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Oahu Restaurants

Are you in search of a good Oahu restaurant?  With hundreds of Oahu restaurants to choose from, it couldn’t be more important to have a good short list of the very best restaurants in Oahu to pick from.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS - Starting Nov 12th, proof of vaccination or a 72 hour negative COVID test results will no longer be required for restaurants, bars, gyms, entertainment facilities, and Oahu attractions.  Indoor restaurant dinning will still be required to wear face masks while not eating or drinking and social distance rules still apply.

Starting on Nov 12th, Oahu & Maui will be allowed to further open up to the public. This means that restaurants, shops, churches, and gyms can now increase their capacity from 50% to full, and allow congregation of groups to increase to a maximum of 10.  Beaches, hiking trails and other outdoor activities allow groups of 25 to gather together.

Larger events, concerts, weddings (up to 150 people) and organized outdoor races (up to 500 people) may resume.

The governor has also revised the face mask rule, and no longer restricting wearing a face mask covering while outdoors.  Indoors still applies at this time...

Oahu has started allowing fully vaccinated visitors back to the island without a negative COVID test.  A 72-hour negative COVID result test before flight is also still an option.  And finally you can opt for a 10-day quarantine with no vaccine or test.

Guest will be asked to quarantine if test results take longer than arrival time, and stay quarantined until a negative result is available.

Wherever You Are on The Island, There are Tasty Eats Waiting for You!

Use this section to help find your best Oahu restaurant or special foods that will satisfy your cravings!

Honolulu Restaurants

A majority of the best 4 star Oahu restaurants reside in the heart of Honolulu!  You will find world class chefs, creating some amazing fusion creations in renowned Honolulu restaurants such as:  Roy’s Restaurant, Alan Wongs, and Chef Mavro & Hoku.

Honolulu Restaurants

You can also discover other great Honolulu restaurants in the Chinatown & Kakaako areas and the Aloha Tower Marketplace, including Doraku, Gordon Biersch, Shokudo and Chef Chai.

With a great selection to choose from, we've dedicated a whole page just for Honolulu restaurants.

Merriman's has joined the new Kaka'ako Ward Village.  Well renowned for its successful Poipu, Kauai location, and slated to do very well in their new 6,000 sq ft space in Oahu.  They are located on the ground floor of 1108 Auahi St., Honolulu.

Waikiki Restaurants

Waikiki Restaurants

Finding a place to eat in Waikiki is not hard, but discovering the best restaurants available can be a challenge.

As easily as you can get lost in the thousands of shops that encompass this city, I feel the same about the hundreds of choices of Waikiki restaurants that you can choose from.

Leonards Bakery

There are some good restaurants that come with ocean views and lively activity, such as Duke’s Restaurant & Barefoot Bar or Hula’s Grill Waikiki.

Kapahulu Avenue is considered Waikiki’s restaurant row and a cheap eats haven for the locals.  You will find some of Oahu’s best plate lunch houses including L&L BarbequeZippy’s Restaurant and Obama’s favorite spot, Rainbow Drive In.

Don’t miss Leonard’s Bakery, which sells one of the best treats in all of Hawaii, the Portuguese donuts known as the hot malasadas.   5:30am to 9pm Daily

We have assembled a short list of the best Waikiki Restaurants for you!

Chinatown District

Pig and the Lady $$$

Honolulu has a new favorite restaurant in the Chinatown district, and the word is getting out quickly!

Executive chef and owner Andrew Le has shared his vision of taking Vietnamese cuisine to the next level, fusing different cultural influences, and creating some of the tastiest gourmet dishes in town!

I’m a huge fan of their Bone Marrow Pho with smoked brisket!  Have fun with the menu that is always changing, but be sure to order some Laotian Twice Fried Chicken Wings!

Reservations recommended   Lunch $$  Dinner $$$

Open Mon – Sat 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM, Sun 11 AM to 4 PM

Phone – 808-585-8255 83 N. King St, Honolulu

Check out more – www.thepigandthelady.com

Also check out their sister restaurant Piggy Smalls, which just opened up in Ward Center   1200 Ala Moana Blvd    Phone (808) 777-3589
Walk-ins only

Make you own chocolate bar experience!  Sign up for fun 1 hr workshop in Chinatown or Kailua, learning about the chocolate making process, and create your own unique bar using spices and/or fun ingredients.  Reserve your spot now...

