Where To Eat In Honolulu?

Where To Eat In Honolulu?

Are you overwhelmed by the myriad dining choices in Honolulu and unsure where to start? With an array of eateries serving everything from traditional Hawaiian cuisine to international fare, it can be a daunting task.

This article will serve as your compass, guiding you through Honolulu’s vibrant food scene with highlights on must-visit restaurants and unique dining experiences. Ready for a culinary adventure like no other? Let’s dive in!

If you are also looking for suggestions on fun things to do during your stay in Honolulu, you can read our travel guide.

Top Restaurants in Honolulu

Some of the top restaurants in Honolulu include Merriman’s Honolulu, La Mer at Halekulani Hotel, Arancino at the Kahala, Sushi Sasabune, Yakitori Hachibei, Helena’s Hawaiian Food, The Pig & The Lady, Fête, and Mud Hen Water.

1. Merriman’s Honolulu

where to eat in honolulu - Merriman's Honolulu
Merriman’s Honolulu – 1108 Auahi St, Honolulu, HI 96814

Merriman’s Honolulu stands out as a lively and whimsical dining spot. A significant player in Merriman’s Hawaii Restaurants chain, this restaurant endeavors to support local agriculture with its sustainable approach to sourcing ingredients.

The founder, Chef Peter Merriman, is a passionate advocate of the farm-to-table movement which shines through in the bistro-style casual and fine dining meals offered here. The ambience exudes style complimented by live music performances while you delve into locally sourced seafood dishes!

2. La Mer at Halekulani Hotel

where to eat in honolulu - La Mer at Halekulani Hotel
La Mer at Halekulani Hotel – 2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

La Mer at Halekulani Hotel is a standout among Honolulu’s fine dining establishments. This gem not only boasts a stunning location on the west side of Waikiki’s coast but also carries an impressive reputation as the longest consecutively ranked AAA Five Diamond restaurant in Hawaii.

Its recognition doesn’t end there; it’s also the only eatery in Hawaii to have received a prestigious five-star rating from Forbes Travel Guide.

This revered culinary hotspot fuses Neo-Classic French cuisine with local Hawaiian ingredients, creating unforgettable degustation experiences for its patrons. The elegant interior mirrors its exquisite menu, featuring Asian décor that reflects its unique Neo-Classic French style.

As part of Halekulani hotel, La Mer sits amongst other well-regarded restaurants including Orchids, House Without a Key, Lewers Lounge and L’Aperitif – all equally deserving of their accolades.

3. Arancino at the Kahala

where to eat in honolulu - Arancino at the Kahala
Arancino at the Kahala – 5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Arancino at The Kahala, nestled in the heart of Honolulu, offers a modern taste of Italian cuisine that delightedly titillates your taste buds. This exquisite Oahu restaurant takes dining to another level; making lunch and dinner time an event you look forward to.

With its wide range of main courses priced between $18 and $80, there’s definitely something for everyone’s palate and pocket. The restaurant prides itself on having a remarkable 4.5 rating out of 5 on TripAdvisor, which leaves no doubt about the quality it provides.

Belonging to the eminent Arancino group with two other thriving locations on Oahu, Arancino at The Kahala holds up its reputation as one of the best places to eat in Honolulu by delivering unparalleled service alongside delicious meals straight from their kitchen.

4. Sushi Sasabune

best places to eat in honolulu - sushi sasabune
Sushi Sasabune – 1417 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814

Sushi Sasabune, located in the heart of Honolulu, is consistently voted as one of the top restaurants in the city. Known for its use of local Hawaiian fish, this sushi spot offers a unique dining experience.

With fast and attentive service, Sushi Sasabune has gained recognition as one of the best sushi spots in Honolulu. In fact, it has received top food honors in the Zagat restaurant survey.

Being a branch of a well-known omakase chain from Los Angeles adds to Sushi Sasabune’s reputation for quality and authenticity.

5. Yakitori Hachibei

best places to eat in honolulu - yakitori hachibei
Yakitori Hachibei – 250 Beach Walk, Honolulu, HI 96815

Yakitori Hachibei is a renowned restaurant in Honolulu that offers a luxurious dining experience. Started by esteemed chef Katsunori Yashima, this pricier and swankier franchise has gained popularity among locals and tourists alike.

