Kailua is best known for its beautiful Lanikai Beach, but residents know their town is also a beacon of culinary delights on Oahu. If you're going to the beach, be sure to stop for lunch at one of these great Kailua restaurants. Even if you're not beach-bound, you'll discover that these eateries are still worth the 30-minute drive from Honolulu or Waikiki. Most of these restaurants are on Kailua Road, so they'll be easy to find.
Here's why you go to Fat Boy's Local Drive-In (which, by the way, is in no way a drive-in at this location): to get a quick and generous plate lunch. You'll find all the usual plate lunch options, from garlic chicken (one of the most popular) to curry and katsu, with all of the plate-lunch trappings such as white rice, macaroni salad, or tossed greens. Prices are reasonable and service is suited for the afternoon crowd on a quick lunch break.
Perfect poke. What more needs to be said? The Hibachi is a great restaurant in Kailua to hit up either before or after a day at Lanikai Beach.
True fish experts, the Honolulu natives and childhood friends who created Hibachi's concept decided to fill a gap for a fresh fish grocer in Kailua. With a well-rounded and ample selection of fresh fish and beef, a changing daily assortment of fresh and delicious poke and a comprehensive beer and wine selection, Hibachi is perfectly positioned to provide all of your cookout needs. In fact, you can actually buy packages ready for the grill.
But back to the matter at hand: the poke bowls. For a reasonable price, you get a good serving of white or brown rice topped with whatever flavor of premium poke you would like. Two words: absolutely delicious.
The Kalapawai makes the list on many dining guides. Here's what you need to know for lunchtime: Everything in the deli case is oh so ono. Like, the knock-your-socks-off kind. Do yourself a favor and order some Brussels sprouts and the coffee of the day.
The fruit and vegetables served here are as local as possible (half a ton of pineapple is shipped from Maui each week) and are cut in a refrigerated kitchen to ensure the fruit stays crisp. You'll notice the difference when you order a smoothie or acai bowl. Also try the fresh-squeezed juices, organic Hawaiian honey, crunch bars, quinoa bowls, and banana bread.
For juicy, succulent burgers, few rival Teddy's Bigger Burgers. The chain started here on Oahu, right at the foot of Diamond Head, and has moved to a couple of mainland locations since opening in 1998.
What makes Teddy's unique? Its burgers are made to order using 100-percent fresh chilled ground chuck with no fillers or binders. But the secret is really in the sauces. Teddy's Super Sauce is both sweet and tangy, and the traditional teriyaki sauce is made from scratch.
Want to add even more local flavor? Try your burger Kailua style with teriyaki sauce, mushrooms, swiss and grilled onions. This 1950s-themed restaurant is a must try during your visit to Kailua.