North Shore Restaurants

North Shore Restaurants

There are not a ton of restaurants on the North Shore of Oahu, but there are a few worth mentioning! 

Haleiwa Joe's, Beach House by Roy Yamaguchi, and the Haleiwa Beach House are the spots where you can relax while watching the sunset and enjoy a memorable meal.

Shrimp Trucks and roadside Huli Huli barbecue keeps it simple yet delicious.  And there are few other note worthy North Shore Restaurants you should consider during your visit!

Northshore Treats

Matsumoto's Shave Ice $

Matsumoto Shave Ice

Lilikoi, Mango, and Pineapple are my choice of flavors when I grab a Hawaiian shave ice on the North Shore!  Just make sure you request a scoop of vanilla ice-cream in the bottom of your cup to make it complete.

Yes, it’s hard to drive through Haleiwa without making a stop to at least quench your sweet tooth with a shave ice from Matsumoto's.  Otherwise, you'll be dreaming about it the whole way back to Waikiki.  $ Always!

Location:  66-087 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI - Phone (808) 637-4827

Check out more at MatsumotoShaveIce.com

Ted’s Bakery $

Ted's Bakery Pies

Famous by local standards, this is definitely the best pie you will taste on the island!  It’s just not pie, but flavors you will not taste elsewhere, including Coconut Haupia and Chocolate Haupia.  You can buy a $3 slice to take with you, but you might kick yourself for not picking up a whole pie! -  $

Location:  59-024 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI - Phone (808) 638-8207

Check out more at Tedsbakery.com

Kailua Restaurants

Like the North Shore, Kailua Town has a couple small square blocks with a few select Oahu restaurants worth mentioning.  You have 4 of the best breakfast spots on the island including Cinnamon's, Boot & Kimo's, Moke's Bread & Breakfast, and Over Easy!

Cinnamon's $$

Cinnamon's Kailua

The competition is tough for great breakfast spots in Kailua, and Cinnamon's commands an audience that build up a typical 3 hour wait on the weekends!  With ampule seating available in the restaurant, you can still wait a good half hour wait during the weekdays!

Cinnamon's is best known for their Guava Chiffon (a la mode), and Red Velvet Pancakes.  Make sure to also try their signature Kalua Pork, Mahi Mahi or Crabcake Benedict!  And of course you must get an order of Cinnamon's Cinnamon-Madademia Nut Roll...sensory overload!

Open Daily 7am to 2pm (no take-out on weekends)  Phone (808) 261-8724

315 Ulunui St, Kailua HI , NEW 2nd location in the Ilakai Hotel

See more at www.Cinnamons808.com

Boots and Kimo’s $$

Boot's and Kimo's Kailua

They are open for lunch, but you really want to make it over for breakfast.  They are well known for their famous banana macadamia nut pancakes with macadamia nut sauce.

The long line of people outside waiting to get in speaks for how good this place is! The Grilled steak, rice and eggs is plentiful and noteworthy!

Breakfast & lunch

Location:  151 Hekili St, Kailua HI - Phone (808) 263-7929

Check out more at Boots and kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen.

Lanikai Juice $

Lanikai Juice

Not just another juice bar, but a more unique and delicious smoothie concoction served up in a bowl!  I find it tough to describe, but you just gotta try it!

Many famous celebrities have been known to frequent Lanikai Juice to get their healthy serving of acai berry smoothie bowls.  Let me know if you spot anyone!

Location:  600 Kailua Rd, Kailua HI - Phone (808) 262-2383

Check out more at LanikaiJuice.com

Hawaii Kai Restaurants

If you are headed out to Hanauma Bay, nearby Sandy Beach or out to Makapu’u Point, you have a few really good choices waiting for you in the last town, known as Hawaii Kai, before heading up Koko Head and into a less urban part of Oahu.

Roy’s Restaurant - Hawaii Kai $$$$

Roy's Restaurant

Roy Yamaguchi is one of Hawaii’s most renowned chefs on the island, and a pioneer of East meets West fusion cuisine in Hawaii.  It is a treat to sit down to savor almost anything on his menu, but it’s a shame not to order the fresh catch of the day!

Hawaii Kai was Roy’s first location, and now one of many locations that uphold his high culinary standards.

