If you’ve read my Eatineraries for Hong Kong and London, you’ll know that I love to seek out great local restaurants and shops. It’s not too hard to find the high end restaurants that can boast Michelin stars or locations in top hotels, but finding out where regular people eat really helps me get a feeling for a place. It’s also usually a great way to save a few dollars while travelling!
More than any other place that I’ve researched, Hawaii appreciates its local grinds (food) and they aren’t afraid to share. Many Hawaii bloggers already have lists of best local places to take visitors. I’ve combed through a few of these lists and identified the names that come up over and over again. Note that there are a lot of other great restaurants and hidden gems around but this list is purely made up of places for which I’ve seen multiple recommendations. Some of these are pretty popular, have long line-ups and bad parking, but they seem to be tried and true.
The 2012 Oahu Eatinerary
Click on the name to see my review or their website. Where I can’t find a website for the eatery I’ve included a link to a Yelp review. As I continue my research from reading Hawaii Food Blogs and getting responses to my Hawaii Foodie 5 I’ll add to this list. Check back to see updates.
|Name||Known for||Yelp Rating||Trip Advisor Ranking|
|Boots & Kimos||Breakfast, macadamia nut pancakes||4 / 5||12 / 83 Kailua|
|Cinnamon’s||Breakfast||4 / 5||1 / 83 Kailua|
|Helena’s Hawaiian Food||Local food||4.5 / 5||8 / 1278 Honolulu|
|Leonard’s Bakery||Malasada||4.5 / 5||6 / 1278 Honolulu|
|Liliha Bakery||Coco puffs||4.5 / 5||46 / 1278 Honolulu|
|Matsumoto||Shave ice||4 / 5||8 / 40 Haleiwa|
|Ono Hawaiian Foods||Local food, laulau||4 / 5||21 / 1278 Honolulu|
|Rainbow Drive-in||Local food, big mix plate||4 / 5||62 / 1278 Honolulu|
|Shimazu Store||Shave ice||4.5 / 5||145 / 1278 Honolulu|
|Side Street Inn||Local bar food, Tony Bourdain||4 / 5||37 / 1278 Honolulu|
|Taniokas||Poke, fried chicken||4.5 / 5||3 / 72 Waipahu|
|Ted’s Bakery||Chocolate & coconut pie||4.5 / 5||1 / 1 Sunset Beach|
|Tita’s Grill||Local food||5 / 5||1 / 17 Kahuku|
|Waiola Shave Ice||Shave ice||4 / 5||N/A|
|Zippys||Local food, mac salad||Various (chain)||Various (chain)|
View Best Place to Eat in Hawaii: Eatinerary 2012 in a larger map
These eateries are either a little too pricey to make my main Eatinerary, or they were recommended by trusted friends but did not show up with regularilty on local food blog lists.
- Alan Wong’s Restaurant for amazing but expensive Hawaii fusion
- Fresh Catch for poke, octopus
- Sushi Sasabune for good but expensive sushi
- Town for farm to table / sea to table
- Whole Ox for porchetta sandwich
What do you think?
Got some better places? Put them in the comments and tell us why. If enough people agree I’ll add it to the list. Also, if you have suggestions for Maui I’d appreciate it.