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Sep 14, 2007 10:22 AM

Staying in Kailua on Oahu. Would love recs for Kailua as well as surrounding towns/area!!

Hello! My husband and I are staying in Kailua for 8 days and were hoping to find some help as to where the good places to eat are! We've been once before and loved Boots & Kimos (pancakes w/mac nut sauce, fried rice omelette...both amazing!) as well as Teddy's.

Our in-laws are taking us to Side Street Inn (I think that's the name) one night...any other casual, but great places like that in Kailua or surrounding towns? We're open to all types of food, but specifically, we would love to find some good dim sum, saimin and plate lunch. Is there any good dim sum on this side of the island, or will we have to go to Honolulu/Chinatown?

Thanks for your help!


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  1. There is not much in the way of "fine dining" on the windward side, but you should try and get down to buzz's steakhouse - right across from the beach. There is a Big City Diner over near foodland, sort of a local "family" restaurant - the kim chee fried rice is killer, the burgers are great, and the ribs and meatloaf both melt in your mouth. Lots of people like Zia's, I wasn't all that impressed. There are two deli's (gee a deli and brents) both have their following. I can't remember the name but I've been told the mexican restaurant is pretty decent - I haven't been there in years. Kalapawai market (both locations) get good to mixed reviews. Agnes' Portugese bake shop (malasadas) is a local landmark on the Windward side. Down the road in Enchanted lake is The Shack - good burgers. Really not too much over toward Kaneohe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      thank you so much for the recs! :)
      fine dining is not necessarily what we are looking for, so no worries. we will be visiting mariposa's in honolulu, so the rest of the time we just want to have GOOD food! any ideas for dim sum without heading to honolulu?

    2. Check out Mama's Island Pizza (right next to Foodland) for the best chicken wings ever. The pizza is pretty good and the sandwiches are decent. Bob's Pizzeria just opened (next to Braun Clinic, just up from Kalapawai Market) and he serves huge slices of Boston-style pizza at reasonable prices. Sit at the bar at Buzz's and order whatever the fresh catch of the day is and the artichoke surprise. I'd definitely head into town for dim sum.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Yoshio

        Thanks, Yoshio. Sounds like some great advice! In regards to dim sum, is it typical that it's only served on the weekends or do they serve it at lunch as they do at some places here in SF?

        1. re: lj2899

          Dim Sum is served every day at most places that have it. Consider Legends at the Chinese Cultural Plaza, Panda on Keeaumoku (not the fast food place at the Ala Moana Food Court), Royal Garden in the Ala Moana Hotel, and Happy Days in Kaimuki at 11th and Waialae. (sorry all of them are in "town" - ie Honolulu)

      2. I know it's a chain, but I had a pretty terrific meal at Kona Bewing Company. We both ordered fish specials -- had a red curry Thai-influenced dish and mine was crusted with Maui onions, or something like that. Eating right over the bay with the sky going dusky and the lights coming up on the hillsides all around; it wasn't a bad choice. Plus, good beer.

        1. A new dim sum restaurant opened in Kaneohe recently.

          Joyful Garden

          Haven't been there but I think that might be the only choice outside town.

          1. Kailua is full of small restaurants and pubs like Cinnamons (try the carrot pancakes) and Lucy's Grill and Bar. Baci Bistro is across the street from Lucy's and has pretty good Italian. Garret posted information on Joyful Garden in Windward City Shopping Center (Kaneohe), that I believe is the only Chinese restaurant serving dim sum in the Kaneohe-Kailua area. Your best bet is the Chinese Cultural Plaza where Legend, Legend Vegetarian and Won Kee are located as well as Hifumi (Japanese) because it gives you a lot of choices. You could also walk across Beretania and try Mei Sum (dim sum) on Pauahi St., Little Village (Chinese) or try one of the Vietnamese or Thai restaurants between Bethel and River St. Ducs Bistro and Indigo would be are two of the nicer restaurants in the area.

            Cinnamon's Restaurant
            315 Uluniu St, Kailua, HI 96734

            Lucy's Grill & Bar
            33 Aulike St, Kailua, HI 96734

            Duc's Bistro
            1188 Maunakea St, Honolulu, HI 96817

            Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
            1121 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817

            Baci Bistro
            30 Aulike St, Kailua, HI 96734