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The 38 Essential Honolulu Restaurants

Where to go for must-try malasadas, plate lunch, and afternoon tea

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There has never been a better time to eat in Honolulu. "Food has always been a huge part of local culture, but it wasn’t until recently that Hawaii started gaining international attention in the culinary world," says Hawaii-born writer Kathy YL Chan. "Yes, we love Spam and shave ice, but food in Hawaii is much more than that. The last few years brought a wave of quality fine-dining restaurants, and new ideas and concepts that were once foreign to the islands."

From stellar sushi and sophisticated afternoon tea services to poke by the pound and neon-colored shave ice, Honolulu dining runs the gamut from high-end fare at the city’s cushy resorts to grab-and-go from roadside shacks. Many of the city’s key establishments fan out along King Street, which Curbed hails as one of the streets that define America.

If you’re looking only for what’s new and hot, head over to the Honolulu Heatmap. Want to brush shoulders with chefs at industry haunts? Honolulu’s got plenty. Looking for the best cheap eats? There’s a guide for that, too. Here now, in geographic order, the restaurants that define Honolulu’s restaurant scene.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol
$ = Less than $10
$$ = $10 - $20
$$$ = $20 - $40
$$$$ = More than $40

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Roy’s Hawaii Kai (The Original)

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6600 Kalanianaole Hwy
Honolulu, HI 96825
(808) 396-7697
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There are over 20 locations of Roy’s across the U.S., but Roy Yamaguchi’s original location in the residential neighborhood of Hawaii Kai is still the most special. Here, the service makes guests feel like family, and the food is always reliable and comforting. Look out for Roy’s classic seared misoyaki butterfish and meatloaf with tempura onion rings. And for dessert? The chocolate soufflé, always. [$$$-$$$$]

2. Jack’s Restaurant

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820 W Hind Dr.
Honolulu, HI
(808) 373-4034
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Every Honolulu neighborhood has its go-to breakfast joint, but people travel out of their way for Jack’s. It’s a small, family-run business where service is efficient yet friendly. Jack’s is best known for its warm, tender biscuits with honey butter. Make sure to ask for the biscuits split and grilled, then couple them with hash browns, rice, fried Spam (or Portuguese sausages), and sunny-side up eggs for a quintessential Honolulu breakfast. [$]

3. Arancino at the Kahala

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5000 Kahala Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 380-4400
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A number of Italian restaurants in Hawaii naturally have a bit of Asian influence, but no place does it as well (or as gracefully) as Arancino at the Kahala. This is where to go for a romantic night or celebration dinner. Start with the Miyazaki Wagyu carpaccio and then move on to the generous and heady uni spaghetti. Share a whole salt-crusted branzino and finish with the roasted almond panna cotta. [$$$-$$$$]

4. Afternoon Tea at the Kahala Hotel & Resort

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5000 Kahala Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 739-8888
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Honolulu has a surprisingly high number of places that offer afternoon tea, and the Kahala offers an elegant, reserved experience hidden in one of Honolulu’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Pastry chef Michael Moorhouse, formerly of Mandarin Oriental New York, recently revamped the classic afternoon tea menu, adding on sweets like matcha financiers, a rich dark chocolate-salted caramel macadamia nut tart, and petite brown sugar shortbreads with housemade guava jam. [$$$]

5. Zippy’s

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4134 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 733-3730
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Have you heard the commercials? “Next stop, Zippy’s!” Zippy’s is Hawaii’s iconic family diner chain with many locations throughout the state. Kids here grew up with Zippy’s chili (which they now sell frozen so parents can ship it to homesick college kids), and Apple Napples (flaky apple turnovers). This is the place to go for post-movie munchies (get the fried chicken and side of chili-cheese fries). And for a proper dinner, the Zip Min (a deluxe bowl of saimin, a noodle soup) or Zip Pac (mahi mahi, fried chicken, Spam, and teriyaki beef over furikake rice) never fail to please. [$$]

6. KCC Saturday Farmers Market

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4303 Diamond Head Rd
Honolulu, HI 96816

