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Dec 26, 2010 03:39 PM

Recs for Meals with Kids in Honolulu Please

We are travelling to Hawaii for a family holiday in February. We are spending the first three nights in Honolulu, and are staying at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach in Waikiki, before we head to Maui for a longer stay (thanks for the grocery store recommendations:)).

I am looking for some restaurant recommendations for family places that are budget friendly. My wife and I are adventurous eaters, but are kids (11, 9, and 4 1/2)...not so much.

Our itinerary is being worked out, but here are some rough thoughts that I am building around.

We arrive in Honolulu after a brutal day of travelling from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I expect we will be exhausted, since it will be 4:00 AM Nova Scotia time when we get in. My thinking is that we will go straight to the hotel. We'll need to eat. It would be great to get something simple close by, or even order in a pizza. Any thoughts for supper that night?

The next day we will likely wake up very early, due to the time change. My plan is to go to the Pearl Harbour memorial that morning. I am considering the Wailana Coffee House for breakfast. It seems to make sense since it looks to be nearby, and is open 24 hours. I've read the mixed reviews, so if I am setting myself up for disappointment, please point me in the right direction.

I don't have lunch or supper plans yet for that night, but what about the Big City Diner?

For our last full day we are going to go to Diamond Head in the morning. At some point that day, we're consideringThe Rainbow Drive-in.

A few after thoughts: I liked the look of Ono Hawaiian Foods, but was concerned that there may not be much that my kids would enjoy. My wife and I would also normally do a variety of restaurants between local/rustic and high end, but due to our kids we are going more middle of the road - restaurants that offer something for everyone, and also on the less costly side, so that we are not rushing through an expensive meal to avoid a meltdown of our 4 year old.

I am not tied to any of the above places, so fire away with any thoughts please.


Ono Hawaiian Foods
726 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Big City Diner
3569 Waialae Ave Ste 3, Honolulu, HI 96816

Wailana Coffee House
1860 Ala Moana Blvd Ste Lbby, Honolulu, HI 96815

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  1. All in all your list looks good. My nephews, ages 4 and 6 realy enjoy big city diner. Don't let the kids order burgers at rainbow, they won't like them. if they want something like that, get a bbq (teri style) sandwich.

    If you want to keep costs down, then you will want to eat less in waikiki. Places to consider not too far, but not as expensive and would be kid friendly include

    South Shore Grill - on Monsarrat mauka (inland) of waikiki a couple of blocks
    Kakaako Kitchen - At Ward Center, a little past ala moana shopping center
    Zippy's - Many locations. Not gourmet, but a good "local" family restaurant
    Nico's - just try to avoid the 11-1 rush, the kids won't like that.

    Kakaako Kitchen
    1200 Ala Moana Blvd # 135, Honolulu, HI

    South Shore Grill
    3114 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

    1 Reply
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      Nico's is a great rec. Lot's of fun, good seafood, and not expensive at all.

      Good call, as always, mahalo,


    2. If your children tolerate simple Chinese, they might enjoy, or at least tolerate, Fatty's.

      1. ono hawaiian foods is good but the lines are verrry long might want to skip it with kids. there's a place at ala moana shopping ctr the poi bowl that has plate lunches and that will give you a good taste. rainbow is awesome but kaimuki man says its not a burger joint. its a teri burger or plate lunch mac said 2 scoop white rice entree. zippys is always good.and inexpensive, its our dennys. there is a rib place at eaton square da smoke house. get a big plate or 2 and u can all share you get 1/2chicken 2 thick slices ham 4 ribs and 2 hot links and 2 sides, its a good deal. weekends are karaoke nights. have fun

        1. Now, we do not have children, so you MUST take this with a grain of salt (red Kaua`i salt, of course), but in the Outrigger Reef, IIRC, there is a neat little dining area, on the beach, The Shore Bird Restaurant and Beach Bar. The Waikiki sunsets cannot be beaten. It is not fine-dining, but should be great, and just an elevator ride from your room. It has possibly changed a bit, since we were last there, but should still be very nice. Just watching the beach, and the sunset should keep the children occupied and happy.

          Across the street a bit, there is a Roy's, and it is as good as any of that small chain's restaurants, that we have been. It should be fairly kid-friendly, and the distance is good.

          Wailana Coffee House is a great choice. It's an "old-time" diner, and the food is great for what it is. You are but a short walk from it.

          Others will need to fill in the blanks, since it's just my wife and me (maybe my M-I-L and her elderly sister), so we are not the best sources, relating to doing things with kids.

          Now, I do have one rec., but you will need to make the decision - Orchids Sunday Brunch (Halekulani Hotel, just to the East of you) is great. It is more formal, but excellent. There are always children. Everyone dresses up a bit, and I always wear my blazer. Still, for elegant, with dishes that the children might never see again, in a wonderful venue, it is not to be missed, and is worth every $ (US, or CA) spent. I cannot recommend an "event" more. Still, your final decision.



          Shore Bird Restaurant
          2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

          Wailana Coffee House
          1860 Ala Moana Blvd Ste Lbby, Honolulu, HI 96815

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            good recs hunt. i wonder if the kids are ready for roys, and i have to admit to serious reservations about orchids - based on what i know of my 4 and 6 year old nephews, who are reasonably adventurous mature eaters... for their age. but certainly those options should be considered.

            1. re: KaimukiMan

              I have those same concerns, but have observed very young children (at least they looked young to me), at both locations. Those at Orchids were really enjoying dressing up and dining "like adults." One ~ 5 year old, had her gloves, and a lovely hat on!

              Going back some years, we were seated at Bali by the Sea, on their lower level, right below a lady with a young boy and girl, who were on the raised area, actually looking over our table. I was really worried, but that trio were wonderful. The children were better behaved that the vast majority of adult diners around me often. I believe that the lady was the governess, but could have been wrong. When either started to deviate from formal dining conventions, she gently corrected them, and explained the "why." They were lovely, and could dine above my table any night! Were they the norm? Probably not. In the end, it is up to the parents - are the kids ready for this? Will they enjoy this? Will they behave properly?

              Not having kids, I'm not sure how one goes about answering those questions.

              Looking at those two, Roy's tends to be a bit loud (at least for me), and I could see that being less than ideal with children. They may think that they should be allowed to be loud, like some of the adults around them.

              Orchids is quite formal, and that could be intimidating, if the child is not ready for it. On the other hand, it could well be a seminal moment for the child and a memory that would last a lifetime.

              Just depends, but I share your concerns.



          2. We have been to Waikiki several times and have a 10 and 15 year old. We have enjoyed Rainbow Drive inn for lunch and would order plate lunches, husband liked the stew. Nics is also good for plate lunches (rice, teri chicken or beef). We also like Wailana Coffee House for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If your kids like Mexican, there is Cholos on the North Shore. We enjoyed Hula Grill last year for a nicer sit down dinner and do some chains for other nights like Round Table, Spaghetti Factory or Benihana (the kids like to watch the food prep). There are also some burger and taco places the kids might like.

            We have considered Mac24/7 which we saw on tv, seems to have a big menu, but not sure how good it is.

            Good luck and enjoy!

            Wailana Coffee House
            1860 Ala Moana Blvd Ste Lbby, Honolulu, HI 96815

            2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

            1 Reply
            1. re: sueinca

              I've been to Mac 24/7 twice. After the first time where service was so bad we never got served the 6 of us swore we would never go back. Eventually I had to for a business lunch there, I was less than impressed. A lot of hype, not much substance. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't that good.