If you’ve ever visited Hawaii, you know that the culinary delights are on another level. From local favorites to international delicacies, the islands have no shortage of must-visit hot spots for food. Whether you’re a local or planning a trip, there is always something to eat…and honestly – I’m always on a quest to find the best food! So, today, I’m sharing 15 restaurants to visit in Hawaii. I’m dishing everything from fancy places to hole-in-the-wall foodie finds that can’t be missed when you travel to Hawaii. So without further ado… 15 Must-Visit Restaurants In Hawaii – let’s do this!
15 Must-Visit Restaurants In Hawaii
1. Vintage Cave – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
If opulence is what you seek in dining, look no further than Vintage Cave. Located beneath Ala Moana Shopping Center, guests can anticipate exquisite decor, multiple course meals and the finest service around.
**UPDATE: As of 2018, Vintage Cave is slightly different than our experience, but we haven’t been, so I can’t be too sure!**
2. Uncle Bo’s – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
What originated as a bistro for dumplings, kalua pig and pupu platters in Honolulu has branched into two locations across Oahu. At the Honolulu location, a neon-backlit bar offers a youthful vibe, while the more relaxed Haleiwa location offers outdoor seating and an open-air dining room.
3. Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Blink and you might miss it! Located in a strip mall on the edge of Honolulu, Uncle Clay has been serving up shave ice locally for decades. Made naturally and with real fruit, Uncle Clay’s shave ice is not one to be missed!
4. Opal Thai – Chinatown, Oahu, Hawaii
Forget what you know about restaurants when you’re at Opal Thai. Opal greets every guest personally at this quaint foodie spot in Oahu’s Chinatown and throws menus out the window. He asks what you like, what you might be averse or allergic to and gets back into his Thai kitchen to create a culinary masterpiece. Get there early or make a reservation or you won’t be seated!
5. 53 By The Sea – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
If you aren’t looking for 53 By The Sea, you probably won’t find it. The picturesque views of Waikiki and Diamond Head from the wrap-around patio are what al fresco dining dreams are made of and the craft cocktail and Hawaiian fusion fare makes this a must!
6. Plumeria Beach House, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Located in the beautiful Kahala Resort, Plumeria Beach House is a breezy eatery for terrace dining with American fare, seafood buffets and ocean views. A lunch buffet special each day of the week offers international specialties and the service is always above average.
7. Buho Cantina y Cucina – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
A rooftop cantina where you can find a wide array of traditional Mexican fare, Buho Cantina is worth checking out for the views of downtown Honolulu alone. The delicious (and strong) cocktails paired with house-made guacamole only sweeten the deal!
8. Mai Tai Bar – Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Don’t worry, just because bar is in the name, you can still eat delicious food at this oceanfront cabana tucked inside Waikiki’s iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Delectable finger foods – think Parmesan Truffle Fries and Citrus Garlic Edamame – as well as light entrees and a unobstructed view of Diamondhead await! Be sure to order your cocktail in a pineapple for the true aloha experience!
9. Leilani’s On The Beach – Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Seeking a family friendly spot with a casual vibe? Look no further than Leilani’s tucked away in Maui’s Whaler’s Village. A beachside eatery known for their seafood-based menu and tropical drinks, this restaurant is also in the perfect location for catching a winter whale breach in season.
10. Mama’s Fish House – Paia, Maui, Hawaii
A staple for all Maui-bound visitors and locals alike, Mama’s offers the best fish and ambiance on the island. Located in Paia, it’s a great spot to saddle up and enjoy the sunset, pupus and a cocktail after a long day on the Road to Hana.
11. Flatbread Company – Paia, Maui, Hawaii
In a town filled with character and charm, Flatbread Company is the crown jewel. You can expect wood-fired pizzas made with organic ingredients and free-range meats all cooked in traditional clay ovens. Grab a spot on a picnic table next to someone new and share a cold brew before your food arrives!
12. ONE FORTY – Lanai City, Lanai, Hawaii
Head out to ONE FORTY if you’re celebrating a special occasion, because every little detail has been thought out to make it just that — special. Whether you’re craving a nice cut of beef or fresh Hawaiian seafood, the chef will make your foodie dreams a reality. Grab a glass of wine and watch the sun dip below the sea at this Four Seasons Lanai restaurant.
13. Island Lava Java – Kailua Kona, Hawaii, Hawaii
Don’t be alarmed when two locations pop up on your GPS — it’s not a chain, but it’s so good they had to make two locations on Hawaii’s Big Island. Part coffeehouse and bakery featuring Kona coffee, part American bistro serving locally sourced meals, the breakfast benedict specials are not to be missed!
14. Blue Dragon – Kawaihae, Hawaii, Hawaii
A roofless restaurant with dynamic night sky views, Blue Dragon is a seafood-focused spot serving dinner Wednesday-Sunday with live music and dancing. Entrees aside, their craft cocktails and desserts are drool-inducing! **UPDATE: As of 2018, this restaurant has closed.**
15. Roy’s – All Islands
A high-end Hawaiian chain, Roy’s is a great spot to grab lunch or dinner when you’re feeling a little bit like you’ve lost that true Hawaiian taste for life. Serving notable chef Roy Yamaguchi’s Hawaiian fusion fare, each location across the islands offers a treat to the palate.
Have you been to any of these Hawaiian restaurants? Which one was your fave? If you liked this post, you might enjoy 10 Foods You Must Try In Hawaii or 19 Delicious Brunch Spots In Oahu.