The Best 28 Restaurants in Waikiki for Unforgettable Dining Experiences (updated 2023)
With a melting pot of cultures, sharing foods at potlucks and gathers, this fusion of flavors and sourcing fresh ingredients for meals has created a bevy amazing dishes and places to eat on Oahu. Here’s our list of the best restaurants in Waikiki and you’ll be really happy to try some of our favorites on this list. In my experience of eating out and visiting this fabulous city, Waikiki offers so many amazing places to eat from inexpensive to ultra fine dining venues to try. If you are looking for delicious and inspiring foods, check out these top 28 restaurants to try out in Waikiki below.
But make sure you do make reservations in advanced because many of these places have lines out the door for those looking for walk in service at these popular venues.
Whether you are looking for a delicious brunch spot, a takeaway place to picnic on the beach or a really nice upscale fine dining venue here in Waikiki, you’ll have to bookmark this post for the latest and best places to eat in Waikiki now.
What are the local dishes to eat?
There’s everything from popular and traditional Hawaiian food to more local style food that has been everyone’s favorite comfort food to eat. Here are some dishes to look out for on the menu or at take-out places
Malasadas – Originally from Portugal and brought here from plantation workers around 1878, malasadas are deep fried dough balls and coated in sugar. The Hawaiian version offers a variety of extra delicious tropical fillings like banana custards, passionfruit crème, mango jelly, guava crème along with so many other exotic flavors for you to enjoy.
Poi – a traditional Hawaii food starch that is made from fermented Kalo root or taro root. With A purple tinged color and ranging in taste from slightly sweet to sour, poi is an acquired taste and used as a starch staple to fatty meals or fish and other salty /fried dish entrees
Poke – has become a well-known dish worldwide but the origins of Poke in Hawaii come from raw tuna or also a variety of seafood to include salmon, octopus or other delicious seafood served on a bed of rice with condiments like seaweed, sesame seed and oil, spring onions and soy sauce.
Laulau – another traditional Hawaiian dish that is a wrapped luau leaves stuffed with butterfish, Pork and fat steamed to mouthwatering perfection. This comfort food is a staple that every local loves to eat at family gatherings or even take out places
Loco Moco – a mash up of local style food that is comfort food at its best with hamburger patty, fried egg over rice and slathered with gravy. Every chef and venue have their taken of this in a basic or elevated style dish to present this popular local dish.
Check out the best 28 places to eat around Waikiki below
Best breakfast venues in Waikiki
Everyone loves a good solid breakfast on the island and we have some really good local favorite spots to have a great breakfast or brunch here in Waikiki. If you’re into greasy good or healthy style, we’ve got a few local eateries that will fit the bill below for you to start of your day here in Waikiki
Cream Pot $$
A local favorite spot for breakfast or brunch food in Waikiki, you’ll enjoy the European style ambiance, friendly service and hearty food.
Things to order here includes the delicious souffle pancakes with your choice of berry or banana compote, maguro eggs benedict or how about trying their delicious Burgundy beef stew rice
Location: 1831 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu
Opening Times: Open from Wednesday to Monday between 7 am – 2 pm. Closed on Tuesday.
Sunrise Shack $
A Waikiki take off to their popular North Shore location, the Sunrise Shack offers the most delicious acai bowls, smoothies, wraps, toasts and local coffee for takeout service.
Located at the Outrigger Waikiki, you can take your order right to the beach and enjoy the nice water views with a healthy breakfast here.
Location: 2335 Kalakaua Ave Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening Times: 6am to 7pm
Barefoot Beach Café $$
Located right at Queen’s Beach, enjoy the delicious views from this family run restaurant and casual friendly service. The café serves up a delicious breakfast menu but also does lunch and dinner service. Their menu is expansive with their breakfast dishes include Eggs Benedict, breakfast burritos or even fluffy buttermilk pancakes.
Location: 2699 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu
Opening Times: Open daily from 8:00 am – 8:30 pm
Basalt Waikiki $$$
Located at Dukes eatery and marketplace, Basalt offers modern style dining with a variety of dishes from their breakfast menu, but they also serve lunch and dinner on the premises.
Try their fluffy pancakes with guava or strawberry sauce, try their signature charcoal pancake dish, avocado toast or their hearty Loco Moco dish.
Location: 2255 Kuhio Ave Dukes Lane Market & Eatery Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening Times Open Monday to Friday between 11 am – 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday between 8 am – 7 pm.
