HOME > Chowhound > Hawaii >


Honolulu Trip in March staying at RH - help me fill in trip intinerary

We are staying at the Royal Hawaiian so I need a bit of help with some breakfast options

Is there a good place inside of or outside of the PCC for lunch, my understanding is that they put on a good show but the luau food is lacking or are we better off bringing our own snacks

On the way to Pearl Harbor same question?

Which is the good sticky rice and garlic shrimp truck?

Ok so far here is the trip, help me fill in the blanks

Day 1:
Drinks and Apps at House with a Hidden Key
Late Dinner: Not sure what to go with here...was thinking Lucky Belly because it seems like it is just walk in, Is Lucky Belly BYOB? It seems like good food to soak up some Mai Tai's with - Side Street Inn was the other option, it seemed to be well regarded, but the menu didn't look that amazing to me (didn't look bad either) - so is it a must go to?

Day 2: Dinner, after scuba diving all day I was thinking either Nanzan GiroGiro or Sushi Izakaya Gaku

Day 3: Where to lunch at - was thinking ono seafood
Dinner we have Alan Wong's

Day 4: Lunch Someplace on the way to PCC / Pearl Harbor
Dinner: The Pig and Lady

Day 5: Lunch: someplace on the way to PCC / Pearl Harbor
Dinner: nanzan Giro Giro or Sushi (whichever we did not get to)

Day 6: lunch Ono Hawaiian Food
Dinner: ?? What have we missed

Final Day: what else do we need to try!

There will be some shave ice in there somewhere
Ailana Shave Ice
Waiola Shave Ice
--- these are the top two places to try it at correct?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Overall, your schedule doesn't take into account what is closed on certain days of the week. Or how tired/jet lagged you may be. I don't see a visit to Leonard's or the KCC Sat AM farmers market?

    See KaimukiMan's breakfast list here:

    Oahu shrimp trucks:

    Day 1: I assume you mean House Without a Key.

    Lucky Belly's site says $15 corkage unless the wine is younger than 5 years. So I'd assume yes, BYOB.

    However at this point your body may still be on mainland time so I wouldn't count on making it to a late dinner. I usually wake up at 4-5am the first few days I am in Hawaii.

    Day 2: You will need a reservation for Nanzan GiroGiro or Sushi Izakaya Gaku. Both are small and fairly popular. Nanzan GiroGiro is closed Tues-Weds. Gaku is closed Sundays.

    Also Nanzan GiroGiro is counter seating only with two seating times a night. I don't think you can just walk right in... So it'll be either 6pm or 8pm. Are you sure you want a long tasting menu after a full day of snorkeling and possibly being up very early on Mainland schedules?

    Day 3: Love Ono Seafood but mind their hours. Closed Tuesdays, what day of the week is this for?

    Day 4/5: Do you already have your USS Arizona Memorial tickets? The advance reservations may already be sold out for your favored dates in March.

    Are you certain that you'll have time for lunch "on the way" to Pearl Harbor given that you have to pick up tickets an hour ahead? It's good to reserve those tickets now and make sure you account for time to have lunch, drive there (and any potential traffic), and finding parking. Many visitors also prefer to go to PH in the early morning due to the heat.

    Day 5 dinner: what day of the week is this? Nanzan GiroGiro is closed Tues-Weds. Gaku is closed Sundays.

    Day 6: Note that Ono Hawaiian is also closed Sundays. What day of the week is this for?

    I liked our visit to Ono's a lot but I think the general consensus is that Helena's is the best, but she's only open Tues-Fri.

    I'm surprised Matsumoto's and Shimazu Store (closed Mondays) aren't on your shave ice list.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      Kathryn pretty much nailed it.

      I like Lucky Belly, but after cocktails and pupu's at house without a key, are you going to want more food? I also like side street inn. The various menu items are best served family style and are really just heavy pupu's, not entrees, but generous servings. If you order one per person and an order or double order of fried rice you will go home with leftovers. Either Side Street is closer to Waikiki than Lucky Belly. Lucky Belly is also in a part of Honolulu that is a little bit sketchy and makes some people uncomfortable at night. Urban dwellers don't seem as likely to be perturbed as suburbanites.

      You might consider the "food court" at Shirokiya at Ala Moana on the way to Pearl Harbor. You can pick up food to go (bentos) that you can eat while waiting at Pearl Harbor. They open at 9:30am Oh, the food court is on the upper level of Shirokiya. There is some food on the mall level, but the full experience is upstairs.

