There is little better in this world than enjoying a meal from your favorite neighborhood restaurant – and nowhere is this more true than the Hawaiian Islands. With millions of tourists visiting the islands every year, it is certainly nice to have your favorite go-to restaurants available to get away from the crowds. And while this isn’t a comprehensive list of local favorites, here are 17 of the greatest neighborhood eateries across Hawaii – from Honolulu to Lanai City.
1. Your Kitchen, Honolulu
Famous for their pork bowls with a crunch soft boiled egg, this Japanese takeout eatery in the heart of Honolulu does not disappoint.
2. Paia Fish Market, Paia
This casual restaurant with a nautical theme and indoor picnic tables serves up some of the best seafood, plate lunches and fish burgers around.
3. Mark’s Place, Lihue
Serving up everything from plate lunches to bento boxes, Mark’s Place is a local favorite and features different food combinations every day.
4. Manago Hotel Restaurant, Captain Cook
The restaurant at the Manago Hotel is not only Hawaii's oldest restaurant in continuous use, but is also famous for their pork chops, as well as a menu featuring a variety of fresh fish, sandwiches, and some ono Hawaiian side dishes.
5. Lucky Belly, Honolulu
Full of reclaimed wood and brick walls, this hip Honolulu ramen joint is a local favorite. The eatery even features a window for late-night takeout orders.
6. Hali’imaile General Store, Makawao
Though called a general store, this establishment is actually a critically-acclaimed restaurant that serves up seafood and eclectic American food with Asian overtones. The pineapple plantation setting and quaint country ambiance make this a must-visit destination in Makawao.
7. Keoki’s Paradise, Koloa
This Kauai tiki bar may feel kitschy, but it is a neighborhood favorite for classic Hawaiian cocktails, seafood, and a gorgeous setting.
8. Ken’s House of Pancakes, Hilo
This casual breakfast joint is open 24/7, making it the perfect place for a late night - or early morning - stack of macadamia nut pancakes, as well as variety of egg dishes, burgers, and stews.
9. Blue Ginger Cafe, Lanai City
With a casual, old-school vibe and simple American and Pan-Asian fare, Blue Ginger Cafe is a must visit while in Lanai City.
10. Alan Wong’s Restaurant, Honolulu
Located in the heart of Honolulu, famed chef Alan Wong shows off his expertly-crafted Asian-fusion cuisine with a Hawaiian flare at this upscale third-floor restaurant. While this isn't necessarily what one thinks off when prompted with the term "neighborhood restaurant," this is the city's go-to for fancy events.
11. Star Noodle, Lahaina
For noodle dishes, Asian shared plates and sake cocktails in a charming atmosphere in Lahaina, head to Star Noodle.
12. Duke’s, Lihue
This festive beachside eatery may be located at the Kauai Marriot, but it serves up some mean island drinks, as well as American and Hawaiian favorites.
13. 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.
14. Helena’s Hawaiian Food, Honolulu
One of the state’s oldest Hawaiian restaurants, Helena’s Hawaiian Food is well-known for using secret family recipes. Be sure to order “Menu D,” a tasting menu that comes with kalua pork, lomi salmon, dried beef short ribs, and luau squid. Don’t forget about the haupia dessert!
15. Coconut's Fish Cafe, Kihe
This seafood joint serves up Hawaiian fish tacos, sandwiches, pastas and plate lunches at affordable prices in a laid-back, family friendly atmosphere with great service and even better seafood.
16. Kalaheo Cafe + Coffee Company, Kalaheo
With locally sourced ingredients, this cafe serves up a killer omelet, as well as sandwiches and Hawaiian cuisine in a casual setting.
17. Hawaiian Style Cafe, Waimea
If you’re in the mood for home cooked Hawaiian and American food, look no further than this quaint diner located in Waimea that serves up some scrumptious breakfast and lunch options. From massive pancakes and kalua pork hash to lighter or vegetarian options, there is something for everyone at this charming café.