Despite the fact Waikīkī is home to 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 — it’s tempting to leave the area to the tourists. But you’d miss out on some of the best places to eat on the island, which draw plenty of locals for a bite. Even with constant new development, Waikīkī is 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.
Updated, December 2022:
Most of the best dining in the area — and Honolulu generally — continues to be Japanese, and you’ll find it at a range of price points, from the takeout counter at Maguro Brothers to Sushi Sho’s $300 omakase. Newcomers such as the Cuban-inspired Castro’s and French-inflected Nature have helped diversify Waikīkī’s excellent dining options too. The crowds in Waikīkī have lessened somewhat from last year, but Hawai‘i suffers the same labor shortages that plague the rest of the restaurant industry, so you’ll still need a bit of patience when dining out.
Martha Cheng is the food editor at Honolulu Magazine, the author of The Poke Cookbook, and a writer for national publications.Read More