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May 20, 2014 07:18 PM

Suggestions for a long stay on oahu and maui?

My fiancée and I will be celebrating our honeymoon in early July and will be spending 9 days in waikiki followed by 7 days on maui. Thus far we haven't really planned any food except for the feast at Lele for our one luau. Also I'm positive that well hit the shrimp trucks on the north shore of oahu one day as well.

Beyond that I'm all ears for ideas for a newlywed couple. We might want one or two nice dinners but mostly will be looking for stuff in the diners drive ins and dives realm. We love finding the local spots, but she's not as adventurous an eater as I am. I want to find some good poke but it has to be a place that has other stuff as well because she won't do raw fish.

So fellow chow hounders anything you can give me would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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  1. Search for "plate lunch" (kalua pork, lau lau, chicken long rice, lomi lomi salmon, poi, etc) or "local food" for the kind of stuff you're looking for. Check out menus online. Will she try Hawaiian food?

    On Oahu, for Hawaiian food, Helena's is a board fave but has long lines & closes for school holidays. You don't say when you're on Oahu (4th of July?) but I would make sure to call ahead.

    In Honolulu, I hope you have a rental car reserved, for multiple days, since you mention the North Shore. Otherwise try to become familiar with the bus system. The really good stuff isn't all in Waikiki.

    You can get takeout poke at Ono Seafood on Kapahulu Ave and she could get something else takeout from the many other restaurants on that stretch of road--Zippy's or Rainbow Drive In perhaps. They have a small picnic table outside.

    Don't miss out either on the farmers markets, Japanese food, shave ice, Leonard's malasadas, or drinks and apps (only apps not dinner) at House without a Key, potentially followed by a nice dinner at Orchids or Roy's, nearby. Or do Alan Wong's or Chef Mavro, for your splurge dinner.

    Oahu guide:

    Where to Eat What in Honolulu:

    Oahu eats:

    For Maui, where are you staying? You definitely need a rental car to get around. Most people stay in West Maui or South Maui. However, some of the DDD ish places are in Upcountry.

    West Maui cheap eats:

    West Maui and Upcountry eats:

    South Maui eats

    For a fancier dinner on Maui I would choose either Merriman's or Mama's Fish House. Merriman's has better food & an actual view of the sunset. But Mama's has amazing atmosphere and feels especially "Hawaii."

    For poke, Eskimo Candy in Kihei is good and also offers cooked fish, fish tacos, etc. And so does Fish Market Maui in Honokowai.

    Do not miss Ululani's Shave Ice, mangoes at Yee's Orchards, Kihei Caffe in Kihei, or Local Food in Lahaina. The latter two are definitely in the DDD category.

    6 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for the long reply! I will definitely be doing some research into these!

      For additional info it makes a difference:

      * She will definitely be willing to try Hawaiian food, and can usually find stuff she'll eat at fine dining places. She's just not going to try raw fish, etc.

      * In Waikiki we're staying at the Reef condos adjacent to Fort DeRussey park. We are not renting a car for the whole week, but are planning to use public transportation a bit, and rent cars on probably a couple days to check out other areas (obviously North Shore day is a car rental, probably rent another car too if there's something else interesting we want to check out).

      * On Maui we're staying at the Sands of Kahana which appears to be in the far Northwest corner of the Island. We'll have a car for that entire week. One thing we definitely want to check out is the road to Hana...any good eats for that trip?

      Thanks again so much for these great suggestions! Both of our properties have kitchens so I can definitely see a day or two of a farmer's market and local fish place to just cook at our room as well.

      I'll definitely be reading up on these other threads you posted as well.

      1. re: hammb

        On the way to Hana, a lot of people like Aunty Sandy's Banana Bread. It's a slight detour on the RTH since it's on the Keanae Peninsula.

        Nutcharee’s Authentic Thai Food in Hana, is also well regarded. Tuesday through Friday only.