Goofy Café and Dine $$
A popular local café with a mean breakfast menu, the place is always busy but definitely worth the wait for the breakfast service. With nice views from the 2nd floor location, the service is friendly and laid back but attentive
Popular breakfast dishes cover everything from local favorite Loco Moco to Eggs Benedict with purple sweet potatoes, French Toast, or how about a healthy Acai bowl for your start of day.
Location 1831 Ala Moana Blvd Ste 201 Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening Times 7am to 9pm daily
Sweet E’s Café $$
A very casual eatery, friendly staff and fast service after you order from the menu. The vibe is modern diner style with interesting black and white photographs and banquette style seating.
Food to try out for breakfast here covers classic favorite dishes from French toast, eggs benedict, breakfast burrito to more island style foods like Kailua Pork, chicken pesto omelet to pancakes with tropical sauces.
Address: 1006 Kapahulu Ave Honolulu, HI 96816
Opening Times: 7am to 2pm daily
Affordable and delicious eating venues around Waikiki
Great tasting doesn’t have to cost a lot in Waikiki with these amazing and cheap venues that are local crowd favorites and you’ll love them also!
Marugame Udon $
This is not just any ramen shop in Waikiki, but the ramen shop to eat at in the area with delicious broths and noodles that are made to perfection and creating a delicious and tasty combination of flavors.
With 7 different types of udon noodles to choose from you can decide on you can order yummy sides that will match perfectly to your dish.
Must try udon dishes here includes Kake Udon, Bukake Udon, Niko, Curry, Ontama or Kamaage Udon.
Address: Location – 2310 Kuhio Avenue, Suite 124, Waikiki Phone – (808) 931-6000
Fire Grill Waikiki $$
If you are in the mood for simple and delicious American Bistro style in Waikiki then the Fire Grill will hit the spot with a variety of Grilled meat specialties, popular seafood and fresh farm to table ingredients to serve at affordable prices on the island.
Things not to miss here at the Fire Grill Waikiki includes their prime rib egg rolls, short rib tacos, baby back ribs, fish tacos or their seafood ceviche.
Address: 2330 Kuhio Ave Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening Times 6am to 9pm daily
Ocean Taste $
The place in Waikiki to go to for those delicious poke bowls and don bowl dishes. This outfit specializes in torched poke style dishes served over rice with different condiments and sides.
The bowls are good portions and priced well for the size of the dishes. Parking in the new location is fantastic off Kapiolani Blvd.
Must try dishes here includes their local favorites seared garlic Salmon don, California Ahi, Salmon Toro Ikura Don or their Lava flow bowl.
Address: 2840 Kapiolani Blvd Honolulu, HI 96826
Phone: (808) 636-0877
Rainbow Drive Inn $
Located in kaimuku this former car wash turned into local favorite diner serves up huge portions of local style comfort food to eat in Honolulu. Now in four locations around various parts of Oahu, this popular eatery is well loved on the island for onolicious food that is priced reasonably. A comfortable style, nostalgic and friendly fast service.
Some of the popular local dishes to try here include their loco moco plate, mixed plate with mahi mahi and bbq beef, saimin, curry stew, pork cutlet, mahi mahi plate and a variety of breakfast plates to go or eat at the restaurant.
Address: 3308 Kanaina Ave Honolulu, HI 96815
Helena’s Hawaiian Food $$
If you’re ready to try some delicious traditional Hawaiian food, head out to Helena’s Hawaiian Food. Order out or dine in for this totally Onolicious (delicious) local and traditional style food.
The interior is homey Hawaiian style, casual and friendly service and when you ask for what to eat, you’ll get some fantastic recommendations.
There are no reservations so you do have to put your name on the list and also cash is the only payment method here along with limited parking but definitely worth the effort if you do find parking.
Top things to order at Helena’s includes Kalua pig, Lomi salmon, Pipikaula short ribs, fried butterfish collar, Lau lau, squid luau and then for a nice simple dessert an order of Haupia.
Located in the area of old town in a mixed commercial/residential area with street parking
Address: 1240 N School St Honolulu, HI 96817
Maguro Bros $$
A new location in Waikiki offers lunch to dinner service and offering the tastiest sushi, poke dishes all these classic and tasty dishes are available for take out or dine in services.
Some of their most popular dishes to try includes their Chu-toro danburi, Shoyu onion ahi, Mix maguro danburi, King salmon combo and their Hawaii limu ahi danburi
Address: 415 Nahua St Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening hours: 5pm – 8pm Mon to Saturday
Dukes Waikiki $$
Dukes is an iconic Waikiki beachfront restaurant that keeps on delivering food and drinks at affordable prices and with an ocean view at Waikiki Beach
Their signature dishes like cajun fish tacos, coconut shrimp and prime rib are priced well and good sized eats and top it off with their famous Hula pie and your set for a satisfying dinner and view.
