Honolulu is filled with diverse and delicious restaurants that reflect every facet of Hawaiian culinary culture. You can get everything you want to eat from seafood to poke, fruit desserts, and Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you want to sample all the staple foods of Hawaii or you want to try new and unique flavours that reflect the cultural influences on the island, you can find it in Hawaii. Take a look at the 10 best local restaurants in Honolulu to plan your trip.

    1

    Ken's Fresh Fish

    Try fresh local seafood

    Ken's Fresh Fish is a charming fish market and takeaway establishment that serves fresh seafood. You can visit the market to pick up fish fillets, poke, dried aku, fish plates, and more, or bring home a meal for your family. Visiting the fish market is a great way to experience the local fare and try some traditional staples of Hawaiian culture such as poi and katsu. You’ll also find contemporary variations on local favourites, such as ahi katsu, a fried ahi tuna dish. Ken's is located on the northeast shore of Oahu, about an hour from city centre Honolulu.

    Location: 55-730 Kamehameha Hwy Suite 102, Laie, HI 96762, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Wednesday and Friday–Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm (closed Sunday–Monday and Thursday)

    Phone: +1 808-888-7193

    Map
    2

    Waiahole Poi Factory

    Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culinary tradition

    The Waiahole Poi Factory is the place to go for authentic Hawaiian cuisine. This location has been in operation for over a century, serving as an authentic poi factory, an art gallery, a food-processing factory, and finally a restaurant serving local Hawaiian food. The atmosphere of the Waiahole Poi Factory is designed to invoke the feeling of a traditional luau, right down to the menu. You can try all the Hawaiian favourites, from Kalua pig to ho’io salad and chicken long rice. You can reach the restaurant with a 30-minute drive north from Honolulu.

    Location: 48-140 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 808-239-2222

    Map
    3

    Over Easy

    Enjoy a traditional Hawaiian breakfast or brunch

    Over Easy is a delicious breakfast restaurant that serves authentic Hawaiian foods. You’ll find all the flavours of the island, including papaya, pickled vegetables, rice, avocado, and banana, as well as fusion cuisine like kimchi and Portuguese sausage. The restaurant caters to health-conscious and indulgent tastes alike. You’ll find a wide range of light fare with superfoods such as bowls with eggs and avocado or sweet and decadent breakfast items like pancakes with fruit and powdered sugar and custard French toast with cinnamon. To reach Over Easy, take HI-61 north out of Honolulu for about 12 miles.

    Location: 418 Kuulei Rd #103, Kailua, HI 96734, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Friday from 7 am to 1 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 7 am to 1.30 pm (closed Monday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 808-260-1732

    Map
    4

    Mitsu-Ken

    Have a Japanese breakfast

    Mitsu-Ken is a delicious Japanese-style breakfast and brunch restaurant. You’ll find a wide array of breakfast and brunch options at Mitsu-Ken, whether you’re looking for the traditional or inventive, such as bento boxes and pupu platters. If you’re in the mood for internationally inspired foods for breakfast or brunch, you’ll have your choice of curry-based dishes, pork adobo, teriyaki beef or pork, and shoyu chicken. Mitsu-Ken also serves sushi, salads, and loco moco, a must-try Hawaiian staple. The a la carte menu has a lot of treats as well, such as Spam musubi, garlic chicken musubi, and Kalua pig. The restaurant is located about 4 miles north of city centre Honolulu.

    Location: 2300 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96819, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 7 am to noon (closed Sunday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 808-848-5573

    Map

    photo by Arnold Gatilao (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Helena's Hawaiian Food

    Try authentic Hawaiian staples

    Helena's Hawaiian Food is a family-owned restaurant that’s been in operation for over 60 years. The restaurant is a local favourite for both residents and tourists and has received numerous awards throughout the years. If you want to sample Hawaiian staple foods, Helena’s Hawaiian Food, located 2.5 miles from the heart of city centre, is the place to go. You’ll find everything from poi and rice to Kalua pig and luau squid. Also serves a lot of unique seafood dishes, such as butterfish collar, poke fish, and opihi.

