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Aug 1, 2014 07:54 PM

September itinerary_appreciate any feedback

Hubby’s first time in Waikiki – I have not been since 2006. (And it was for the Marathon not the eatin and beachin.)

We are staying on east side of Waikiki on Koa St., not far from the Hyatt. No car but we are happy to take The Bus. I am shooting for a good mix of beachy spots mixed in with budget-friendly fare.

(Couple of hours to kill between HNL arrival and time to pick up condo key so I am planning on our first meal/drink/ambiance @ Duke's... have a rezzie but we may be fine at the bar) ~

Duke’s Canoe Club for late lunch/bar/people watching
Blue Marlin, drinks & $5 tapas (‘til closing) OR?
Pick up food/coffee/liquor @ Food Pantry

Eggs’N’Things Express, breakfast
beach picnic, beach fare, lunch
Tiki Grill, drinks & dinner

Iyasume Musubi Cafe, breakfast and/or lunch.
House Without A Key, drinks & dinner

Leonard’s Bakery (this may happen earlier in the trip!)
Diamond Head hike
Lucky Belly, Chinatown, Honolulu – appreciate other suggestions, we may only make it into town this once? (LB is #4 on TA!)

Me’s BBQ
Sunset Sail – Na Hoku II
Rum Fire or ?

Plate Lunch – is there a good spot around central Waikiki?
Hau Tree Lanai or ?

HWAK & Hau Tree Lanai are the "fancier" spots. The outdoor ambiance is the draw as well as favorable reviews.


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  1. Your post-arrival hours might be pleasantly spent at La Marianna, if you are into old-school Tiki Bars. Some dishes are OK, but after a Scorpion or two, you won't care. Good for unwinding.

    There is a very good, but a bit expensive, Chinese restaurant in the basement of the Marriot (entrance from Ala Moana).

    The Hau Tree Lanai is a good choice IMO, and you have enough lead time to find out when the sun will set, and you can request a table by the rail to better enjoy it.

    An alternative to Lucky Belly would be Little Noodle House.

    In East Waikiki, Thai Herb Garden on Kalakaua would be an interesting choice for Sunday or Friday. Ask if the have the Kabocha squash dessert (not on the menu).

    6 Replies
    1. re: Joebob

      Thank you, Joebob. Just the kind of thoughtful advice I was looking for. Little Noodle House sure turns up on quite few lists! I will call ahead re HTL.

      1. re: karendor

        Thai Herb Garden is one of the 4-5 best Thai Restaurants on Oahu IMO. Also, a block or so up Kapahulu is Pyramid (Egyptian), which has a nice all-you-an-eat lunch.

        1. re: Joebob

          Thanks, Joebob. My husband is not big on Thai. Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean all good options but pretty unlikely I can get him to THG.

          I really like the look of La Mariana; will try to get that in either Day 1 or day we have a vehicle.

          Looks like I can get a plate lunch @ farmer's market. Any thought on this fm?

          Mahiku Farmers Market at King’s Village
          Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 4 - 9 pm
          131 Kaiulani Ave

          1. re: Joebob

            Both of your suggestions have been closed for several months.

            1. re: russkar

              Karendor - I spent 10 days in Waikiki last December. Here is the link to my report. Although we did not eat at most of the places on your list it may give you some ideas. Enjoy your trip. I am so jealous.


              1. re: russkar

                BUMMER! Sorry for the old information.

        2. The Pig & The Lady, in Chinatown?

          1. Aloha

            I would do dinner at Roy's Waikiki or app's and Ahi Poke and Hamachi ever and the GM, Diva, is divine for her Aloha love for her guests and the island.
            Across the street is HWAK, and I would do that for drinks and app's and listen to Aloha music.

            Happy Hour at Duke's, Hula Grill, Rum Fire have great everyday happy hours.

            Breakfast at Mooses on Lewers has a 2 for 1 breakfast coupon in the back of the 'Best 101 things to do' and it saves you about $10 and its a great deal and quite good.

            You gotta have a drink at the lovely Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai bar..mai tai's are pricey but you can get a beer for about $6.

            The Bus is one of the best deals to go around the island but for a day rental car, we go to Enterprise on Lewers for a $50 full size and we book on-line and get it cheap and no fees for from the hotel daily car storage, which can be $30+ a day.
            Drive around the island and hit up Giovanni's shrimp truck and Matsumoto's for shave ice.

            ABC Store has some great beer specials and we bring a collapsible cooler with cuzzies.

            Have fun and O'ahu has the best food!


            2 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              Thanks Beach Chick, kathryn ssioff & russkar for recent comments/suggestions.