Though the weekly KCC Farmers Market has turned into a big tourist destination and can get uncomfortably crowded, it’s still a fun place to visit on Saturday mornings. Your best bet is to go super early (the market opens at 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays and people start arriving around 7 a.m.) to get all the best local produce — the Hawaiian mangoes and papayas are a dream come true. This market has a ton of prepared food, so come hungry. Look out for: Pacifikool (ginger sodas made with Hawaiian ginger), Made in Hawaii Foods (for a variety of stuffed mochi), Two Hot Tomatoes (fried green tomatoes), and North Shore Farms LLC (grilled pesto pizza). [$-$$$$]

7. Mud Hen Water

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3452 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 737-6000
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Mud Hen Water offers Hawaii-born chef Ed Kenney’s modern interpretation of traditional Hawaiian food. Known for his work at Town Restaurant and Mahina & Sun’s, here he manages to appeal to current dining trends while fully respecting and doing justice to the tradition of Hawaiian ingredients with standouts like the yaki o pa'i 'ai (pounded taro root), local Kualoa Ranch oysters, baked Molokai bananas with curry butter, and grilled he'e (octopus) with lu'au. [$$$-$$$$]

8. Afternoon Tea at the Moana Surfrider

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2365 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-3111
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For a breezy, beachside afternoon tea experience, head to the Veranda at Moana Surfrider, a classic spot where you’ll see multiple generations enjoying this civilized affair. With front-row views of Waikiki Beach, tea is served on the deck and arrives to the table in the classic three-tier style. Special touches include housemade lilikoi (passion fruit) curd with the warm scones, delicate haupia roll cakes, and the Surfrider’s famous lemongrass sorbet (served at the very end as a post-tea palate cleanser). [$$$]

9. Drinks and Bites at the Bar at Stripsteak

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2330 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815

Michael Mina’s first Hawaii project also happens to be one of the few steakhouses in Hawaii where there’s equal focus on quality cocktails (look out for the shochu with butterfly pea, lime, and lavender) and local seafood dishes (order the Kauai shrimp in red curry and the sake and hamachi poke). Situated on the top floor of the new International Marketplace, the Stripsteak bar is the ideal respite from a day of Waikiki shopping. [$$$-$$$$]

10. Haupia Cake at Royal Hawaiian

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2259 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 923-7311
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Things like shave ice and malasadas are the best-known Hawaii sweets among visitors, but locals know it’s all about the haupia (coconut custard/pudding) cakes. Every respectable bakery and dessert operation has a version of this cake, and the pink haupia cake served at Royal Hawaiian is exemplary. It features alternating layers of delicate, fine-crumbed vanilla cake and haupia cream. Order cake by the slice at the hotel’s signature Surf Lanai and Azure restaurants, or pre-order a whole cake for pick-up. [$]

11. BLT Market

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383 Kalaimoku St
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 729-9729
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Chef Johan Svensson (previously of BLT Steak in Waikiki and Aquavit in NYC) heads up the kitchen at the recently opened BLT Market. The latest from mega restaurant group ESquared Hospitality (BLT Steak, BLT Prime, By Chloe) is already a Waikiki favorite. The menu is all about local products and meats, done fancy in a beautiful open-air space. Dinner is where the kitchen shines, turning out plates of Moloka’i steak tartare with sea asparagus, tender venison from Maui, a collection of housemade pasta dishes, and the "POG Parfait" tucked inside a chocolate sphere. [$$$-$$$$]

12. Malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery

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933 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 737-5591
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Even if your favorite malasada is from another spot (like Champion Malasadas or Punahou Carnival), everyone can agree that a hot-from-the-fryer malasada at Leonard’s is an iconic Honolulu experience. These glorious orbs of deep-fried dough tend to be on the eggy side, moist with a perfectly golden exterior and just enough sugar. They come plain or dusted with li hing mui (salty dried plum powder) or cinnamon sugar, but it goes without saying: plain is best. If you have room for more, the malasada puffs are no slouch — those come stuffed with custard, haupia (a cross between coconut milk pudding and jelly), or dobash (chocolate) pudding. [$]

13. Gina’s Bar-B-Q

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2919 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 735-7964
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There are many great places for Korean plate lunch in Hawaii, but locals know that Gina’s does it best. Tucked inside Market City Shopping Center, Gina’s is a family-run operation where regulars are greeted by name and everyone has a go-to order. Make yours the #1 Gina’s Special plate: It comes with barbecue chicken, bulgogi, and kalbi, plus rice and your pick of four vegetable/starch sides. Get the japchae combination dish (they often run out of this by 7 p.m.), cabbage, bean sprouts, and shoyu potatoes. [$-$$]

