No trip to the Hawaiian Islands is complete without attending a luau. Spend an evening hearing lively music, watching vibrant hula, eating kalua pig fresh from the imu–Hawaiian for “underground oven”–and for the adults, drinking flowing mai tais.
In Hawaiian, paina, (pronouned pah-eena) means “a party with dinner.” It’s the traditional word for the more modern equivalent of what we know of today as a luau. Luau are a fun and still widely observed tradition for residents celebrating birthdays, graduations, weddings and more. For visitors, it’s a great way to learn about Polynesian culture and enjoy a delicious feast.
One of Oahu’s best luau is on the North Shore at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Tuck into a large buffet before watching the talented entertainers of the center perform traditional dances.
If you’re on the west side, visit Paradise Cove for an evening luau with an ocean view, great food and good entertainment. Before the luau begins, enjoy traditionally inspired crafts and games.
For traditional Hawaiian food on the island, look no further than Helena’s Hawaiian Food, Highway Inn, Ono Hawaiian Foods, Yama’s Fish Market and Haili’s Hawaiian Food.
Here are the 10 Best luau across Oahu, as well as the places serving authentic Hawaiian food.