Yanagi's been around for decades and is a favorite destination of celebs, so it's frequently crowded, especially at dinner. That's hardly a surprise when you consider its impeccable food and convivial atmosphere. Sushi is outstanding, and the chefs take great pride in their skills. Table service is also available, and folks take advantage of cooked dishes, like shabu shabu, tempura, and teriyaki items. Great sakes and late-night hours add to the appeal, and lunch is a more affordable option that offers fewer crowds.
Local Expert tip: Share the shabu shabu with a date or the group.
Spare, contemporary design not only makes an unassuming backdrop for this appealing bistro; it also serves as a thoughtful counterpoint to a menu of simply prepared but complex offerings. Stellar ingredients step in to be given loving attention from the chefs, who turn out dishes like a grilled half-chicken with pancetta, slow-braised pork cheeks, black mussels with fennel-tinged homemade pasta, and crisp, creative salads. Even burgers are sublime. Good wines heighten the flavors, and outdoor dining lets you take in good weather with your great food. You'll need a reservation here any night of the week, so don't forget to call in.
Recommended for Vegetarian because: Town is renowned for creating delicious dishes that utilize locally sourced and organic ingredients.
Local Expert tip: Reservations are necessary here to ensure a table.
A terrific alternative to fast food, Andy's has built its reputation on affordable, healthy fare. Since 1977, the casual place has served up vegetarian-oriented food that's not only good for the body but tastes great too. The selection of sandwiches features fresh ingredients, and everything is prepared in-house, as are the smoothies, crammed with lush fruit and natural juices. Breakfast also incorporates island produce, in waffles, muffins, and more. Hot or cold, you're certain to find something delectable at Andy's. And if you're determined to have protein that's not soy-based, they also offer turkey, roast beef, and chicken.
Local Expert tip: Don't miss the homemade baked goods too.
After spending years serving up great Thai food out of a lunch wagon in Haleiwa, Opal Thai moved into a restaurant just down the street and has now opened its doors, much to local's excitement. Service is great, and Opal and his sweet wife cook and serve, with their young son sometimes hanging around - a true family run joint. The food has been a local favorite for years and continues to please.
Local Expert tip: Try the fresh summer roles with peanut sauce.
If you can drag yourself away from the pounding surf of the North Shore, reserve a table at this this newly revamped and renamed upscale restaurant, which prepares local cuisine with fresh ingredients. Aim for a table by the floor-to-ceiling windows for a magnificent view while you dine. Based on the theme of going "locovore," the menu changes often according to what's in season, guaranteeing new pleasures with each visit. They also use as much locally raised and grown food as possible. Innovative entrees include Thai chili-braised fish with cucumber gazpacho, and seared scallops in "faux" polenta (sweet creamed corn). A five-course tasting menu is also available.
Recommended for Vegetarian because: Although the menu offers a mix of vegetarian and traditional meals, everything here is delicious.
Local Expert tip: Try the Slice of North Shore Grown Chocolate for dessert.
Really great Thai food can be enjoyed here, with Laotian options too. The owner is from Thailand and her, her mother, and some other elderly Thai women do all the cooking and it's awesome! The decor is very, well, plain. But it's clean and homey. Service is very friendly, the husband and wife team are happy to chat with customers and have a friendship with most of the regular customers. The food is all very good. From the green papaya salad (sound odd? It's so good) to the spicy crispy chicken to the yellow curry and so much more, you'll be satisfied and full. It's BYOB, so you can bring some wine or pick up a beer at the gas station in front. It's located in a very modest small shopping center in a very modest town. Parking is usually ample. Vegetarians will find plenty of options here.
Recommended for Vegetarian because: Thai Kitchen makes some of the best traditional Thai food on the island.
Local Expert tip: Order a few dishes and share with everyone so each person in the party gets a serving of everything.
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.
Local Expert tip: Make reservations.
At this fantastic cafe, 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. Crepes 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.
Local Expert tip: Try the vegetable curry crepe.
Bogart's is one of those hole-in-the-wall places that is a tried and true reliable joint for locals in search of that perfect breakfast. Whether taken to eat on the go or eaten at one of their small sidewalk or indoor tables, Bogart's is a not to miss place for anyone vising Honolulu. The tiny cafe has an extensive hand written menu on the wall, and although it's quite varied and long, everything is really good. The coffees are also great and they have every type of espresso you could want. A real hit is the breakfast bagel sandwich, can't go wrong with that.
Recommended for Vegetarian because: Bogart's is one of the top spots for wonderful coffee, breakfast, brunch and lunch that can be eaten in the small cafe or taken to go.
Local Expert tip: It's a good idea to call ahead and order, they can be quite packed in the mornings.