14. Poke at Ahi Assassins

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2570 S Beretania St
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 372-2930
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Hands down, this is the ideal spot for perfect Hawaiian poke by the pound. Owners Josh Schade, Erika Luna, and their crew catch all the fish that’s served at Ahi Assassins (they firmly operate by the store's motto: "Caught here, not brought here. Slayed. Weighed. Filleted. MADE in Hawaii"). And if they don’t catch fish? Closed for the day. There are a dozen types of poke offered regularly in addition to entrees featuring cooked/prepared fish with side of rice. Be sure to pick up some great snacks for later: the smoked ahi dip and the kulolo (a dessert made from pounded poi, sugar, and coconut milk, flown in weekly from Kauai). [$-$$]

15. Waiola Shave Ice

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2135 Waiola St
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 949-2269
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There are newer and brighter shave ice spots. Some use fresh-made syrups, and others are organic. Waiola doesn’t offer any of that, but everyone still lines up at the original location on Waiola Street. It’s part nostalgia and partly because it’s the best bang for the buck when it comes to shave ice: $3 scores you a large cone or cup with up to three flavors. It’s simple and no frills. Plus Waiola has an enormous selection of flavors — don’t leave town without trying the li hing mui (salty dried plum) or pickled mango. [$]

16. Chef Mavro

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1969 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 944-4714
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Chef Mavro is a stalwart of the local fine dining scene. George Mavrothalassitis (aka chef Mavro himself) is a French native (originally from Marseille) who has been living in Hawaii for 28 years. The dishes on his six-course tasting menu merge French sensibilities with all the benefits of Hawaii's excellent seafood, meats, and produce. Bonus points for a strong focus on wine pairings. Mavro’s signature dish is the salt-crusted local onaga (long-tailed red snapper) served tableside. [$$$$]

17. Alan Wong’s Honolulu

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1857 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 949-2526
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The granddaddy of Hawaii fine dining. Hidden in a second-floor office space and open for over two decades, Alan Wong’s is still the gem it was from the start. Don’t miss the signature "Poke-Pines" and "Da Bag" (in which steamed clams with kalua pig and mushrooms arrives in giant foil bag that’s popped at the table), and ginger-crusted onaga (red snapper). All meals must end with the coconut-haupia sorbet and local fruits tucked in a coconut “shell" made of dark chocolate and covered in toasted coconut flakes. It’s a showstopper that tastes as good as it looks. [$$$-$$$$]

18. Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies

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2904 East Manoa Rd
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 778-2701
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Andy’s is the Hawaii sandwich shop. Tucked inside Manoa Valley — and a perfect place to get lunch before or after doing the Manoa hike — this tidy shop bakes bread daily and uses it for the base of simple but consistently great sandwiches, like the outstanding smoked ahi spread. Don’t forget to pair your lunch with a papaya smoothie. [$]

19. Patisserie La Palme D’Or

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1450 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 941-6161
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Because of the strong Asian influences in Hawaii, the majority of our cake and sweets shops reflect Japanese, Chinese, Korean, or Filipino influences. La Palme is a classic example, creating sweets using French techniques with Japanese and Hawaiian flavors. Standouts include colorful roll cakes in flavors like matcha, coffee, and strawberry, and the Crunchy Choco Sandwich with macadamia nuts. [$]

20. MW Restaurant

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1538 Kapiolani Blvd Ste 107
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 955-6505
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MW Restaurant represents Hawaiian regional cuisine at its best. Opened by husband-and-wife team Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka (both formerly of Alan Wong’s), MW showcases just how wonderful and gracious Hawaii fine dining can be. Menu favorites include the unagi-butterfish arancini, mochi-crusted opakapaka, and coconut cake (featuring coconut in multiple forms and textures, much more than "just" a coconut cake). Also don’t miss the monthly afternoon tea service — it takes place the third Sunday of every month, and it’s best to book as far in advance as you can. [$$$-$$$$]