Known for its rustic skewers with high-end ingredients, Yakitori Hachibei is considered the ultimate yakitori destination in Honolulu. Situated on Hotel Street between Nuuanu and Smith Street, the restaurant serves creative Japanese dishes with a focus on yakitori.

With positive reviews, it’s no wonder why Yakitori Hachibei has earned its place as one of Hawaii’s best restaurants.

6. Helena’s Hawaiian Food

best places to eat in honolulu - helena's hawaiin food
Helena’s Hawaiian Food – 1240 N School St, Honolulu, HI 96817

Helena’s Hawaiian Food, opened in 1946 by Helen Chock, is a beloved Honolulu restaurant known for its authentic Hawaiian cuisine. For over six decades, the restaurant has been serving up delicious home-cooked meals to locals and visitors alike.

In recognition of its culinary excellence, Helena’s Hawaiian Food received the James Beard Foundation’s Regional Classic Award in 2000. The menu at Helena’s features iconic dishes such as kalua pork, lomi salmon, and ribs that have become favorites among diners.

If you are looking to savor the true flavors of Hawaii, a visit to Helena’s Hawaiian Food is a must-do when in Honolulu.

7. The Pig And The Lady

best restaurants in honolulu - the pig and the lady
The Pig And The Lady – 83 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817

The Pig & The Lady is considered one of Honolulu’s best restaurants. Located in the heart of Honolulu’s Chinatown, this restaurant offers a fusion of Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, American, and Portuguese cuisine.

With its unique and inventive Vietnamese dishes, The Pig & The Lady has gained a reputation for pushing culinary boundaries. Originally starting as a pop-up restaurant and farmers market stand, it has now become a permanent establishment known for its lively setting with communal tables for diners to enjoy their meal together.

8. Fête

best restaurants in honolulu - fete
Fête – 2 N Hotel St, Honolulu, HI 96817

Fête is a popular seasonal New American restaurant located in Honolulu’s Chinatown. Led by Chef Robynne Maii, who hails from Honolulu and has extensive experience in the city’s culinary scene, Fête is known for its commitment to sourcing local meats and produce from Hawaii.

In fact, the restaurant received the prestigious 2022 James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northwest & Pacific region. One dish that stands out at Fête is their linguine carbonara, which has earned rave reviews.

Whether you’re looking for lunch or dinner options, Fête offers a delectable menu and a cozy dining atmosphere that showcases the best of modern American cuisine with a Hawaiian twist.

9. Mud Hen Water

best restaurants in honolulu - mud hen water
Mud Hen Water – 3452 Wai’alae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Mud Hen Water, located on Waialae Avenue in Honolulu, is a must-visit restaurant for those looking to indulge in top-notch Hawaiian cuisine. This popular spot is known for its inventive small plates and cocktails that showcase the rich flavors of Hawaii.

Using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, Mud Hen Water offers a diverse menu influenced by various cultures, including Mediterranean and Asian flavors. Group-friendly and welcoming, this restaurant provides a unique dining experience where guests can savor the delicious tastes of Hawaii.

Unique Dining Experiences in Honolulu

Experience a taste of local flavors at Wicked Hi Cafe, indulge in traditional Hawaiian dishes at Waiahole Poi Factory, or satisfy your cravings at the famous Zippy’s restaurant.

10. Wicked Hi Cafe

best restaurants in honolulu - wicked hi cafe
Wicked Hi Cafe – 655 Halekauwila St, Honolulu, HI 96813

Located in Waialua on Oahu’s north shore, Wicked Hi Cafe is known for offering unique and fun dining experiences in Honolulu. The cafe’s kitchen may be small, but it packs a punch with its menu of sourdough waffles and pizzas.

In addition to these delicious options, Wicked Hi Cafe also serves coffee, sandwiches, and signature slushies. For those looking for dinner options, the cafe has a pizza truck in Haleiwa that is open daily.

Whether you’re craving something sweet or savory, Wicked Hi Cafe has got you covered with their creative and mouthwatering dishes.

11. Waiahole Poi Factory

best restaurants in honolulu - waiahole poi factory
Waiahole Poi Factory – 48-140 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Located in Waiahole, Oahu, the Waiahole Poi Factory is a cherished establishment that aims to preserve and share Hawaiian traditions and cuisine. With a history dating back to the early 1900s as a poi factory, it has become renowned for its authentic Hawaiian dishes.

