Restaurants in Oahu
With acres of pineapple fields, hole-in-the-wall eateries selling shrimp fresh off the dock and timeless traditions like the luau, many of Hawaii's most iconic attractions revolve around its local cuisine.
Several of the best restaurants on Oahu have earned prestigious awards for their culinary prowess. Alan Wong's, the namesake of its James Bead Award winning chef and owner, serves up haute takes on Hawaiian fare, including Kalua pig and soy-braised short ribs. Another standout among Oahu restaurants include Chef Mavro, a fine dining hotspot run by French-born George Mavrothalassitis. Here, prix-fixe tasting menus change seasonally to highlight fresh ingredients prepared with Continental techniques.
Unsurprisingly, travelers can A-list restaurants on Oahu at the island's many resident resorts, such as Nobu's outpost at the Waikiki Parc Hotel and Hoku's at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. The latter features an open kitchen, bamboo floors and sweeping ocean views.
More casual Oahu restaurants worth a peak include the Kua 'Aina burger joint and Matsumoto Shave Ice stand, both found along the North Shore.
Chef-owner Shingo Chibana makes his house-specialty soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) from scratch six to eight times a day at Matsugen. The master is frequently seen cutting the noodles by hand in the middle of the dining room.
Posh hotel restaurant and lounge. On Friday and Saturday nights, the W hotel's Diamond Head Grill transforms into the Wonder Lounge, a multi-bar club with DJs and dancing.
This Hong Kong-style dim sum restaurant on a corner of Honolulu’s Chinatown isn’t fancy, with an aqua awning and doors, white-clothed tables bathed in fluorescent lights, and a fleet of roving dim sum carts piled high with covered plates and bamboo steamers.
A favorite of President Barack Obama, this casual burger joint is located across the street from the Haleiwa Shopping Plaza on the North Shore. First established in 1975, the restaurant is now an international chain with outposts in London and Japan.
Claiming to serve “fish so fresh, it’s from tomorrow,” Uncle’s Fish Market on Pier 38 is a casual, family-friendly eatery that specializes in prepared-to-taste seafood. The dining room is dotted with fishing memorabilia, and Hawaiian music plays in the background.
European transplants Donato Loperfido and Philippe Padovani shuttered their eponymous local restaurants before teaming up in 2008 to open ’Elua, whose name means “two” in Hawaiian. The concept: two distinct, seasonal French and Italian menus for mixing and matching.
The creation of James Beard Award winner and celebrity chef, Alan Wong, this restaurant is a success with both critics and customers. Wong’s restaurant serves flavorful, upscale Hawaiian fare, enhanced by his use of fresh ingredients.
Located inside the Waikiki Parc Hotel, this upscale Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant is part of an international chain owned by world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
Located inside the Kahala Hotel & Resort, Hoku’s has earned critical praise for its inventive and upscale Pacific Rim cuisine, crafted by chef Wayne Hirabayashi.
Located on the second floor of the Waikiki Beach Walk—a large development with restaurants, hotels, and shops—Kaiwa is a teppan-fusion and sushi restaurant operated husband-and-wife restaurateur team Isamu and Motoko Kubota.
Henry Adaniya might be the city’s most improbable new restaurateur. He closed his acclaimed Chicago restaurant Trio—where chefs Rick Tramonto and Grant Achatz made their names—to bring the upscale hot dog craze to Honolulu in 2007.
Owned by the French-born chef, and James Beard Award-winner, George Mavrothalassitis, the critically-acclaimed Chef Mavro is regarded as one of the finest restaurants in Hawaii.
Grab a deceptive mai tai at this open-air beachfront bar and restaurant.
Haleiwa Joe's provides a casual dining experience on the North Shore near the famous Rainbow Bridge, which is visible from the café’s covered outdoor patio.