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Lunch in/near HNL?

The lady and I have a three hour layover in the HNL interisland terminal on Sunday around lunchtime. Any good spots inside or safely near the airport?

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  1. for a three hour layover i would just stay at the airport. i nkow there is a burger king and starbucks, and some japanese places. there is also stinger ray's bar. i would ask an airport worker where they eat. back in the day there was a cafeteria where the food was cheaper and better. i don't know if it's still there post 9/11.

    1. Will you be doing Inter-Island to Inter-Island, or Inter-Island to elsewhere? If "elsewhere," which airline?

      I also agree with staying at HNL. We have done Inter-Island to Mainland, with 4-5 hour layovers, and have cabbed to Indigo (Chinatown), or Alan Wong's (King St), but those jaunts were pre-TSA. Nowadays, we would not even think of it, unless we had a full 5 hours, and then, would probably do Nico's, or Mitch's, and not go into town, or toward Waikiki.

      Enjoy,

      Hunt

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bill Hunt

        three hours gives them time to go from terminal to terminal, from wing to wing, to seek out the 'best' place. maybe call the airport to look online to see a list of eateries. we usually just eat at burger king and read the paper, lol.

        where are you traveling from/to?

      2. Options are limited at the airport, as others have described, but 3 hours MIGHT be enough time depending on the day and time. If you are specific about the day/time of your layover, and which way you are going, advice would be more reliable.

        If it is a low-traffic time (both TSA and highway), and you don't mind paying for expensive cab fare, Nicos and Uncles are within reach, but it could be risky during heavy traffic times.

        1. Do you have to go through security between the interisland and overseas terminal?

          Layover is about 12.10 PM to 3.10 PM on a Sunday.

          3 Replies
          1. re: blkery

            If you are coming in from Neighbor Islands connecting to the main terminal you don't have to go thru TSA security, but there is an Agricultural inspection...no fresh fruit or veggies or some leis, but won't slow you down. Mainland to interisland no TSA, no agriculture.

            This assumes your interisland flight is on Hawaiian; if it is Island Air of GO/Mokulele, you will have to go thru TSA before connecting. If you have to wait on luggage and re-check it you probably should just stay in the terminal.

            Sunday mid-day should be optimal for getting out, eating, and getting back....I would guess taxi fare at least $15 each way to Pier 38, but only a 10 minutes ride on Sunday at lunchtime. The one challenge might be getting the cab back to the airport from there at 1 or 130...probably not hard but you will have to call...certainly no cabs would be waiting or cruising that area.

            1. re: macaraca

              We were just there--lots of construction traffic out near Nico's. I would say allow at least a half an hour to get through traffic going back to the airport from Nico's. Our friends got stuck out there and they left plenty of time so they sill arrived at the airport with an hour to spare.

              1. re: dimsumgirl

                On Sunday? Lots of construction? Seems unlikely, but dimsumgirl says so.

                I feel a little like Suze Orman on "can I afford it?"...answering "can I get away from the terminal and back in 3 hours?"...on a Sunday, yes, probably no problem; is it a good idea, is it worth it? Probably not.

          2. There's not a lot near the airport I would want to take the time to go to. That said, there's not a whole lot in the airport. The food in the Interisland Terminal is passable, but unimpressive. Knowing how long it takes to get anywhere in Oahu, and how long it takes to get through TSA, etc at the Interisland Terminal, I dont think you have enough time to get anywhere worth it. FWIW...that is just my opinion. I am a Kauai resident, I go through that terminal multiple times a year.