Discover some of the best restaurants in Honolulu, just outside of Waikiki, that will leave you
in awe with satisfied smiles and cravings for more!
Here's a selection for all
budgets and tastes from heavy hitters like Merriman's Honolulu, Kapa Hale, and Roy's Restaurant to
local hole-in-the-wall places like Ethel's, and foodie
favorites like Helena's and Shokudo.
chefs, elegant settings, culinary creations at its best, and lots
WOW factor! Make a reservation, get dressed up, and set out
the town for the following best restaurants in Honolulu! Make a point to try them all!
in the elegant Kahala Hotel, which is a treat in itself to
The experience starts as you enter the open air atrium of the hotel. Hoku’s is a romantic spot to dine on fine island cuisine.
Seared Halibut w/ an Avocado Crust, Salt Crusted Rack of Lamb, and
Maine Lobster Tempura should get you excited for the type
of menu you
will experience here.
Hawaiian fusion creations at it’s best! Roy Yamaguchi started his vision in 1988 with his first Oahu restaurant that still exists today in Hawaii Kai.
Today there are 4 of these Roy's Honolulu restaurants around the island, including one located in Waikiki and the North Shore. Dream of tender braised beef short ribs, Yamaguchi sushi, fresh Hawaiian catch of the day, and a signature hot chocolate souffle for desert!
Cook like popular local chefs like Sam Choy and Roy Yamaguchi with these cook books
"Healthy" is the focus this go around...butter is not used for cooking here!
Superseding his former successful restaurant, Chai Island Bistro in the Aloha Tower Marketplace, Chef Chai has done it again, creating another special Asian fusion menu in an innovative hip restaurant.
presents tempting choices such as Apple
Rolls, Alaskan King Crab Cakes, Deconstructed Scallop
Pot Pie with Lobster Reduction, Grilled Fresh Mahi Mahi
with Thai Red Curry Sauce, and a Fresh
Baked Pineapple Macadamia Nut Tart Ala Mode with
Vanilla Ice-cream for dessert -Yum!
Peter Merriman moved to Hawaii in the early ‘80s as a cook for Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Big Island. He quickly realized an opportunity to work with the farmers to grow fresh produce & herbs, and create the first farm-to-table fine dine island experiences for guests looking for more.
Merriman’s joins the lineup of the best restaurants in Honolulu in the Kaka'ako area. You really can’t go wrong here whether you choose to indulge in their melt-in-the-mouth Waygu Umami Burger with garlic saute mushrooms, gruyere cheese and truffle oil, or lean towards their fresh catch with a macadamia nut crust.
Their freshly grown salads are not to be missed, along with some fun appetizers like a Hapa Poke, Oysters in a Half Shell, “Oahu Shrimp Truck” with lots of garlic and ginger.
Peter Merriman even partners with local cattle ranches to get the best cut of meat to grill braise. It doesn’t exactly sound Hawaiian ordering their Cabernet Braised Short Rib with Mushroom Risotto, but the patrons are smiling a big mahalo in the end!
Born and raised in Hawaii, Chef Keaka has worked in some of the most prestigious Restaurants in Honolulu like Alan Wong’s & Pig & the Lady, and has now launched his own successful restaurant called Kapa Hale. So successful it was voted the best 2021 Honolulu Restaurant.
Kapa Hale (Working House) is a fusion of flavors from different cultures and fresh ingredients. The menu is always changing, but you’re almost guaranteed to find something you’ll like.
Discover tempting entrees like Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Beef Tartar, Shiitake Mushroom Risotto, and Black Garlic Grilled Octopus. Complementing sides like Roasted Caulafower w/ Grapfruit & an Anchovy Chili Garlic sauce, Grilled Corn Bread with Lilikoi & Honey. They are open for lunch and feature some comfort items including Fried Chicken, a Hawaiian Cubano, and a delicious Kauai Shrimp Scampi.
If you’re around for the weekend, beat the crowds for their Smoked Pork Benedict, a well put together Potato Patty Vegan Loco Moco, Chicken & Waffles, and a mouth watering Kalua Pork Croque Wahine.
