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Where to eat in Oahu - a guide to eating out

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Visitors will be spoilt for choice with the diverse range of restaurants and cafes in Oahu. With the ‘Farm to table’ movement flourishing within local eateries, and top Hawaiian chefs adopting the ‘Hawaiian Regional Cuisine’ style of fusing traditional recipes with worldwide cuisines you’ll be sure to encounter a taste sensation on every corner. There are also many smaller cafes serving deliciously fresh seafood and light bites, perfect for lunch or a casual dinner.

Brandon Hughes

My Destination local expert on

Oahu (Hawaii)

There are a wide range of must-try dishes in Oahu, from the easily sourced ‘plate lunch’ to the mighty dish, ‘Loco Moco’ which consists of a hamburger steak topped with an egg and served on rice with lashings of gravy.

 

Waikiki

 

Waikiki is arguably the hub of Oahu’s culinary scene. Featuring a diverse melting-pot of cuisines from Korean BBQ to freshly made sushi, there’s something to suit all palates. Meat-lovers should head to the Steak Shack which offers mouth-watering meals at very reasonable prices, and with a great view of the beach. If fine dining is in order, follow in the footsteps of other discerning foodies to the famed Roy’s Waikiki, which is often considered one of the best restaurants in Oahu, and also follows the Regional Hawaiian Cuisine movement, due to the owner Roy co-founding the initiative.

 

Steak Shack, 2161 Kalia Rd. Tel: +1 808 861 9966• Roy’s Waikiki, Embassy Suites, 226 Lewers St. Tel: +1 808 923 7697

 

Chinatown, downtown Honolulu

 

Downtown Honolulu is fast being recognised for its outstanding range of restaurants, from the informal Legend Seafood Restaurant-a favourite for locals enjoying the best dim sum on the island, or the Little Village Noodle House - a trendy (and busy) meeting spot, ensure you book to avoid missing out on their extensive menu, featuring both traditional and modern Chinese dishes. For visitors hungry for something a little different, head to the thirtyninehotel who offer a slice of Spain in the heart of downtown Honolulu, with a tapas-style menu and outdoor patio seating, often with live-music providing a chilled-out ambience.

 

Legend Seafood Restaurant, Chinatown Cultural Plaza- 1st floor, 100 N Beretania St. Tel: +1 808 532 1868• Little Village Noodle House, 1113 Smith St. Tel: +1 808 545 3008• thirtynine hotel, 39 N Hotel St. Tel: +1 808 599 2552

 

Kapahulu

 

To eat like a local, the neighborhood of Kapahulu is the place to be. Located five minutes from the east-end of Waikiki, Kapahulu is home to a melting pot of bustling eateries. Head to the popular Leonard’s bakery for a hot malasada (Portuguese doughnut) or carry on down the strip to the Side Street Inn where you can feast upon home-cooked dishes such as BBQ pork. Local hangout, Waiola’s Shave Ice is just off the Avenue. A perfect spot to cool off, this joint offers plenty of flavors to choose from, and the traditional Hawaiian topping of condensed milk.

 

Leonard’s bakery, 933 Kapahulu Ave. Tel: +1 808 737 5591• Side Street Inn, 614 Kapahulu Ave. Tel: +1 808 739 3939• Waiola’s Shave Ice, 3113 Mokihana St. Tel: +1 808 735 8886

 

Haleiwa, North Shore

 

For those planning on spending time at North Shore’s famous beaches, the town of Haleiwa is a great spot to relax and enjoy fuelling up during a day in the sun and surf. Attracting professional surfers and locals alike, you’ll find Haleiwa’s bohemian vibe extends to its eateries; favorites include Haleiwa Joe’s for tasty burgers and Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican Grill. The local Breakers Restaurant has live music on a Saturday night and a lively atmosphere for after dinner drinks.

 

Haleiwa Joe’s, 66-011 Kamehameha Hwy. Tel: +808 637 8005• Cholo’s Mexican Grill, 66-250 Kamehameha Hwy. Tel: +1 808-637-3059• Breakers Restaurant, Marketplace Shopping Center, 66-250 Kamehameha Hwy. Tel: +1 808 637 9898

 

Leeward Coast

 

The Leeward coast is home to low-key but high-class eating establishments, and is the ideal location for a romantic meal away from the busy nightlife of Honolulu. Most restaurants are located within the resorts of the area and welcome day-trippers as well as overnight guests. In the marina you can dine at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa, which offers fresh seafood and barbecued dishes, with a fantastic view out to sea, and an even better sunset. There are also fast food joints, sushi bars and picnic areas within the marina for visitors on a budget.

 

JW Marriott lhilani Resort and Spa, 92-1001 Olani Street, Ko Olina. Tel: +1 808 679-0079