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Vegas foodie coming for a visit in December

Got a nice little surprise from my family today. I'm coming home from afghanistan next month and they booked a week's vacation in hawaii for me. we'll be staying at the Aston Waikiki Beach so i guess i'm looking for some good food around there. I've heard a lot of good things about Nico's pier 38, so i guess my first question is - is that far ?

also I'm more interested in local food so what are some good mom n pop type places around there ? Right now its going to be the wife and I plus our teenage son, so we're not picky.

have a great rest of the weekend, and stay hungry, my friends.


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  1. Nico's is about 7 miles away. The furikake ahi was good. The other dish I tried was just OK. Nice open air space.

    Will you have a car?

    Tiki's is right at your hotel.

    The Kapiolani Community College farmers market (Sat and Tue though I don't know if all of the vendors go on Tue) is about a mile and a half away and has lots of prepared food vendors. We loved Pig and the Lady.

    My other favorite this trip was Whole Ox about 4 miles away.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PattyC

      Your hotel is close to Kapahulu Avenue - a busy street chock full of small and medium size restaurants. Just have a walk along the street and you will find different kinds of foods...local, pizzerias, Chinese, Thai (Herb Garden), Middle-Eastern (Pyramid), famous malasadas (local Portuguese doughnut), the list goes on and on and on. Enjoy your stay!

      1. re: roro808

        ... forgot to also mention The Bistro (french).... Or, take the taxi and head to Waialae Avenue ( Kaimuki area) - and wallah, another old street full of small restaurants - local, ethnic, international....

    2. Your hotel is at the Diamond Head end of most of Waikiki, so that puts Rainbow Drive In just a short, maybe 8-10 minute walk up Kapahulu. Doesn't get more local than that, and has been popular for 50 years, but it is a drive in with limited picnic table seating.

      Better quality (and a bit more expensive) is Diamond Head Market and Grill, on Monsarrat...a few blocks further, but on the way to KCC farmers market and Diamond Head hike. Similar drive in setting. KCC is less than 2 miles from the Aston....1.8 according to Google Maps.

      Pier 38 is in the opposite direction, between downtown and the airport, but TheBus service from Waikiki will get you there and back at $2.50 pp. See a recent post about safety in that area after dark for a single woman...doubt you would have a problem as a vet w a teen son, but just a caution.

      Will you have a car? That opens up a wide range of options. Downside would be the parking fees at your hotel...you might want to check that out.

      Welcome home and enjoy a week in paradise.

      1 Reply
      1. Fatty's (N. end of Int'l Marketplace) has reasonably good, filling Chinese, particularly the Cake Noodle, a local speciality. You might be close enough to walk to the Side Street Inn, worth searching here for reviews. I would skip the 5-Star Buffet.

        1. Good local spots and inexpensive or at least reasonable, Fatty's Chinese Kitchen, Me BBQ (Korean BBQ), Side Street Inn, Seoul Garden Yakiniku, Okonomiyaki Chibo, Ichiriki, Jinroku, Goma Ichi Ramen, Goma Tei Ramen, Pho To-Chau Vietnamese Restaurant, Mei Sum Dim Sum, Little Village Noodle House and Helena's Hawaiian Foods. Some of these are in Waikiki, some Chinatown, some kind of scattered all over.

          I actually like Uncle's Fish Market & Grill better than Nico's at Pier 38.

          On the higher end you have spots like Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar, Town, Cafe Miro and 3660 on The Rise.

          I have left out the more well known spots like Orchids, Alan Wong's, etc as they aren't quite mom 'n pop places.

          1. Aloha Chris!
            That is awesome news that you are going to O'ahu..
            You deserve it after serving in Afghanistan!

            For my Aloha locals... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/865915

            So let's take good care of Chris and hook he and his family up with great local eats!

            I will add my two aloha cents on Hula Grill and Duke's for everyday happy hour..at the Outrigger and great mai tais for $4 and excellent calamari $6 oceanfront and kids welcome.
            Giovanni's shrimp truck in the North Shore for some of da best garlic shrimp with 2 scoops.
            Matsumoto's for shave ice too.
            Sansei has a decent happy hour on Monday.
            Moose's has a 2 for 1 breakfast coupon in the 101 Things to do booklet..great breakfast..very popular.
            Roy's Waikiki is one of the best for local fish and great aloha service..island Roy's is way different than the mainland..no comparsion.

            Aloha Chris and so happy for you and your family!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              dangit beach chick - quit following me LOL.

              talked to the family on sunday night and they said we plan on flying into hawaii early in the morning and dumping the luggage at the hotel and then making a bee-line for the north shore so i will DEFINATELY keep an eye out for giovanni's.

              thanks for the reccomendations and have a great rest of your day !!


              1. re: AdamRichmanJr

                Stalker...hee hee

                Have you been to the islands before?
                Love love love O'ahu and the food, imho, is on par with SF, Paris and NYC..in a aloha kind of way.
                The seafood is off the chain.
                You're down at the end next to the zoo which is quiet and lovely.
                Leonard's for malasadas...you will freak the f out on how good these little doughy deep fried balls of sugar custard goodness are!
                Swimming all throughout the day is so wonderful and your teenage son is going to love it.

                The Hawaii board are a wonderful group and will take good care of you!


                1. re: Beach Chick

                  great links - thanks a lot.

                  last time in hawaii was 1998, so i would imagine a lot has changed

            2. In the same area as Diamond Head Grill is South Shore Grill. Their fish taco's are great, and the mixed plate is broke-da-mouth.

              A couple of people mentioned Side Street Inn. The Kapahulu location is 'nicer' and closer, I think the original at the far end of ala moana center is better, and easier to get to on the bus.

              Teddy's Bigger Burgers are great, avoid Cheeseburger in Paradise. Moose McGillicuddy's is good for basic food. Wailana coffee shop for breakfast. Lunch and Dinner not so much any more.

              Tiki's is prettty good, I like Duke's better at lunch, its right on the beach. Neither is low budget.

              Lots of choices in Kaimuki and Kapahulu, TERRIBLE bus service from Waikiki.

              Nico's is worth the trip, the Furukake crusted ahi is the signature dish, the fish and chips are always good. I've always liked the poke, but a recent visitor wasn't impressed.

              A number of shrimp trucks in the Kahuku area on the north shore, giovanni's is as good as any. In Haleiwa Town are several good choices, mentioned on North Shore discussions on chowhound. Jameson's, Haleiwas Joe's, Pizza Bob's, Luibueno's, Kua Aina Burgers, and of course Matsumoto's shave ice among the most popular.

              There are a bunch of threads on these things, browse them and come back with specific questions.

              1 Reply
              1. re: KaimukiMan

                From Waikiki you can take the 2 or the 13 buses to go to Irifune or Side Street Inn in Kapahulu. Ono Hawaiian Foods is a trivial walk, too. And yes, the Kaimuki-Waikiki bus link is broken, sadly.