Restaurants in Honolulu
Honolulu offers diners anything and everything, from the local and delightful, to many exquisite international cuisines. If home-grown and unassuming cuisine is what you're after then you will find it in and around the city without too much effort.
Classic dining spots offering regional food at its best are the likes of Helena's Hawaiian Food, a famous eatery in and around Honolulu established in 1946 and still producing firm favourites for tourists and residents alike. Another popular spot in Honolulu is Uncle Clay's. Friendly staff, a relaxed atmosphere and original snow cones are what keep people coming back.
If you want a truly luxurious experience, Honolulu happily caters to that too; many high-end restaurants are always abuzz in the city. Sushi Sasabune offers visitors a unique and upmarket sushi experience while La Mer ensures a breezy and romantic oceanside evening in a restaurant known for its impeccable service and French cuisine.
Helena's Hawaiian Food
Located in Honolulu's Chinatown, Helena's Hawaiian Food is an unassuming eatery that has gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the best restuarants in Oahu to sample Hawaiian specialties like Kalua Pig, Lomi Salmon, Pipikaula-Style Short Ribs, and Haupia (a coconut milk-based dessert). Portions are small and economical, which allow diners to try several dishes at once, or sample one of the set menus. Helena's is always busy, so expect to wait a minimum of 15 minutes for a table. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday, 10.30am to 7.30pm.
Address: 1240 North School Street
Telephone: (808) 845-8044
Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha
Uncle Clay's doesn't have a large menu, but that hasn't stopped it from becoming one of the most popular restaurants in Hawaii. The restaurant specialises in a range of shaved ices using all-natural ingredients ranging from sweet potato and kale to chocolate, guava and coffee: this isn't your average snow cone! Uncle Clay and his staff draw equally rave reviews for the friendly service. Despite the restaurant's location in an unassuming strip mall, it is a must-visit on any trip to Honolulu.
Address: 820 West Hind Drive
Telephone: (808) 373-5111
An old-school steakhouse with a reputation for the best cuts of beef in Honolulu, Hy's Steakhouse is set in an elegant wood-panelled dining room in the Waikiki Park Heights Hotel. The menu offers a mixture of American, European, Hawaiian and Pacific cuisine, including their famous Kiawe-Broiled Steaks. Reservations recommended.
Address: 2440 Kuhio Avenue
Telephone: (808) 922-5555
Sushi Sasabune isn't a cheap sushi joint with a bumpy conveyor belt; the chefs take pride in each creation, made from the freshest ingredients like Japanese sea urchin, Louisiana blue crab, or Nova Scotia salmon. The elegant dining room offers a menu of excellent options, but the real experience at Sushi Sasabune is to be had at the sushi bar, where 'Sushi Nazi' chefs are very specific about how each type of sushi is to be eaten; a special experience for any sushi lover!
Address: 1417 S King Street
Telephone: (808) 947-3800
Housed in the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, La Mer is a breezy and romantic oceanside restaurant known for its impeccable service and French cuisine. The menu, offering choices like Dorade Baked in a Rosemary Salt Crust and Big Island Lobster, is accompanied by an excellent wine selection, and the tasting menu is a great option for diners who just can't decide. Reservations are recommended. Diners should note that children under eight are not allowed at La Mer.
Address: 2199 Kalia Road
Telephone: (808) 923-2311
You can't go to Honolulu and not try the malasadas from Leonard's Bakery. Fluffy balls of dough are fried until just crispy and coated in cinnamon and sugar or filled with fresh custard… it's impossible to eat just one! Leonard's Bakery also offers a variety of freshly-baked goods like cookies, cakes, danishes and Pao Doce (Portuguese sweetbread). The small bakery can get very crowded, and unfortunately there are no tables to sit at.
Address: 933 Kapahulu Avenue, Kaimuki
Telephone: (808) 737-5591