Address: 2335 Kalakaua Ave Ste 116 Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening hours 7am to 11 pm daily
Tim Ho Wan $$
Tim Ho Wan is a renowned restaurant that has made its mark as the “Dim Sum Specialists” in Hong Kong and around the world. With its humble beginnings as a small, hole-in-the-wall eatery, Tim Ho Wan has gained a reputation for serving exceptional dim sum that has captivated the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts. Now, with branches in various countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia, Tim Ho Wan has become a go-to destination for those seeking an authentic and delightful dim sum experience. The menu showcases a wide range of delectable dishes, from the iconic barbecue pork buns to the delicate shrimp dumplings, each crafted with meticulous attention to detail. The dim sum at Tim Ho Wan is known for its exceptional quality, with every morsel bursting with flavor and made using the finest ingredients.
The restaurant’s commitment to excellence extends beyond its food, as it also offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, where diners can enjoy their meal in a comfortable and casual setting. Whether you’re a dim sum connoisseur or a first-time visitor, a meal at Tim Ho Wan promises a delightful culinary adventure that embodies the rich heritage of Hong Kong’s culinary traditions.
Address: 2233 Kalākaua Ave suite b-303, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
Nicer Dining options in Waikiki area
Paia Fish Market $$$
This Maui style restaurant has its newest outlet in Honolulu serving some of the best fish dishes now in Oahu at a good value. With a variety of food preparation options on the fish, you get to pick and choose the finished preparation that you like for your type of fish dish.
Everything on the menu is good especially the mahi mahi, snapper, Opah or Opakapaka blackened or Cajun style or fish tacos, or shrimp cocktail with a delicious cocktail for happy hour
For drinks why not order some local craft beer on tap, a delicious mai tais or margarita and you’ll be happy you did wait out the lines here for your table service.
Address: 2299 Kuhio Ave Honolulu, HI 96815
Eating House 1849 $$$
A fantastic fusion style restaurant from Roy Yamaguichi, a well known Hawaii chef that spawned a series of Roys’ restaurants world wide. This restaurant pays homage to traditional Hawaii foods that utilized the basic Hawaiian staple foods into new and innovative techniques and flavors that come alive.
Dishes you should try at Eating House includes the Pork Belly, short ribs, spicy ahi rolls, Misoyaki butterfish or Filet Mignon and for dessert check out the banana lumpia or chocolate souffle.
Location: 2330 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu
Opening Times: Open daily from 4 – 9 pm. Happy Hour: 4 – 6 pm
Fine Dining restaurants at Waikiki
If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion in Waikiki then these are the best fine dining restaurants to visit on your next meal in the city.
Roy’s Waikiki $$$
Hawaii inspired but international influenced in their dishes, service and location. Offering a gorgeous restaurant, Roy’s Waikiki serves the freshest ingredients from local farmers and purveyors of seafoods, meats and other food items sourced locally. Fine dining service, food and location that makes the splurge worth while.
Signature dishes to try at Roy’s Waikiki includes Frying dragon appetizer, Misoyaki butterfish, Beach walk trio, Hibachi grilled atlantic salmon and for appetizer try Roy’s beachwalk canoe appetizer plate.
Address: 226 Lewers St Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening Hours: Mon – Sunday 4pm – 9pm
Located in the pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Azure is the premium restaurant brand of the hotel with impeccable food, service and views to die for with its location right on the beachfront of Waikiki. Dining service is attentive with indoor or outdoor dining venues with views to match. If you can think of a more perfect occasion to celebrate, then make sure you book a reservation at the gorgeous Azure restaurant.
Dishes to experience here at Azure includes Kona lobster tail risotto, Seared ahi, Butter poached filet of beef, their beef and reef dish or their tasting course.
Address: Royal Hawaiian Hotel 2259 Kalakaua Ave Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening Hours 5:30 to 8:30 Wed – Sunday
AV Restaurant $$$$
Located in Honolulu , the restaurant offers a 14-16 course vegan course gastronomic experience which is one of a kind in Waikiki. Pacing of the dishes, explanation and plating complements the entire experience for vegan inspired dishes which are complex and utilize the freshest ingredients from local farms.
You have your choice of 14 – 16 course dinner experience and need to book this in advanced.
Address: 1135 11th Ave Honolulu, HI 96816
Opening hours 5:30-10:30 pm Tues to Saturday
Pai Honolulu $$$$
Located in the Harbor court atrium of the Aloha Tower, the chef hopes to inspire you to try the innovating and exciting flavors drawn from international cultures but specifically American and Pan Asian influences.
