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Sep 18, 2010 06:04 PM

Kailua, Oahu, next April recommendations

Hi: We will be staying in a studio w kitchenette in Kailua, Oahu next April and have several questions. We prefer restaurants that focus on taste and not volume and use local foods:
Best place to eat in Kailua for dinner?
How easy is it to get to Honolulu for an evening meal? What restaurant would you go to?
If you were to eat dinner at seven different locales on Oahu what and where would they be?
Best plate dinner / food not to me missed at the Kailua thursday evening market.

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  1. I have a lot of comments but not a lot of time right now. However, there is not a true focus on local ingredients per se in any Kailua restaurants as you would find in Honolulu. To drive to town takes maybe 20 minutes to 45 depending on traffic/time/accidents.While not a meal you definitely want to try the ginger drinks from Pacifkool and the pizza from Jeanne Vana or her fried green tomatoes. I gotta go but more later. I live in Kaneohe and there is little if any
    restaurants of note here except El Mariachi for Mexican.

    El Mariachi
    45-1151 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

    1. We spent 10 days in Kailua earlier this year. Our favorite place to eat in Kailua was at the Kailua Farmers Market on Thursday night. They had a nice selection of pre-prepared foods, foods prepared at the market and raw ingredients. To be honest, I don't recall all the food we ate at the market because we kind of went overboard. I recall the miso butterfish was excellent, and we ate our body weight in mango. My favorite meal in all of Oahu was at the Diamond Head Farmers Market on Saturday morning. The grilled tomato pizza, bahn mi, grilled abalone, sausages -- all were outstanding. We kept going back for more pizza, it was that good.

      It's super-easy and relatively fast to get to Honolulu for dinner. Since I did a lot of cooking at our house, we didn't have dinner out in Honolulu, sadly. Do make the time to have drinks at House Without a's a lovely, elegant, very Hawaiian experience. We had a nice lunch at the Little Village Noodle House in Chinatown. It's by no means authentic Chinese, but it is pretty great American-Chinese food. Very nice seafood panfried noodles.

      Our favorite restaurant meal in Oahu was at Ola at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore. The food was interesting and innovative with a focus on local ingredients, and the setting is stunning right on the beach. We really enjoyed this one.

      Kailua doesn't have a a ton of stellar options, but several good ones. We really liked the pizza at Bob's (I have kind of a pizza habit) and the burgers at Teddy's Bigger Burgers. The famed mac nut sauce pancakes at Boot's and Kimo's were good, but really sweet. We had great sandwiches and snacks at the Kalapawai Deli, and the location is really conveniently located. We found Buzz's food overrated, but liked the vibe and location. Breakfast at Cinnamon's was not worth the hype or wait.

      Hope you have a great time...I cried when we left.

      Little Village Noodle House
      1113 Smith St, Honolulu, HI 96817

      Kalapawai Cafe
      750 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734

      1. We are going to be staying in Kailua starting later this week - here is the thread I started asking for advice - people gave some great recs and I'm so excited!

        2 Replies
          1. re: gajen

            Hi Gajen - I just reported back on our eating experiences in the same thread I linked to above - hope it helps you! BTW, Kailua was absolutely gorgeous, heaven on earth, and we were SO glad we decided to stay there instead of in Honolulu or at one of the resorts (and if you happen to be staying in the same studio we stayed in, Hale Moana, you are in for an enormous treat). The drive over the Pali into Honolulu was very easy and took no more than 20 minutes, even in rush hour. We didn't eat much in Kailua, but I highly recommend Agnes's Portuguese Bakery for hot malasadas - a great way to start your morning. We also had lunch one day at Teddy's Bigger Burgers and thought they were really delicious for what was essentially gussied-up fast food. But again, getting into Honolulu to eat was really not a problem. Hope you have a wonderful trip!

            Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop
            46 Hoolai St, Kailua, HI

        1. Kin Wah in neighboring Kaneohe is always excellent (casual), and I love breakfast at the Koa House in Kaneohe (Spinach Benedict with home fries is my go to order). Both places are always busy .... which in itself is a testament to their good food.