    2. #1 LB is BYOB (no corkage if 08' or older) otherwise $15-
      #2 Like them both a lot but Gaku definitely..
      #3 I like Wolfgang's (RHC) for Lunch (Hamburger or Mahi Mahi Special)
      A/W is always good but why not Azure where your staying and enjoy the ocean and great food.
      #4 P&L is nice for lunch but why waste a dinner? Not a PCC fan. Mitch's for SUSHI
      #5 Kan Zaman or Lucky Belly or Hasr for lunch , then Dinner Giro Giro for dinner(closed tue wed I think).
      #6 Le Bistro for dinner or Michel's or Mavro

      Shave Ice = Shimazu Store

      1. Re: Shave Ice:
        There is good shave ice in different parts of Oahu:

        My favorite shave ice on my last trip was Mountain Magic, a booth in front of the Sports Authority store in Waikele.

        Shimazu Store is my second favorite and worth a stop. The best variety of syrups.

        Ailana is great also, near Ala Moana Shopping Center. Great homemade toppings.

        Waiola Market is a mile or so north of Waikiki, but has a branch within walking distance of Waikiki. High quality ice, but skimpy in both ice, syrup and service.

        In Kaimuki, people swear by Your Kitchen.

        Matsumoto's is the most famous, but only go if you're headed to the North Shore, which doesn't seem to be on your itinerary. Personally, it's not that great.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Ogawak

          i forget where, but i saw a poster for a new style of shave ice, where the creamy sorbet type dessert is in very thin ribbons. perhaps it was palama market on kalakaua?

            1. re: kathryn

              that's it!

              but not from frost city; seems like it's branched out since the 2012 article.

            2. re: indelibledotink

              I've seen a number of places in Honolulu for Taiwanese shave snow over the past few years. Instead of water, the ice is made either from a soy solution or a non-dairy. Very flaky and light. They like to add mochi, sweet bean, various fruits for toppings.

          1. Aloha Dapuma!
            We stayed at the RH last September and love the old world elegance of this resort.

            House without a Key is such a great place for sunset drinks and Hawaiian music.
            Halekulani is a stunning property and Lewers Lounge sounds like your kind of place with high end spirits..I'm always dressed to casual and believe they require jackets/long pants/evening attire for men..you know our beloved Bill Hunt would be there!

            Roy's Waikiki is the best and they have an outside patio across the street from the HWAK Hukalani Resort and I would suggest going for some ot the best Hamachi app and Ahi Poke evah.
            I'm still craving the poke and the Hamachi..some of the best I've ever had in the islands.

            This is not the Roy's you might know...Roy is sometimes there and the GM, Diva, has so much Aloha and is so beloved.

            Rumfire at the Sheraton Waikiki next door is quite good and the happy hour at the Top of the Waikiki has great views with the rotating resto.

            Giovanni's Shrimp Truck in North Shore is my fave for the Garlic Shrimp with 2 scoops and then hit up Matsumoto's for the shave ice.

            Royal Hawaiian has the classic Mai Tai Bar which is a classic oceanfront bar and Azure is very good.

            Pineapple Room or Mariposa at Neiman Marcus for lunch at the Ala Moana.

            The Bus is very efficient around the island and you can rent a car for the day or two at the Entreprise off of Lewers, so you don't have the pricey $40+ a day car fee per diam.

            We have breakfast sometimes at Moose's on Lewers for the 2 for 1 breakfast coupon and its pretty decent and you can get them in the back of the '101 Things To Do in HNL' books that are on the street corners.

            Hiking Diamondhead, make sure you stop at the truck in the parking lot by the bathrooms at trailhead for the best $3 fresh pineapple slices..what a deal!

            Happy Hour at Hula Grill and Dukes at the Outrigger is a good time to get the party going.
            Beach House bar at the Moana under the Banyan tree is lovely.

            I bring a small collapsible cooler with coosies (sp) and get a 6pk of Hinano beer at the ABC store and swim and drink my beer in front of the RH..just hanging since there really is no surf and it doesn't get no better than that.. be sly about it since its a not allowed. ; )

            Have fun and you are going to love O'ahu.


            10 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              Here is the dress code for Lewer's Lounge.

              Lewers Lounge is open nightly from 7:30 pm to 1:00 am. Enjoy llve entertainment 8:30 pm to midnight, Sunday through Thursday and 8:30 pm to 12:30 am, Friday & Saturday.
              Attire: Evening attire for the ladies. No t-shirts, shorts or beachwear. Dress shirt, slacks and covered shoes for gentlemen.

              I was just there and really had a nice time. Although I do not like the exploitively spicy nuts they serve.

              There is a new place in Kailua that a lot of people like for shave ice. Kailua General Store on Hamakua sort of near the Safeway on the side of the wetland preserve.

              I have had a lot of great meals at Soul de Cuba which is right across from the Hawaii Theatre.

