Scroll to Continue
Oahu is home to the metropolitan center of Hawaii, and its vibrant dining scene means that it’s an excellent place to find creative and delicious food representing diverse cultures. Splurge on dinner at one of the buzzworthy high-end spots in Honolulu, or save your vacation funds by finding tasty fare at casual spots, coffee shops and food trucks. On Oahu, you can eat like a local in smaller neighborhoods like Kapahulu or dine in high style at Hawaii’s top-rated restaurants in neighborhoods like Waikiki, Kaimuki and Chinatown.
Oahu is home to some of the best chefs in the world. Alan Wong (Alan Wong’s Restaurant), Roy Yamaguchi (Roy’s Waikiki), George Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro Restaurant) and Phillippe Padovani (Elua) were some of the founding chefs of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement 25 years ago, and their legacy has continued to spark Oahu’s restaurant renaissance today. These local legends take the freshest local produce and ingredients to create flavorful dishes, combining traditional Hawaiian cooking with influences from Japan, China, the Philippines and classic American cuisine among many others.
You’ll also find delicious modern interpretations of Hawaiian and Asian cuisines from the next generation of great chefs as well, who carry on the traditions of using local ingredients and creative preparations at Honolulu restaurants like The Pig and the Lady, Lucky Belly and Mud Hen Water.
On the North Shore, you’ll find a distinctly laidback vibe as well as a focus on fresh seafood. Fish tacos are a staple in surfer-friendly towns like Haleiwa. Shrimp trucks (food trucks whose menu offers a variety of shrimp-centric plates) are a local staple as well, along with the frozen Hawaiian treat shave ice (similar to a snow cone), which is a perfect way to cool off on a hot day.
Eat Like a Local
Consisting of two scoops of rice, macaroni salad, and everything from kalua pork, Korean barbecue, chicken katsu, beef teriyaki, or mahimahi, the plate lunch is a staple of local food.
No matter what island you’re on, grab a shave ice to cool off. These finely shaved snow cones are served with colorful flavors on the top with a choice of ice cream or azuki beans on the bottom.
“Pupu” is the Hawaiian term for appetizer, and every local restaurant in Hawaii offers a wide range of creative pupu platters to dine on, from poke dishes to sushi.
Treat your sweet tooth to a hot malasada (a Portuguese doughnut). Although Leonard's Bakery in Kapahulu is popular on Oahu, ask any local and they can tell you their favorite bakeries on each island to find these fresh and tasty treats.
For big appetites, try a “loco moco,” which is a hamburger steak and egg over rice, covered in gravy. You can find loco moco served throughout the islands, but Café 100 in Hilo on the island of Hawaii is said to have originated the name.
Perched at the ocean’s edge overlooking famed Waikiki Beach, Hula Grill Waikiki presents diners with [...]
Tiki's Grill & Bar features tastes of the Islands through a balance of American and Pacific-Rim fare for [...]
Halekulani Bakery & Restaurant is the hotel’s new full-service, all-day dining room. The restaurant [...]
Voted Best Restaurant by Critics. Established in 2017 by executive chef and owner Kevin Lee, PAI [...]
Guests will enjoy Hawaii's beautiful sunshine and stunning coastal view at the Plumeria Beach House. The [...]
Located on Kalakaua—the Rodeo Drive of Waikiki—Cheeseburger In Paradise, Waikiki began serving Aloha [...]
This beautiful, casual dining restaurant is perfect for a leisurely breakfast or informal lunch or [...]
Eggs 'n Things, a popular eatery for both locals and tourists, offers quality delicacies and dishes that [...]
Recognized as the premier Farm to Cup coffee company in the world, focused on the ultimate Hawaiian [...]
Waikiki’s latest Restaurant & Bar is offers inspiring ocean views and innovative culinary creations. [...]
The Veranda is the hottest spot for the trendy Honolulu crowd as well as hotel guests searching for the [...]
Hoku's at The Kahala Hotel & Resort is heralded for its innovative fusion fare which melds Hawaiian, [...]