Buffets in Honolulu Offer an Abundance of Cuisines and Dishes
By Jade Eckardt
Big Island, Honolulu, and Kauai Local Expert
Buffets seem to a vacation tradition and Honolulu definitely isn't lacking in that department. When it comes to buffets, Honolulu has a wide array of places to dine for buffets offering an abundance of food and cuisines. Whether you're looking for a dinner buffet to end a day of exploring the island, or a breakfast buffet to fill you up to start a day of activities, you'll be in luck in Honolulu. Look no further than our list for a guide to the ten best buffets in Honolulu.
For what may be the most upscale breakfast buffet in Honolulu, start the day at the Plumeria Beach House. Located in the luxurious Kahala Resort, this breach front buffet offers an extensive selection of breakfast fare in an elegant and beautiful atmosphere. For a slightly more low key breakfast buffet, the Kulana Terrace offers beautiful views of the beach and Diamond head from there tables, in the heart of Waikiki.
At exotic restaurants featuring buffets with international cuisines, you'll take a edible tour that make up the cultures of the islands. At Hakone, you'll be treated a buffet with sushi and other Japanese and Asian dishes. During luaus at the Polynesian Cultural Center or Paradise Cove, you'll be treated the best Hawaiian food in the local version of a buffet.
Fill up and have fun at the best of Honolulu's buffets, and stay fueled up for your Hawaiian adventures.
10 Polynesian Cultural Center Luau
Many say this is hands down the best luau on Oahu. They can feed up to 1,200 guests at one time, so get ready to party down! Except of course, since the Polynesian Cultural Center is part of the Mormon Church there's no alcohol in any drinks here. The dancing, fire acts, and other entertainment is fun and at times a little over the top. They'll probably try to get a lot of people at tables to come up and participate, so if you're shy you better hope it's not you! But there's a LOT of food, lots to see, and you'll leave so stuffed you won't want to eat for the rest of your vacation. If you're looking for a luau, this is you're best bet. ((808) 293-3333)
9 Kulana Terrace
Offering nine different buffets at one location, the Kulana Terrace takes the cake when it comes to great buffets in Honolulu. Different buffets include: breakfast, deli lunch, Japanese, student, Hawaiian, appetizers, luau buffet, diamond buffet, and group catered breakfast buffet. Located in the Aqua Queen Kapiolani Hotel, the Kulana Terrace overlooks Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. Since it's centrally located in the heart of Waikiki, it's within walking distance to tons of shops and sights. The breakfast buffet is served daily from 6:30-10 a.m., and casual dining and cocktails are from 4-9 p.m. Happy hour is daily from 3:30-5:50 p.m. and again from 9-10:30 p.m. ((808) 931-4448)
8 Paradise Cove Luau
A seaside location capitalizes on incredible sunsets at this established luau. A luau is a Hawaiian take on the traditional buffet, where you'll find an abundance of Hawaiian and Polynesian food served buffet style. When guests arrive, they're treated to a display of crafts and games on the grounds and are then invited to watch traditional ceremonies. Following is the unveiling of the pig and a delectable buffet with all sorts of appetizing fare, including native island dishes. Finally, performances of song and dance add a festive note and provide a rounded experience of Hawaiian culture. A shuttle to the locale is included. (808-842-5911, 800-775-2683)
Spare and stylish, this airy restaurant presents diners with top-notch Japanese cuisine in the traditional manner. Talented chefs prepare exquisite sushi, as beautiful as it is delicious, and cooked dishes include yakitori, tempura, and more. The well-attended lunch buffet is a perennial draw, and the sushi buffet, which runs Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. is a favorite with hotel guests and locals as well. Kaiseki meals, consisting of a number of small, elegant, seasonal dishes, are an upscale alternative to standard fare. Make sure to make reservations for this oh so sought after eatery, popular with locals and visitors alike. (808-944-4494, 808-956-1111)
6 Plumeria Beach House
