From DC to Oahu for a week : June 12-18th
Would like to know a few good happy hour places to end the day.
Some good local chow places where locals can afford to eat.
Good Pho place. Or great food truck, or farm/flea markets
Notable breakfast places, and things not to miss while there chow wise.
***Honolulu /Oahu Guide***
Where to Eat What in Honolulu:
Looks like your focus is on the inexpensive/cheap eats end of the spectrum and you don't have room in your budget for Roy's, Alan Wong, Chef Mavro, etc.? Would be a nice addition if you can get it to work. These guys basically defined Hawaiian Regional Cuisine as a thing.
Otherwise, I would focus on:
- Japanese: would be good if you can get something slightly higher end in there though, like the $50pp prix fixe at Nanzan GiroGiro, and there's also lots of other inexpensive options
- Plate lunch at somewhere like Ono, Haili's
- Poke at Ono Seafood
- Shave ice - for the best options, take the car, do a search on here for "shave ice"
- Local fish & seafood - everywhere
- Local fruits and vegetables - everywhere but particularly...
- The Saturday morning KCC Farmer's market esp. the Pig & the Lady if you like Vietnamese, they also have a brick & mortar location
See the two threads I linked above for many ideas.
Also, for local style eats, you can take a long walk from Waikiki (or take the bus) to go up Kapahulu Ave where you will find Ono Seafood, Ono Hawaiian, Haili's Hawaiian, Rainbow Drive In, Side Street Inn, and more.
For breakfast, Chef Lee Anne Wong just opened the Koko Head Cafe. Sunday brunch at Orchids at the Halekulani is also popular but I found it not worth the $$$. Probably doesn't make sense to splurge on this if you're on a budget, anyway.
More breakfast recs here:
My fave happy hour places are Hula Grill and Dukes at the Outrigger next to the Moana Surfrider...$4 mai tais and great calamari..everyday.
Roy's Waikiki is excellent and love their Ahi Poke and Hamachi for apps on the patio..
House without a key is fab for drinks and apps with Aloha music.
Sheraton Rumfire and Royal Hawaiian for drinks at the famous Mai Tai bar..
Leonard's for malasadas.
Top of Waikiki for happy hour is old school and great views with rotating resto.
Get the free 101 things to do booklets all over the island...2 for 1 coupon for Moose's for breakfast..actual quite good on Lewers.
ABC store for Hinano Tahiti beer six pack and souvenirs.
Aloha and report back!
For breakfast I recommend Liliha Bakery. There's just a counter, so if you have a group of more than two people it might not work out, but it is diner food done right, and the hotcakes are delicious.
I agree with the recommendations for Side Street Inn (delicious local style bar food), Ono Seafood (poke bowl, takeout only), Ono Hawaiian Foods, and Rainbow Drive In (plate lunch). Unless you are avoiding pork, do try Hawaiian food at least once...I also recommend Helena's Hawaiian Food and Young's Fish Market for this.
Visit Leonard's or Champion to try malasadas, but make sure to eat them hot. Shimazu Store is one of my favorite places for shave ice. I'm under the impression the best pho places are in Chinatown, as there's one that made it into the upper reaches of the Zagat guide, but I haven't been there myself.
Also in Chinatown and highly recommended: Royal Kitchen for baked manapua and rice cake, Char Hung Sut for steamed manapua, and the Pig and the Lady for Vietnamese fusion.
hopefully that location will draw the crowd away from the liliha liliha bakery, i live close by and once i start eating more carbs, i'll be getting those waffles.
if you have a huge appetite for breakfast, hit wailana coffeehouse in waikiki for all you can eat pancakes for $5 and change. comes with meat and eggs too.
uncle clay's house of pure aloha in aina haina has shave ice that will blow your mind! other shave ice is crude compared to clay's pure and crisp sweet notes of fruit. ten minute drive from town on off peak hours.