Hey there my culinary travelers and welcome to my post where we will check out my 20 best restaurants in Honolulu to try out this year. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch spot or a fancy dinner destination, there’s something for everyone in Honolulu.
Hawai‘i is known for its unique cuisine, which blends the flavors of the Pacific Rim with traditional Hawaiian ingredients. Honolulu is no exception, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants serving up dishes that are both delicious and authentic. From the freshest seafood caught daily off the coast to the rich tapestry of tastes influenced by the diverse cultures that call this island home, dining in Honolulu is an adventure for the senses.
Best Restaurants in Honolulu
The food scene in Honolulu is diverse and exciting, with a focus on local ingredients and flavors. Many restaurants in the city source their ingredients locally, so you can expect fresh, flavorful meals that showcase the best of Hawai‘i’s bounty.
Now of course when it comes to restaurants, whether they are good or not is entirely subjective based on personal tastes, budgets and expectations. So this list is a mixture of ones I have tried and others that have good reviews but certainly does not mean any that are not on this list are not any good.
In fact, if you have a favourite, let me know below so I can add it to the list. Now. let’s run through them below:
Top Sushi Spots
If you’re a sushi lover, Honolulu is the place to be. With its proximity to the ocean, Honolulu offers some of the freshest and most delicious sushi you’ll ever taste. Here are some of the top sushi spots in Honolulu that you should definitely check out:
1. Sushi ii
Sushi ii is a small, cozy restaurant that offers an authentic Japanese sushi experience. The restaurant is known for its omakase, which is a chef’s choice tasting menu that features the freshest and most flavorful sushi available.
The omakase menu at Sushi ii changes daily, so you never know what delicious surprises you’ll get to taste.
2. Nigiri Sushi
Nigiri Sushi is a popular sushi spot that offers a variety of sushi rolls, nigiri and sashimi. The restaurant is known for its creative and delicious sushi rolls, which are made with fresh and high-quality ingredients.
Nigiri Sushi also offers a variety of vegetarian and mushroom options, making it a great choice for anyone who doesn’t eat meat.
3. Shrimp Station
Although not a sushi restaurant per se (annnddd not reaalllyyy in Honolulu either), the Shrimp Station is a must-visit for anyone who loves shrimp. This casual eatery offers a variety of shrimp dishes, including shrimp sushi rolls, which are a must-try and in my opinion, the best you will ever have.
The shrimp at Shrimp Station is always fresh and cooked to perfection, making it some of the best shrimp you’ll ever taste.
Check out these: Best Breakfast Spots on Oahu
Best Seafood Restaurants
If you’re a seafood lover, then Honolulu has some of the best seafood restaurants you can visit. Here are some of the best seafood restaurants that you should consider visiting:
4. Nico’s Pier 38
Nico’s Pier 38 is known for its fresh seafood and it’s a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. They offer a variety of seafood dishes, including lobsters, scallops and maguro brothers.
Their seafood is sourced locally, so you can be sure that you’re getting the freshest seafood possible.
5. Herringbone Waikiki
Herringbone Waikiki is another great seafood restaurant that you should check out. They offer a variety of seafood dishes, including Kona baby abalone, which is a local delicacy.
Their seafood is sourced sustainably, so you can enjoy your meal knowing that you’re not harming the environment.
6. Mina’s Fish House
Mina’s Fish House is a fine-dining seafood restaurant that offers a variety of seafood dishes, including lobster, tropical fish and scallops. They also have a great selection of wines and cocktails to complement your meal as well.
The restaurant is not the cheapest you will find but it is located in a beautiful setting, so you can enjoy your meal while taking in the stunning views. I know my wife enjoyed it on date night too!
Hawaiian and Asian Fusion Eateries
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience that combines Hawaiian and Asian flavors, Honolulu has plenty of options for you. Here are some top picks for Hawaiian and Asian fusion eateries:
7. Roy’s Waikiki
Roy’s Waikiki is a popular restaurant that combines Hawaiian and Asian flavors in its dishes. The restaurant’s founder, Roy Yamaguchi, is known for his fusion cuisine and has won numerous awards for his culinary creations.
Some of the must-try dishes at Roy’s Waikiki include the Misoyaki Butterfish and the Hibachi Grilled Atlantic Salmon.
8. MW Restaurant
MW Restaurant is another great option for those looking for Hawaiian and Asian fusion cuisine. The restaurant’s menu features dishes that blend traditional Hawaiian ingredients with Asian flavors.
Some of the standout dishes at MW Restaurant include the Kalua Pig Eggs Benedict and the Pipikaula Short Ribs.
9. The Pig and The Lady
The Pig and The Lady offers a unique take on Hawaiian and Asian fusion cuisine with a menu that features dishes that combine traditional Hawaiian ingredients with Vietnamese flavors.
Some of the must-try dishes at The Pig and The Lady include the Buttered ‘Ulu and the Pho French Dip.
10. Ono Seafood
Ono Seafood is a popular spot for poke in Honolulu. The restaurant offers a variety of poke bowls that feature fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Some of the standout poke bowls at Ono Seafood include the Spicy Ahi and the Shoyu Ahi.
We have never managed to get here, but it came highly recommended by the concierge at our hotel last time we visited.
Exceptional Cafes and Dessert Places
Honolulu is home to some of the most exceptional cafes and dessert places that offer a wide variety of delicious treats. Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet dessert or a savory snack, these cafes have got you covered.
11. Aloha Cafe
This cafe is known for its delicious mochi and waffles. The mochi is soft and chewy, and the waffles are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They also serve a variety of savory dishes as well such as the Loco Moco, which is a popular Hawaiian dish made with rice, hamburger patty, gravy, and a fried egg.
12. Island Vintage Shave Ice
If you’re a fan of sorbet, then you must visit the Island Vintage Shave Ice. This place is famous for its refreshing sorbet, made with fresh fruits. Their mango sorbet is a must-try as it’s made with ripe mangoes that are sweet and juicy.
13. Waiola Shave Ice
For those who love ice cream, the Waiola Shave Ice is the place to be. They serve some of the creamiest and most delicious ice cream in town. Their rocky road ice cream is a popular choice, as it’s made with chunks of chocolate and marshmallows.
When in Honolulu, why not take advantage of the year round amazing weather. Here are some great outdoors options:
14. Duke’s Waikiki
This iconic beachfront restaurant is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal with a view. Their menu features classic Hawaiian dishes like hula pie and macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi. This place is a favourite of ours every time we head to Hawaii.
Check out these: Options for the Best Breakfast on Oahu
15. Merriman’s Honolulu
With a focus on farm-to-table cuisine, Merriman’s is a great spot to enjoy a meal made with locally-sourced ingredients. Their outdoor seating area offers stunning views of the sunset over the ocean.
16. The Beachhouse at the Moana
This elegant restaurant is located in the historic Moana Surfrider hotel and offers a beautiful outdoor dining experience. Their menu features a variety of seafood dishes as well as steak and pasta options.
No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, Honolulu has something to offer. These local favorites are a great place to start exploring the city’s diverse food scene.
Unique Dining Experiences in Honolulu
And finally, if you’re looking for a unique dining experience in Honolulu, you won’t be disappointed. Here are some of the top picks that offer something a little different:
17. House-made specialties at Ala Moana Center
Ala Moana Center is a shopping mall that is home to many restaurants. However, if you’re looking for a unique dining experience, you should check out the restaurants that offer house-made specialties. These dishes are made from scratch using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and they offer a taste of Hawaii that you won’t find anywhere else.
18. Nature-inspired cuisine at Diamond Head
Diamond Head is a popular tourist destination in Honolulu, but it’s also home to some fantastic restaurants that offer nature-inspired cuisine. These restaurants use fresh, local ingredients to create dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. If you’re looking for a unique dining experience that celebrates the natural beauty of Hawaii, Diamond Head is the place to be.
19. Chinatown’s eclectic food scene
Chinatown is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood that is home to some of the best restaurants in Honolulu. From traditional Chinese cuisine to contemporary fusion dishes, you’ll find something to suit every taste and budget. If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, Chinatown is a great place to start.
20. Waikiki’s flower-inspired cuisine
Waikiki is a bustling tourist hub that is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii. However, it’s also home to some fantastic restaurants that offer flower-inspired cuisine. These dishes are not only delicious, but they’re also visually stunning, with edible flowers and other floral elements used to create a feast for the senses.
What are some fancy Hawaiian restaurants in Honolulu?
If you’re looking for a fancy dining experience in Honolulu, there are several Hawaiian restaurants that offer a luxurious ambiance and exquisite cuisine. One such restaurant is Roy’s Waikiki, which is known for its Hawaiian fusion dishes and signature cocktails. Another great option is Chef Chai, which offers a contemporary take on traditional Hawaiian cuisine.
What are some fun places to eat in Oahu?
If you’re looking for a fun and lively dining experience in Oahu, there are several options to consider. One popular spot is Duke’s Waikiki, which offers live music and a beachfront location. Another fun option is The Pig and the Lady, which serves up delicious Vietnamese-inspired cuisine in a hip and trendy atmosphere.
There you have it; my 20 best restaurants in Honolulu to try out. As usual, let me know of your experiences here or if there is anything you think I need to add.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.