21. Sushi ii

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655 Keeaumoku St #109
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 942-5350
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For the best value sushi omakase Honolulu has to offer, make a reservation at the sushi bar and prepare to feast. It’s not cheap — the fish is of the highest quality — but it is reasonably priced at about $100 per person for an unfussy top-flight experience. The fish here is of the highest quality and is served without pretension and formalities. Look out for the akamutsu and Argentine langoustines with uni. And if you want to mix it up a bit, the chefs also offer a number of hot dishes, the best of which include an ikura-crème fraîche pan and misoyaki butterfish. Come during lunch for an excellent chirashi bowl. [$$$$]

22. Chengdu Taste

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808 Sheridan St Ste 105
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 589-1818

In a city with a wealth of Asian dining options (but strangely, no decent Sichuan food), recent San Gabriel Valley import Chengdu Taste was welcomed with open arms. Between the boiled fish with green peppers and the chilled mung bean noodles, it’s all about the Sichuan classics executed with finesse. You'll find everything from hipster crowds to large family gatherings at this centrally located spot. [$$]

23. Sushi Izakaya Gaku

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1329 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 589-1329

Reservations are a must at Gaku, a classic izakaya with a cult following. It’s packed every night of the week, and spots along the bar are the most coveted. Gaku is a casual place, but meals get spendy very fast. It’s worth it. Order the negitoro tartare (with masago, ponzu, green onions, and a raw quail egg), the uni and ikura shooters topped with shoyu jelly, and the housemade tofu. [$$$$]

24. Kyung’s Seafood

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1269 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96814

Kyung’s is a centrally located hole in the wall that’s a favorite of chefs and in-the-know locals. It’s best in the evenings, for a night of good company coupled with seafood and spicy Korean food that demands booze. Come with friends and order the large sashimi platter to share. Then add on a few hot dishes and a pitcher of strawberry soju slush, and call it a night. Kyung’s also make great poke (especially the salmon-ahi mix). [$]

25. Hank’s Haute Dogs

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324 Coral St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 532-4265
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Fancy hot dogs — made from buffalo, boar, and rabbit meat — dominate the menu at Hank’s, but there are also more “ordinary” hot dogs topped with chili, or wrapped in bacon. And Hank’s happens to make one of the city’s best burgers (smothered with secret “Hank’s Sauce”). You may order hot dogs and burgers on their own, but they’re best devoured as a combo meal with beef fat fries (ask for the garlic aioli) and a slushy-like pineapple ice to wash it all down. [$]

26. Mission Social Hall and Cafe

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553 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 447-3913
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Hidden inside the Mission House Museum is a cafe turning out some of the best lunch items in town. It’s a mix of traditional Hawaiian food and tons of local veggies and meats. The menu might be overwhelming, so start with a glass of the local ‘olena lemonade, made with turmeric. Follow that up with the lu’au stew, served over a mix of white and brown rice and topped with the sweetest roast pork and/or Hawaiian breadfruit (it’s the most soulful $9 lunch in town). Finish with kulolo, a Hawaiian sweet made from pounded taro, sugar, and coconut milk. [$]

27. Artizen by MW

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250 S Hotel St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 524-0499
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The casual downtown offshoot of MW Restaurant is worth a visit for chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka’s desserts alone. The savory offerings change daily, and regulars have their favorites — think cheffed up bentos and plate lunches. But take a peek in the pastry case, and you can’t go wrong. The coconut cake is a must, as is the chocolate cake — both are easy-to-love classics amped up with intensity and precision. [$-$$]

28. Bar Leather Apron

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745 Fort Street Mall #127A
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 524-0808
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Honolulu’s Bar Leather Apron is a tiny, six-seat bar (there are a few table seats, but the bar is best) hidden in the mezzanine floor of a downtown financial building. It’s dark and seductive, one of the few serious cocktail spots in Hawaii. The BLA Old Fashioned made with fancy Wasanbon sugar has become an instant classic, while the E Ho'o Pau Mai Tai, finished with kiawe wood smoke, is unforgettable. [$$-$$$]

29. Fête Hawaii

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2 N Hotel St
Honolulu, HI 96817

