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May 15, 2007 03:49 PM

lunch options in waikiki for the busy professional?

moved here from SF and work in the heart of the waikiki strip and really miss the healthy lunch/salad/gourmet options! anyone have any recommendations for lunch, preferably take-out options to take back to the office? yeah, i know, sad...


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  1. If I were you I would consider "befriending" a particular restaurant or restaurants (maybe the new Roy's, Alana Bistro in the Doubletree, MAC 24-7 or Aqua Cafe) and telling them what you are looking for. I'm pretty sure you could get customized lunches that will make your lunch life much more pleasant.

    1. the food court at international market place is open again, some of the "asian" vendors have some healthy plates. in addition is the food court at the waikiki trade plaza. a friend of mine swears by the cajun place "upstairs". CPK salads are available in take out. No, it's not the same as SF, especially if you are in the middle of Waikiki, but a little searching and you will find some places.

      1. I like the saimen at the Hyatt Regency's upscale coffee shop. Not exactly take-out, but service is pretty fast. There's also that new shrimp truck on Kuhio off of I want to say Launiu (not sure about that) - haven't seen any reviews yet, but if it's anything like Giovanni's...

        1. i really can't think of an individual non-chain place that fits your description (dividing my time between hawaii and cali, i think i know what you are talking about) like more sandwich/salad options right?

          the problem is that waikiki itself, as you know, caters to the tourist, so you'll find a lot of chains or smaller restaurant that serves not so healthy food (and may be a bit overpriced for what it is)....

          i can only think of chains that would be the closest to the type of salads you are looking at, particularly cheesecake factory over at the royal hawaiian shopping plaza. i know it's not that popular on CH, but the salads are huge and well, they are complete meals. plus with the wait as it is there, it's better to order to go anyway. plus the location of cheescake is pretty central on kalakaua, so it's close by if you wanted to call in your order by the time you walk there it would prolly be ready.... that way you can enjoy the weather while u get your lunch, since you'll be cooped up later on...

          there's ME bbq on kuhio close to hyatt waikiki... it's korean bbq.. i don't know how healthy that is... but they do have bi bim bap, which is mostly vegetables and a bit of beef... that spot is pretty popular with the beach boys... and it's also pretty central (it's behind a moped renting place)

          i like tiki's over at the aston waikiki (i dunno what they call it these days.. resortquest i think).... the ingredients seem fresh.. it's a bit of a walk from central waikiki... it's on diamond head side of waikiki by st. augustine's catholic church.... if i recall correctly, there's also a restaurant on the bottom of the resprtquest on the corner, but fo rsome reason i think it may be a baskin robbins, i have no clue....

          i think there was a sandwich place also in hyatt regency waikiki by the water fountain.... i've never been there, but i know it's a cafe like place... i don't remember what is on their menu, only that i liked their pastries... it's walk up, so it's to go... i knwo for sure there's coffee and pastries....

          you may also want to check out the food options at that one place on the bottom floor of where that 360 degree restaurant is.. i think it's by duty-free.... there's another food court there if you take the escalator downstairs.. i've never been, but i pass it all the time...

          and there's a coffeeshop by the moana surfrider hotel, i've never been there either, but i see people sitting and enjoying food and coffee... i don't know if they are just eating pastries or what, but it doesn't hurt to check it out anyway....

          i love the fact that you can just walk around hawaii and discover lots of things =) but whatever you do, try not to by from food pantry... the grocery store within waikiki... the prices are outrageous, and you can easily take the bus to foodland or what not for more reasonable prices...

          they might also have options in hilton hawaiian village, but that might be a trek for you since that's airport side of waikiki.... but you could always take the bus there if you don't want to walk....

          i hope you have the monthly bus pass =)

          aloha and good luck! =)

          1. havent checked out international market yet - will do that! I've tried the CPK route (to go salads arent as good as dining in), subway sandwich (whole wheat hold the mayo, extra veggies!) and even found health food-like cafe/deli (around the corner from the planet hollywood?)... i guess to have to bring in my lunch if i want a truly healthy salad - organic, good dressing (not that gloppy creamy dressings), decent lettuces, not just iceberg.
            OK, but in general where else around town (closer to diamond head) do they have nice, healthy food - other than diamond head grill...

            4 Replies
            1. re: pea2u

              There are a couple of places in Kaimuki you might try. Town restaurant on Waialae at 6th has really good sandwiches and salads, soups etc. Try not to go at peak hours as they are really understaffed. There is also a soup/salad/sandwhich shop on 12th right near Hale Vietnam (also excelent, great pho). If you end up in Big City Diner in Kaimuki the salads are usually really good, fresh. Champa Thai also on Waialae is good, as is Green Papaya (is that still the name) a couple of doors up from Big City Diner. Verbano generally does a good job on the daily fish, although I am not sure how the ban on bottom fishing will affect that, just order with grilled vegetables instead of pasta, and have them go easy on the sauce for the fish depending on the preparation.

              In Kapahulu there is a place called 808 which I am told is good, but on the pricey side - I can't speak from personal experience. Believe it or not Zippy's does a more than decent job on the FRESH fish as well, order with green salad (w/ lemon juice instead of dressing) and brown rice and you have a pretty healthy meal. I just wish the Kaimuki or Kapahulu had table service.

              Hawaii does take some adjustments, hope your time here is happy!

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                While in Kaimuki, there's always Tamura's Fine Food & Wines with an excellent poke bar!

                ASlso, I think the name of the coffee/pastry/sandwich shop in the Hyatt is Kimo's.

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  you might check out this link as well about chowhounds in Hawaii


                  i think torta basilica had some comments there as well

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    i've been to Town for dinnner a couple times, funny thing is that they take their inspiration from a restaurant in SF. thanks for the heads up on the other places on waialae - will need to try them sometime.
                    just found coco's cove on kalakaua (they just opened) and they have a decent deli in there. tried the salad (pick your own toppings, they mix) - it was OK, not anything special - just too cheap on the vegetable toppings! will try a sandwich next time.