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.
Boasting lovely views of Diamond Head and an abundance of signature flowers, this celebrated restaurant does everything right. With an expansive opening to the ocean and a white sand beach, Orchids offers an exquisite outdoor dining experience in Honolulu. Breakfast each day is an event, whether you opt for a Continental, American, or Japanese morning meal. Sunday brunch, however, is an absolute extravaganza known the island over. Its legion of stations features breakfast favorites and adds in pastries, fruit, hot entrees, soups, salads, fresh fish, and desserts aplenty. Live music adds another layer of sensation, and the entire affair is not-to-be-missed.
Local Expert tip: Come hungry for brunch, they have everything!
Relax true local style in a fisherman's style beach side shack that serves as a bar and lounge called Off the Hook at the extravagant Aulani Resort. Here you'll find a wide array of tropical drinks, and Hawaiian and Pacific inspired appetizers. Open till 12 a.m. each night, Off the Hook offers hotel guests as well as those from around the island a place to socialize, unwind, and take in the sounds of the ocean breezes and waves. There isn't much nightlife out in Kapolei, but Off the Hook provides an island style locale to spend time watching the sunset and enjoy the outdoors well into the night.
Local Expert tip: Drop in at sunset for one of the best views on the island.
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. The open air lanai overlooks the Haleiwa Harbor and the boats that make a home in it. Famous Ali`i Beach Park where world class surfing takes place is also nearby.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Haleiwa Joe's is an ocean side bar and restaurant that serves fresh seafood and steaks in a surf themed restaurant.
Local Expert tip: Fill up at this ocean side eatery before spending a day on the North Shore.
At this fantastic caf�, you can either step in for a smoothie or a full-bodied cup or coffee, or you can stay awhile and have a light meal as well. Cr�pes are a specialty, both savory and sweet, and you can also pick up an omelet, salad, sandwich, or stir-fried dish. Cakes and cookies make an appearance as well, as do some great vegetarian options, including vegan, low-fat, and tofu-based fare. Consider Mocha Java a stop-off while you run errands, or make it a destination for a satisfying, tasty meal. the outdoor tables are on the side walk and offer a peak at passersby exploring the downtown area.
Local Expert tip: Try the curry vegetable crepe.
A seaside location capitalizes on incredible sunsets at this established luau. This luau offers an outdoor experience in several ways, dining by moonlight, dancing on the beach, and learning fishing methods in the water. When guests arrive, they're treated to a display of crafts and games on the grounds and are then invited to watch traditional ceremonies. Following is the unveiling of the pig and a delectable buffet with all sorts of appetizing fare, including native island dishes. Finally, performances of song and dance add a festive note and provide a rounded experience of Hawaiian culture. A shuttle to the locale is included.
Local Expert tip: Don't eat before the luau.
Dining beneath a graceful, arching hau tree by the water, could there be any more gracious setting? This outdoor venue delights diners with its idyllic ambiance and then confirms the pleasure with delicious cuisine. Dinner, especially at sunset, is sublime, and fresh fish is de rigueur. Grilled, steamed, or blackened, its delicate flavor matches the setting; you'll also find shrimp and crabcakes to sample. Other enticing options include an amazing rack of lamb and wonderful vegetarian dishes. Overlooking the white sand beaches of Waikiki with surfers and Diamond Head in view, the tables here will lend some of the most romantic atmosphere on the island.
Local Expert tip: Make reservations for brunch.
Under the masterful tutelage of chef Roy Yamaguchi, who skillfully fuses European and Asian cuisines, this establishment has earned a reputation for lively ambiance, attentive service, and incredible food. A devotion to impeccably fresh ingredients and a penchant for artistic presentation characterizes the menu, whose temptations include an array of Pacific rim dishes with enough options to make any vegetarian happy. There's also steak, lamb, pasta, pork, and duck. Nightly specials make an appearance too, and the signature chocolate souffle is absolutely sinful. The Waikiki location offers outdoor tables lit by flaming tiki torches at night and offering a window into the tropical city.
Local Expert tip: Make reservations.
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. This is not only a dinner hotspot, but is also a nightlife go-to place for locals and visitors alike, who want to dance or dine the night away on the beach.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: Duke's is a Waikiki staple, offers great food and drinks with a local twist on the ocean.
Local Expert tip: They do brunch!
Located right on the edge of both the ocean and pool at Turtle Bay Resort, The Point is the place you'll want to hang at to get your night started with cocktails or to wrap up the day with an ocean side dinner. With amazingly strong mai tais with a special Turtle Bay mix, an array of local beers on tap, and a huge selection of signature tropical drinks, The Point is the best place on the North Shore for lunch of dinner by the sea or sunset drink. You can hang out of a couple hours after dark enjoying the big screen TV with sports and chatting with the friendly bartenders. Entertainment at dark varies on different nights of the week, including live music, fire knife dancing, hula dancing and other shows. You can watch surfers catch waves right there and go for a stroll along the waters edge. This is a perfect place to get the night started whether you're staying at the hotel or just passing through the North Shore.
Recommended for Outdoor Dining because: The Point is located directly over the ocean, with a pool, dining tables and bar in full view of a surf break and the sunset.
Jade's expert tip: Cocktails are served from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., food is served from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and a luau takes place every Sunday.