Don’t miss dessert!  Roy’s signature Chocolate Molten Lava Cake is to die for!  Along with a cup of fresh Kona Brewed Coffee…you might want to start with this first! 

$$$ Dinner only

Location:  6600 Kalanianaole Hwy, Hawaii Kai, HI - Phone (808) 396-7697

Check out more at Roy’s Restaurant.com

Kona Brewing Company $$

Kona Brewing Company

This is the closest restaurant you can get to Kona without an extra flight!  Yes the original Brewery resides in the Big Island, but they built a beautiful 7000 sq ft brewery restaurant on the Hawaii Kai Koko Marina.

It’s easy to get a table in their outdoor dock seating area, where you can order some ono pupus (appetizers) and taste their home brews such as Longboard Island Lager, Pipeline Porter and the Wailua Wheat.

They are also known for making Spent Grain Crusted Pizzas that offer a tasty unique twist. 

$$ Lunch & Dinner

Location:  7192 Kalanianaole Hwy, Hawaiia Kai, HI - Phone (808) 396-5662

Check out more at KonaBrewingCo.com

Best Breakfast Spots

Koko Head Cafe

Discover the best Oahu breakfast restaurants!  From old staples including Rainbow's Drive In & Leonard's Bakery to new upcoming hits such as Koko Head Cafe & Yogur Story, there are some incredible dishes around the island to start off your morning!  Click here to see a review on the best Oahu breakfast restaurants!

Favorite Hawaiian Recipes, Musubi Creations, and Hawaii Restaurant Popular Dishes - Cookbook Picks

Best Cheap Eats $

Shirokiya Japan Village Walk

Shirokiya Japan Village Walk

Shirokiya Market Place, now known as the "Japan Village Walk" is larger than life!  In fact its close to 45,000 sq ft that masks a replica of Kyoto (a small traditional town located in Japan) with 56 kiosk restaurants serving everything from ramen bowls to gourmet dishes.

It can feel quite overwhelming the first time you walk into the new Japan Village Walk, with so many options to explore, and finding a seat can also be challenging at times as there are only 900 available!

There’s even an entertainment stage in the back with ongoing performances and live music.  I personally get a kick out of their centralized bar that sells $1 beers!

Location:  Ala Moana Shopping Center  Open Daily 10 AM to 10 PM

Phone (808) 973-9111 

Check out more:  www.JapanVillageWalk.com

Explore The Farmers Market

KCC Farmers Market

Located on the side of Diamond Head, the KCC Farmers Market is special popup market that takes place on Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons.  Definitely check it out if you're around!

You'll find fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers in abundance, but it's the local goods and unique finds that I'm interested in.

There are also lots of great food booths to choose from as well.  Look for the Pig and the Lady (rated as one of the best Honolulu restaurants) food booth...their sandwiches and noodle dishes are incredibly delicious!

  • Location - Kapi'olani Community College, 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu
  • Times - Tue 4 PM to 7 PM, Sat 7:30 AM to 11 AM

Ethel’s Grill

Ethel's Grill Honolulu

Local food at its best!  This is where the top chefs on the island come after their shifts!  The meals I’ve eaten at this hole-in-the-wall Oahu restaurant in an industrial neighborhood are nothing shy of being top notch and onolicious!  Da best brah!

Breakfast & Lunch

Location:  232 Kalihi St, Honolulu, HI

Phone (808) 847-6467

Check out more Ethel’s Grill reviews.

Hula Dog

Hula Dog Waikiki

Originally opened as the famous Puka Dog, and now renamed "Hula Dog".  Whether Puka or Hula Dog, it’s still the best hog dog in all of Hawaii!

It’s a hot dog dropped into a fresh hoagie roll, coated with a unique tropical relish and some lilikoi (passion fruit) mustard.  Writing about it does not do it justice…it’s one of those exotic island treats that you simply have to  experience yourself.  Hula Dog just relocated as the Waikiki International Market Place closed. The original one was started in Poipu, Kauai.

Open 10am to 10pm

Location:  2370 Kuhio Ave, Waikiki HI - Phone (808) 303-4452

Check out more at HulaDogHawaii.com

Honolulu Ramen Spots

Honolulu Ramen

A lot can be said for a good bowl of ramen.  It’s fast, delicious, and falls under cheap eats.  A savory over-night slow cooked broth, perfectly cook tea eggs, and smoky char siu pork belly for starters.

Check out Honolulu Ramen spots...

