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.
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.
On an island where space is the prized commodity, strange couplings occur. Like karaoke and fried chicken. Side Street Inn, a chef’s hangout in Honolulu, has come into local fame (which is spreading since Anthony Bourdain stopped by in 2009) for its frying rap sheet.
This unassuming restaurant in Kaimuki is known around the island for its authentic Mexican fare.
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.
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.
In January 2011, Hanohano was converted into an exclusive lounge for Sheraton Club Level guests.
A fountain depicting dolphins at play adds to the beach vibe of this casual roadside eatery, a North Shore favorite known for its fresh seafood and signature mai tais.
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.
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.
A joint venture between chef Hiroshi Fukui and master sommelier Chuck Furuya, Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas was established to showcase Fukui’s skill at preparing Japanese cuisine and Furuya’s talent for pairing wines with Asian fare.
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 on the fourth floor of the Ala Moana Center, Tsukiji Fish Market is part restaurant and part market.