Deciding where to eat in Honolulu (which includes Waikiki) is a major task. There are hundreds of restaurants within just a few square miles.
For our picks of top Honolulu restaurants, we've included a wide array of cuisines and price ranges. We've selected places where you can get a great breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here in alphabetical order are our picks.
Alan Wong's Honolulu
Consistently honored by Honolulu Magazine as a top restaurant on Oahu, Alan Wong's flagship Honolulu restaurant is located on the third floor of the 1857 S. King Street office building in downtown Honolulu.
Alan Wong's offers a menu featuring Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) at its finest. "Dishes are tested and born; brainstorming sessions give rise to innovative methods and partnerships; the next generation is coached and developed to be the best they can be..."
The restaurant is highly regarded for its impeccable service.
Bali Steak & Seafood
If attentive, professional, and friendly service is high on your list when dining and you're looking for some of the best steaks and fresh island seafood in Waikiki, Bali Steak & Seafood in the Rainbow Tower at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is definitely well worth considering.
Prices are on the high end such as their excellent 16-ounce bone-in prime Delmonico seasoned with their special in-house blend of Kona sea salt, local herbs and spices at $70, but the price is well worth the splurge.
Bali Steak & Seafood’s chef-driven expression of Island Harvest Cuisine focuses on partnerships with local farmers, fishermen, and ranchers as they bring you the island flavors of Hawaii, Bali, and the Philippines. Bali offers a delicious 4-course chef’s selection, domestic Wagyu which is tops in Hawaii.
The most honored restaurant in Hawaii, holder of the coveted AAA Five Star and Gayot Three Toques 18/20 rating, Chef Mavro is located at 1969 S. King Street, just a short drive from most Waikiki hotels.
Chef George Mavrothalassitis, the holder of the prestigious James Beard award and a founding member of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, specializes in the unique flavors of Hawaii influenced by Chef’s native Provence in France.
Lobster, wagyu beef, lamb, pork & Island fish & upcountry vegetables are all popular dishes. Prices are not inexpensive, with fixed-price for a 4-course Menu at $95. The 5-course Chef’s Menu is $155.
Reservations are recommended and can be made online but walk-ins are welcome as well.
Located oceanfront in the lower lobby of the Outrigger Waikiki, Duke's honors the name and memory of Hawaii's most famous surfer, Duke Kahanamoku and all of the other Waikiki Beach Boys.
Known for its sunset views and live Hawaiian music, Duke's offers walk-in beach service at the famous barefoot bar, but also offers lunch and dinner service as well as an excellent breakfast buffet.
Their dinner menu offers excellent selections of fresh fish as well as steaks and prime rib. Whatever you choose as your main course, don't leave before you taste their world-famous "Kimo's original hula pie" featuring a chocolate cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, hot fudge, toasted mac nuts, and whipped cream.
Hau Tree Lanai
If you're looking for the best breakfast in Honolulu, the Open Table and Honolulu Magazine award-winning Hau Tree Lanai at the New Otani Kamaaina Beach Hotel is definitely the place to be.
The atmosphere can't be beaten as you dine al fresco under the restaurant's famous Hau Tree with great ocean views and an extensive menu. Reservations are strongly recommended.
Dinner is equally as excellent specializing in fresh seafood with a few additional selections from the grill. Every month, their Executive Chef, Rene Caba, prepares a signature prix fixe dinner menu. For example, in April, 2019, the prix fixe price per person for that menu was $69, with an additional $25 for wine pairing. The sunsets are some of the best in Waikiki.
Helena's Hawaiian Food
Helena's Hawaiian Food is a world-famous Hawaiian food restaurant located at 1240 North School Street in the heart of downtown Honolulu.
It opened in 1946, received a James Beard Award for "America's Classics" in 2000 and is known for its classic Hawaiian dishes including kalua pig, laulau, luau squid and short ribs.
Helena's has been featured on numerous television shows including Chowdown Countdown, Good Morning America and Man Versus Food. Helena passed away in 2007 but the restaurant is now run by her grandson.
Helena's is a cash-only business and is open just Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It's the perfect place to eat lunch when touring Honolulu's historic district.
Nico's Pier 38
Where should you go for the freshest fish in Hawaii? The answer is a restaurant located just feet from the pier where the fish arrive and are auctioned each morning.
That restaurant is Nico's Pier 38, located at 1129 N. Nimitz Highway in Honolulu. Nico's Pier 38 is Honolulu's premier fish restaurant featuring fresh fish line-caught by Hawaii's local fleet, hand-picked daily by Chef Nico Chaize and their expert fish buyers.
All of the food served is locally grown and sourced whenever possible. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and offers live entertainment. They have a full bar, outdoor lanai, and their own fish market.
Be sure to order the Poke Sampler featuring 3 styles of Nico's auction fresh poke.
Shokudo Japanese Restaurant and Bar
No list of Honolulu restaurants would be complete without at least one restaurant featuring Japanese cuisine.
My favorite Japanese restaurant in Honolulu is the Honolulu Magazine award-winning Shokudo Japanese Restaurant and Bar located on the ground floor of Ala Moana Pacific Center at 1585 Kapiolani Boulevard near the Ala Moana Center.
It's just a short hop from Waikiki and validated parking is available. Shokudo offers Japanese casual dining in a contemporary setting. They have an extensive menu of over 70+ dishes (complete with photos) all at affordable prices.