Travelling to Hawaii grants you the opportunity to visit new beaches, attractions, shops, bars, and, of course, restaurants! This article shares 15 of the best restaurants on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, most of which are in the famous Honolulu area.
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The 15 Best Restaurants in Oahu in 2022
Oahu, Hawaii, is best known for its gorgeous beaches, stunning attractions, exciting nightlife, the tourist-heavy county of Honolulu, and much more. But you may not know that it’s one of the greatest Hawaiian islands for food lovers, too.
From seafood shacks and farm-to-table eateries to world-famous chefs cooking up local specialties, Oahu has it all.
So if you’re in the process of planning a trip to Hawaii and want to make sure you get your fill of the tastiest eats, keep reading to learn about the best restaurants in Oahu.
1. Hula Grill Waikiki – Hawaiian
Hula Grill Waikiki is one of the best restaurants in Oahu due to its beachside location, fun and colorful cocktails, and delicious local food.
Although it may seem a bit touristy, they offer a range of Hawaiian dishes such as hula pie — a hazelnut ice cream pie, pupu platters like poke tacos, academia nut wontons, and fresh Hawaiian fish like mahi-mahi.
In addition to dinner, they also serve breakfast, lunch, brunch, and “early eats” between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Essentially, you can go at any time to satisfy any craving!
2. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue – Hawaiian
If you want to visit one of Hawaii’s most popular chain restaurants, make sure to stop by L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. This place is known for its filling plates of Hawaiian-style comfort food.
Dishes include kalua pork, teriyaki chicken, garlic shrimp, spam musubi, and loco moco (a hamburger patty over rice with gravy and a fried egg), and so much more. You can order your food to-go or eat at their casual lunch-style tables.
3. Duke’s Waikiki – Hawaiian Fusion, Seafood
Duke’s Waikiki is one of the most loved and famous restaurants on the island, and for good reasons. It’s located in a popular area on Waikiki beach and serves a wide range of foods so that everyone at the table will leave happy and full.
Going for breakfast to fill up for the day is an excellent idea, mainly because of their extensive breakfast buffet. And the salad bar is a nice touch as well. But the absolute best thing to order here is the opah fish, which is cooked to perfection.
4. Kani Ka Pila Grille – Hawaiian
Kani Ka Pila Grille is a casual, easygoing spot near the beach in the Outrigger Reef Hotel. This restaurant has a continuously vibrant atmosphere, especially due to their live music each and every night.
Their ahi and avocado poke bowl, rib sliders, and crab wraps are all to die for.
It’s also nice that the restaurant is poolside, so you can take a dip while waiting for your food to come out. Happy hour is fun, and in addition to live music, you may also be treated to live hula dancers!
5. Poké Bar – Hawaiian
Unsurprisingly, there are a ton of restaurants where you can find poke bowls throughout the island, but Poké Bar outshines most of them, especially in the touristy area around Waikiki.
This top-rated spot serves bowls with familiar fixings, and the spicy tuna, ahi, baby scallop, salmon, and garlic goma shrimp bowls are always fresh and delicious. But part of the appeal of this bar is the portion sizes. You can get a huge, filling rice bowl for a reasonable price.
6. Helena’s Hawaiian Food – Hawaiian
If you’re in Honolulu but want to make sure you’re eating true local Hawaiian food instead of touristy spin-offs, check out Helena’s Hawaiian Food.
It has hundreds of rave reviews, but not because of a beachfront spot, live performances, colorful cocktails, or anything else besides its delicious food.
You can get squid luau, luau luau, kalua pork, haupia, pipikaula, and other Hawaiian favorites. Expect juicy, tender meat, flavorful side dishes, and a full belly!
7. Ono Seafood – Hawaiian, Seafood
Ono Seafood is another excellent place to get poke bowls and fresh fish. This family-run business has become one of the most beloved restaurants on the island.
The ahi poke is a must-try, specifically the shoyu and miso ahi. The fish at Ono is always fresh, and the prices are more than reasonable.
8. Rainbows Drive-In – American, Hawaiian
Rainbows Drive-In is one of those classic American-style fast food joints, but with a Hawaiian twist. They’re most famous for their mix plate, which includes a combination of their BBQ beef, boneless chicken, and mahi-mahi.
They are also well-known for their delicious chili, which incorporates ground beef, kidney beans, garlic, and a mix of herbs and spices. All of their plate lunches come with two scoops of rice and one scoop of macaroni salad.
9. Morimoto Asia – Japanese
Morimoto Asia offers chic, high-end dining and cocktails, and it’s the perfect place to go if you love Japanese cuisine. Located near Kuhio Beach Park on Waikiki Beach, this restaurant is named after and run by renowned Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who was on the Iron Chef cooking show.
You can order a ton of good food here, but the best items include sticky ribs, angry lobster, and wagyu carpaccio. And for what it’s worth, the prices are also relatively reasonable, which is a huge plus when traveling in Hawaii.
10. Sushi Sho – Japanese
Another delicious restaurant serving Japanese fare is Sushi Sho, located within the beautiful Ritz Carlton hotel. There are only ten seats, so this is the perfect place to reserve for a romantic, intimate evening.
