While it can be easily argued that the food is the most important aspect of a restaurant, ambiance also plays a role. These 16 Hawaii establishments have the whole package – good food, stellar views, and an unforgettable experience.
1) Top of Waikiki, Honolulu
Located in the heart of Waikiki is this award-winning Contemporary American revolving restaurant. A revolving restaurant is one in which the entire restaurant operates as a large turntable atop a stationary building. This gives diners the opportunity to experience panoramic city and ocean views without ever leaving their table. Pretty cool, right?
2) Merriman’s Kapalua, Lahaina
Yelp reviewers agree that the four dollar sign designation is accurate – but the food, view, and experience is worth every penny.
3) Ulu Ocean Grill & Sushi Lounge, Kuapulehu
Located within the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, on the Big Island’s Kona Coast, this restaurant clearly has stunning views – but the culinary team also places an emphasis on local cuisine with a regional, seasonal and artisanal philosophy.
4) The Signature Prime Steak & Seafood
Located on the 36th floor of the Ala Moana Hotel, the views are magnificent, but so is the ambience of the restaurant. With crystal chandeliers and live music gently coming from a white grand piano, you’ll have a tough time deciding whether you want a table with an ocean or mountain view.
5) Island Lava Java, Kailua-Kona
Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch, Island Lava Java Restaurant focuses on fresh, local and organic food with 100 percent Kona coffee and their own bakery on site. Plus, the views off the Big Island’s Kona coast are pretty stellar.
6) Michel’s at the Colony Surf, Honolulu
The contemporary French fine dining experience is second only to the amazing views.
7) Sea House Restaurant, Lahaina
Located at the Napili Kai Beach Resort, this one of a kind restaurant has killer views – and delicious breakfast, or cheap drinks during happy hour, depending on what time you make it over there.
8) Haleiwa Joe's, Kaneohe
Apparently this favorite seafood spot doesn’t take reservations, so the wait can get lengthy. At least there are beautiful gardens to explore while you wait!
9) Volcano House Dining Room, Volcanoes National Park
Floor to ceiling windows give diners an excellent view of the volcano’s steam vents, and glow from the lava. How unbelievably awesome is that?
10) The Chart House Restaurant, Honolulu
“A steakhouse where you should order seafood.” Oh, and they have killer live music, too.
11) Kimo’s, Lahaina
If you are planning a trip to this seafood/steak restaurant for sunset, be sure to make a reservation for prime seating.
12) Daylight Mind Coffee Company, Kailua-Kona
A waterfront café perfect for brunch, or even just a simple cup of coffee.
13) The Plantation House Restaurant, Lahaina
With peaceful of the golf course, rolling hills, and the ocean, could you really ask for a better view?
14) Sarento’s Top of the Ilikai, Honolulu
This lovely Italian and Mediterranean establishment on the top floor of the Ilikai Hotel is perfect for a romantic dinner. Make a reservation for Friday night and request a table with views of the fireworks.
15) Cheeseburger in Paradise, Lahaina
This American burger hotspot is as close to the beach as you can get.
16) Kona Inn Restaurant, Kailua-Kona
Known for their strong drinks and awesome views, this place is best visited during happy hour, or for a sunset view.