      2. re: kathryn

        ease her into raw fish by introducing her to seared ahi sashimi. when you get fresh raw fish, the taste and texture is incredible.

        in addition to ono seafood (best poke, they use sashimi grade ahi), try uncles: short drive from waikiki. their poke tower is excellent. for this dish they also use sashimi grade ahi. you can find aforementioned seared ahi sashimi here, and they have a large menu of more familiar dishes.

        nicos, which i have yet to try, is next door.

        1. re: kathryn

          Your link to West Maui eats is the same as your link to Oahu eats ( Do you have the link to West Maui eats?

          1. Since you're 9 days in a Waikiki condo, I'd recommend a run to Foodland Supermarket in Ala Moana Shopping Center early on in your stay to stock up on locally grown food to sample.. For example in the produce section you'll find Maui Gold Pineapple, apple bananas, papayas, dragon fruit, maybe mangoes and local avocados (not the Hass type). Meadow Gold's POG (passion fruit, orange and guava) juice is very popular as is Portuguese sausage. Foodland also has poke bowls which a lot of people like.

            There is a bus route (can't remember the number right now) which circles between Ala Moana Shopping Circle and Waikiki. There is a stop very close to the Reef Hotel

            5 Replies
            1. re: honu2

              Awesome advice, honu, thanks! I do think we will be doing just that. With our long stay we're looking to at least eat breakfasts and simple lunches at the condo. That way we can save our food budget for dinners out.

              1. re: hammb

                Try making some King's Hawaiian bread French toast. I like topping mine with apple bananas, or some sort of fruit jam. Guava, pineapple, or papaya jam, or lilikoi (passionfruit) butter. You can also buy lilikoi cream cheese, and spread it on bagels. You can also buy tropical pancake mixes like pineapple coconut, at the grocery store. Local Hawaiian coffee is great too. Or keep it simple: scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fresh fruit. We love to have breakfast on our lanai as the sun rises.

                Takeout poke bowls and plate lunches make a nice lunch, too.

                1. re: kathryn

                  french toast w/taro bread is good too, great idea kathryn.

                  have you tried eggs, rice, and spam for breakfast, lol? mcdonald's has it on their menu, but i'd switch up the spam for portuguese sausage.

                  also make sure to try a loco moco while you're here, hamburger patty over rice topped with a fried egg and brown gravy.

                  something i want to try is mac and cheese pancakes at morning glass cafe.

                  1. re: indelibledotink

                    Indelible, didn't you used to live in NYC? Am guessing Morning Glass is copying the famous Mac & Cheese pancakes at Shopsin's. It's great with hot sauce.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      2001-2002. morning glass did get the idea from shopsins, there was an article review where they acknowledged their inspiration. i miss nyc sometimes.

            2. Ono Kau Kau is my favorite plate lunch location in western Maui, total hole-in-the-wall but feels very local.

              Dollie's Cafe & Pub has decent pizza, my husband and I usually go there once or twice when we visit Maui.

              For nice restaurants, we love Merriman's in Kapalua. Great wine list, wonderful atmosphere and service. Lahaina Grill is good too, but I prefer Merriman's as my "fancy" western Maui restaurant. And if you or your wife likes prime rib, Kimo's is great (hubby still talks about it).

              Brunch at the Plantation House is nice, gorgeous views.

              It's worth a trip over to Surfing Goat Dairy, lots of adorable goats and delicious cheeses and chocolate truffles. The drive to the dairy is nice too with some different landscapes than western Maui.

              And if you're up for a longer road trip, a visit to Bully's Burgers is fun. Really good burgers on a desolate wind-swept part of Maui. We combined this with a trip to Haleakala.

              Not food related, but definitely hit up Honolua Bay for snorkeling. Lots of fishies and also turtles and dolphins!

              1. I like to sign up to websites like, LivingSocial or Groupon before I head out to the islands..HNL/OGG/LIH and get great deals on food, fun stuff for cheap.