A Friendly Guide to Restaurants in Hawaii
If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands and looking for the best spots to satisfy your hunger and tantalize your taste buds, look no further. In this friendly, personal, and easy-to-follow guide, we’ll take you on a mouthwatering tour of some of the most amazing restaurants in Hawaii. So, get ready to savor the vibrant flavors and the island’s unique culinary delights!
1. Honolulu – Oahu Island
When in Honolulu, a visit to Leonard’s Bakery is a must! This family-owned bakery, which opened in 1952, is famous for its delicious Portuguese-style malasadas – fluffy, deep-fried doughnuts rolled in sugar. Don’t leave without trying the classic sugar-coated malasada or indulging in the array of custard-filled flavors, like haupia (coconut) or chocolate.
Helena’s Hawaiian Food
For a taste of authentic Hawaiian cuisine, head to Helena’s Hawaiian Food. This humble eatery, which has been serving traditional dishes since 1946, has earned a prestigious James Beard Award. Be sure to try their famous pipikaula (Hawaiian-style beef jerky), laulau (steamed pork wrapped in taro leaves), and kalua pig. Don’t forget to save room for dessert – their haupia (coconut pudding) is heavenly!
2. Lahaina – Maui Island
In the picturesque town of Lahaina, you’ll find Star Noodle – an Asian fusion gem. This hip restaurant offers a variety of noodle dishes, small plates, and shared dishes inspired by flavors from Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. Be sure to try their famous garlic noodles, Vietnamese crepes, and pork buns. Pair your meal with a refreshing house-made ginger ale or one of their creative cocktails.
Mama’s Fish House
For an unforgettable dining experience, book a table at Mama’s Fish House. Nestled in a beautiful cove, this iconic restaurant offers stunning ocean views and an incredible menu of fresh, locally-sourced seafood. Their fish is caught daily by local fishermen, and their dishes are prepared with a blend of Polynesian and Hawaiian flavors. Don’t miss their signature stuffed mahi-mahi and the black pearl dessert.
3. Kailua-Kona – Big Island
Da Poke Shack
Poke is a Hawaiian staple, and Da Poke Shack in Kailua-Kona is the place to go for the freshest and most delicious poke bowls on the Big Island. This unassuming eatery offers an assortment of poke options, like spicy ahi tuna, shoyu tako (octopus), and sesame garlic salmon. Pair your bowl with a side of seaweed salad or kimchi, and you’ve got yourself a perfect island meal.
Another great spot for poke and Hawaiian-style plate lunches is Umeke’s. With a focus on using local ingredients, this popular joint offers a variety of tasty options, like furikake garlic chicken, grilled fish, and their famous “Da Bomb” poke bowl. Complete your meal with a side of poi, lomi salmon, or sweet potato haupia for a true Hawaiian feast.
4. Hanalei – Kauai Island
Located in the charming town of Hanalei, Bar Acuda is a lively tapas-style restaurant that offers a blend of Mediterranean and Hawaiian flavors. The menu consists of small plates made with fresh, local ingredients, making it perfect for sharing with friends and family. Must-try dishes include the Kauai shrimp bruschetta, roasted beet salad, and local honeycomb with Humboldt Fog goat cheese. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their extensive list, or try one of their refreshing cocktails.
For a delightful dining experience in Hanalei, visit Postcards Café. This charming restaurant, set in a historic plantation-style building, serves up gourmet vegetarian, vegan, and seafood dishes. Indulge in their scrumptious seared ahi, taro fritters, or organic vegetable curry. Don’t miss out on their famous chocolate fondue or lilikoi (passion fruit) cheesecake for dessert.
5. Waimea – Kauai Island
Located in Waimea, Ishihara Market is a local favorite for its incredible selection of fresh poke and bento boxes. This family-owned market offers over 20 types of poke, like shoyu ahi, spicy scallops, and sweet onion salmon. Grab a bento box with teriyaki chicken, mahi-mahi, or kalbi ribs, and enjoy a picnic lunch at nearby Waimea Canyon or Polihale Beach.
The Shrimp Station
If you’re a shrimp lover, The Shrimp Station in Waimea is not to be missed. This casual roadside eatery serves up some of the best coconut shrimp on the island, as well as other mouthwatering shrimp dishes like garlic butter shrimp, spicy Thai shrimp, and even shrimp tacos. Don’t forget to try their homemade macaroni salad and coleslaw as sides.
There you have it – a friendly, personal, and easy-to-follow guide to some of the best restaurants in Hawaii. No matter which island you’re visiting, you’ll find a variety of delicious dishes that showcase the unique flavors and culinary traditions of Hawaii. So, get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure you’ll never forget! Mahalo and bon appétit!