              1. re: manomin

                manomin, how well enforced is the dress code at Lewer's Lounge? I can't imagine a roomful of men wearing dress shirts and women wearing "evening attire."

                1. re: honu2

                  Very Enforced, no exceptions.
                  We're there monthly and I see many guests being turned away for sandals (slippers) or shorts...

                  1. re: russkar

                    Agree. You are not going to even get away with an aloha shirt and slacks. They do not require a tie.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      for me, an aloha shirt *IS* a dress shirt

                      1. re: macsak

                        Manomin says they let her guy in, but I know people who were turned away dressed as she described. But shorts and slippers are not going to cut it.

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          No definitely not shorts/slippers. They have a jazz show featuring Robert Cazimero that looks like a nice night. Somehow we get let in all over! Not sure why!

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              What? 'Fraid?! Someone once told me I'm somewhat "direct"……………Even in Chicago at really fancy places we just go as we are/would be here and just march right in, get the best service and have a wonderful time. All my Chicago friends say "you can't go to that (food) event you don't have the right clothes." Au Contraire, we just go and end up meeting everyone, hang out and are always glad we went. I am thinking of the jazz show with the MIL……...

                      2. re: KaimukiMan

                        Scott always has a nice aloha shirt or some silk shirt on, untucked with nice denim pants, last time I wore velvet leggings, a leopard print shirt and sandals. Mostly how we dress sometimes I might have a dress on. Never a problem in fact everyone is super nice to us!

              2. Nico's at Pier 38 is on the way to or from Pearl Harbor, so is La Tour for sandwiches; either might work well to take out and eat at PH while you wait for your ticket time.

                3 Replies
                1. re: macaraca

                  I was just reading about a new restaurant there called "Schooner's" which from their website looks pretty nice. Right on the water, nice setting. The chef is Phillip Paolo which if anyone remembers, he had a restaurant of his name about 27 years ago or so on Beretania. Amazing food there. I am going to PH on the 26th and thinking of having my lunch there. I'll let everyone know if I do.

                  1. re: manomin

                    I've not heard good things about it. But will be interested to hear your review. But then I didn't think much of Phillip Paolo either, at least not after the first 6 or 8 months.

                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      Well if I go (it's a thing from church) I'll let you know. The MIL is here then so we may not be able to make the early tour……………I just think back to what a wasteland it was for dining here back from when I moved here in 1985 and I did find his place a beacon of light, plus we could walk there from that apartment we lived in Makiki……I think the whole of it would fit in the dining room you hung out in at my house during the Christmas party!

                2. Ok it will not let me edit however this is the revised version

                  Day 1: Thurs - Drinks and Apps at House with a Hidden Key
                  good call on the 3 hour time difference might not make it too late after the flight and time change

                  Day 2: Fri - Dinner at Nanzan Giro Giro -

                  Breakfast Lilihana Bakery - is their food good or just their baked products, need a real breakfast before scuba diving all day

                  Day 3: Sat - Dinner at Alan Wong's
                  Breakfast / Lunch = ?? We could do the farmer's market here...
                  Day 4: Sun - Open - ??

                  Day 5: Mon - USS Arizona this day - Lunch Ono Seafood
                  will try the Sushi Place for dinner, but they only take reso's up til 7

                  Day 6: Tuesday - PCC this day so dinner ???
                  Lunch: Helena's

                  Day 7: last day half day...?? perhaps the food court for something to go on the plane back...if we haven't gone to leonards by then we will for sure this morning

                  The PCC seems like an all day thing, so if we want to see the show which starts are ~ 7PM then will a lunch at Helena's keep taken care of so we can avoid the bad luau food they serve there?

                  So I need something for Sunday - Pig and Lady is closed Sunday Monday which is when I was aiming to check them out

                  Sushi Izakaya Gaku, is closed Sunday's and the 2nd Monday of each month, Tuesday perhaps on the way back from PCC it would work if not Lucky Belly should do the job

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: Dapuma

                    Liliha Bakery has a great breakfast; Try their loco moco.

                    1. re: Dapuma

                      Seems like you're short on places to eat breakfast. You might want to try Cafe Kalia, which is in the Market City shopping center, off Kapahulu Ave. close to where one get onto H-1 from Waikiki. However, it is very popular with Japanese tourists so there normally is a wait.

                      Not sure whether you intend to hit Kailua on the way to PCC or as a destination. Kailua has a few good breakfast places, i.e, Boots and Kimo (also popular with Japanese tourists), Cinnamon's and Moke's Bread and Breakfast. You could always buy coffee and a few malasadas from Agnes Bake Shop and have a breakfast picnic at Kailua Beach Park.