Spend 4 to 5 hours touring hole-in-the-wall eateries located just beyond Waikiki. Visit some of Hawaii’s gems, and learn a little culinary history, while exploring the different cultures that make up our island.
Taste local favorites like Spam Musubi, Ube, Poke, Malasadas, and island plate lunch hits! These are small-group tours, to help keep the experience personalized, so make sure to sign up early if interested. Book an Aloha Food Plate Tour Now!
This is the next tier up in price and probably
my favorite section of the best Honolulu restaurants! You get the
experience of dining
like a rock star without breaking the wallet!
Kaka’ako is known for being the new hip, artsy, and fun area to hangout on Oahu…and Moku Kitchen resembles all these characteristics and more.
World renowned chef Peter Merriman who also created Monkeypod Kitchen in Ko’olina, has now created this popular eatery located in the recently developed open air center called SALT.
Don’t miss out on ordering the signature Monkeypod Mai Tai’s with Lahaina Rum and a Honey-Lilikoi Foam on top! Moku’s Oven-Roasted Wings are better than any deep fried versions, and their Hand Tossed Pizzas, and Szechuan Stir-Fry Green Beans with Mac Nuts are a treat. For bigger appetites, order and go to town on their Rotisserie Roasted Prime Rib or Ginger Glazed Roasted Duck.
It tends to get busy with a long wait if you don’t have a reservation, but you can be rewarded with some great bargains if you show up for happy hour!
Make sure to check out other great eateries around the island, including some great Oahu restaurants to be discovered in Kailua, Hawaii Kai, Kakaako, and the North Shore...
Smokey Cheesy Mac w/ Porchetta, Portuguese Sausage Loco Moco, Pan Seared Ahi w/ Sriracha Fried Rice, Truffle Butter Rib Eye, and lots more tempting choices at this popular Waialae eatery.
The Surfing Pig is one of the newest hip creation from the Kono plate lunch chain restaurants. They have taken some of the best Honolulu Restaurants island comfort foods, and added their own fusion twists to make everything signature on the menu and memorable.
The atmosphere has lots of fun elements that will draw you in, and adding to the magic is the lively bar and handcrafted cocktails…a good reason to show up for their 4 to 6 PM happy hour! The Smoked “Rosemary Mezcal Margarita” and Smoking Pig Old Fashioned w/ Crispy Bacon won’t disappoint!
Fitting right in with the best Honolulu Restaurants is all about the experience…sampling many new flavors and creations. It’s a great eatery to bring friends as many of the dishes can be shared.
There is a good mix of vegetarian dishes that are highlights on the menu including a Beet Poke that will have you questioning whether or not its ahi tuna. Their Szechuan Lotus Root and Pohole fern shoot & okra dishes are also sought after.
The Tempura Fish Sandwich with olive-ume tarter sauce is absolutely delicious and Mud Hen Water’s most popular dish. Also consider their Lemongrass Sausage & Clams w/ coconut milk for a table pleaser. Hawaiian food lovers with like their twist on Pork Lau Lau and Chicken Long Rice Croquette w/ Curry.
Make a reservation or it can be tough to get in!
Japanese fusion restaurant deserves all the island fame with all
incredible creations that come out of the kitchen. The menu
descriptions do no justice for what is actually presented at the
Don’t miss Shokudo’s
signature Agedashi Tofu-
melt-in-the-mouth and cooked to perfection, Lobster Dynamite, a
creamy dish that that just can’t last long enough, Spicy Miso Ramen –
topped off with a good spoonful of fried garlic ( this dish
rocks!), and many more best-of-the-best small
plate dishes to
When it comes to the art of
sushi creations, Doraku steps up to
the plate! This is the spot to post some pictures of your
amazing looking dishes on Facebook, and make all your friends jealous!
There is much tradition that takes place in the sushi preparation at Doraku, with a Latin inspiration. You'll find such fusions in some of their specialty rolls and small dishes!
This best Honolulu Restaurant is also known for having the largest displays of sake which goes hand in hand with the food! Doraku is modeled after a Japanese gastropub, and meant to be a gather place for friends sharing food.
There are 2 locations:
BBQ grilled to order at your table by you! This can be a fun spot
for a group celebration, or just a small gathering of friends ready
share tasty, grilled selections.
