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Ethnic and other affordable eating options near the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu

  • p

Will be at the resort for 5 days at the end of March and won't have a car. Looking for lunch and dinner options away from the resort that are yummy and within walking distance. Local, all types of ethnic, nothing fancy.

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  1. Best bet for modest, not fancy, may be to walk to Ala Moana shopping center for the Japanese food court Yataimura inside Shirokiya 2nd floor. About a 20 minute walk, but there are numerous other options in the main food court as well, although the yummy factor may be lower. The only one there I really like is Don Don Donburi which has its own small seating area that is less of a zoo than the general seating.

    3 Replies
    1. re: macaraca

      Lots of japanese and korean restaurants in the Ala Moana/Keeaumoku area as well.

      1. re: killersmile

        Ramen: Yotteko-ya, Santouka, Kiwami, or Kai.
        Udon: Yuzu
        Soba: I-naba
        Nabe: Ichiriki
        local: Side Street Inn
        Japanese: Michinoku, Yaki Yaki Miwa, Izakaya Tairyo, Ojiya
        Korean: 678 Hawaii, Sikdorak, Yakiniku Lulu Rara, So Gong Dong
        Shirokiya Yataimura

      2. re: macaraca

        I vote for Ala Moana Shopping Center for variety of ethnic food; not the best, but OK for introduction. Next time you visit Hawaii, spend at least one month to really enjoy all the ethnic foods of Hawaii.

      3. ala moana food court
        keeaumoku/kapiolani area
        don quijote

        1. Thnak you all!! Any breakfast sugesstions?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Priya

            wailana coffee shop
            eggs and things
            mac 24/7
            arancino/arancino de mare had breakfast stuff previously

            1. re: Priya

              Tango, Cream Pot, Yogurstory - although I don't think these places are cheap, they aren't outrageous either
              I keep hearing good things about Goofy Cafe. Haven't been though. Will have to check it out next time I am in Waikiki.

              1. re: Priya

                Had breakfast twice at Goofy Cafe. Awesome eggs benny. My travel companion was not into breakfast so we only ate in the morning a couple of times.

              2. I stayed at the Ilikai for 12 days a few months ago, which is right next door. Goofy Cafe was awesome. Here is the link to my trip report - I hope it helps. We also dined at places in Ala Moana mall and further down on Waikiki. We did not have a car so walked everywhere we went for the most part. Have fun and know that I am sooo jealous!


                1. If you're a small eater, you can always buy a bento (local fare in a plastic container consisting of rice, some protein and vegetable) at the ABC stores in HHV and eat outdoors at a picnic table under the trees on the grounds of the Hale Koa Hotel. Hale Koa adjoins HHV and you get to it by going through the Diamond Head Tower of HHV or the beachside sidewalk. Hale Koa is a military hotel, but a lot of their restaurants are open to anyone.

                  1. I'd head up to the McCully Shopping Center, easy walking distance from HHV. It has Bistro A Un, a nice Japanese izakaya, Fook Yuen Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Hot Pot Heaven, Regal Diner for Hawaiian plate lunch, Pho777 Vietnamese Restaurant, Phuket Thai, Yotteko-ya Kyoto Ramen and Curry House Coco Ichibanya, the Japanese chain.

                    I also like Okonomiyaki Chibo in the Royal Hawaiian Center and on Kalakaua, Ezogiku and Ramen Nakamura.

                    Near Ala Moana mall is So Gong Dong Soondubu, Seoul Garden Yakiniku, Yakiniku Korea House, Shillawon Korean Restaurant and Million Restaurant.

                    Love ME BBQ as well.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: scottca075

                      I do believe Bistro A Un is gone. I think it's been over a year already.

                      1. re: scottca075

                        nix on ezogiku ramen, it's not BAD, but everytime i eat there i feel disappointed.

                        what exactly do you mean by ethnic? where are you from, and give us some examples of cuisines you have there.

                        1. re: indelibledotink

                          Actually, I think it is bad. I ate there last year and everyone in my family only took a couple of bites of their meal. No one wanted to finish their food.

                          1. re: killersmile

                            Yes, Bistro A'un is Neco Grill & Bar Hawaii now and on Ezogiku you have to go to the one on Kalakaua, across the street from Nakamura, not the one inside the Royal Hawaiian Center.

                            1. re: scottca075

                              That's the one I went to since Ramen Nakamura had a long line and my family didn't want to wait. One of the worst ramen I have ever had. On the other hand, their curry was decent.

