12 Ways to Eat and Shop Like a Chef in Honolulu
Collected by Ed Kenney, AFAR Contributor
Ed Kenney raised a few eyebrows when he picked a sleepy residential neighborhood outside Honolulu’s tourist zone for Town, his first restaurant, more than a decade ago. Today—three thriving businesses in—the Oahu native talks about what drew him to Kaimuki.
3452 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
This is my newest restaurant and everything on the menu has a story: Green banana pastele is a Hawaiian dish influenced by the pastele, a sort of tamale brought by Puerto Rican immigrants who came to Hawaii in the 19th century to work the...
3441 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
The drinks at this smoothie bar are so packed with seasonal fruit that I need a toothpick for the seeds. The Jack Johnson is almond milk, kombucha, apple, banana, honey, and greens, and the Uluwatu, named after a big surf spot in Bali, is a mix of...
1145 12th Ave C, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Chef Lee Anne Wong took brunching to a new level with bold fusion dishes like congee rice porridge topped with Portuguese sausage and cinnamon-bacon croutons. Dumplings are her thing, and she always has a dumpling of the day, whether steamed or...
1156 Koko Head Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
This tiny, throwback Chinese sweet shop is lined with large glass jars full of preserved plums dusted in lee hing muia powder made from dried salted plumsand other preserved and candied fruits. The place will be packed with kids every day after...
3458 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
My sandwich and coffee house has a sunny surf vibe. We serve casual lunch fare with produce from farmers and ranchers in the islands. Try the luganeca sausage and slow-roasted pork sandwiches, made with Shinsato pork raised on Oahu. This appeared...
3408 Waialae Ave #102, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Go here for some of the best coffee in town. Perfectly roasted, weighed, and timed pour-overs are a specialty. They use beans from artisanal roasters on the mainland, like Intelligentsia, alongside island-grown beans from Rusty’s Hawaiian and Big...
3435 Waialae Ave #104, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
When I opened Town in 2005, it had a Cal-Med menu inspired by Bay Area locavore pioneers Chez Panisse and Zuni Café. Over the last few years, though, we’ve really embraced indigenous Hawaiian ingredients, such as limu sea vegetables, kukui nut,...
3553 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
This cavernous Chinese restaurant serves one of the best dim sum brunches in Honolulu, and it’s packed every weekend morning. I love the traditional cart service where you point at what you want as they go by, because you know you can be seated...
1127 12th Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Believe it or not, the best cheesecakes in Hawaii are made by local punk rock icon “Otto,” who plays bass in a band called 86 List. They’re so light and creamy. He does all sorts of different flavors, but the standouts are the ones inspired by the...
3588 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
At the front of the Queen Theater, there are some antique stores, and it’s all basically classic Hawaiiana: hula girl lamps and old surfboards, vintage aloha shirts. I found a really cool wooden spoon there that I use to make risotto.
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