Described as “equal parts Hawaii and Brooklyn,” Fête can be as fancy or casual as you desire. Owned by a couple who once worked at the beloved Savoy in NYC, the restaurant features a comfortable bar with great cocktails and an easy-to-love menu that works as well for a weekday work lunch as it does for a decadent celebration dinner. Extra memorable items include the Chaz burger and twice-fried chicken. Definitely get housemade rocky road ice cream (with macadamia nuts) for dessert. [$$$]

30. The Pig and the Lady

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83 N King St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 585-8255
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If there’s one place that defines the Honolulu restaurant scene, it’s Pig and the Lady. It’s a must-visit spot, whether you’re a longtime local or first-time visitor to Hawaii. This is where you go to celebrate, to have lunch with a friend, to bring parents out for a night in town, or for a solo dinner at the bar. It’s always busy and a bit noisy, but the energy is good and the food is one of a kind. The menu changes frequently, but don’t neglect the classics: Laotian fried chicken, P&L pho, chicken fat rice, pho French dip, and the soft-serve (flavors change weekly). [$$-$$$$]

31. Maguro Brothers

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1039 Kekaulike St #113
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 259-7100
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Maguro Brothers is hidden deep inside Chinatown’s Kekaulike Market. At this little spot, it’s all about sashimi platters, donburi (get the king salmon sashimi with uni over rice), and poke by the bowl or pound. The fish quality is excellent and locally sourced for the most part, but what makes Maguro Brothers stand out is the outstanding knife work. That donburi and poke might be served in a styrofoam box, but you won’t find such beautifully cut fish casually sold to-go anywhere else. [$$]

32. Pho 97

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1120 Maunakea St
Honolulu, HI 96817

Honolulu’s ever reliable and always satisfying spot for Vietnamese food is at the Maunakea Marketplace. The menu at Pho 97 is huge, so it’s all about knowing what to order: First, the bun rieu soup — hearty and generous with delicate crab cakes and cubes of pig’s blood; second, the com tam (broken rice) combo with barbecue pork, steamed egg, vermicelli cake, shredded pork-pig ears, and a fried egg; and last, but not least, don’t forget about the pho. [$-$$]

33. Poi Glaze Doughnuts at Kamehameha Bakery

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1284 Kalani St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 845-5831
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In the same way that Liliha Bakery is known for Coco Puffs, Kamehameha Bakery is known for poi glaze doughnuts. The deep brown crackled glaze isn’t exactly Instagram bait, but just bite or tear open to reveal a bright purple interior. Poi! These doughnuts are big, pillowy, and warm with a subtle flavor of sweet taro plant. FYI, for those with an extra sweet tooth, they also do an outstanding haupia-stuffed malasada. [$]

34. Nisshodo Candy Store

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1095 Dillingham Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 847-1244
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Mochi, pounded sweet rice flour cakes, is a big part of Hawaii’s local eating (and gifting) culture, and Nisshodo is one of Hawaii’s classic mochi factories. The store’s signature creation is called the Chichi Dango. These rectangular cuts of mochi are sold by the pound; order them half-plain and half-dusted in roasted soybean powder, or kinako. Nisshodo also offers stuffed mochi in flavors ranging from white and red bean to peanut butter and coconut. [$]

35. Coco Puffs at Liliha Bakery

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515 N Kuakini St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 531-1651
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Coco Puffs are a Hawaii classic and come from only one place: Liliha Bakery. Each one is made of three parts: choux pastry, chocolate pudding, and chantilly (while chantilly usually refers to whipped cream, in Hawaii it often refers to a frosting made from whipped butter, egg yolks, and sugar). Liliha Bakery also happens to double as a legendary diner — get a seat at the bar and order the crisp waffles and the butter roll (ask for it split and grilled). [$]

36. Helena’s Hawaiian Food

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1240 N School St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 845-8044
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If you’re only going to one spot for traditional Hawaiian food, make it Helena’s. Open since 1946, Helena’s won a James Beard America’s Classics award in 2000, and locals have been lining up since day one. First-timers should order the Set Menu D: this comes with kalua pig, lomi salmon, pipikaula (air-dried, juicy short ribs, quick fried for a bit of a crunch), and squid lu'au (a savory dish of squid and young taro leaves coconut in coconut milk) and poi (pounded taro, eaten as a primary starch) or rice. And if the wait is too long, Helena’s also does a great takeout service — there’s nothing like laulau and rice in the comfort of your own home or hotel room. [$$]