    Location: 1240 N School St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 10 am to 7.30 pm (closed Saturday–Monday)

    Phone: +1 808-845-8044

    Map

    photo by Emily Leung (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    6

    Palace Saimin

    Try authentic saimin

    Palace Saimin is an authentic Japanese saimin restaurant that serves the popular Hawaiian-style noodle dish. You can try a variety of saimin and wonton options, BBQ sticks, and soup made with spring onion and sweet pork, known as char siu. Another popular dish at Palace Saimin is udon, a type of thick noodle. You can have a combination of saimin and udon with saidon, or have a full combination with saimin, udon, and wonton. Located 2 minutes from the centre of city centre, Palace Saimin offers takeaway and dine-in options and provides multiple portion sizes for single or family meals.

    Location: 1256 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm (closed Sunday–Monday)

    Phone: +1 808-841-9983

    Map
    7

    Liliha Bakery

    Indulge with sweet treats

    Liliha Bakery is a full-service bakery and diner that’s been open since 1950. The bakery serves fresh cakes and pastries prepared with local Hawaiian ingredients and traditional recipes. Liliha Bakery has multiple locations, and one of them is just 2 miles from city centre. You’ll find a little of everything at Liliha Bakery, from sweet breakfasts like hot cakes and waffles to classic egg dishes, loco moco, meatloaf, and hamburger. The menu offers a variety of seafood, such as mahi-mahi and tuna, and Spam dishes. You’ll also find baked goods like cupcakes, muffins, danishes, puffs, and premade and custom cakes.

    Location: 515 N Kuakini St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 808-531-1651

    Map

    photo by Alan & Flora Botting (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    Ethel's Grill

    Enjoy Japanese comfort food

    Ethel's Grill is a charming Japanese restaurant that has been in operation since 1978. The restaurant specialises in Japanese-inspired comfort food like hamburger steak, furikake saba plates, and tataki sashimi. Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes include mochiko chicken, a dish of battered and fried chicken cutlets with sweet dipping sauce, and oyakodon, a savoury chicken and egg dish. If you prefer lighter fare, you can get ahi tataki or saimin with or without wontons. White rice and sweet potatoes are available as sides. Ethel's is located about a 10-minute drive from the centre of city centre.

    Location: 232 Kalihi St, Honolulu, HI 96819, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm (closed Sunday–Monday)

    Phone: +1 808-847-6467

    Map
    9

    Maguro Brothers

    Enjoy casual seafood dining

    Maguro Brothers is a lovely restaurant in a fish market with self-seating and fresh seafood. Inspired by Japanese cuisine, Maguro Brothers serves fresh fish, seafood, plate lunches, and traditional Japanese meals. Some of the most popular items on the menu include grilled ahi belly, chu-toro donburi, Maguro donburi, and spicy mayo ahi. If you want to try poke on your trip, you can choose from a variety of dishes prepared with ahi or pork. Maguro Brothers also serves sushi. You'll find the restaurant about 15 minutes south from city centre Honolulu.

    Location: Waikiki Hotel, 415 Nāhua Street Pearl, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5 pm to 8 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 808-230-3470

    Map
    10

    The Pig and the Lady

    Sample Vietnamese fare

    The Pig and the Lady is a Vietnamese restaurant that incorporates Hawaiian flavours into classic Vietnamese dishes. The restaurant, just a mile from the heart of city centre, offers takeaway and catering menus, as well as dine-in options. You’ll find a variety of unique options at The Pig and the Lady, such as Vietnamese papaya salad, chicken leg curry, Buddha stew, turmeric and lemongrass chicken, and oxtail pho. The restaurant offers unique desserts as well, such as pineapple and lime malasada, macaron sandwiches, and avocado yuzu tarts.

    Location: 83 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sunday–Monday)

    Phone: +1 808-585-8255

    Map

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