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.