***Honolulu /Oahu Guide***
We will be visiting Honolulu/Oahu shortly and would appreciate some advice on where to eat!
1. What is the best place for Hawaiian food?
2. What is the best place for seafood?
3. Are there any farmers markets or anything like that?
3. Anything else we should know about in Honolulu and on the island that cannot be missed?
Thank you in advance! Cannot wait...
2. Depends on your preference. Cooked? Raw? Cuisine type?
3. Yes there are.
4. Depends on your preferences. Unless you state your dining preferences it is kind of hard to give you recommendations.
Where are you staying? Waikiki, like most visitors?
Will you have a car? This is very important as many of the best places are not near Waikiki.
Where are you traveling from? Your profile is empty....
Where to Eat What in Honolulu:
1. What do you mean by Hawaiian food? Foods unique to Hawaii?
This can mean Pacific Rim/Hawaiian fusion (Roy's, Alan Wong, Chef Mavro, etc) or it can mean plate lunch or it can mean produce grown on or seafood local to Hawaii. Hopefully you can get a bit of all three!
I had a hard time finding local Hawaiian food (poke, plate lunch, malasadas, etc.) in Waikiki last year. The main drag is pretty touristy. But once you go outside Waikiki or off the main drag, it's much easier to find.
I think in general, though, Helena's is probably the CH board favorite for plate lunch type dishes. BUT their hours & long lines may not work for your schedule. It's not a short walk/bus ride from Waikiki either. Depends on where you're staying and if you have a car or not.
Open Tuesday thru Friday: 10:30 A.M. to 7:30 P.M.
For local style eats, if you are staying near the eastern side of Waikiki, just go up Kapahulu Ave.
Ono Seafood, Ono Hawaiian, Haili's Hawaiian, Rainbow Drive In, Side Street Inn are all located on this stretch of road.
2. Define seafood you are looking for. Kauai shrimp, Big Island abalone, Kona lobsters, ahi tuna poke... And if fish, what kind of fish? There are many kinds you cannot find on the mainland. Fresh opakapaka (red snapper) is one of my favorites.
See a list of Hawaiian fish here:
And you should look poke specialists (ex: Ono Seafood) as *totally* separate from from other restaurants.
3. The biggest and most popular market is the Saturday morning KCC Farmer's market. 7:30am. Very crowded, very hard to find parking. Lots of tour groups.
If you go, check out Ono Pops, North Shore Farms (famous for their tomatoes and pizza), Marine Agrifuture Sea Asparagus (free samples of their sea asparagus), Grandma G’s (prepared foods), Monkeypod Jams, The Pig & the Lady, Big Island abalone, Made in Hawaii Foods (esp. the strawberry-adzuki bean mochi and lilikoi butter), and PacifiKool syrups.
Especially the Pig & the Lady. They post their rotating menu online beforehand. So good! They also have a brick and mortar restaurant in Chinatown now as well.
4. Oahu seems to be best at Hawaiian food, Japanese, Korean, other East Asian, and much weaker in other cuisines so set your expectations appropriately. It is, after all, the most remote island chain on the planet.
However! Do you like Japanese? Honolulu is a Japanese food heaven due to the many tourists who come from Japan, so hit up some sushi, ramen, izakaya, udon, kaiseki, etc. if you can. Marukame Udon, Sushi Izakaya Gaku, Nanzan GiroGiro, Ramen Nakamura, etc.
And don't forget to get shave ice, Leonard's malasadas, or drinks and apps (only apps not dinner) at House without a Key.
Here's also a recent thread on Oahu eats: