Oʻahu is home to the metropolitan center of Hawaiʻi, and its vibrant dining scene means that it’s an excellent place to find creative and delicious food representing diverse cultures. Splurge on dinner at one of the buzzworthy high-end spots in Honolulu, or save your vacation funds by finding tasty fare at casual spots, coffee shops and food trucks. On Oʻahu, you can eat like a local in smaller neighborhoods like Kapahulu or dine in high style at Hawaiʻi’s top-rated restaurants in neighborhoods like Waikīkī, Kaimukī and Chinatown.
Oʻahu is home to some of the best chefs in the world. Alan Wong (Alan Wong’s Restaurant), Roy Yamaguchi (Roy’s Waikīkī), George Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro Restaurant) and Phillippe Padovani (Elua) were some of the founding chefs of the Hawaiʻi Regional Cuisine movement 25 years ago, and their legacy has continued to spark Oʻahu’s restaurant renaissance today. These local legends take the freshest local produce and ingredients to create flavorful dishes, combining traditional Hawaiian cooking with influences from Japan, China, the Philippines and classic American cuisine among many others.
You’ll also find delicious modern interpretations of Hawaiian and Asian cuisines from the next generation of great chefs as well, who carry on the traditions of using local ingredients and creative preparations at Honolulu restaurants like The Pig and the Lady, Lucky Belly and Mud Hen Water.
On the North Shore, you’ll find a distinctly laidback vibe as well as a focus on fresh seafood. Fish tacos are a staple in surfer-friendly towns like Haleʻiwa. Shrimp trucks (food trucks whose menu offers a variety of shrimp-centric plates) are a local staple as well, along with the frozen Hawaiian treat shave ice (similar to a snow cone), which is a perfect way to cool off on a hot day.
Eat Like a Local
Consisting of two scoops of rice, macaroni salad, and everything from kalua pork, Korean barbecue, chicken katsu, beef teriyaki, or mahimahi, the plate lunch is a staple of local food.
No matter what island you’re on, grab a shave ice to cool off. These finely shaved snow cones are served with colorful flavors on the top with a choice of ice cream or azuki beans on the bottom.
“Pupu” is the Hawaiian term for appetizer, and every local restaurant in Hawaii offers a wide range of creative pupu platters to dine on, from poke dishes to sushi.
Treat your sweet tooth to a hot malasada (a Portuguese doughnut). Although Leonard's Bakery in Kapahulu is popular on Oahu, ask any local and they can tell you their favorite bakeries on each island to find these fresh and tasty treats.
For big appetites, try a “loco moco,” which is a hamburger steak and egg over rice, covered in gravy. You can find loco moco served throughout the islands, but Café 100 in Hilo on the island of Hawaii is said to have originated the name.
STRIPSTEAK Waikiki, located on the 3rd floor of the International Marketplace, is a new genre of modern [...]
Hawaii's Premiere Asian Food Hall. Explore and join us on a culinary journey through Asia. Experience [...]
Perched at the ocean’s edge overlooking famed Waikiki Beach, Hula Grill Waikiki presents diners with [...]
Halekulani Bakery & Restaurant is the hotel’s new full-service, all-day dining room. The restaurant [...]
Waikiki Beach Is Where It’s At It took about 8 years of constant searching to find a Waikiki location [...]
The Eating House 1849 pays homage to Hawaii’s vibrant culinary heritage, using what was available from [...]
Food. Family. Simplicity.™ These values resonate through our concept of simply made Poke Bowls that [...]
Waikiki’s latest Restaurant & Bar is offers inspiring ocean views and innovative culinary creations. [...]
Refreshing beverages and a select casual dining menu let you relax and enjoy your time in the sun to the [...]
HARD ROCK CAFE HONOLULU Est. July 15, 1987 Situated in the heart of Waikiki, Hard Rock Cafe Honolulu [...]
At Leonard’s Bakery, our baker’s are working around the clock, creating delicious treats. Malasadas [...]
On the edge of the white sands of Kahala, the oceanside Plumeria Beach House is our open-air, all day [...]
More Local Flavor
Farmers Markets on Oʻahu
Discover a rainbow of fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables, plus Oahu-style snacks and even gourmet plate lunches from food booths at Oʻahu's farmers markets.More
Lūʻau on Oʻahu
Settle in under the stars and feast on melt-in-your-mouth kālua pig, rich coconut haupia, poi and much more at Hawaiʻi's grand celebrations of food and Polynesian culture.More