Visitors can indulge in traditional Hawaiian cuisine, including poi, at this unique eatery. Considered one of the best places to eat in Honolulu, the Waiahole Poi Factory offers a taste of Hawaii’s rich culinary heritage.

12. Zippy’s

best restaurants in honolulu - zippy's
Zippy’s – Multiple locations, check their website for the nearest one.

Zippy’s is a family-owned chain that has been serving up island-inspired meals since 1966. With 24 locations across Honolulu, it has become an iconic spot for locals looking for delicious and affordable Hawaiian cuisine.

Whether you’re craving local favorites like plate lunches or saimin, Zippy’s has got you covered with consistent quality across all its locations. Plus, with many meals priced under $20, you can enjoy a taste of authentic Hawaiian flavors without breaking the bank.

When it comes to satisfying your hunger in Honolulu, Zippy’s is definitely a must-try.

13. Sushi Izakaya Gaku

best restaurants in honolulu - sushi izakaya gaku
Sushi Izakaya Gaku – 1329 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814

Sushi Izakaya Gaku, located on South King Street in Honolulu, offers a unique dining experience for those seeking traditional Japanese cuisine. With an extensive menu that includes sushi and omakase, this restaurant has gained a reputation as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Honolulu.

Highly rated on sites like TripAdvisor, Sushi Izakaya Gaku is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its authentic flavors and expertly prepared dishes. Whether you’re craving fresh sashimi or want to indulge in a multi-course tasting menu, Sushi Izakaya Gaku is sure to satisfy your cravings for delicious Japanese food.

14. SXY Szechuan

best restaurants in honolulu - SXY Szechuan
SXY Szechuan – 655 Keeaumoku St #109, Honolulu, HI 96814

SXY Szechuan is a popular Chinese restaurant located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The restaurant offers a diverse menu of dishes including cold appetizers, stir-fried steamed dishes, soup, snacks, and desserts.

Known for its spicy cuisine, SXY Szechuan is considered one of the top 10 spicy food eateries in Honolulu. Customers have the convenience of ordering online and picking up their orders.

SXY Szechuan has earned a reputation for its delicious food. Open for both lunch and dinner, the restaurant operates at different hours throughout the week to accommodate customers’ schedules.

15. Olive Tree Café

best restaurants in honolulu - olive tree café
Olive Tree Café – 4614 Kilauea Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Olive Tree Café, opened in 1995 by Savas Mojarrad, is a casual Greek restaurant located in Honolulu. Known for its delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, the café offers a short menu with five essential items that are loved by both locals and visitors alike.

Customers can enjoy dishes like taramasalata, falafel, and souvlaki while also having the option to bring their own alcohol. What sets Olive Tree Café apart is its commitment to showcasing the beauty and history of Turkey through its dining experience.

With its unpretentious atmosphere and mouthwatering food, it’s no wonder that Olive Tree Café is considered one of the best places to eat in Honolulu.

16. Yakitori Ando

best restaurants in honolulu - yakitori ando
Yakitori Ando – 1329 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814

Yakitori Ando, located at 1215 Center St, Ste 200 in Honolulu, offers unique dining experiences with its yakitori and motsunabe dishes. Known for its delectable skewered meats and hot pot specialties, this restaurant is a must-visit for food enthusiasts.

What sets Yakitori Ando apart is its BYOB policy, allowing diners to bring their favorite beverages to complement the flavorful dishes. For an exceptional culinary adventure, try the omakase yakitori experience priced at $70.

Open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Yakitori Ando guarantees a memorable dining experience filled with delicious flavors.

17. Ono Seafood

best restaurants in honolulu - ono seafood
Ono Seafood – 747 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Located at 747 Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu, Ono Seafood is a must-visit restaurant for seafood lovers. Since 1995, they have been serving up fresh and flavorful poke bowls that are made to order.

Their poke comes in a variety of delicious flavors such as shoyu, wasabi, and miso. As a family-owned establishment, Ono Seafood takes pride in delivering high-quality seafood options to their customers.

With a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Tripadvisor, it’s no wonder why they are considered one of the best places to eat in Honolulu for seafood enthusiasts.

