions, and an egg over easy. For sides, we got two orders of fries: one regular and one Parmesan garlic.
Now I know the reason why this place had a burger on that “top burgers in the U.S.” listing I saw. With all of their ingredients sourced so locally, every item on that burger tasted so fresh. Even the brioche bun that the burger was served on came from a local bakery. All of the toppings I chose to add on combined so well for a variety of different flavors, and every bite that I took left me wanting more. No condiments necessary.
Even though we were tired from a day spent in Kona (and the fact that we had just gotten off the plane from LA six hours prior), I’m glad we took the extra thirty minutes to head north and discover this fantastic burger place tucked away in the town of Waimea. It makes me sad I can’t go here regularly, but I suppose my waistline can rest easier knowing that.
Let’s now take a look at the Village Burger Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
And finally, here are my rankings for Village Burger:
Food: 5 / 5
It doesn’t get any fresher than this. Locally sourced ingredients and great flavor combinations will certainly keep people coming back for more. I’d be curious to try the veal burger and Wagyu beef burger at some point as well.
It would be tough to rank the atmosphere for this place, as the primary dining area is the food court tables shared by five other shops.
Service: 4.25 / 5
The food came out of the kitchen in a pretty reasonable time, although a group that came in after us starting get some of their food before we did (maybe a ticket mix-up?). The cashier was helpful in answering some questions we had about the menu.
Price: 4.75 / 5
Locally sourced ingredients are going to come with a higher price tag, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay. My burger ended up being $15 after toppings, but it was well worth it.