The interior is modern organic and spacious without being stuffy and the service is friendly and helpful with menu choices.
Signature dishes to try at Pai includes their chilled lobster, day aged beef tartare, Fois gras cannoli, Cornish Hen, Smoked salmon crudo and pan roasted Hamachi
Address: 55 Merchant St Ste 110 Honolulu, HI 96813
Opening Hours 5 – 10pm Thurs – Sunday
Morimoto Asia $$$$
This is Asian fusion cuisine done well with Iron Check Morimoto in his beautiful restaurant located on Kuhio beach and gorgeous ocean views. Located at the hip and cool Alohilani Resort Waikiki, You’ll love the modern vibe and beautiful interiors of the restaurant.
If you’re into delicious pupus or appetizers try their Hamachi Tacos, Tuna pizza or the Spicy tuna on crispy rice.
Address: 2490 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
Chef Chai’s $$$$
Asian Fusion cuisine, the excellent food, healthier dish options and delicious preparations and presentations make this a must visit dining venue.
Must try dishes here includes: Oxtail lemongrass soup, scallops and risotto, grilled Mongolian style lamb chops, Grilled Kurabota Osso Bucco and for dessert chocolate lava cake or fried bananas. For an extra treat go for the tasting menu or the appetizer plate sampler
Address: 1009 Kapiolani Blvd Honolulu, HI 96814
La Vie Restaurant $$$$
La Vie Restaurant in Waikiki is a culinary gem that transports diners to the vibrant flavors of French and Mediterranean cuisine. Located in the heart of Waikiki, this charming establishment offers an elegant and intimate dining experience. As you step inside, you are greeted by a warm and inviting ambiance, with soft lighting and tasteful decor setting the stage for a memorable meal. La Vie prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and crafting dishes that showcase the freshest flavors of the islands. From their delectable seafood creations to their succulent meat dishes and delightful vegetarian options, every plate is a work of art. The menu is thoughtfully curated, featuring a blend of classic French dishes with a touch of Mediterranean flair. Whether you’re savoring their perfectly seared scallops, indulging in their rich bouillabaisse, or enjoying their heavenly crème brûlée, each bite is a testament to the culinary mastery of the chefs.
To complement the exquisite cuisine, La Vie offers an extensive wine list, featuring a selection of both local and international wines that perfectly pair with your meal. The attentive and knowledgeable staff add to the exceptional dining experience, ensuring that every visit to La Vie is a memorable one. For those seeking an unforgettable gastronomic adventure in Waikiki, La Vie Restaurant promises an exquisite culinary journey that delights the senses and leaves a lasting impression.
Address: 383 Kalaimoku St, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
Desserts and snack spots around Waikiki
If you have a craving for something sweet to eat in Waikiki, then these are local favorites and proven winners with long lines but worth the wait for sweet desserts in town.
Jejubing Dessert Cafe $
Probably one of the popular and best local spots for dessert, the Jejubing Dessert Cafe has a real cult following for their amazing desserts. Located at the Ala Moana shopping center, make sure to wait for a table when you enter, they will assign a table for you to sit.
Local favorite sweet inspirations to try here includes to Mango Bingsu, Korean shave ice, Tiramisu Bingsu and Oreo Milkshake
Address 1450 Ala Moana Blvd Ste 1201 Honolulu, HI 96814
Opening hours 12 to 8pm daily, closes 7pm on Sundays
Island Vintage Shave Ice
Located in a kiosk at the Royal Hawaiian Center, this is the definitive shave ice joint that everyone loves to visit and try their favorite flavors.
Why is it so popular? Probably the in house fresh fruit syrups that are made, extra fine shave ice and friendly service in this fast paced eatery / take out shave ice venue. Even though the line is long, it does move fast and you’ll get called when your order is ready to go.
A dessert shop that is focused mostly on the ube sweet potato that is used exclusively here for tarts, cookies, cheesecakes and soft serve ice cream. This place has a cult following and definitely lives up to the hype of everything made with ube.
Top picks to try here at Ubae includes the ube flan, ube cheesecake, ube mamon and ube cream puffs
Address: 2201 Kalakaua Ave Kiosk B-1 Honolulu, HI 96815
Opening Hours 10am to 9pm daily
An institution in Honolulu famous for its malasadas and other popular desserts. Leonard’s Bakery is offers so many delicious pastries, pies, breads, cookies along with so many other desserts to die for and it’s worth a visit to see what would appeal to locals and visittors alike.
Address: 933 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, (808) 737-5591
Check out their website here for more details and their menu.
