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.
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.
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.
Grab a deceptive mai tai at this open-air beachfront bar and restaurant.
Owner Ed Kenney composts with a worm bin, then uses the fertilizer on the greenery outside of Downtown.
This cozy, wood–paneled restaurant may look like scores of other places in Honolulu, but chef-owner Manabu Kikuchi’s izakaya (Japanese tapas-style cooking) and impeccably fresh sushi are unrivaled. We loved: Spicy hamachi tartare.
Specializing in the traditional Japanese noodle dish, oden, Hakkei is an outpost of an onsen ryokan (hot spring inn) restaurant of the same name located in the town of Yubara, Japan. The original restaurant in Japan is overseen by chef Seiya Masahara, a Japanese culinary giant,
D.K. Kodama, a third-generation Japanese American, founded this Asian-fusion restaurant, whose name translates in Japanese to “third generation.” Know for its eclectic cuisine and inventive sushi, Sansei opened in Maui in 1996, and has now expanded to four locations throughout Hawaii.
Formaggio Wine Bar is located on the edge of Waikiki, set away from the tourist hustle and bustle. Devoid of any signage, the restaurant only indicates its presence by painting its name across the door of its building.
A unique, alternative to the abundant Hawaiian fare on Oahu, the 12th Avenue Grill serves modern twists on classic American dishes. The small restaurant has only 14 tables filled with diners who come for its inventive menu. Popular selections include grilled Maui Cattle Co.
Quirky, family-owned hole-in-the-wall Irifune is one of the best finds (and best values), Japanese or otherwise, in Waikiki.
In January 2011, Hanohano was converted into an exclusive lounge for Sheraton Club Level guests.
What An aquamarine-paneled truck parked in a palm-shaded gravel lot across the road from the eponymous cove, this propane-powered galley kitchen serves taro burgers and chicken salad to ravenous boarders who hang ten in nearby Waimea Bay.