The Hawaiian Islands are home to countless incredible restaurants, though there are some eateries more famous than others. From upscale restaurants featuring Hawaii’s most famous chefs to hidden hole in the wall eateries, these 15 mouthwatering restaurants certainly define the islands.
1. Alan Wong’s, Honolulu
Located in the heart of Honolulu, famed chef Alan Wong shows off his expertly-crafted Asian-fusion cuisine with a Hawaiian flare. This upscale third-floor restaurant is perfect for a date night or fancy meal.
1857 S King St. #208, Honolulu, HI 96826
2. Cheeseburger In Paradise, Lahaina
My father-in-law consistently raves about this place, and for good reason. What’s better than a good burger? This American burger hotspot in Lahaina was recently closed and then reopened - and is as close to the beach as you can get.
811 Front St, Lahaina, HI 96761
3. Rays On The Bay, Kailua-Kona
The restaurant - located at the Sheraton Kona - has an open-air and modern atmosphere. Patrons can dine on island-inspired new American fare while giant manta rays hang out in the bay just yards away.
78-128 Ehukai St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
4. Haleiwa Joe’s, Kaneohe + Haleiwa
This classic Hawaiian restaurant not only serves up some of the freshest seafood around but is also located in quite the picturesque setting. An iconic Hawaiian seafood restaurant, Haleiwa Joe’s has two beautiful locations on the island of Oahu, in Haiku Gardens and on the beach in Haleiwa.
46-336 Haiku Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744 66-011 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
5. Hali’maile 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.
900 Haliimaile Rd, Makawao, HI 96768
6. Kilauea Fish Market, Kilauea
This iconic local deli serves up daily catches, plate lunches, and poke in a cozy atmosphere with outdoor seating.
4270 Kilauea Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754
7. ‘Ulu Ocean Grill & Seafood Lounge, Kona Coast
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.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, 72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Ka'upulehu-Kona, HI 96740
8. Rainbow Drive-In, Honolulu
This Honolulu classic is one of Obama's favorite places to visit when he's in town, and for good reason. Rainbow Drive-In is famous for its scrumptious plate lunches, complete with rice, mac salad and your choice of meat, as well as their mouth-watering loco moco plate.
3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
9. Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Kapalua + Kihei
This Maui sushi joint that specializes in inventive, colorful fare is sure to impress. Weekend karaoke and a festive ambiance makes this the perfect local hangout. Sansei has two locations, in Kihei and Kapalua.
1881 S Kihei Rd, Kihei, HI 96753 2552 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
10. Da Poke Shack, Kailua-Kona
According to Yelp, this seafood joint was the top-rated restaurant in America in 2014. That’s a pretty high honor for a seaside eatery nestled in a condominium complex known for their takeout poke, as well as local specialties and salads.
Oceanfront Kona Bali Kai Condos, 76-6246 Alii Dr #101, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
11. Marukame Udon, Honolulu
This casual Japanese eatery specializes in noodle soup, and there is almost always a line out of the door. It was even rated as the 10th best restaurant in America in Yelp's Top 100 Places to Eat in the US for 2016.
2310 Kuhio Ave. #124, Honolulu, HI 96815
12. Mama’s Fish House, Paia
With 4.5 stars on Yelp and more than 3,500 reviews, Mama’s Fish House is definitely doing something right. With fresh and delicious seafood and a picturesque oceanfront location, there is little better than this Paia eatery.
799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779
13. Hukilau Lanai, Kapa’a
Located at the Kauai Coast Resort, Hukilau Lanai is open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, and daily from 3 – 5 p.m. for poolside happy hour. Handcrafted dishes – like poke nachos, sweet potato ravioli, and macadamia nut chicken – are made using products from Kauai and the neighbor islands as much as possible.
Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy, 520 Aleka Loop, Kapaa, HI 96746
14. Duke’s Canoe Club, Honolulu
For incredible views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean in a casual, Hawaiian eatery with delicious food, look no further than Duke's Canoe Club, a well-known tourist hangout.
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, 2335 Kalakaua Ave #116, Honolulu, HI 96815
15. The Mill House, Wailuku
Located in Waikapu at the base of the West Maui Mountains is the Maui Tropical Plantation, a beautiful slice of paradise that is home to a restaurant so good, we would travel across the world just to visit. This is the Mill House Restaurant, and the photographs definitely don’t do this place justice.
1670 Honoapiilani Hwy #2, Wailuku, HI 96793