                      1. re: honu2

                        What's good at Cafe Kalia? The menu doesn't really catch my interest, seems fairly ordinary and not very Hawaiian/different from the Mainland? So am I missing something?

                        1. re: kathryn

                          What do you think a "Hawaiian" breakfast is or should be? Not all of us eat loco mocos or kim chee fried rice for breakfast.

                          1. re: honu2

                            Of course you can eat whatever you want for breakfast! But as a visitor, I am personally looking for something different from what I can get at home. Something more local.

                            Does Cafe Kalia have a signature item? What do you recommend there?

                            Why are they popular?

                            1. re: kathryn

                              Cafe Kalia is a regular breakfast place. Japanese tourists flock there because it's been written up in their tourist brochures unlike the restaurant next door called Anytime Cafe which therefore is not crowded.. They all seem to be ordering the same thing, which is cappuchino and pancakes topped with whipped cream and fruit. I suppose if your regular breakfast is miso soup and rice, then what's being ordered/eaten is exotic and maybe even "Hawaiian" in the eye of the beholder.

                              The foods that I associate with breakfast which would make the meal more "local" would be: poha jam and guava jelly instead of strawberry or grape; the availability of POG (passion-orange-guava) to replace orange and tomato juice; papaya and fresh pineapple available in addition to grapefruit or melon; portuguese sausage or fried spam in addition to ham or bacon; rice being served as a side to eggs instead of potatoes; coconut syrup or guava syrup instead of maple on pancakes. And the availability of 100% Kona (or more rarely Ka`u or Molokai) coffee and Portguese sweet bread. In my view, one can mix and match any of these elements to add a local flavor to breakfast.

                        2. re: honu2

                          Yes short on breakfast places for sure

                          Other than the few pastry shops nothing really stuck out at me

                          Loco Moco (mahi) or Kim Chee and rice sounds good to me, I think Mrs D would agree as well, some unique island fare would be great - breakfastwise

                          We can get regular breakfast here anytime, I do not like Spam but Mrs D does if that helps

                          Does Leonards have breakfast as well or do they just do donuts

                          1. re: Dapuma

                            Just malasadas, pastries, etc. no hot food/eggs/bacon etc.

                          1. re: kathryn

                            What is a good replacement for Ono Seafood ?? That was the one place Mrs D found on her own and was really excited to go to
                            48 hours to go!!!

                            1. re: Dapuma

                              someone said ono seafood is at one of the farmers markets on saturdays, check the thread you just posted in. i am really excited to go there too!

                              1. re: Dapuma

                                Depending on where you are on the island, for poke bowls you can check out Local Cravings in Kalihi, Tersty Treats in Waimanalo, Tanioka's in Waipahu, or Da Poke Man in Wahiawa. Oh, and maybe you'll have better luck, but this past weekend, Ono Seafood wasn't at the Ward Farmer's Market on Saturday like they usually are. Not sure if that's related to the renovation or not.

                                1. re: killersmile

                                  seems like local cravings and Tamashiro's would be the closest to the Royal Hawaiian

                                  is one better than the other or are they pretty interchangable

                                  1. re: Dapuma

                                    Didn't realize Tamashiro's does poke bowls. I guess you learn something new all the time. If you want variety, Tamashiro's has Local Cravings beat by a mile. It's where I usually go to get my poke since it's the most convenient for me. I do prefer the flavor of the shoyu ahi poke at Local Cravings though (it skews slightly sweet - think yamasa shoyu versus kikkoman or aloha shoyu as a comparison). Another option would be Kyung's Seafood, although I usually go there for sashimi, not poke. But since she uses the same fish, it should be good as well.

                                2. re: Dapuma

                                  Tamashiro's Fish Market in Kalihi has a poke counter with a good reputation. Alicia's Market, also in Kalihi has good poke as well, along with good laulau, pasteles, etc. Take out only at both places...and at the lunch hour parking may be difficult, just to warn you.

                                  1. re: Dapuma

                                    in another thread on poke i posted that times liliha has a new poke counter! more like a bar, really.

                                    there is previously frozen poke in a lot of varieties, most $7.99/lb. i really liked the korean style, and i couldn't tell that it was made with frozen ahi. i ate it alongside fresh shoyu ahi poke which was very very delicious.

                                    yes, they have an assortment of FRESH poke, most for $11.99/lb. the previous time i ate there i had the fresh limu ahi poke and the fresh oyster sauce poke over rice. both excellent.

                                    not sashimi grade as someone said ono seafood has, but much better than foodland which is a lot of people's favorite, and voted tops in the newspaper quite a bit. (their fish pokes are previously frozen fish and you can kinda tell they have been from the texture. i still like them, though, but even times' previously frozen are better.)