It’s tempting to leave Waikiki to the tourists. But you’d be missing out on Oahu’s most famous beach: two miles of white sand where there’s never a bad view of Diamond Head or the sunset over the warm, clear blue water. Constant new development shares space with some of the best places to eat on the island, so even locals come by for a bite. It’s also the most walkable neighborhood in Honolulu, a city that at times feels aggressively anti-pedestrian. Couple that with the oceanfront location, which provides easy access to the beach and food at all times, and you get a dining destination that’s hard to pass up. (For more essential eating on Hawai‘i’s islands, check out the full Eater Guide to Hawai‘i.)
Update June 2021:
The pandemic left Waikiki a ghost town, but in 2021 tourists have come back in full force, seemingly overnight. At the moment, Japanese travelers, who made up a big share of Hawai‘i’s tourism, are largely missing from the mix, which means some places are easier to get into than ever before (steakhouses in particular). Even with that drop-off, some previously hidden gems are now packed, so be sure to make reservations as far in advance as possible anywhere that takes them — and cross your fingers on the rest.
Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit One Oahu.
Martha Cheng is a writer and editor based in Honolulu, Hawai’i.Read More