37. Mitsu-Ken

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2300 N King St
Honolulu, HI 96819
(808) 848-5573
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There’s always a good reason to stop by Mitsu-Ken: killer bento boxes to go. Parents pick these up for their kids’ school lunches, groups of friends take them to the beach, and they’re perfect for an on-the-go meal. People also head to this takeout-only hole in the wall when they have serious garlic chicken cravings. The chicken is chopped into two-bite chunks, battered, fried until crisp, and then coated in a garlic-shoyu-sugar glaze. There are many options on the menu, but make things easy and order the Mini Bento (which is not so mini). It comes with garlic chicken, rolled egg omelet, and hot dog all served over a base of furikake rice. [$]

38. Butter Garlic Shrimp Plate at Romy’s Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp

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56781 Kamehameha Hwy
Kahuku, HI 96731
(808) 232-2202
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Shrimp plate lunch is a thing in Hawaii, and the rendition at Romy’s, a roadside shrimp stand with lots of covered seating is worth the far drive to the Kahuku side of Oahu. The butter garlic shrimp plate (so fresh!) is a garlic lover’s fantasy, served with plenty of rice to soak up the sauce. And the can’t-miss order for dessert is li hing mui pineapples. There’s always a wait — pros know to phone in lunch orders early or wait it out at Kahuku Farms across the street (snack on the grilled banana bread while you’re there). [$$]

1. Roy’s Hawaii Kai (The Original)

6600 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96825

There are over 20 locations of Roy’s across the U.S., but Roy Yamaguchi’s original location in the residential neighborhood of Hawaii Kai is still the most special. Here, the service makes guests feel like family, and the food is always reliable and comforting. Look out for Roy’s classic seared misoyaki butterfish and meatloaf with tempura onion rings. And for dessert? The chocolate soufflé, always. [$$$-$$$$]

6600 Kalanianaole Hwy
Honolulu, HI 96825

2. Jack’s Restaurant

820 W Hind Dr., Honolulu, HI

Every Honolulu neighborhood has its go-to breakfast joint, but people travel out of their way for Jack’s. It’s a small, family-run business where service is efficient yet friendly. Jack’s is best known for its warm, tender biscuits with honey butter. Make sure to ask for the biscuits split and grilled, then couple them with hash browns, rice, fried Spam (or Portuguese sausages), and sunny-side up eggs for a quintessential Honolulu breakfast. [$]

820 W Hind Dr.
Honolulu, HI

3. Arancino at the Kahala

5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

A number of Italian restaurants in Hawaii naturally have a bit of Asian influence, but no place does it as well (or as gracefully) as Arancino at the Kahala. This is where to go for a romantic night or celebration dinner. Start with the Miyazaki Wagyu carpaccio and then move on to the generous and heady uni spaghetti. Share a whole salt-crusted branzino and finish with the roasted almond panna cotta. [$$$-$$$$]

5000 Kahala Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816

4. Afternoon Tea at the Kahala Hotel & Resort

5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Honolulu has a surprisingly high number of places that offer afternoon tea, and the Kahala offers an elegant, reserved experience hidden in one of Honolulu’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Pastry chef Michael Moorhouse, formerly of Mandarin Oriental New York, recently revamped the classic afternoon tea menu, adding on sweets like matcha financiers, a rich dark chocolate-salted caramel macadamia nut tart, and petite brown sugar shortbreads with housemade guava jam. [$$$]

5000 Kahala Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816

5. Zippy’s

4134 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Have you heard the commercials? “Next stop, Zippy’s!” Zippy’s is Hawaii’s iconic family diner chain with many locations throughout the state. Kids here grew up with Zippy’s chili (which they now sell frozen so parents can ship it to homesick college kids), and Apple Napples (flaky apple turnovers). This is the place to go for post-movie munchies (get the fried chicken and side of chili-cheese fries). And for a proper dinner, the Zip Min (a deluxe bowl of saimin, a noodle soup) or Zip Pac (mahi mahi, fried chicken, Spam, and teriyaki beef over furikake rice) never fail to please. [$$]

4134 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816

6. KCC Saturday Farmers Market

4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96816