Local Eats Off the Beaten Path on Oahu

Places to dine where the locals do in Oahu

Oahu's culinary scene is greatly influenced by the diverse cultures that are found on the island. To experience the true tastes of Oahu, some "hole-in-the-wall" restaurants that locals often frequent.

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Great Resources for Local Food

A great way to experience island dining is with a Hole-In-The-Wall Tour with Hawaii Food Tours.

Two other good resources for information on these and other similar restaurants is Ono Kine Grindz and yelp.com.

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Bob's Bar-B-Que

1366 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817-4414, USA
+1 808-842-3663

It's the only drive-in in Hawaii that offers Western-style baby back ribs. Bob's offers a variety of BBQ styles, including Western, kalbi and teriyaki. Their specialties are baby back ribs, hibachi chicken, teriyaki chicken and their "Giant Burger."

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Boots & Kimo's Homestyle Kitchen

151 Hekili St, Kailua, HI 96734, USA
+1 808-263-7929

Famous for its pancakes with macadamia nut sauce, Boots & Kimo's is a small, hole-in-the-wall Kailua institution. The eatery is open from Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch, but leave plenty of time when you visit. The wait is often in excess of 1/2 hour and service is often slow.​
Visit Their Website

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Char Hung Sut

64 N Pauahi St, Honolulu, HI 96817-5138, USA
+1 808-538-3335

At Char Hung Sut, located in Honolulu's historic Chinatown, crowds line up daily for its award-winning ​manapua (pork bun), pepeiao (ear-shaped pork stuffed noodles), pork hash, and other dim sum-type treats. They are closed on Tuesdays.

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Diamond Head Cove Health Bar

3045 Monsarrat Ave #5, Honolulu, HI 96815-4400, USA
+1 808-732-8744

Located in a tiny strip mall at the ma kai (toward the ocean) end of Monsarrat Ave, Diamond Head Cove Health Bar is known for its 'awa (kava) drink. This traditional herbal drink was popular with Polynesian royalty for its calming effects. The Health Bar, popular with surfers and health nuts, also serves up refreshing acai bowls, made from the popular Brazilian berry known for its antioxidant benefits and served with organic granola, berries, bananas, and sweet Hawaiian honey.
Visit Their Website

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Gulick Delicatessen & Coffee Shop

1512 Gulick Ave, Honolulu, HI 96819-4124, USA
+1 808-847-1461

For more than 25 years, Gulick's, the popular family-run okazuya (Japanese delicatessen) has served a long line of customers at its Kalihi location daily. With the opening of its McCully store in 2007, more people can now enjoy Gulick's famous musubis (rice balls), fried chicken, vegetable tempura, chow fun noodles, and other small dishes.

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Helena's Hawaiian Food

1240 N School St, Honolulu, HI 96817-2013, USA
+1 808-845-8044

Helena's Hawaiian Food is a small, family-owned restaurant popular with locals for serving delectable Hawaiian food. In 2000, the James Beard Foundation awarded the restaurant with a Regional Classics award. Highlights of Helena's menu include tripe stew, squid luau, short ribs (pipikaula style), and fried butterfish collar.

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Leonard's Bakery

933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816-1434, USA
+1 808-737-5591

With lines that often stretch out the door in the early morning, Leonard's is Oahu's most popular destination for buying malasadas - a Portuguese donut that's golden brown and crunchy on the outside, with soft, fluffy dough on the inside. This hole-less donut is then rolled in sugar for a delicious finish. You can also get them rolled in cinnamon or filled with custard, coconut cream, chocolate, or guava.
Visit Their Website

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Liliha Bakery

580 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
+1 808-537-2488

Although it serves dozens of different types of pastries and also offers a full menu at its tiny restaurant counter, Liliha Bakery is most well known for its chantilly-topped coco puffs. Open 24-hours a day, six days a week (closed Mondays), customers come at all hours to pick-up one, or a dozen, of Liliha Bakery's famous coco puffs.

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Poke Stop

94-050 Farrington Hwy E4, Waipahu, HI 96797-1845, USA
+1 808-676-8100

Former Sam Choy's executive chef Elmer Guzman opened Poke Stop at the Waipahu Town Center in 2005. The casual restaurant and store offers fresh and refined seafood dishes and variety of poke made with different sauces and seafood, including hamachi, shrimp, salmon, and ​tako (octopus).

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City Square Bldg 1286, Kalani St B-106, Honolulu, HI 96817, USA
+1 808-841-7984

Specializing in bentos and plate lunches, Sugoi's is a local, family favorite known for its crunchy and flavorful garlic chicken. Sugoi's famous chicken is deep-fried and coated with garlic sauce then served with two scoops of rice and tossed or macaroni salad. With delicious local food, quick service, and reasonable prices, Sugoi's is a perfect choice for families on the go.
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Locals Dining Spots in Oahu