Gyu-Kaku staff will bring thinly sliced meats and special marinades such as miso, garlic, and teriyaki, that are ready to grill at your table. Don’t worry if you’re not a cook…just remember to flip over the meats every 30 seconds to a couple of minutes! Top off your barbecued meats with dipping sauces, such as Sweet & Spicy, Ponzu, and Lemon.
Arrive before 6pm or after 10pm for their discounted menu, which goes from fair pricing to cheap. $$ Lunch & Dinner, Mon - Sun 11:30am to 11:30pm
Helena is a well-loved local Hawaiian restaurant by both locals and visitors from all around. The interior of their restaurant is a bit plain, but the richness is found in the food.
This is the spot if you only have one opportunity to get your Hawaiian meal with all the sides and fixings.
Imu cooked Kalua Pig, Pork Chicken or Squid Laulau, Beef Stew, Chicken Long Rice, Lomi Salmon, and Haupia are your classics to choose from.
They also feature delicious Beef Stew, Pipilaula Short Ribs, Poke, Opihi, Fried Ahi and Fried Butterfish Collar. You can order ala carte or they also have some combinations to choose from…most likely it will be a combination of both.
It’s family style and affordable, so bring the whole fam and try everything! Plan accordingly as they are not only popular but also only open 4 days of the week and not weekends.
Step into a hip Kaka’ako Southeast Asian scene and sample many street food favorites with your friends.
Whether you choose to dine in their swanky French Colonial indoor setting with an impressive tall standing bar, or grab one of their front outdoor tables where all the action is, you’re in for a fun experience.
Highlights of the menu are influences of Vietnamese and Asian fusion popular dishes. Lemongrass Pork Ribs, Le Citronelle Fried Chicken, Clay Pot Steamed Clams with a spicy ginger dipping sauce, and Thai Ribeye Brochette Skewers to whet your appetite! It’s easy to over order here with lots of great options!
1938 Indochine has an extensive Bourbon and Scotch selections behind the bar, along with some well-crafted cocktails worth taking a look at.
Wondering where to get your Hawaiian food fix amongst the best Honolulu restaurants?
Highway Inn has been in business since 1947, but has taken on a refreshed look as it opened up in the new Kakaako SALT center along with Moku, Bevy, and other new hip eateries.
You can order a Super Combo Plate and layer on all your Hawaiian favorites like Kalua Pig, Chichen Long Rice, Lomi Salmon, Lu’au, and of course a bowl full of Poi! Steer to their Hawaii fusion side and try their Hawaiian Style Nachos with kalua pork, Edamame Poke with a smoked aioli or delicious Flame Broiled Pulehu Ribs.
Stop by for breakfast and be treated to Poi Pancakes with Macadamia Nuts and a Creamy Haupia (coconut) Sauce. Consider trying their Smoked Loco Moco as well with bell peppers & onions.
is one of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Honolulu on the
island! Located deep in the industrial
district in Kalihi near the Bishop
Museum, is a small little eatery that draws the
The home cooked dishes served up at Ethel’s even draws out the top Oahu chefs, late after their shifts. Everything on the menu – which is handwritten on sheets of paper encased in plastic, cascading down from a hanging surfboard from the ceiling -- is usually a hit. Get a taste of their Ox Tail Soup, Japanese Hamburger Steak, and a delicious and generous side order of Tataki Ahi Tuna sashimi!
Honolulu Ramen is one of the most satisfying cheap eats on the island. Most spots are easy to get into, even without reservations you have a good chance to get in with small wait times.
There are lots of different styles and twists to this Hawaii comfort food. And we have a list of some of the best bowls to try. Gama Tei, Wagaya, Junpuu, Tenkaippin, and Momosan are you leading ramen spots on the island. They take pride in brewing their signature broths for hours, and over night for that matter.
Whether you are a tankasu, shoyu, miso, or shiro based fan, or looking for a tasty fusion creation like Chicken Katsu Curry Ramen, you're bound to find a bowl of happiness and walk away feeling satisfied and with a smile.
Also check out some of the best new and classic Waikiki Restaurants.
There are some classic beach side dining experiences, hidden hole in the wall eateries, and some new institutions that are pleasing visitors from all around!