Hawaii is known for this delicious bowl of comfort food, and there are a good handful of Honolulu ramen restaurants that do it best.  Discover how Goma Tei, Wagaya, Junpuu, and others conjure an amazing bowl of ramen and separate themselves from the rest…

Hawaiian Plate Lunches:

It’s not good for the waistline, but easy on the wallet, and incredibly satisfying.  I can best describe a Hawaiian plate lunch as a fast home cooked meal that consists of white steamed rice, plain macaroni salad and a main entree dish such as Teriyaki Beef, BBQ Chicken and fried Mahi Mahi fillets.

The combination of the 3 items is quite complimentary and will keep you spearing through each for a perfect mouthful!

Hawaiian Plate Lunch

Everyone has his or her own favorite Plate Lunch house, but L&L Barbecue, Zippy’s and Rainbow Drive In are the local faves.  All three Oahu restaurants can be found above Waikiki on Kapahulu Avenue

L&L BBQ, Zippy’s Restaurant, and others are large chains that can be found through out the island, including Kailua, Hawaii Kai and the North Shore.

Hawaiian Poke

Poke is more of a treat, but I tend to make it a meal sometimes.  Ahi Poke is freshly sliced up raw AAA grade Hawaiian Yellow Fin Tuna, that is marinated with select ingredients such as shoyu (soy sauce), sweet Maui onions, sesame oil, sea salt, and limu (seaweed).

Hawaiian Ahi Poke

Growing up, you only found it in a few fresh fish shops around the island, but today you can find it bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and specialty Hawaiian Poke shops.

One of the simple pleasures I enjoy today is picking up a few different styles of Poke along with some cold beers and finding a beautiful coastal spot to enjoy it!

Hawaiian Poke is not just made with fresh tuna, however.  It is also made with octopus, shrimp, blue crab, or squid.  Marinated in the same manner, these other types of poke are also very tasty!

Believe it or not you can find some of the best and freshly made selection of Hawaiian Poke in the local supermarkets, like Foodland and Safeway.  Request a side of chili water sauce to go along with your order.  It will kick it up a notch without being too spicy.  If you need more fire, grab a Tabasco from one of the grocery aisles!

Review the BEST Hawaiian Poke spots.

Honolulu Food Tour - Eat Like a Local!

Leonards Hot Malasadas

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 Aloha Food Plate Tour Now!

Happy Hour Time for Foodies !!!

Drinks always comes to mind at happy hour, but keep your eyes open for some amazing deals and steals to be found on the food menus.  Below are my favorites!

Buho Cocina y Cantina $$

Buho Concina y Cantina

An important element of happy hour is the environment.  Buho Cocina y Cantina does just that...providing an open air modern bar located on the top 3rd level overlooking the action below on Kalakua Blvd.  The loungy chairs, glass firepits, canopies, and modern decor helps create the mood you're looking for!

Happy Hour is 4pm to 7pm (perfect sunset hour) & 10pm to close

$3 Tacos - $5 Pupus - $5 Drink Specials

Open Daily from 11am to 1pm   Check out more at Buhocantina.com

Location:  2250 Kalakaua Blvd, Honolulu, HI Phone (808) 922-2846

Shokudo $$

Shokudo Restaurant on Oahu

Iron chef, eat your heart out!  The Japanese fusion creations being served at this modern hip restaurant has to be the best on the island.  You would never think so reading their plain descriptions on the menu! But don't be fooled, the food at Shokudo is "broke da mouth onolicious"!

The food is very reasonable to begin with, but only gets cheaper with a special $3.00 menu that is presented between 4 and 6pm and 10:30 to midnight.

$ Happy Hour, $$ Lunch & Dinner

Location:  1585 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI Phone (808) 941-3701

Check out more at ShokudoJapanese.com

Gyu-Kaku $$

Gyu Kaku Restaurant in Oahu

Signature Japanese BBQ!  Come hungry and get ready to grill your own food at your table.  They marinate the meats and you do the work.  Sound like work, but it’s fun!

It only gets better when you stretch your appetite out past 9pm, or before 6:30pm when the menu and drinks become half off!

$$ Lunch & Dinner

307 Lewers St., Waikiki HI - Phone (808) 926 2989
1221 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu HI - Phone (808) 589-2989

Check out more at Gyu-Kaku.com

Aloha & Enjoy!

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