Top 12 Best Restaurants in Honolulu

As Hawaii’s capital and a popular tourist destination, Honolulu offers an incredible dining scene ranging from casual spots serving up local flavors to elegant oceanfront eateries.

Alan Wong’s RestaurantPioneering Hawaiian Regional Cuisine with fresh local ingredients and stylish ambiance.
Nobu HonoluluJapanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine with oceanfront dining and spectacular views of Waikiki Beach.
Hy’s Steak HouseClassic upscale steakhouse with prime cuts of steak and an extensive wine list.
Merriman’s HonoluluFarm-to-table Hawaiian regional cuisine in downtown Honolulu’s trendy Chinatown.
Highway Inn Kaka’akoBeloved Hawaiian food institution offering mouthwatering local dishes.
12th Avenue GrillCozy Tudor cottage serving Pacific Rim cuisine and James Beard ‘Best Chef’ honors.
Roy’s WaikikiCelebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi’s original Hawaiian fusion cuisine with ocean views.
Mitch’s Fish MarketFresh local fish and seafood with stunning bay views in a laidback atmosphere.
Morimoto Asia WaikikiPan-Asian fare with incredible views of Diamond Head and Michelin star acclaim.
Helena’s Hawaiian FoodAuthentic Hawaiian cooking served in a cash-only restaurant with communal tables.

From artisanal pizzas baked in fiery ovens to masterfully plated Pacific Rim fusion cuisine, these 12 Honolulu restaurants offer outstanding meals along with unforgettable Hawaiian hospitality.

Alan Wong’s Restaurant

Name and Location: Alan Wong’s Restaurant is located in Honolulu, Hawaii, known for its innovative and high-quality Hawaiian cuisine.

History and Significance: Founded by Chef Alan Wong, a pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, the restaurant has been a culinary landmark in Hawaii, showcasing locally sourced ingredients and creative dishes.

What to Expect: Expect a fusion of different flavors, textures, and techniques that highlight the best of Hawaiian produce. Signature dishes often feature seafood, tropical fruits, and local meats.

Visitor Information: Reservations are highly recommended. The restaurant offers dinner service and has a dress code that leans towards smart casual.

Chef Alan Wong pioneered Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, beautifully blending Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian, and Western influences with fresh local ingredients. His flagship Honolulu restaurant bearing his name resides in a vine-covered building. Inside, wood beam ceilings, etched glass dividers, and custom koa wood tables set a stylish scene for enjoying Wong’s culinary masterpieces like twice-cooked kalbi short ribs, ginger-crusted fresh catch and the signature “The Coconut” dessert with lilikoi sauce.

Nobu Honolulu

Name and Location: Nobu Honolulu is part of the world-famous Nobu restaurant chain, located in the heart of Honolulu.

History and Significance: Nobu, founded by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, is known for its modern and inventive approach to Japanese cuisine, often incorporating Peruvian ingredients.

What to Expect: The restaurant offers an upscale dining experience with a menu that includes sushi, sashimi, and signature dishes like black cod miso and yellowtail jalapeño.

Visitor Information: Advance reservations are recommended. The restaurant has a chic and sophisticated atmosphere, so dressing smartly is advisable.

Renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa brings his Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine to Waikiki’s trendiest dining address stretching sky-high above famed Waikiki Beach. Floor-to-ceiling oceanfront windows surround diners enjoying Nobu’s legendary miso black cod, wagyu tacos with truffle sauce and frozen Suntory whisky cocktails. This hotspot buzzes with locals, celebrities and visitors alike as one of Oahu’s ultimate dining destinations for flawlessly fresh sushi and seafood paired with spectacular water vistas any time of day.

Hy’s Steak House

Name and Location: Hy’s Steak House is located in Waikiki, Honolulu, and is renowned for its classic steakhouse experience.

History and Significance: For over 40 years, Hy’s has been a staple in the Honolulu dining scene, known for its high-quality steaks, tableside preparation, and elegant wood-paneled interior.

What to Expect: Expect a selection of prime grade, aged steaks cooked over Kiawe wood, alongside a comprehensive wine list and classic steakhouse sides.

Visitor Information: Reservations are recommended, particularly on weekends. The dress code is business casual to formal.

Prime cuts of juicy, perfectly cooked steak headline the menu at Hy’s, an old school Honolulu favorite since 1976 renowned for exceptional service in an upscale yet relaxed environment. Hidden away in a nondescript office building, Hy’s romantic wood-paneled dining rooms feel worlds apart over candlelight with white tablecloths and leather banquettes. Their menu stars tender filet mignon and crispy-edged ribeyes alongside classic shrimp cocktail and creamed spinach sides, all complemented by one of Hawaii’s most extensive wine lists.

