Local Expert Restaurant Recommendations
About Honolulu, HI Restaurants
Hawaii, as a whole, exhibits a dual nature when it comes to dining, and Oahu's restaurant scene – although larger than that of the other islands – demonstrates a similar pattern. On one hand, as a US city, Honolulu delivers standards like steakhouses, Italian eateries, and American restaurants, which embrace everything from meat-and-potato basics to innovative amalgams of various cuisines. On the casual end, for example, you can hang out at Side Street Inn and rub shoulders with local chefs as you sample the signature fried pork chops. Or, if you're interested in top-rated cuisine with views to match, make it a point to visit Hoku's at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, where you can gaze out over the Pacific as you treat yourself to wok-fried whole island fish for two or salt-crusted Colorado rack of lamb carved tableside. Unsurprisingly, Hawaii boasts wonderful traditions of island food, and any visitor would be remiss not to sample the fantastic local fare. Seafood is a natural indulgence, and John Dominis is a splurgeworthy destination, famous for both its in-restaurant stream and its exceptional food. Nick's Fishmarket is also well-regarded for fin fish and shellfish, not to mention classy but unpretentious environs. For decidedly casual occasions, Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch & Crab is a family-friendly delight, complete with handcrafted brews and island hospitality. Beyond the sea's bounty, authentic Hawaiian cuisine incorporates Asian influences and a working-class sensibility. Ono Hawaiian Foods is a prime example of the no-frills eateries that satisfy local taste buds with roast pork, coconut pudding, raw seafood salad, and a host of more unusual dishes. Homegrown fast-food place Zippy's also specializes in laid-back Hawaiian fare, notably the plate lunch, which features items like steamed fish or pork and the usual scoops of rice and macaroni salad. It's a quick-to-satisfy standard for folks from all walks of life. Visitors are also perennially sold on luaus, those extravaganzas of food and entertainment that provide an immersive introduction to Hawaiian culture and cuisine. With so many culinary options, both within Honolulu and throughout the island, it's a safe bet that you'll find yourself exclaiming "ono!" repeatedly each time you sample some place new.