Big Island: 50s Highway Fountain
There’s a ’50s diner in Laupahoehoe. Sure, why not?
’50s Highway Fountain, complete with jukeboxes, booths and black-and-white checkered floors, only opened in 2004, but it’s filled with enough relics (Elvis paraphernalia, vintage Coke posters and classic model cars) that it feels ’50s era-ish. And it’s got at least one thing over a diner in Anytown, USA: The back dining room looks straight out over the Pacific.
More authentic diners along Route 66 would also have a hard time beating the freshness of Highway Fountain’s fish and chips. When we go, a light and crispy beer batter reveals moist and meaty ono. Hamburgers are made with Big Island beef, with just the right amount of char. Fries and a malted vanilla milk shake complete the nostalgic trifecta.
And though it might be easy to forget we are still in Hawaii, the menu has all the local favorites, from loco moco to pork katsu.
It’s the perfect pit stop, on the one island that might actually warrant such things as road trips. I’d even go so far to say, with its food and friendly servers, it’s a destination in itself.
35-2704 Old Mamalahoa Hwy., Laupahoehoe, Hawaii Island, (808)962-0808, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Back-to-the-50s-Highway-Fountain/116767694341?sk=wall