10 Best Places on Oahu to Savor Fresh, Local Seafood
By Jade Eckardt
Big Island, Honolulu, and Kauai Local Expert
It's to be expected that islands surrounded by the Pacific Ocean would have an amazing selection of seafood, and Honolulu has an abundance of great seafood restaurants. Seafood can be found around the island, from the heart of Waikiki to the coast of the North Shore. Whether you're in the mood for sushi rolls or sashimi, or fresh local tuna or Maine lobster, you can find it on the island. From casual and quaint, to high end and elegant, seafood can be enjoyed in many styles.
If you're looking to explore the beautiful beaches and big surf of the North Shore, make a reservation at Haleiwa Joe's. The surf and sea themed restaurant is a favorite with locals and offers fresh local fish and seafood. Just down the street is Banzai Sushi Bar offering exquisite seafood in a fun setting.
For high end meals from the ocean, Alan Wong's in the heart of Honolulu is renowned as the best food in the islands. Offering Pacific Rim flavors fused with local ingredients, Alan Wong's offers a dinner of delicious seafood and elegance combined. In Waikiki is Duke's Canoe Club, offering seafood cooked local style in an oceanfront restaurant with surf and island decor.
Whatever you may be craving fresh local tuna, sushi or Maine lobster, Honolulu has you covered when it comes to amazing seafood restaurants.
10 Banzai Sushi Bar
Sushi, sushi, and more sushi - all made from locally caught fresh fish and seafood can be found at the North Shore's Banzai Sushi Bar. And yes, there's definitely a full bar boasting a varies amount of beers, wine and specialty cocktails. Live music happens throughout the week and it's best to check beforehand what's going on that night. In addition to the delicious menu and casual Hawaiian ambiance, Banzai Sushi is also a hot spot for nightlife. From a mellow bar scene to wild dance parties boasting unique and fun themes, Banzai Sushi is an all around fun place. Cs ((808) 637-4404)
9 Lei Lei's Bar and Grill
Lei Lei's Bar and Grill sits right on the golf course at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu. Like a bar and grill would be, it's laid back and casual, yet somewhat upscale and classy. There's a putting green out front where the kids can hang out (in full view) if they get restless, and views of the golf course and the mountain range offer gorgeous sights. Unlike the other restaurants at Turtle Bay, this one isn't right in the resort. The full bar can serve up anything you'd like, but their famous for mai tais and Lei Lei's lemonades. The menu has a broad spectrum of great food - burgers, pastas, salads, local fish specials with sides of mashed potatoes, ribs, and the list goes on. ((808) 293-2662)
8 Alan Wong's
A beautiful, pale room, accented with gleaming wood and sprinkled with flowers and artwork, welcomes guests to this exceptional place. The exhibition kitchen makes the most of fresh, regional ingredients, crafting such delicacies as kiawe wood-grilled mahimahi, ginger-crusted onaga, and roast duck prepared three ways. You'll also find grilled beef and lamb chops, along with "da bag," a foil packet of seafood, kalua pork, and vegetables that's dramatically deflated tableside. If you make it to dessert, don't miss the sorbets or cr�me br�l�es, infused with tropical fruits. Reservations are a must for dinner, and it's formal, but island style dressing up is acceptable. (808-949-2526)
7 Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch & Crab
Housed in a former warehouse, complete with a grounded cabin cruiser, this fun family restaurant has a reputation for large portions and terrific local cuisine. Seafood can be found throughout the menu, including crab claws, Maine lobster, paella, shrimp, steamed shellfish, and Dungeness crab. Sam's fried version of poke (raw seafood salad) is a must-try as well. Additional options include chicken, ribs, and steak. Heavy seafarer decor makes you feel like you're on a boat. House microbrews can also be had; enjoy one while you wait for a table at this popular place. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner reservations are a must. (808-545-7979)
6 Haleiwa Joe's
Take in the North Shore's relaxed lifestyle at this fantastic eatery. Kick back on the lanai, take in the incredible island scenery, and revel in the moment. While you do, make sure to sample terrific seafood and steak entrees. Prime rib is always popular, and coconut shrimp maintain a faithful following as well. You'll also find grilled fish, fresh soups and salads, and tempting desserts. In the bar, a wonderful selection of appetizers makes for great nibbling. A local watering hole and favorite seafood joint, Haleiwa Joe's is filled to the brim with a mix of locals and visitors nightly. Walk ins usually work with lunch, but dinner reservations are a must. (808-637-8005, 831-479-7564)
5 Duke's Canoe Club
In tribute to Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaii's renowned swimmer, surfer and Olympic athlete, this casual restaurant offers patrons a wealth of island culture. Memorabilia, live Hawaiian music, and fresh local seafood are among the attractions that have folks returning again and again. Food is served all day, and lunchtime brings fresh fish, steaks, burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. A midday buffet features kalua pork, teriyaki chicken, just-caught fish, and a salad bar. The hula pie, a house special, is not-to-be-missed. Dinner reservations are a must, and this is a perfect place for a fun group dinner or date night. Dress up a bit, but keep it island style. (808-922-2268)
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 even a dessert bar. Prices for children vary by height, so you'll have to do a little measuring before the family sits down. Just remember to pace yourself! (808-947-1000)
3 Seafood Village
Set on the Hyatt's ground floor in central Waikiki, this terrific restaurant is an easy destination for seafood with an Asian twist. Practically everything found in the sea is treated to Chinese spices and preparation, resulting in scrumptious steamed fish, Maine lobster, prawns, abalone, and crab. Flavors are well-balanced, and the quality of the cuisine is consistently top-notch, as regulars are sure to communicate. At lunch, dim sum is a treat, and you'll want to sample as many of the savory tidbits as they care to offer. Reservations are a must for dinner, but for lunch walk ins are generally acceptable. (808-971-1818)
2 Kincaid's Fish, Chop & Steak House
A convenient location and terrific service would recommend this restaurant even if it didn't serve great food (which it does)! Professionals and groups count Kincaid's as an ideal place to enjoy a meal, whether they opt for steaks or seafood. Fresh island fish comes in just-caught from market and is expertly prepared and dressed with savory sauces and crusts. Meats are also impeccable, whether you choose rock salt-roasted prime rib, a center-cut NY strip, or mesquite-grilled rack of lamb. The bar makes a fun hangout if you have to wait for a table, which is a strong possibility so reservations are recommended. (808-591-2005)
1 Uncle's Fish Market & Grill
As the name implies, Uncle's Fish Market & Grill is all about the fish - and other types of seafood, too. The name Uncle's pays homage to the local version of uncle, which generally refers to any older local who befriends someone younger, and it doesn't have to be a blood relative. A certain respect is given to the uncles, and owner Bruce Johnson wanted to pay respect to the uncles who he knew during a lifetime in the islands. Utilizing fresh local fish from Hawaiian waters, Uncle's serves classic European and Asian cuisine. In addition, they also serve classic seafood dishes like Maine lobster, jumbo shrimp from the U.S. Gulf, and Japanese delicacies. A full bar in the oceanfront setting makes Uncle's appealing across the board. Come in for a fun filled group dinner, or a sunset romantic date. ((808) 275-0063)
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.
Read more about Jade Eckardt here.
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