18. Ethel’s Grill

best restaurants in honolulu - ethel's grill
Ethel’s Grill – 232 Kalihi St, Honolulu, HI 96819

Ethel’s Grill, a family-run café in Honolulu, has been serving up delicious Asian-Hawaiian fusion dishes for over three decades. Owned by Riyoko Ishii for 34 years, Ethel’s Grill is located in the heart of Kalihi, making it a local favorite.

Managed by Minaka Urquidi, the daughter of Riyoko Ishii, this casual and no-frills establishment offers homestyle Japanese comfort food that hits all the right spots. From their flavorful Japanese hamburger steak to their perfectly seared ahi tataki, Ethel’s Grill is known for cooking up dishes that satisfy both locals and tourists alike.

Conclusion

Discover the vibrant culinary scene of Honolulu with this comprehensive guide to the best places to eat. From authentic Hawaiian dishes at Helena’s Hawaiian Food to unique dining experiences at Wicked Hi Cafe, there is something for every taste bud.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to indulge in mouthwatering flavors and explore Honolulu’s diverse food offerings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best restaurants in Honolulu?

The Pig and the Lady, Koko Head Cafe, MW restaurant, and Ala Moana Center house some of Honolulu’s best dining spots.

Can you suggest a good place for brunch in Honolulu?

Koko Head Cafe is a local favorite for brunch in Honolulu offering dishes like Portuguese sausage and Kimchi fried rice.

Are there any new restaurants that I need to try when visiting Honolulu in 2023?

Yes! Keep an eye on our “New Restaurants” section to discover fresh culinary delights sprouting up around the city including those at Lee Anne’s place near Ala Moana beach.

Where can I find authentic Hawaiian food in Honolulu?

Helena’s Hawaiian Food is well-known throughout Honolulu for its regional cuisine–don’t miss their haupia or abalone!

What places offer the best cocktails and desserts in town?

Bar Leather Apron offers some of the city’s best Mai Tais while MW Restaurant by Michelle Karr-Ueoka will serve you delicious Rocky Road ice cream.

Where can one enjoy high-quality seafood in Honolulu?

Many restaurants around Oahu, such as Roy Yamaguchi’s, specialize fresh fish brought from Hawaii Regional Cuisine Movement- still regarded as the best.

Where can I find the best fine dining experience in Honolulu?

For an exquisite fine dining experience in Honolulu, you can visit MW Restaurant or Chef Mavro, both of which offer exceptional culinary experiences.

What are some must-try dishes in Honolulu?

When in Honolulu, don’t miss out on trying the delicious poke bowls, fresh seafood, and the iconic shave ice, which are all local favorites.

Where can I get the best tasting menu in Honolulu?

If you’re looking for an impressive tasting menu in Honolulu, look no further than Chef’s Table at Waikiki or Chef Chai, known for their exceptional culinary creations.

What are the popular spots for brunch and dinner in Honolulu?

Honolulu offers a variety of spots for brunch and dinner, with Koko Head Cafe and House Without a Key being popular choices for their delectable offerings.

Where can I find the best a la carte menu in Honolulu?

When it comes to a la carte dining in Honolulu, you can explore options at Bar Leather Apron or Koko Head Cafe for a diverse and flavorful menu.

What are some recommended restaurants for tasting the best of Hawaiian cuisine in Honolulu?

To savor the best of Hawaiian cuisine, visit restaurants like The Pig and the Lady or Helena’s Hawaiian Food, where you’ll find authentic and delightful Hawaiian dishes.

What are the best places for takeout in Honolulu?

For convenient and delicious takeout options in Honolulu, you can explore local favorites like the Nook Neighborhood Bistro or Ethel’s Grill for a satisfying meal on the go.

When is the best time to visit Honolulu for culinary experiences?

November is an ideal time to visit Honolulu for culinary experiences, as you can partake in various food festivals and events showcasing the city’s diverse cuisine.

Are there any renowned chefs in Honolulu known for their innovative culinary creations?

Honolulu is home to esteemed chefs such as Wade Ueoka and Lee Anne Wong, who are celebrated for their innovative and delectable contributions to the city’s culinary scene.

What are some dining recommendations for experiencing the best of Honolulu’s culinary delights?

To indulge in the best of Honolulu’s culinary delights, consider visiting iconic establishments like Roy’s Waikiki by Roy Yamaguchi and The Surf Lanai at the Kaimana Beach Hotel, known for their exceptional dining experiences.