Best Hawaiian Restaurants in Honolulu

Ono (delcious) Hawaiian food is sure to satisfy your soul and complete the vacation

Enjoying good food with friends and family is a part of Hawaiian tradition and culture as much as hula and surfing is. Traditional Hawaiian food, luaus, and Hawaiian/Pacific fusion food is readily available all over Oahu. Often times the best way to experience a destination and culture is through the food from the area, and Hawaii is definitely one of those places. Whether you're in search of Hawaiian food in the heart of Honolulu, or on the opposite end of the island in the country side, 10 Best has you covered for the best local food on the island.

Hawaiian food consists of some of the more well known dishes such as taro, a hearty root corp that has sustained the culture since Hawaiians first settled the islands, and lomi lomi salmon, a more modern dish made with raw salmon massaged with spices and soy sauce. Other common Hawaiian dishes include purple sweet potato, steamed or cooked with coconut milk, and kalua pig, cooked in an underground oven.

But there's more, a whole lot more. Some of the lesser known and spectacular Hawaiian dishes consist of breadfruit, known as ulu in Hawaiian. The bright green exterior of the oval fruit is removed leaving a white starchy meat and can be baked, steamed or turned into a curry or soup. Lau lau is meat or vegetables wrapped in ti leaves and baked underground until they are tender with all the flavors and juices penetrating each piece of food.

So while you're in Honolulu, make sure to head out ready to fill your opu (stomach) and enjoy some of the best food around. The visit wouldn't be complete without it.


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.

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 →

Island hospitality reigns supreme at this popular luau. On a private beach located a half-hour from Honolulu, guests are regaled with song, dance, and performance beneath tranquil skies. Time-honored ceremonies accompany the event, from unearthing the roast pig to processing in authentic costume. An amazing buffet of pork, poi, seafood, and other dishes ensures that you're sated, and bottomless drinks are abundant. You'll also have the opportunity to dance with performers. The shuttle ride from town is included in the experience.

Local Expert tip: Come very hungry!

Read more about Germaine's Luau →

On Oahu's windward coast, the Polynesian Cultural Center recreates a microcosm of Polynesia, preserving the culture of its many peoples. Its associated luau offers guests opportunity to explore the various traditions, ceremonies, and pastimes and to enjoy a sumptuous buffet as well. Entertainments and audience participation are featured, and folks are regaled by attractions of all sorts. A terrific experience for everyone who attends the extended event. A shuttle to the location from Honolulu is available for a fee.

Local Expert tip: Don't forget the camera!

Read more about Ali`i Luau →


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.

Local Expert tip: Go for the pulled pork sandwich.

Read more about Keneke's Plate Lunch & BBQ →

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.

Local Expert tip: Try the guava chicken.

Read more about Heeia Pier General Store and Deli →

Waikiki Starlight Luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village is the only outdoor luau in Waikiki with nearly three hours of spectacular entertainment and dining under the stars. Experience the colorful heritage of the Pacific Islands and join the excitement of the celebration with live music, drums and the drama of traditional Hawaiian, Tahitian and Samoan dance. Indulge in a feast of unforgettable tropical flavors created with traditional island ingredients. Immerse yourself in the truly unique island experience of a Hawaiian luau. Offering live entertainment, interactive games, and an unforgettable island feast this extraordinary tradition is an exhilarating form of entertainment for all ages.

Local Expert tip: Come very hungry!

Read more about Waikiki Starlight Luau- Hilton Hawaiian Village →

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. 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.

Local Expert tip: Come with an empty belly.

Read more about The Royal Hawaiian Luau - Aha'aina →

Honest, authentic, simply-prepared Hawaiian food is what you'll discover at this fine eatery, a throwback to former days. It boasts island cuisine par excellence, created with love and prepared in the old way. Such attention isn't lost on eager diners, who clamor for kalua pig, pipikaula shortribs, poke (raw seafood salad), and fried fish. There's no designer decor, but no one cares when they dig into these comfort foods, which come's la carte or as part of a set menu. Eat your fill, and revel in the experience. Just don't forget to finish up with a dish of silky haupia (coconut pudding).

Local Expert tip: Don't miss out on haupia.

Read more about Helena's Hawaiian Food →


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