Merriman’s Honolulu

Name and Location: Merriman’s Honolulu, located in Ward Village in Honolulu, is part of the Merriman’s Hawaii group, known for its commitment to local farmers and ranchers.

History and Significance: Chef Peter Merriman is a co-founder of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, and his restaurants are celebrated for pioneering the farm-to-table concept in Hawaii.

What to Expect: Diners can expect fresh, locally sourced ingredients prepared in innovative ways. The menu features a blend of Hawaiian, Asian, and Western flavors.

Visitor Information: Booking a reservation is advisable. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating with a casual yet upscale ambiance.

Peter Merriman brings his highly acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant to downtown Honolulu’s trendy Chinatown arts district, creating a sleek urban outpost for enjoying his sublime Hawaiian regional cuisine. Locally sourced ingredients shine in creative dishes like Hamakua mushroom velouté, molasses & soy-lacquered belly with pickled vegetables, and the ever-changing banana dessert combining bananas foster with peanut ice cream. Savor Merriman’s culinary artistry on the charming open-air patio too.

Highway Inn Kaka’ako

Name and Location: Highway Inn Kaka’ako is located in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, known for its traditional Hawaiian cuisine.

History and Significance: Established in 1947, Highway Inn has a long history of serving authentic Hawaiian food, preserving the culinary traditions of the islands.

What to Expect: Expect a variety of classic Hawaiian dishes like laulau, poi, and Kalua pig. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, perfect for experiencing traditional Hawaiian flavors.

Visitor Information: The restaurant is popular and can get busy, so reservations are recommended for larger groups. Takeout options are also available.

This beloved institution has been dishing up mouthwatering plates of Hawaiian food for over 65 years. Now with additional outposts across Oahu, Highway Inn Kaka’ako offers casual counter ordering just outside downtown Honolulu. Queue up for their famous pipikaula seasoned beef jerky, kālua pork served in cabbage leaves, and large mixed plates ideal for sharing heaps of sticky-sweet chicken long rice, squid lūʻau, lomi salmon, poi and rice at communal picnic tables in warehouse chic digs.

12th Avenue Grill

Name and Location: 12th Avenue Grill is located in the Kaimuki neighborhood of Honolulu, offering modern American cuisine.

History and Significance: Since its opening, 12th Avenue Grill has become a favorite local spot, known for its commitment to local sourcing and seasonal menus.

What to Expect: The restaurant offers a cozy, bistro-style atmosphere with a menu that features innovative dishes, a selection of meats and seafood, and an extensive wine list.

Visitor Information: Reservations are advisable, especially on weekends. The restaurant also features a daily happy hour and a private dining room for special events.

Tucked away on an out-of-the-way side street near the University of Hawaii campus sits this cozy Tudor cottage serving extraordinary Pacific Rim cuisine dazzling diners nightly. The ever-changing menu delights palates with dishes like misoyaki butterfish with hamakua mushrooms, hoisin & sriracha roast duck or filet mignon with truffle mashed. Food so incredible it earned 12th Avenue Grill the coveted James Beard ‘Best Chef: Northwest/Hawaii’ honors as one of Oahu’s most sought-after reservations.

Roy’s Waikiki

Name and Location: Roy’s Waikiki is part of the renowned Roy’s restaurant chain, located in Waikiki, Honolulu.

History and Significance: Founded by Chef Roy Yamaguchi, a pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Roy’s is known for its fusion of Hawaiian, Asian, and European flavors.

What to Expect: Guests can enjoy innovative dishes, fresh seafood, and signature desserts in a contemporary and upscale setting.

Visitor Information: Reservations are recommended. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating with views of Waikiki.

Celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi pioneered an entirely original Hawaiian fusion cuisine back in 1988. His flagship Roy’s Waikiki opened in 2006 right across from bustling Waikiki Beach to infuse signature dishes like Szechuan baby back ribs, blackened ‘ahi with spicy soy mustard butter and chocolate soufflé with liliko‘i sauce with breathtaking Pacific ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Come sunset, the restaurant transitions into a buzzing hotspot for creative cocktails and iconic Hawaii sunsets.

Mitch’s Fish Market

Name and Location: Mitch’s Fish Market is located near the Honolulu International Airport, renowned for its fresh sushi and seafood.

