10 Best Steakhouses on the Island of Oahu
By Jade Eckardt
Big Island, Honolulu, and Kauai Local Expert
Steak, it's what's for dinner. And 10 Best is guiding those craving a great steak to the best on Oahu. From casual to formal, and from traditional to a steak with a Pacific twist, Honolulu has no shortage of awesome steakhouses. Those looking to mix it up can deviate from the norm with a calamari steak, or for something more traditional, try a tried and true ol' steak and potatoes. Either way, hungry travelers won't go hungry in Honolulu. Steakhouses are always an ideal place for a big group get together, and Honolulu also offers smaller steakhouses that are perfect for an intimate date or celebration.
Popular restaurants like Buzz's Original Steakhouse have been satisfying customers for years, and then there's the upscale and locally run Kobe Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar where dishes are cooked table side. Sounds like an interesting combo, doesn't it?
North Shore joints like Haleiwa Joe's have exquisite steaks, and this hot spot is known for it's prime rib that must be reserved and sells out nightly. Also in the area is Lei Lei's Bar & Grill that serves local, free range steak.
After full days of swimming, hiking, and surfing, visitors may need a protein packed rejuvenating meal. So take advantage of 10 Best's advice and find the right steakhouse. And remember, great steak can be found all over the island which is a great excuse to venture out and see more of the island.
10 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)
9 Kincaid's Fish, Chop & Steak House
A convenient location and terrific service would recommend this restaurant even if it didn't serve great food, but the latter is what makes it so loved and famous. 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. (808-591-2005)
8 Chart House
Founded by surfer Joey Cabell in 1969, this restaurant remains the only independently-owned Chart House in the chain. It's also a perennial favorite with islanders, thanks to beautiful harbor views and great steaks and fish. Service is attentive, and prices aren't as steep as at many upscale places. The bar also makes a fun hangout. It offers dinner entrees and appetizers until late, along with well-mixed drinks. You'll even find live music each night just to put you in the appropriate mood for sociability and relaxation. Located in the heart of Waikiki, diners can take a post dinner stroll in the area and find entertainment. (808-941-6669, 808-941-6660)
7 Hy's Steak House
Intimate, subtly lit, and genteel, this well-respected steak house is a special-occasion favorite, thanks to its refined ambiance and pricey entrees. Waiters in tuxedos add class to an evening out, as do table side preparations of caesar salad and bananas Foster. Beef, however, is the attraction, whether you select kiawe-broiled NY strip, prime rib, or a T-bone. Rack of lamb, lobster tails, and veal chops also make ideal main courses. Wines, liqueurs, and live music round out the experience. This is where you want to go for a special date night or celebratory meal. Dress up and don't forget to make reservations for this hot spot. (808-922-5555)
6 Kobe Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar
It's dinner and entertainment rolled into one at this Japanese hot spot. Vivacious chefs chop, slice, and sauté steak, chicken, shellfish, and vegetables right before your eyes in an exuberant display of teppanyaki cooking. It's just the place to visit if you're in the mood for an evening of sociability and fun. If you need a sushi fix along the way, don't despair - they'll set you up with an assortment of your favorite rolls. The superb bar begins serving drinks at 5 p.m., including sake and Japanese beer. (808-941-4444)
5 Morton's, The Steakhouse
Tuxedo-clad waiters set the tone for a Midwest classic that's staked a claim in the North Pacific. Known for table side presentations (yes, that's a live lobster on the cart), this steakhouse is famous for its 24-ounce porterhouse and its hearty portions. Sides must be ordered separately at additional cost, and the menu offers seafood, chicken, lamb, and veal for those who don't relish red meat. Wine complements are available as well, and this is a fun place to dress up a bit for. It's located inside of the Ala Moana Shopping Center but offers a view of the ocean. (808-949-1300)
4 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. There's another location in Kaneohe called Haleiwa Joe's Haiku, but it's this North Shore location that really draws crowds and loyal local customers. (808-637-8005, 831-479-7564)
3 Buzz's Original Steakhouse
Not far from Kailua Beach on Oahu's windward side, this venerable institution captures the spirit of Hawaii as it existed in years past. Rustic and comfortable, Buzz's also boasts walls full of photographs, which add a note of personality. The menu is relatively uncomplicated and more than capably done. At lunch, folks come in for juicy burgers, salads, and other light fare, while dinner is a touch more refined, with steaks, lobster, and fresh fish getting most of the attention. The bar serves refreshing drinks; the ambiance is fun yet classy. Reasons to dine here are many, it's ideal for anything from date night to a group celebratory meal. (808-261-4661, 808-261-1738)
2 d.k Steak House
Cozy wooden booths line the dining room at this local favorite - perfect for a romantic dinner. Subdued lighting, elegant table settings, and understated, graceful decor set the scene for a fantastic meal with a mellow and quiet ambiance. Portions are large and satisfying, so you might want to forgo the appetizer and head straight for a luscious, dry-aged, prime cut of beef. Filet mignon, New York strip, steak au poivre, and the house specialty - a 22 oz. bone-in rib-eye - are all tender and flavorful. A decent selection of seafood, including Caribbean lobster tail, adds depth to the menu. (808-931-6280)
1 Ruth's Chris Steak House
Whether it's rare or well-done, prime corn-fed beef is this steakhouse's trademark. A favorite of the business set, the place exudes class. Each cut of meat is sublime, boasting sensational flavor and texture thanks to the signature "cooked from the top down" technique. À la carte items include gulf shrimp in creole rémoulade sauce and crispy French-fried onion rings. If you make it to dessert, consider the luscious chocolate praline encore or maybe chocolate chunk bread pudding. This is located in the heart of Honolulu, and although it's not super fancy, it's fit for dressing up a bit, and don't forget to make reservation. (808-599-3860)
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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