Where to Eat in Honolulu: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Harland Bartelt

The mere mention of Hawaii is enough to prompt visions of grass skirts and colorful cocktails with tiny umbrellas. While you will find some kitsch in Honolulu, you’ll also find art museums, bike paths, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Popular Waikiki Beach has soft sands and great surf. For majestic Oahu views scramble to the top of Diamond Head – a 350-acre volcanic crater. Historic structures like Iolani Palace and Ali'iolani Hale are worth a visit on a non-beach day.
Things to do in Honolulu

1. Fresh Catch

3109 Waialae Ave, Kaimuki, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816-1509 Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible Seafood, Fast Food, Hawaiian, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner 735 -7653
Excellent
74%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 205 reviews

Fresh Catch

Reviewed By Andrew1130 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This place has a great feeling when entering. There is a decent size menu and lots to look at. The staff is great! The gentleman behind the counter let me sample many kinds of poke which was very nice. My dish consisted of a handful of different poke such as shoyu, ahi, spicy ahi, and garlic. It was all amazing.

2. Tropical Tribe

1778 Ala Moana Blvd, Suite 101, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1605 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Brunch SGD 5 - SGD 14 +1 808-366-8226
Excellent
76%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 164 reviews

Tropical Tribe

Unique on the island of Oahu because of it's 100% Brazilian style Acai Bowl, Tropical Tribe brings you a delightfully pure Acai and Guarana base, topped with freshly cut fruits on crunchy granola.Tropical Tribe import their own high quality ingredients from Brazil to create the Authentic Acai Bowl experience.

Reviewed By benbencor - Gold Coast, Australia

Good Value for money. Every time we visit Hawaii we come here for the Acai bowls. Right next to McDonalds the place is clean. Always order the Acai Bowl with extra banana, granola and honey.

3. Sweet E's Cafe

1006 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816-1309 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Cafe, Hawaiian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +1 808-737-7771
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 250 reviews

Sweet E's Cafe

Reviewed By GillianLennox - Glasgow, United Kingdom

This place was recommended to me and what a recommendation it was!! Just up from Safeway on Kapahulu Avenue this is breakfast heaven. So much to choose from at very reasonable prices for Waikiki. I opted for the mega stuffed breakfast burrito. Will definitely return. The walk here from Hilton Hawaiian Village took about 50mins. 2 must stops on the way back are Leonard's bakery and Da Hawaiian Poke Company

4. Ono Seafood

747 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816-1158 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available Seafood, Fast Food, Hawaiian, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +1 808-732-4806
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 674 reviews

Ono Seafood

Reviewed By nmercer75 - Buffalo, New York

Ahi poke bowl with brown rice was truly delicious. The lines out the door prove this is the place to eat! In an area that does not look very safe, but everything is fine. Plenty of locals and tourists around. Very limited parking and no seating inside. There are only 2 picnic tables outside so many people take their food to go. Everything is reasonably priced. We were able to sit at one of the picnic tables and enjoy our lunch. It was outrageously fresh and delicious! HIGHLY recommend.

5. La Mer - L'Aperitif

2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1936 Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover French, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Dinner SGD 52 - SGD 328 +1 808-923-2311
Excellent
76%
Good
14%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 548 reviews

La Mer - L'Aperitif

Award-winning restaurant featuring exquisite Neoclassic French cuisine, oceanfront views. Hawaii’s longest-running AAA Five Diamond restaurant, since 1990, and the only restaurant in Hawaii to be awarded a Five-Star designation by Forbes Travel Guide. Recognized as the finest restaurant in Honolulu, La Mer captures the elegance and romance of Halekulani. Its internationally acclaimed menu features local, tropical ingredients in dishes inspired by flavors from France. Elegant evening attire for women. Dinner jackets or dress shirts, dress slacks and shoes for gentlemen. Reservations recommended. Open daily from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. As an elegant fine dining restaurant, La Mer restricts patrons to adults and children 8 years or older.

Reviewed By planetraincar - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

You would never expect to find L'Aperitif in Honolulu, let alone Hawaii. It is, without a doubt, the most elegant establishment in the touristy Waikiki strip.

Unfortunately, my colleagues and I weren't aware of the dress code. Our local Honolulu-based colleague didn't tell us. The general manager made an exception and allowed us to sit in the bar area.

