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Eat Like a Local in Oahu

David Lauridsen Hawaii

Photo: David Lauridsen

Rainbow Drive-In

What One of the last drive-in restaurants in Honolulu, its parking lot is often filled with vans topped with surfboards. Rainbow is a favorite pit stop of beachcombers in flip-flops and office workers hoping to catch some rays on their lunch break.

Who Since 1961, the Ifuku family has owned and run this drive-in that serves traditional American favorites such as chili dogs and slush floats; their menu also includes popular plate- lunch specials such as barbecued ahi and chopped steak stir-fry.

Don’t miss The homey fried chicken cutlet smothered in brown gravy with two scoops of white rice, just like how Hawaiian "aunties" make it. 3308 Kanaina Ave.; 808/737-0177; lunch for two $14.

Side Street Inn

What A no-frills sports bar, Side Street is an after-hours hangout for Honolulu’s top chefs (Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi are regulars). It also provides workaday Honolulu with a hearty selection of fried pork chops, barbecued spare ribs, and the island’s creamiest macaroni salad.

Who Chef Colin Nishida buys chow fun noodles from a mom-and-pop shop in Honolulu’s Chinatown and serves organic microgreens grown in Waimanalo.

Don’t miss Grab a stool at the bar and try the potent cocktails (the house specialty is the Side Mui: vodka, Kahlúa, sour mix, and dried plum powder) and exceptional pu pus (bar snacks), from fried wontons to steamed Manila clams. 1225 Hopaka St.; 808/591-0253; dinner for two $50.

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