More inside tips to dining in Waikiki
When it comes to experiencing the best of dining in Waikiki, here are some inside tips to enhance your culinary adventures:
Explore Local Flavors: Seek out restaurants that showcase the authentic taste of Hawaii. From traditional Hawaiian cuisine to fusion delights, sample dishes like poke (marinated raw fish), loco moco (rice, hamburger patty, egg, and gravy), and kalua pork for a true taste of the islands.
Fresh Seafood Paradise: Being surrounded by the ocean, Waikiki boasts an abundance of fresh seafood. Look for restaurants that specialize in seafood and savor delicacies like ahi (tuna), opah (moonfish), mahi-mahi, and the iconic Hawaiian favorite, buttery and succulent garlic shrimp.
Farm-to-Table Delights: Embrace the farm-to-table movement by dining at restaurants that prioritize locally sourced ingredients. Hawaii’s fertile lands yield an array of tropical fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Enjoy dishes made with farm-fresh produce, supporting sustainable practices and enjoying vibrant flavors.
Sunset Dining: Make reservations at restaurants that offer breathtaking sunset views. Waikiki’s coastal location provides stunning opportunities to witness the sun sink below the horizon while savoring delectable cuisine. This creates a magical atmosphere that enhances your dining experience.
Food Truck Treasures: Don’t overlook the hidden gems found in food trucks. Waikiki is home to numerous food trucks offering diverse cuisines, from Hawaiian and Asian fusion to global street food. These mobile eateries often serve up mouthwatering dishes at affordable prices, perfect for a quick and tasty bite.
Traditional Hawaiian Luau: Immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture by attending a traditional luau. These festive gatherings showcase authentic Hawaiian cuisine, such as kalua pig cooked in an underground oven, poi (taro paste), lomilomi salmon, and haupia (coconut pudding). Alongside the delicious food, enjoy live music, hula dancing, and a captivating celebration of Hawaiian traditions.
Fine Dining Experiences: Indulge in exquisite culinary experiences by visiting upscale restaurants in Waikiki. From renowned chefs creating innovative dishes to elegant atmospheres and impeccable service, these establishments elevate dining to new heights. Treat yourself to a memorable evening of refined flavors and sophistication.
What are the great restaurants with the best views in Waikiki?
In Waikiki, you can savor delicious cuisine while enjoying stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the iconic Diamond Head volcano. Here are some great restaurants known for their scenic locations:
House Without a Key: Located at the Halekulani Hotel, this restaurant offers Hawaiian and American dishes amidst beautiful oceanfront gardens. Enjoy live Hawaiian music and hula dancing during the sunset.
Top of Waikiki: As Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant, it offers 360-degree views of Waikiki Beach and the city skyline. Savor Pacific Rim cuisine while the restaurant slowly rotates, providing different perspectives of the island.
Azure: Situated at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Azure offers seafood and steaks with an oceanfront setting. Dine under the historic banyan tree and enjoy the view of Waikiki Beach.
SKY Waikiki: Located in the heart of Waikiki, this rooftop restaurant and lounge provides panoramic views of the city, ocean, and Diamond Head. It’s a great spot for contemporary cuisine and cocktails.
Duke’s Waikiki: Named after the legendary Duke Kahanamoku, this restaurant offers classic Hawaiian dishes with a view of the beach. It’s a popular spot for both tourists and locals.
Mai Tai Bar: Situated at The Royal Hawaiian, this beachfront bar offers a casual setting for drinks and light bites with an ocean view.
Michel’s at the Colony Surf: Known for its French-Hawaiian cuisine, Michel’s offers a romantic oceanfront dining experience. The sunset views are particularly enchanting.
Hula Grill Waikiki: Located on Waikiki Beach, this restaurant combines Hawaiian flavors with a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy open-air dining and ocean vistas.
Tiki’s Grill & Bar: With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, Tiki’s offers a blend of Pacific Rim and American cuisine. The outdoor lanai provides beautiful views of the ocean and Diamond Head.
TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie: If you’re in the mood for Japanese cuisine, this restaurant on Kalakaua Avenue offers udon noodles and a pleasant view of Waikiki’s bustling streets.
These restaurants not only offer mouthwatering dishes but also provide an opportunity to soak in the beauty of Waikiki’s coastal scenery. Be sure to make reservations in advance, especially during peak dining hours, to secure the best seats with ocean views.
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Conclusion on Best 28 restaurants in Waikiki to eat
Waikiki is a fabulous place to visit and try some delicous local food to downright Onolicious (yummy) farm to table cuisine to ultra fine dining venues. Hope you bookmark this post for a future visit to the area and to try all the amazing restaurants and there unique and delicious foods.
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