              Re: Beach Chick's feedback:

              I have certainly done the Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai bar in my day -- great memories for the '80s with big hair and neon accessories! -- so thanks for reminding me. Hubby will love and it is close-by.

              Not sure about Roy's for dinner but will take it into consideration. (Maybe we will go for drinks & the chocolate souffle! Diva sounds awesome.)

              Yes, happy hours.
              Yes, coupons for breakfast - although we do have a condo so breakfasts may be light on our mini-lanai. I like my musubi breakfast idea.
              Yes, Enterprise - thanks!
              Yes, "Drive around the island and hit up Giovanni's shrimp truck and Matsumoto's for shave ice."
              Yes, ABC stores. Remember them well. P.S. my daughter and I debate the spelling of koosies/koozy's/cuzzies -she lives in New Orleans where they are quite the rage.

              Yes, we will have fun and there will be lots of food!

              ssioff will check out your link ASAP.

              Keep the suggestions coming, folks. I am gettin hungry.

              1. re: karendor

                Just a reminder that the Roy's in Waikiki is NOT the same as in CA/mainland.
                Roy owns the island locations and Landry's owns the rest.

                Some days you will see Roy working the kitchen.
                Food is that good and they do have a patio outside with bar and you can have app's and drinks..still craving the poke and Hamachi that were beyond divine.

                Duke's and Hula Grill are in the Outrigger next door to the Moana Surfrider..the beach bar at the Moana for a cold beer is nice, under the Banyan tree and the old school revolving happy hour at the Top of Waikiki is fun too.

                Alan Wongs, The Pineapple Room is quite good and so is Mariposa at the Neiman Marcus store at Ala Moana.

            2. We had a lovely time in Waikiki, with a few adjustments in our food plans due to some extra expense related to lodging :[ We did not make it to House Without a Key or Hau Tree Lanai but we did have some good eats and some beautiful sunsets, including one at low tide in the very warm water 100 yards out from Royal Hawaiian!

              What we loved: Iyasume Musubi Cafe, it was right near our (horrid) condo so I grabbed a musubi almost each day. Spam. Spam/Egg/Bacon and fish musubi, accompanied by cold coconut water. Heaver for me! Finally talked DH into joining me on our last night and he fell in love with the $3.00 cheesecake and was quite pleased with the spring rolls. The next day we got a cheesecake for the airport. Husband said it was the best deal on the island!

              I also liked Me's BBQ quite a bit; DH less impressed. After a hot day in the surf it really hit the spot. Other diners from So. Cal were raving about Me's too.

              For the more "touristy" dinners, both Tiki's and Hula Grill came through with flying colors.

              Tiki's: DH had the butterfish and I had the Kalbi Beef Gyoza apps with their unique, tasty Caesar salad. We liked our martini and new old fashioned cocktails as well. Server had a bit of an attitude but she was Ok.

              Hula Grill: We did the more limited bar menu for a nice dinner inside following the Catamaran cruise. DH had the fish n chips which were outstanding. Some of the freshest and flavor-filled fish in a fish n chips format I have ever tasted. I had the short-rib appetizer and a beet/goat cheese salad and both were delicious, and filling. The macademia nut ice-cream sandwich (free with a Aston Coupon!) was a great finale.

              Leonard's. We arrived fresh from our Diamond Head hike (via bus) and Leonard's did not disappoint. That custard-filled malasada was one of the BEST fried dough fantasies I have ever experienced - and I am a gal who loves beignets in NOLA!

              Disappointing: pork nachos at Rumfire were disappointing, borderline yucky -- and the drink I had was pretty watery. DH loved the location and his drink was fine. Marriott by the Pool (Moana Terrace?) calamari was also pretty bad, however, the Marriott Happy Hour Mai Tai ($6) was by far the best I had during this entire trip: quite strong with a nice dark rum.

              Duke's Mai Tai was only so so. The best part of Duke's was they gave us the most amazing table right at the balcony, with an outstanding view of the beach and Diamond Head. Coming in from the airport (with our bags in tow) to this magical spot brought tears to my eyes. Service was great, food not anything to write about.

              We did hit a fried shrimp truck as we came into Haleiwa, but that will also need a "do-over" on our next Oahu trip. Shrimp/sauce was Ok, but not quite as impressive as I was expecting. Might have been better post beach time? Loved Haleiwa Beach Park. Green turtles basking off shore -- and a young surfer and his dog riding in a nice wave. Wow!

              We saw Giovanni's on the windward side but were not very hungry at that point. So glad we did the North Oahu/Windward drive.

              A great trip. Some lessons learned. We will be back!