Oahu

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.

This dinner-only restaurant at the Turtle Bay Resort overlooks the Pacific Ocean and balances formal white tablecloths with a relatively casual resort vibe. The name refers to its latitude in the Northern Hemisphere.

Situated on the North Shore, a world-renowned surfing mecca, Café Haleiwa embraces its surroundings with a surf-inspired design and menu. Inside, the casual eatery is decorated with large, colorful paintings of waves and surfers, as well as original portraits painted on surfboard halves.

One of Little Village’s signature dishes, honey walnut shrimp, gets high praise from patrons. Other favorites are the mu-shu roll, hot and sour soup, orange chicken, beef chow fun, and fried string beans.

Surrounded by the lei stands and street merchants of Chinatown, the small, 80-seat Duc’s Bistro is a slightly off-the-beaten path Vietnamese and French eatery that has a faithful following among locals.

What This informal joint in a residential neighborhood east of Waikiki is a takeout favorite.

 

Named after its location at 3660 Waialae Avenue near the Wilhelmina Rise in East Honolulu, this Euro-Island bistro is a collaboration between Russell Siu and Gale Ogawa.

A Honolulu institution, the Willows was founded by Kathleen Perry and her husband, Al, on July 4, 1944 to help Kathleen’s family maintain their property during the tough economic times of World War II.

Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch, Crab & Big Aloha Brewery serves the foods of Hawaii like poke, moco, macadamia nut-crusted chicken with papaya pineapple marmalade, and macadamia nut shrimp sliders.

A hole in the wall in nearly every sense of the word, Mitsu-Ken Okazu & Catering is, essentially, a nondescript, off the beaten path, shack.

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.

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.

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.