Waikiki 11/26 - 12/07
I am staying in a condo at the Ilikai and will not have a car so will be dependent on my feet and the bus/trolley for transportation. I've done some research, but I don't see a lot on this board specific to Waikiki Beach/Ala Moana/Downtown area. Looking for good, cheap eats and drinks. I am not necessarily looking for high end dining, but am not opposed to a one night splurge. Happy hours are good. Mom and pop places are good. Dives with good drinks and food are good. I realize this may be a tall order being in the midst of tourist heaven and hotels, but would appreciate any suggestions my fellow chowhounders may have.
I promise to report back after my trip.
Ilikai is a good choice especially with a mini kitchen.
Locally HH are pretty good at Wolfgang's, Doraku, Il Lupino, BLT, all in and around Royal Hawaiian Center.
Ala Moana has Morton's , Longhi's and Signature Steakhouse.
across the street from the illikai is red lobster and outback. neither is cheap, but i really like them both, although most people here dont like red lobster... i love it (good value).
across ala moana blvd is discovery bay center. bars, indian restaurant, seafood buffet todai (i have never been, heard the food is so so).
behind discovery bay (mauka, or away from the ocean) are some other restaurants, i like the pho at the vietnamese place. you'll find the irish rose saloon, kinda divey, above it.
cheeseburger waikiki is on kalakaua at the corner of ala moana blvd, i really like them, but most chowhounders seem not to care for them or sister restaurant cheeseburger in paradise.
kitty korner is keos thai. i have not eaten there yet. it's a fancier place.
also in the area if you head mauka on kalakaua tucked away on dudoit lane is the hideaway bar. can't get much divier.
I second the recommendation for eating at Ala Moana if you are looking for food that is both good and cheap. There is a decent looking food court in International Marketplace, but I would say overall when eating in Waikiki, you will have to pick either good or cheap (and sometimes you will end up with neither, unfortunately). The Ala Moana food court is decent, and Shirokiya is budget destination dining.
If you like Japanese food, I have heard Marukame Udon, Iyasume Musubi, and Ringer Hut in Waikiki are good and cheap, but I haven't been personally. The Waikiki Menus tourist magazine has a long and detailed list of happy hour specials. There are boxes where you can pick up the magazine on the sidewalks in Waikiki and also at the airport.