Restaurants in Oahu

Noe DeWitt

Oahu’s food scene has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade, with a crop of young chefs placing a premium on organic, local produce, elevating... Read More

Oahu’s food scene has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade, with a crop of young chefs placing a premium on organic, local produce, elevating the restaurant scene beyond what the island has seen before. You’ll still find the traditional “plate lunch” (a classic staple consisting of barbecued chicken or kalua pork with white rice and macaroni salad) everywhere you go, but also farm-to-table restaurants with inventive menus that take every advantage of Oahu’s homegrown ingredients. Chef Ed Kenney has led the way in this new Hawaiian food movement, building a mini empire of restaurants on the island, including Mud Hen Water, Kaimuki Superette, Town, and his latest, Mahina & Suns, located in Waikiki’s Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club. The Honolulu native’s ethos, “local first, organic whenever possible, with aloha always,” is relevant to Oahu’s other best restaurants as well. Take the Local, a new shave-ice spot that opened in the beach town of Kailua. They took a classic island dessert but created all-natural, organic ingredients in flavors (like chili-pepper guava and Kona coffee) that are rooted in Hawaii. There’s never been a better time to eat on Oahu than right now.

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  • Fete Restaurant in Oahu Kamil Schuetz
    Fête

    It’s usually the more adventurous tourist that heads to Honolulu’s slightly gritty Chinatown (relatively far from the hotels in Waikiki), but those who... Read More

  • Kaimuki Superette Restaurant in Oahu Courtesy of Kaimuki Superette
    Kaimuki Superette

    Directly next door to Mud Hen Water is another recent Ed Kenney creation, this one a throwback of sorts to old-school counter delis—but with a menu that... Read More

  • Koko Head Cafe Restaurant in Oahu Courtesy of Koko Head Cafe
    Koko Head Cafe

    The popularity of brunch on the island has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years, and nowhere else has led the trend like Koko Head Café. You... Read More

  • Leonard's Bakery in Oahu Getty Images
    Leonard's Bakery

    Established in 1952 by the grandson of Portuguese immigrants, Leonard’s is best known for its malasadas, traditional Portuguese pastries made of fried... Read More

  • Livestock Tavern Restaurant in Oahu Noe DeWitt
    Livestock Tavern

    As the name suggests, this Chinatown newcomer (from the team behind the nearby popular restaurant Lucky Belly) specializes in all things meat, with a... Read More

  • Mahina and Suns Restaurant in Oahu Courtesy of Mahina and Suns
    Mahina and Suns

    Chef Ed Kenney ventured outside of Kaimuki (the neighborhood where his other restaurants—Town, Kaimuki Superette, and Mud Hen Water—are located) for his... Read More

  • Mud Hen Water Restaurant in Oahu Courtesy of Mud Hen Water
    Mud Hen Water

    Located in Honolulu’s Kaimuki neighborhood (which has emerged as one of the city’s hottest culinary destinations), Mud Hen Water is Hawaii-born chef Ed... Read More

  • MW Restaurant in Oahu Courtesy of MW Restaurant
    MW Restaurant

    Alan Wong protégés (and husband-and-wife team) Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka have perfected their Hawaiian-inflected surf-and-turf menu since... Read More

  • Orchids Restaurant in Oahu Courtesy of Halekulani
    Orchids

    Oahu locals have long known that special-occasion lunches (birthdays, graduations) are best celebrated at this beachside restaurant within the... Read More

  • The Local Restaurant in Oahu Courtesy of The Local
    The Local

    A newcomer to Oahu’s established shave-ice scene (that classic sweet treat that might as well be the unofficial state dessert of Hawaii), the Local... Read More

  • The Pig and the Lady Restaurant in Oahu Courtesy of The Pig and the Lady
    The Pig and the Lady

    What started as a buzzy pop-up with stands at farmers’ markets around the island turned into an actual—and just as popular—restaurant in Chinatown in... Read More

  • Town Restaurant in Oahu

    Courtesy of Town

    Town

    Superstar Oahu chef Ed Kenney opened Town, his first restaurant, in 2005, and it's been perennially popular with both locals and visitors ever since.... Read More

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