Top Restaurants in Hawai‘i
Collected by Amanda Castleman , AFAR Local Expert
The Aloha State is a foodie haven that's unlike anywhere else. From poke to ramen to Portuguese-Chinese fusion served with a helping of traditional shave ice, you won't be able to decide on the best place to eat in Hawai‘i!
1200 Ala Moana Blvd #657, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Ramen is the ultimate comfort food, and here you can choose from over 20 varieties thanks to Okinawan chef Hisashi Uehara. His team makes all the noodles from scratch and boils 2,880 pounds of pork bones daily for more than 24 hours to create the...
5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756, USA
Boasting some of the best views in Kauai, this dreamy eatery serves up spectacular sunsets alongside splurgeworthy lunches and dinners. Start with the signature Monkeypod Mai Tai: A potent blend of Old Lahaina rums and orange curaçao,...
2365 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Affectionately called the First Lady of Waikiki, this grande dame opened in 1901. Its gracious architecture harks back to the sugar-plantation era and wraps around a courtyard anchored by a massive banyan. Pull up a chair under its spreading...
83-5308 Mamalahoa Hwy # B, Captain Cook, HI 96704, USA
Hit this classic joint for a quick bite after snorkeling at Two Step or exploring Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park. It has a lot in common with the nearby (and popular) Da Poke Shack,but Big Jake's has its own following—and rightly...
1585 Kapiolani Blvd #110, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
Local restaurateur Hide Sakurai—also the force behind Shokudo next door—brings healthy grab-and-go options to the heart of Honolulu’s Ala Moana, the state's largest shopping center. An artisan café and pinot wine bar,...
2335 Kalakaua Ave #116, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku grew up here, and you can dine amid his memorabilia at this kitschy Waikiki classic. Pair one of the restaurant’s signature mai tais with a pupu (appetizer) like ahi poke or panko-fried...
2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Rd A-201, Koloa, HI 96756, USA
Iconic chef Roy Yamaguchi helped popularize Hawaiian-fusion food a generation ago, but at Eating House 1849 he takes a delicious detour with dishes inspired by Portuguese, Spanish, and Filipino flavors. This "plantation cuisine" evokes the...
2 N Hotel St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
Twice-fried chicken and foie gras gyoza reign at this New American brasserie in Honolulu's Chinatown, also known for potent cocktails like the Chumley (Earl Grey-infused rye and Vecchio Amaro del Capo with lemon, egg white, and smoked sugar cane)....
680 Ala Moana Blvd #105, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Don't expect frills at this family-friendly diner, which serves up cheap and cheerful Hawaiian classics. Chicken wings, beef stew, andpork lau lau wrapped in taro leaves jump off a menu that has barely changed since the first Highway Inn opened in...
123 Lihiwai St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
In a new(ish) location overlooking the bay, this perennial Big Island favorite weaves local, organic, and free-range produce into culinary alchemy. Deceptively simple dishes dance on the taste buds; the rich umami of the mushroom potpie and the...
845 Front St a, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
This airy, oceanfront restaurant can get crowded, so expect a wait whenever you go. It’s worth it, however, for the stellar menu of Hawaiian seafood dishes, plus the tropical cocktails. Pair a ginger mojito or strawberry piña colada...
74 Pawai Pl, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Visit the headquarters of the islands' best-selling craft beer, which turns out tasty Lavaman Red Ale, Longboard Island Lager, and Big Wave Golden Ale (among others). Its extensive pub menu includes pairing suggestions for dishes like edamame, ahi...
50 Sand Island Access Rd, Honolulu, HI 96819, USA
Honolulu's last great tiki bar is tucked behind a row of warehouses, six miles northwest of Waikiki. Set on the edge of Keehi Lagoon, it shelters under plumeria and coconut trees—and will be familiar to fans of Hawaii Five-0. La Mariana...
412 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Superstar chef Ed Kenney tucked his fourth restaurant inside the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, a funky Waikiki outpost that pays homage to the area's 1960s scene. The eatery sits beside the pool, where period films screen (sometimes against a...
799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779, USA
Foodies from all over flock to Mama’s Fish House for ocean-to-plate dishes in a postcard-perfect setting. At this tiki bar meets restaurant, the fish is delivered daily by local anglers and many dishes showcase regional ingredients like Maui...
1 Manele Bay Rd, Lanai City, HI 96763, USA
In 2012, one of the world's richest men—Oracle founder Larry Ellison—bought 97 percent of the island of Lanai. The single sweeping deal (reputed to cost $300 million) included the exquisite Four Seasons Resort, overlooking a marine reserve. The...
83 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
Started as a farmers' market stand, this superb spot in Honolulu's Chinatown serves contemporary Vietnamese food with global accents. Andrew Le—a 2014 James Beard Rising Chef of the Year semifinalist—brings Culinary Institute of...
1030 Smith St Suite 6, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
This shopping plaza restaurant—set in the chilled-out, North Shore surf town of Hale‘iwa—evokes deeply nostalgic, yearning sighs from big-city folks. It is, quite possibly, the state's best Thai food. But be prepared for cash...
332 Keawe St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
This open-air, family-run gem has an old-school Hawaiiana feel, but takes a fresh, sustainable approach to sourcing its ingredients. Expect classics here with a local twist, like island-style onion soup topped with provolone and beer-battered...
75 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
One of Honolulu's most hyped restaurants, this Chinatown nook has powerhouse parents: Local boy Chris Kajioka of Vintage Cave and U.K.-born Anthony Rush of Fera at Claridge's met working at New York City's Per Se. The name Senia plays on the Greek...
2330 Kalakaua Ave #330, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Upscale food halls are having their day, and here celebrity chef Michael Mina weighs in with 13 stations of flavors from around the globe. The Street serves up everything from sustainable poke to Tokyo-style ramen, Maui onion burgers, and...
39 N Hotel St, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
An unmarked door in Honolulu's Chinatown—between Bar 35 and Nextdoor—leads to this second-story watering hole. The name derives from the Chinese toast qing-qing (please-please), inviting guests to pull up a chair and stay a while. The...
3674 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768, USA
Opened in 1916, this Upcountry Maui icon draws hordes of locals and savvy tourists with its racks of sweets, including legendary cream puffs and amazing stick doughnuts. The menu here also features pies, rolls, bread, cookies, cupcakes,...
819 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Once a delicacy of Japanese royalty, shave ice went mainstream in the 1920s. The refreshing treat then crossed the Pacific with immigrants—workers bound for the sugar plantations and pineapple fields of Hawaii. Now a classic way to cool down...
92-1001 Olani St, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA
This surf-style restaurant elevates local food-truck fare at the new Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. Expect ahi poke, wild-boar hot dogs, and the coolest French fry innovation out there: A heaping platter of slender spuds topped with...
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