Restaurants in Honolulu
Whether you love food trucks or fine cuisine, Honolulu’s burgeoning dining scene has plenty of sapid eating opportunities for keen gastronomes. The city’s sheer culinary diversity means that there’s something for every palate and every wallet too.
The Honolulu restaurants below have been handpicked by our guide author and are grouped into three different categories:
Expensive (over US$55)
Moderate (US$36 to US$55)
Cheap (under US$35)
These prices are for a three-course meal for one, including a glass of house wine, tax and tip. Like the rest of America, a tip of around 15-20% of the total bill is expected.
Chef MavroCuisine: Hawaiian, French
Provence native and James Beard award winner, George Mavrothalassitis (better known as Chef Mavro), serves up sumptuous French-inspired cooking with fresh island ingredients in his self-titled restaurant. Imaginative dishes like the Hawaiian-Marseilles bouillabaisse and delectable desserts such as lilikoi malasadas (Portuguese donuts filled with passion fruit curd) make this spot ideal for a stylish, savoury blowout.Address: , 1969 South King Street, Honolulu, 96826
Telephone: +1 808 944 4714.
Vintage Cave HonoluluCuisine: Japanese, French
Vintage Cave is one of Honolulu’s most exciting dining venues, largely thanks to the Franco-Japanese influenced menu designed by executive chef Chris Kajioka. He’s since left, but this award-winning restaurant in the basement of Shiryokiya department store still comes highly regarded. The sparkling menu of this ritzy restaurant, whose brick-clad walls are lined with art, includes delicious crispy smoked brioche topped with golden Osetra caviar, crème fraîche and almonds, and sapid yogurt mousse, topped with candied plums and raspberry vinaigrette.Address: , 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard #2250, Honolulu, 96814
Telephone: +1 808 441 1744.
Big City DinerCuisine: American, Pacific Rim
Families flock to Big City Diner for its hefty portions and not-so-hefty prices. The place is packed with locals digging into favourites like grandma's incredible kimchee fried rice and baby back ribs with guava barbecue sauce. Fitted out like a 1950s diner (think: eating booths, check tablecloths and old fashioned prints), the menus are as big as the portions. Waiting staff are efficient and friendly and there’s a happy hour most evenings.Address: , 1060 Auahi Street, Honolulu,
Telephone: (808) 591 8891.
Greens and VinesCuisine: Raw, Vegan
For healthy food with a healthy price tag, Honolulu’s first (and only) raw food restaurant is the place to go. This laidback café-cum-restaurant run by chef Sylvia Thompson has a surprisingly large menu offering a range of delicious raw food treats. Try the smooth guacamole, sunflower seed and cashew sour cream dip or the zingy lemon zucchini bisque served with garlic onion and powdered cumin. For dessert, the wicked chocolate tart made with organic ingredients including raw cacao powder, raw agave nectar and maple syrup powder with a raspberry coulis is as deliciously wicked as it sounds.Address: , 909 Kapiolani Boulevard, Honolulu,
Telephone: (808) 536 9680.
Juicy BrewCuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
For healthy food with a healthy price tag, check out Juicy Brew, one of Honolulu’s most popular cafes and restaurants for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free food. The restaurant is run by two sisters, natives of Honolulu, who call themselves the “vegan secret weapon” of Hawaii’s most accomplished chefs. In this cute café they’ve paired their talents to produce a wide range of delicious juices, coffees, lunches, and desserts.
Address: , 1401 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, 96814
Telephone: +1 808 469 1991
Shokudo Japanese Restaurant and BarCuisine: Japanese
Contemporary design and lively atmosphere make trendy Shokudo the perfect place for patrons to share a variety of Japanese plates. While it boasts an inventive 60 item menu, it’s this restaurant’s simplicity that wins over the tongue: look forward to such tantalising dishes as spicy tuna served on a bed of crispy rice, seafood-packed sushi pizza and the incredibly popular honey toast, which is scooped from a bowl, piled high on a plate, and topped with ice cream. For the best value, order a buffet special, which includes an excellent range of sushi.Address: , 1585 Kapiolani Boulevard, Honolulu, 96814
Telephone: +1 808 941 3701.
Zippy’s McCullyCuisine: Hawaiian
Zippy’s has a cult following thanks to its good value Hawaiian food. A fine budget option offering salads, sandwiches and plate lunches, all 22 Oahu locations have plenty of filling options. Try the island staple of macaroni salad or order Zippy's Chili topped with a hotdog and grated cheese. Another bestseller is the Zip Pac, a bento of fried chicken, fried fish, teriyaki beef, Spam, and rice, topped with furikake (Japanese seasoning made of fish and sesame seeds) or seasoned seaweed.Address: , 1725 S King Street, Honolulu, 96826
Telephone: (808) 973 0877.
Legend Seafood RestaurantCuisine: Chinese
For great value dim sum and other Chinese specialities in an authentic setting, Legend Seafood Restaurant lives up to its own billing. At the heart of Honolulu’s hip and happening Chinatown district, this popular eatery is always packed, so expect to wait for a table. The delay is worth it for such delights as pork and taro gok dumplings and steamed buns stuffed with pork and spinach.Address: , 100 North Beretania Street, Honolulu, 96817
Telephone: +1 808 532 1868
Murphy’s Bar and GrillCuisine: Irish, American
Honolulu’s favourite Irish bar, Murphy’s is a cosy downtown venue at the heart of the financial district. Famed—as most Irish bars are—for its Guinness on tap, the real treats here are staples like hearty shepherd’s pie and freshly made fish and chips. The bar gets pretty packed, but there is always a warm Irish welcome waiting for visitors as they walk through the clover-studded door.Address: , 2 Merchant Street, Honolulu, 96813
Telephone: +1 808 531 0422.
Wailana Coffee HouseCuisine: American, Hawaiian
This historic coffee shop turned family diner is open 24/7 and boasts a faux-tiki-style décor. It has been a rendezvous for early birds and night owls since 1969 and today remains a no frills venue serving hearty food. Favourites include guava French toast (thick hunks of toast oozing guava jelly, drizzled with coconut syrup) and a roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy. Look out for periodic specials like unlimited pancakes, which come served with bacon and eggs.Address: , 1860 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, 96815
Telephone: +1 808 955 1764.