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.
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.
Located on the fourth floor of the Ala Moana Center, Tsukiji Fish Market is part restaurant and part market.
Town lives by the motto of its founders and chefs, Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero: “Local first, organic whenever possible, with aloha always.” The restaurant fits Kenney and Caldiero’s vision of a friendly, neighborhood bistro to a T with diners stopping by throughout the day for breakfast, l
What A flaming-red shrimp shack, in Kahuku, near the Turtle Bay Resort, Romy’s serves up its signature giant prawns wok-seared in butter with generous chunks of toasted garlic—it’s a vampire-free zone.
Lines often extend out the door at this family-owned eatery, a North Shore landmark since 1951. The homemade shaved ice is available in 36 flavors, ranging from watermelon and raspberry to island-inspired flavors like guava and lilikoi (passion fruit).