The atmosphere is elegant, though I confess that requiring jackets seems a bit much for Waikiki. I have no problem requiring gentlemen to wear collared shirts, trousers and shoes, but not many tourists bring a blazer or sport jacket with them to Hawaii.

Still, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. The service was excellent.

6. Karai Crab

901 Hausten St, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96826-3037 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards Seafood, Cajun & Creole, Gluten Free Options Dinner SGD 10 - SGD 39 +1 808-952-6990
Excellent
69%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 252 reviews

Karai Crab

Karai Crab is a fun and spicy seafood restaurant. Located next to the historic Willows Restaurant in Moiliili, 5 to 10 minutes away from Waikiki. Menu offerings include Dungeness Crab, Shrimp, Clams, Fried Catfish, Cioppino, and much more! Bold flavors in all sauces created by Executive Chef, Miles Miyamoto will have you asking for more! Karai Crab offers a kid-friendly menu as well as Take Out. See you at Karai!

Reviewed By WaSunlover - Kailua Kona

Took the bus to the restaurant from Waikiki and then walked all the way back afterwards. The small restaurant was full indoors and so we had an outdoor table which had a lovely view of the oriental pond, and covered Willows Restaurant adjoining. Kinda reminded me of Pagoda Hotel. My husband enjoyed his Snow Crab with cajun sauce, accompanied with french bread and local sweet corn. I'm not a super crab eater and finally decided on the Cioppino which consisted of 5 each of the mussels, shrimps, clams, with some penne pasta; plus surprise, a dungeness crab on top. I was just expecting a few chunks of crab. Wow, that was a lot of seafood. Oh yummy, filling, and happy to try something different. We even had some soft serve ice cream at the end of our dinner, complimentary. Can't wait to go back again and try something different. Thank you for a great evening. The male host and waitress were wonderful explaining everything to us first timers. Mahalo!

7. Nanzan Giro Giro

560 Pensacola St, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96814-3425 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Japanese, Asian Dinner +1 808-524-0141
Excellent
82%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 130 reviews

Nanzan Giro Giro

Reviewed By Boio - Sydney

Dined here on a Friday night as a special meal on our Hawaii vacation.

WHAT A GEM!

The food was truly amazing, and the staff were friendly, informative and formed part of the special interaction that made the meal special.

I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys great Japanese cuisine.

The location is entirely unexpected for fine dining, but that added to the special evening.

8. Steak Shack

2161 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1936 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating American, Steakhouse, Fast Food Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 808-861-9966
Excellent
65%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Steak Shack

Reviewed By Royce L - Seattle, Washington

Great food for the price. The portion size is great - 6oz of steak plus a large side of rice and salad for less than $10. Can’t go wrong. Steak was tender and tasty. As others mention it is a bit hard to find, we wandered a bit before coming across it. It is in the apartment building/hotel next to some other window restaurants. Not a free standing shack as I was expecting to see.

9. Uncle Bo's Pupu Bar & Grill

559 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-3855 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Seafood, Hawaiian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night +1 808-735-8310
Excellent
66%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 975 reviews

Uncle Bo's Pupu Bar & Grill

Reviewed By Jimjoyce2014 - Anchorage, Alaska

Modernistic, up-to-date bar/restaurant off the main drag. Nice fish selection but pricey. No happy hour. Great opah fish tacos.

10. Lucky Belly

50 N Hotel St, Smith Street, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96817-5102 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Asian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 808-531-1888
Excellent
69%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 435 reviews

Lucky Belly

Reviewed By Michael M - Bainbridge Island, Washington

Turns out I wrote a review of this restaurant in 2012, although the menu has evolved and the place feels different (new location?). The feel is still informal, the service attentive and thoughtful, and the menu full of delightful surprises. We began with an appetizer special of 3 different dim sum, two each of lobster, pork belly and oxtail -- each with a different sauce and all delicious. We meandered through shishito peppers, a superb avocado and crab salad and more pork belly -- along with a substandard martini (way too 'dirty', and not shaken enough) and my new favorite beer, a Japanese rice beer called Orion. Desserts sounded great but we passed. It was a relaxed and generally excellent dining experience.

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