Located at the upscale Kahala Resort, the Plumeria Beach House offers a breakfast buffet daily from 6:30 to 11 a.m. daily and till noon on weekends. Trying to please a number of different tastes? This wonderful, beachfront eatery deftly provides plenty of territory for satisfaction. Throughout the day, you'll find everything from ahi sandwiches to grilled steaks, steamed fish, savory pastas, and roasted chicken. Better yet, fixed-price buffet options ply diners with a wealth of delights at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Find an outdoor table, browse the menu, and enjoy anything you choose, be it Asian, American, Mediterranean, or Hawaiian. Great for groups and families. (808-739-8760)
5 The Royal Hawaiian Luau - Aha'aina
One of the few luaus offered within the city, this delightful event takes place along the ocean at one of Honolulu's most recognizable landmarks, the Pink Palace. This is the hawaiian version of the buffet, and you'll be treated to an abundance of Hawaiian and Polynesian food to fill up on. The luau begins with the presentation of leis, drinks and pupus, then moves to hula dancing and the extravagant dinner itself. Afterwards, guests are privy to elaborate performances of song, dance, and more beneath the Waikiki stars. Plan ahead for this spectacular event, which is offered every Monday evening. (808-921-4600, 808-923-7311)
Seafood lovers swoon with delight at this unbelievable extravaganza, a buffet that extends 180 feet and is absolutely loaded with amazing dishes. Dozens of sushi options begin the feast and are joined by hot and cold entrees boasting shellfish, crab legs, local fish, and lobster. Other dishes include tempura, teppanyaki, and sukiyaki options, along with beef, chicken, and ribs. If that's not enough to please, you'll also find an array of salads, fruits, and desserts. Dress up a bit for this place, just because you can, not because it's a requirement. And remember to pace yourself, because there's too much great food to miss. (808-947-1000)
3 The Oceanarium Restaurant
From the breakfast and dinner buffets to the aquarium, The Oceanarium Restaurant is aptly named as it boasts all things ocean - even mermaids. Located in the Pacific Beach Hotel, the restaurant surrounds the three-story aquarium that features a huge array of tropical fish and mermaids. When the divers go in to feed the fish, they can swim greetings signs such as "Happy Birthday" for your guest of honor. The seafood buffet is simply huge, offering a seemingly endless amount of crab legs, fish, meats, desserts and even Japanese food such as miso soup, yudofu, curry, saba (mackerel), and nasu (eggplant). Dress is casual, but most people dine in aloha wear. Reservations are a good idea. ((808) 921-6111)
Clean-lined and accented with colorful artwork, Indigo makes for stylish dining in a cluster of historic buildings. The lunch buffet is a favorite with locals, especially those working in the hip and revamped Chinatown/business district where the restaurant is located. The menu updates classic Chinese cuisine and includes dim sum selections, most notably savory goat cheese wontons and lobster pot stickers. For the main course, look to such incredible fare as Mongolian lamb chops, miso-grilled salmon, tea-marinated pork tenderloin, and a Siamese seafood cioppino. Outdoor dining on the back lanai is much-coveted but may demand a wait at the bar. (808-521-2900)
1 Prince Court Restaurant
Although a wall of windows affords panoramic views of Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, diners are hard-pressed to pull their gaze from the Prince Court's fabulous buffets. Known for lavish spreads, the restaurant lays out an abundance of food in spectacular displays, and diners return again and again for the experience. Delicious menus feature everything from roast pig to grilled salmon, sashimi, dim sum, lamb chops, and prime rib. Depending on the night, you'll find buffets offering up seafood, Asian cuisine, Mediterranean fare, and more. Make sure you indulge in at least one of the extravaganzas. Dress up a little bit for this place, it's rather upscale. (808-944-4494, 808-944-4423)
About Jade Eckardt
Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and exploring the island. A regular visitor to Kauai, Jade recently authored a full-length Kauai guide book. She is a writer and photographer, whose work has been published in numerous regional and national magazines. When she's not writing, Jade enjoys a good beer, a good surf, and time in her garden with her son.
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