History and Significance: Mitch’s has built a reputation for offering some of the freshest seafood in Honolulu, sourcing directly from local fishermen.

What to Expect: The menu includes a variety of sushi and sashimi options, lobster, and other seafood delicacies, served in a simple and casual atmosphere.

Visitor Information: Due to its small size and popularity, reservations are highly recommended. The restaurant has a casual dress code.

Perched on a pier jutting into picturesque Maunalua Bay, Mitch’s Fish Market sources impeccably fresh local fish and seafood direct from Honolulu’s docks daily. Renowned for serving the islands’ best fresh catch chargrilled over a wood fire, Mitch’s laidback dining rooms encourage bare feet while gazing out over the small boat harbor. Tuna, mahi mahi and swordfish arrive cooked perfectly alongside lobster bisque and colossal chilled shrimp cocktails with clearance literally just yards from their sea-to-table origins.

Morimoto Asia Waikiki

Name and Location: Morimoto Asia Waikiki is located in the Alohilani Resort in Waikiki, led by the famous Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

History and Significance: Chef Morimoto brings his world-renowned blend of Japanese and Western culinary techniques to this stylish restaurant.

What to Expect: Expect a sophisticated dining experience with a menu that includes sushi, sashimi, and inventive Asian-fusion dishes.

Visitor Information: It’s recommended to make reservations in advance. The restaurant offers a chic and modern dining environment.

Iron Chef Masahuru Morimoto’s culinary empire stretches to the heart of Waikiki at namesake Morimoto Asia where incredible views of iconic Diamond Head through floor-to-ceiling windows complement acclaimed Pan-Asian fare. Signatures like tuna pizza, duck Duck Duck soba and wagyu lo mein share space on the vibrant multi-tiered dining room’s menu alongside innovative cocktails and an extensive sake list. With acclaim like the coveted Michelin star and Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star honors, Morimoto Asia continues setting Hawaii’s bar higher since opening in 2014.

Helena’s Hawaiian Food

Name and Location: Helena’s Hawaiian Food is located in Honolulu, known for its authentic Hawaiian cuisine.

History and Significance: Established in 1946, Helena’s Hawaiian Food has been recognized with several awards for its commitment to traditional Hawaiian cooking. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

What to Expect: Expect traditional dishes such as Kalua pig, pipikaula (Hawaiian-style beef jerky), and lomi salmon, served in a no-frills, diner-like setting.

Visitor Information: The restaurant is often busy, so be prepared for a wait. They operate on a first-come, first-served basis and have limited hours, so check their schedule before visiting.

For nearly 80 years Helena’s has served familial Hawaiian cooking just like Aunty Helena prepared it inside this tiny, cash only restaurant near downtown Honolulu. Join hungry locals crowding communal tables while aunties dish up heaping plates of Hawaiian mixed plates with kalua pig, lomilomi salmon, chicken long rice, squid luau, poi and rice. Known as Honolulu’s top Hawaiian restaurant continuously since 1946, no reservations means lines sometimes wrap down the block so go early and bring cash in hand! You won’t regret this quintessential island experience.

MW Restaurant

Name and Location: MW Restaurant is located in Honolulu and is known for its modern approach to local Hawaiian cuisine.

History and Significance: Opened by husband-and-wife team Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka, both of whom have extensive fine-dining experience, MW Restaurant offers a blend of traditional Hawaiian flavors with modern culinary techniques.

What to Expect: Expect creative and artfully presented dishes, with a menu that includes both familiar local favorites and innovative new creations. The desserts, particularly, are not to be missed.

Visitor Information: Reservations are recommended. The restaurant offers a contemporary dining experience with exceptional service.

Looking out over the stunning Waikiki coastline through enormous glass walls, MW features fresh seasonal Hawaiian ingredients boldly infused with Spanish, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors by iconic local Chef Wade Ueoka. Standouts gracing the elegant but relaxed dining room’s menu include roasted black cod with hoisin and tahini sauce, dry-aged ribeye with blue cheese butter and the famed chocolate purse dessert with caramel gelato. The impressive wine cellar provides over 10,000 bottles too, earning MW a coveted Grand Award from Wine Spectator magazine among other accolades cementing their place among Oahu’s elite restaurants.

Thanks to an abundance of talented chefs artfully blending global flavors with outstanding local produce, Honolulu offers exceptional dining experiences from casual local eateries to award-winning high-end epicurean destinations. These restaurants let you taste the destination through masterfully prepared Hawaii regional cuisine.

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