People know Sushi Sho for its innovative and stylish cuisine incorporating Japanese and local Hawaiian ingredients. This creative fare is mainly thanks to the renowned Chef and “Sushi Master” Keiji Nakazawa.
11. ZIGU – Japanese
If you love Japanese food but want a slightly more laid-back atmosphere, check out ZIGU. It still presents as chic but is a little more easygoing than places like Morimoto and Sushi Sho.
There’s a full bar and a courtyard, where happy hour is vibrant, adding to its friendly, fun, and welcoming appeal. Their tuna cutlet plate with kale and poke bowl are the best in terms of food. But you can’t go wrong with any ZIGU menu item, as they use fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.
12. Furusato Sushi – Japanese
Furusato Sushi offers a cozy, intimate, casual space for sushi lovers to indulge in fresh rolls in a bright, homey environment. This restaurant is along Waikiki Beach and is famous for takeout.
And it’s especially for those who want to eat while watching the waves. The best rolls include the Dragon with crab and eel, Diamondhead roll with spicy tuna and salmon, and the California roll.
13. Yoshitsune – Japanese
If you don’t believe that any real Japanese restaurant should include “California rolls” on the menu, then you might prefer Yoshitsune.
Yoshitsune is an authentic, old-school Japanese restaurant located near the Honolulu Zoo inside Park Shore Waikiki Hotel. This is the spot to go for more traditional meals such as beef sukiyaki, matsutaki dinners, and steak shabu shabu.
14. La Mer – French
There are several spectacular French restaurants on the island, but La Mer – at the Halekulani Hotel – is one of the best. It’s a lovely spot for a honeymoon dinner, birthday, or other special events due to the lavish, open-air setting, complete with a picturesque view of Diamond Head.
The service is amazing, and the prix fixe menu is even better. While it’s not the cheapest restaurant on the list, it’s worth spending a little extra on this dining experience.
15. Orchids – Mediterranean
You might not think to get Mediterranean food when you’re in Hawaii, but if you’ve been on the island for a while and are looking to switch things up for your taste buds, Orchids is an excellent spot to do so.
Like La Mer, this restaurant is also within the Halekulani Hotel. It offers an elegant, oceanfront experience with alluring dishes like scallops with avocado and prime filet.
You can also get a range of exceptional dishes besides the Mediterranean-inspired ones, such as coconut cake, eggs benedict, and even local Kahuku prawns.
Things to Consider
When choosing a restaurant in Oahu, there are several things you should take into account:
The first is what kind of atmosphere you’re looking for. If you want a chic, formal setting, then places like Morimoto and La Mer are ideal. But if you’re looking for something more relaxed and casual, then Furusato Sushi or ZIGU might be better options.
Another thing to consider is what type of cuisine you want. While most restaurants on the island serve Hawaiian or American fare, if you’re looking for something different, like Japanese or French cuisine, there are still plenty of excellent choices.
Finally, think about your budget. While some restaurants can be quite pricey, there are plenty of affordable options in Oahu as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still unsure where to eat on your vacation in Oahu, check out some of these frequently asked questions about the best restaurants on the island:
What are the best restaurants in Oahu that deliver?
If you’re feeling a bit exhausted and want to stay in for a night, you can order delivery from a few restaurants in Oahu. Restaurants that deliver include Highway Inn Kaka’ako, Little Village Noodle House, Oh My Grill, Hoy Tin Kitchen, Big Wave Shrimp, and Giovanni Pastrami.
What are the best restaurants in Oahu that provide takeout?
Getting lunch or dinner to-go is convenient in Oahu, especially if you want to eat in your accommodation or right on the beach. Some restaurants that offer takeout in Oahu include Helena’s Hawaiian Food, The Pig and The Lady, Ono Seafood, and Marugame Udon.
What food in Oahu is famous?
While there are several famous foods in Oahu, the most well-known (and most delicious) are loco moco, laulau, and poke. Loco moco consists of white rice, hamburger meat, fried egg, and gravy. Laulau is a stuffed taro-leaf Polynesian dish usually filled with pork or fish. And poke is diced raw fish typically served as a main or in a bowl with other tasty ingredients.
Where did Guy Fieri go in Hawaii?
If you’re a fan of the show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, then you might be wondering where host Guy Fieri goes when he’s in Hawaii. Fieri and his family usually stay at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort due to its modern style, open-air lobby, and four swimming pools.
What is Oahu known for?
There are several things that Oahu is known for, including its beautiful beaches, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, and volcanoes. The island is also home to the state capital, Honolulu, as well as Diamond Head State Monument and Pearl Harbor.
So, What’s the Best Restaurant in Oahu?
The best restaurants in Oahu all have delicious food, outstanding service, and a welcoming atmosphere. The ones named on this list have all played a significant role in making Oahu a culinary destination in Hawaii instead of only a beach and nature one.
The best restaurant for your next trip will depend on your tastes, mood, trip purpose, and budget. But regardless of those factors, we know you’ll love the food in Oahu!