Honolulu and Oahu Restaurants

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Honolulu and Oahu Restaurant Reviews

Oahu, where the majority of the Islands' 2,000-plus restaurants are located, offers the best of all worlds: it has the exoticism and excitement of Asia and Polynesia, but when the kids need McDonald's, or when you just have to have a Starbucks latte, they're here, too.

Budget for a pricey dining experience at the very top of the restaurant food chain, where chefs Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, George Mavrothalassitis, and others you've seen on the Food Network and Travel Channel put a sophisticated and unforgettable spin on local foods and flavors. Savor seared ahi tuna in sea urchin beurre blanc or steak marinated in Korean kimchee sauce.

Spend the rest of your food dollars where budget-conscious locals do: in plate-lunch places and small ethnic eateries, at roadside stands and lunch wagons, or at window-in-the-wall delis. Snack on a musubi (a handheld rice ball wrapped with seaweed and often topped with Spam), slurp shave ice with red-bean paste, or order up Filipino pork adobo with two scoops of rice and macaroni salad.

In Waikiki, where most visitors stay, you can find choices from gracious rooms with a view to surprisingly authentic Japanese noodle shops. But hop in the car, or on the trolley or bus, and travel just a few miles in any direction, and you can save your money and get in touch with the real food of Hawaii.

Kaimuki's Waialae Avenue, for example, offers one of the city's best espresso bars, a hugely popular Chinese bakery, a highly recommended patisserie, an exceptional Italian bistro, a dim-sum restaurant, Mexican food (rare here), and a Hawaii regional cuisine standout, 3660 on the Rise—all in three blocks, and 10 minutes from Waikiki. Chinatown, 10 minutes in the other direction and easily reached by the Waikiki Trolley, is another dining (and shopping) treasure, not only for Chinese but also Vietnamese, Filipino, Malaysian, and Indian food, and even a chic little tea shop.

Elsewhere on Oahu

Outside Honolulu and Waikiki there are fewer dining options, but restaurants tend to be filled with locals and are cheaper and more casual. Cuisine is mainly American—great if you're traveling with kids—but there are a handful of Italian and Asian places worth trying as well.

Airport Area and Iwilei

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Honolulu and Oahu Fodor's Choice Restaurants

  • Town
    • $$
    • Greater Honolulu and Diamond Head

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