                      2. The closest is Wailana coffee shop. Stick to breakfast items. Affordable and ethnic, leave Waikiki. Check prices for a one week bus pass, easy to get to alamoana/keeamoku and to ward centers

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          We had breakfast at Wailana this morning. It was truly mediocre. Boring pancakes, eggs drowning in grease, and an overcooked omelet. The toast was good, though.

                          Wouldn't go back, wouldn't recommend it.

                          Our breakfast at Goofy Cafe was outstanding. In fact, I think we're going back for dinner tonight.

                          1. re: bugsmum

                            heard good things about goofy cafe.

                            i love wailana's all you can eat pancakes! drooling just thinking about them, esp after a month on atkin's. did you use the coconut syrup? i love wailana even more after looking at prices at denny's and ihop.

                            1. re: bugsmum

                              where's goofy cafe?
                              what are the featured items?

                          2. Your best bet is probably to look for good Japanese food...some of the best Japanese food on the island is in Waikiki because the influx of tourists from Japan help support these establishments. I haven't been myself, but Iyasume Musubi and Bento is supposed to be really good and very affordable. I've also heard good things about Marukame Udon.

                            I have personally enjoyed Tonkatsu Ginza Barin and Jinroku for okonomiyaki, although these places are a little more expensive. I tend to go into Waikiki as a special occasion. Matsugen for soba and Kimukatsu for multi-layered tonkatsu are on my list for a future trip.

                            Ala Moana is easy to get to from Waikiki via public transportation, a bunch of shuttles go there and it is a major bus terminal. The food there will be more diverse and cheaper on the whole. Now that the International Marketplace is gone, I don't know if there's much local food in Waikiki...they used to have a decent looking food court.

                            The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center probably has some fast food breakfasts available at their food court, if you are really looking to save $ (Subway, stuff like that). Otherwise, Wailana. I happen to believe breakfast with a view of the ocean at a fancy shmancy resort is a worthwhile splurge experience once in a blue moon, but I wouldn't do it at HHV. Halekulani House Without a Key breakfast buffet or Hau Tree Lanai would be my choices, the food at both places for breakfast is excellent but you definitely pay for the view (although less than you would pay for the view at dinner). Of course you could just take a fast food breakfast to the beach and have the million dollar view and a cheap meal.

                            Also, food on Kapahulu is worth investigating if you can get out that way. Rainbow for plate lunch, Ono Hawaiian Foods, Side Street Inn...many good places.

                            1. sorry, but this question begs the question of ethnic relativity.

                              it just is and exists in the is-ness of the now.

                              <edit> just roll with it. ask the desk or concierge (there's no shame) where they would go on the cheap with family (but not a cab driver) </edit>.

                              friends live on Oahu and Maui and surprisingly the food court stuff is far beyond that on the mainland.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: hill food

                                i was going to say that too, but didn't want to get into the nitty gritty.

                                my previous question was trying to clarify what is 'normal' where she comes from. no answer.

                                must try for breakfast: wailana coffee house's all you can eat pancakes... cheaper than their regular pancake plates. under seven bucks! coconut syrup is pretty good, esp to someone who doesn't generally like coconut flavored sweets.

                                1. re: indelibledotink

                                  I've been craving some fried spam and egg with maybe some grilled fruit or a plate of poke.

                                  1. re: hill food

                                    Luckily for you your craving for fried spam and eggs can be easily quenched anywhere in the USA.

                                      1. re: hill food

                                        You can't have everything in life...there are no delis with great pastrami sandwiches here for instance, or world class French bakeries. There's just about no laulau on the mainland, except for the west coast and Vegas. That used to be my craving when I lived in the Midwest, and my attempt to make my own wasn't very close, even after I found taro leaves at the Asian market.

                                        On the other hand I saw poke on a menu in Minnesota, and one of the Asian markets there made Spam musubi and carried frozen poi and Noh mixes in their Hawaiian food section, so you never know. Can you get sushi grade ahi? Then you can make at least some kinds of poke.

                                        1. re: Quince

                                          I know and honestly I don't want everything to be available everywhere. it would take the fun out of things if we could have immediate local gratification.

                                          I'll wait.

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      i haven't encountered much grilled fruit here, even pineapple.

                                      even poke made with previously frozen ahi can be pretty good. i had a 1/2 lb each of korean and hawaiian style from foodland which was made w/frozen ahi from the phillipines. not the best, but still ono.