10 Best east Oahu restaurants that shouldn't be missed

Great food is bountiful on the island of Oahu, and there's no shortage of it on the east side of the island, Consisting of Laie, Kailua, Kaneohe and Waimanalo, the east side reaches through the lushest and greenest parts of the island. The east side must be explored during any visit to the island, so we're here to guide you to the ten best places to east while on your eastern adventure. From treats, to drinks, to hearty meals, we've got you covered.

At the start of the east side near the North Shore is a tried and true local favorite, Hukilau Cafe. Featured in a hit Hollywood movie, the cafe serves up true local style breakfast and lunch fare. It's a hit with visitors too, and it's a great place for an affordable, low key meal.

If you're craving a much more gourmet dish of local food, drop by the Hei'ia Pier General Store and Deli. The waterfront restaurant offers amazing views and healthy dishes made with fresh fish and grass fed beef. Putting a gourmet spin on local favorites like rice and fish and loco mocos, this place is shouldn't be missed.

For a dinner fit for romance or family time, Haleiwa Joe's at Haiku Gardens is sure to please. The exquisite garden setting offers amazing views to be taken in while enjoying terrific chart house style food.

So enjoy your culinary tour of the east side as you eat your way around the island.


Haleiwa Joe's is a wonderful chart house style restaurants with two locations, this one on the east side and on in Haleiwa. relax in the lush garden setting, take a pre-meal stroll around the pond and the exquisite view of the Ko'olau Mountain Range. After exploring the grounds you'll be treated to 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.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Haleiwa Joe's serves fresh local fish, steaks and salads in a beautiful and exotic garden setting.

Local Expert tip: Don't get confused between Haleiwa Joe's and the one in Haleiwa.

Read more about Haleiwa Joe's at Haiku Gardens →

Uncle Bobo's is a true local style and local favorite barbecue joint on the east side of Oahu. While they have classic barbecue dishes like amazing spare ribs, they also offer Asian and Pacific themed foods such as Thai beef and chicken stir fry with peanut sauce. What's great about Bobo's is that they not only have the road side restaurant, but they also offer catering for just about any event you could be having. They offer the "smokehouse special" with a classic array of BBQ dishes such as barbecued beef brisket, and pork shoulder, served over redneck rice and with a dinner roll. It also includes homemade BBQ sauce, coleslaw, ranch style beans, and local fresh corn, and watermelon and pineapple for a complete meal.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Uncle Bobo's is one of those local places that along with great food, gives you a very local experience.

Local Expert tip: Take your food to go and eat it on the beach directly across the street.

Read more about Uncle Bobo's Smoked BBQ →

This juice bar is famous with locals. You'll find a combo of treats, smoothies and juices. Lanikai Juice is located in the Kailua shopping center and is named after beautiful Lanikai Beach, a long, white sand stretch of heaven on the east side. The smoothies from Lanikai Juice are a wonderful treat on a hot Hawaiian day. They try to incorporate healthy ingredients such as the power food acai berry and many other healthy fruits and vegetables. There's several locations around the island, one in Haleiwa and one in Kahala. Hawaii has been hit hard when it comes to finding smoothies and acai bowls popular, and locals love this place.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Lanikai's smoothies, juices and treats are delicious and healthy.

Local Expert tip: Keep an eye out of the other locations in Haleiwa and Kahala as you explore the island.

Read more about Lanikai Juice Co →


Located in Oahu's countryside of Waimanalo on the east side of the island, Keneke's offers what the name says - plate lunch and BBQ. Keneke's is quite an interesting place, as it is very "local style." It's a quaint and simple eatery. You walk up to the window and order and wait for the meal which is served on disposable plates. You can take it to go or enjoy it in the eating area. This is where it gets interesting, it's a cement area with picnic tables surrounded in religious writings from the Bible. The food is always great, both the local and Hawaiian food as well as the barbecue, but portions can be on the smaller side. Give it a shot on the east side.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Keneke's is a classic, local style modest eatery that is famous for their pulled pork sandwiches.

Local Expert tip: Go for the pulled pork sandwich.

Read more about Keneke's Plate Lunch & BBQ →

A tried and true Honolulu staple, this bustling, festive place always enjoys a crowd of patrons, thanks in large part to its savory, inventive fare. The menu has a local feel, courtesy of plenty of seafood, an Asian influence, and fresh regional ingredients. With some of the top regional and Pacific Rim fare, the menu includes things such as kiawe-roasted oysters that are a delight and baby back ribs benefit from a tangy, addictive glaze. Braised lamb shanks also satisfy, and broiled chicken is succulent and tender. Other options to consider include pizzas, pastas, and fresh fish. A perfect hangout for group dinners and family celebrations.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Lucy's Grill 'N Bar is well known for its creative martinis and amazing food.

Local Expert tip: Try one of the awesome martinis.

Read more about Lucy's Grill 'N Bar →

Delicious, funky and affordable is how locals describe Serg's Mexican Kitchen. Their food is very traditional, kind of like you'd find in Mexico. Tacos are made with two corn tortillas, with just meat, onions and cilantro. The flautas are huge and topped with great green sauce, and they also serve burritos, fish and steak, and their rice and beans are delicious. Serg's keeps it pretty simple with no servers, just go up and order at the counter. The colorful restaurant is as festively painted as many places in Mexico, with multiple bright colors on the front. They don't serve any alcohol here.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Serg's serves delicious traditional Mexican food at very affordable prices.

Local Expert tip: Don't forget you can always get the food to go and enjoy it on a nearby white sand beach.

Read more about Serg's Mexican Kitchen Nalo →

East Oahu

A true local style hole in the wall, Hukilau Cafe is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. The small restaurant is modest, nothing fancy here and the food is served on disposable plates with plastic utensils. But it's true local food at very affordable prices. Eggs, Portuguese sausage, rice, bacon, and stews are served daily. This is the type of place where locals run into friends, and regulars are buddies with the servers. Decor is limited to football photos, many of which are dedicated to local football stars. It's often crowded in the morning, but that's a sign of how much people like it. By now you may be wondering if this is the place in the Adam Sandler movie 50 First Dates. The restaurant itself wasn't, but the movie used the name.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Hukilau Cafe is a true local favorite and serves affordable Hawaiian food.

Local Expert tip: Hukilau Cafe closes at 2 p.m.

Read more about Hukilau Cafe →

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 just happens. It's always a good idea to make reservations if you're planning on eating here.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Buzz's is known for their perfectly cooked steaks, and is one of the more upscale eateries in the area.

Local Expert tip: The calamari steak is a must try dish.

Read more about Buzz's Original Steakhouse →

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.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Trips to Hawaii aren't complete without a luau, and this is one of the best on the island.

Local Expert tip: It can be a good idea to hit the North Shore beaches and end the day at this luau.

Read more about Polynesian Cultural Center Luau →

The Heeia Pier General Store and Deli is a classic Kaneohe eatery enjoyed by dedicated locals for three decades as it served up local classic like plate lunches and loco mocos (beef patty, egg and gravy over rice). But recently top chef Mark Noguchi took over the classic eatery and put a modern sustainable and healthier take on the local comfort food. All of the beef is from the Big Island and grass fed, the fish is caught nearby, and other vegetables are all grown locally - a locovore's dream. Located ocean front on the pier, diners can enjoy casual - but really good breakfast and lunch right on the water.

Recommended for East Oahu's Best Restaurants because: Utilizing locally grown produce, meats and fish the Heeia Pier serves up gourmet yet simple delicious dishes.

Local Expert tip: Try the guava chicken.

Read more about Heeia Pier General Store and Deli →


Meet 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...  More About Jade