When it comes to eating on Oahu, you will find you have literally hundreds of options to choose from. The following is a diverse sample of eating establishments located in the Waikiki/Honolulu area, but it doesn't cover everything. Don't let this list keep you from exploring on your own. Walking about and checking posted menus can be a fun diversion.
Burgers, Ribs, and Dogs
There's no escaping fast food in any sizable American city, and Honolulu is no exception. Burger King, Jack in the Box, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Subway, and Taco Bell are among the favorites that are well represented. Still, if you want to try something different, here are a few options.
For basic fare like burgers, try Cheeseburger in Paradise( 2500 Kalakaua Ave. 923-3731). There's also Davey Jones Ribs( 250 Lewers St. 923-7427). Or look for the Hula Dog Lunch Wagon, a wagon in the parking lot behind Hilton Hawaiian Hotel Lagoon.
While you might consider taking the kids to almost any restaurant in Hawaii, the following are relatively inexpensive and offer fare tame enough for anyone's taste.
Big City Diner 3565 Wai'alae Ave. 738-8855
Denny's (three locations) 205 Lewers Ave. 2586 Kalakaua Ave. 2345 Kuhio Ave.
Kincaid's Fish, Chop, and Steakhouse Ward Warehouse 591-2005
Old Spaghetti Factory Ward Warehouse 591-2513
Scoozee's (pizza and Italian) Ward Centre 597-1777
Spaghetti Hale 474 Ena Rd. S949-3216
Steak and Seafood
Big Island Steakhouse Aloha Tower Marketplace 537-4446
Dixie BBQ Grill and Crab Shack 404 Ward Ave. 596-8359
Lewers Street Fish Company 247 Lewers St. 971-1000
Shore Bird Beach Broiler: Grill your own main course! Outrigger Reef Hotel, 2169 Kalia Rd. 922-2887
Stuart Anderson's Cattle Company Ward Warehouse 591-9292
Something for Everyone
Do you like a little variety in your life? Here are a few establishments that offer buffets. Don't get the idea that they're cheap spreads. Some are a bit on the expensive side, but the range of choices and quality usually make the price worthwhile.
Ask your hotel concierge or a taxi driver for a dining recommendation. The local folks often have their own preferences, and you might end up with a terrific meal at a popular spot frequented by Hawaiians.
Beach Side Café and House Without a Key Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel 2365 Kalakaua Ave. 922-3111, ext. 2220
J. R. Chinese Buffet International Marketplace 926-1488
Ocean Terrace Restaurant Sheraton Waikiki 2255 Kalakaua Ave. 922-4422
Pagoda Restaurant 1525 Rycroff St. 941-6611
Restaurant Parc Café Waikiki Parc Hotel 2233 Helumoa Rd. 931-6643
Toda 1910 Ala Moana Blvd. 947-1000
The Willows 817 Hausten St. 952-9200
Really hungry? Perry's Smorgy offers an inexpensive all-you-can-eat buffet! You'll find two locations in Waikiki, one at 250 Lewers St. and another on 2380 Kuhio Ave.
Given Oahu's multicultural flair, it's no surprise to find a wealth of restaurants specializing in certain ethnic cuisines. Here are a few highlights, grouped by type of cuisine:
Golden Dragon (Chinese) Hilton Hawaiian Village 946-5336
Lotus Moon (Chinese) Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel 120 Kaiulani Ave. 931-4679
Ahimsa Curries (Indian) 1901 Kapiolani Blvd. #225 942-0853
Benihana (Japanese) 2005 Kalia Rd. 955-5955
California Beach Rock N' Roll Sushi (Japanese-style) 404 Ward Ave. 597-8000
Kacho at Waikiki Parc Hotel (Japanese) 2233 Helumoa Rd. 931-6645
Kobe Japanese Steak House 1841 Ala Moana Blvd. 941-4444
Shogun (Japanese) 2490 Kalakaua Ave. 921-6113
Seoul Jung (Korean) Waikiki Resort Hotel 2460 Koa Ave. 921-8620
Cascada (Mediterranean) Royal Garden at Waikiki Hotel 440 Olohana St. 945-0270
Chili's (Mexican) 2350 Kuhio Ave. 922-9697
Cholo's Homestyle (Mexican) 66-250 Kamehameha Hwy. Heleiwa (N. Shore) 637-3059
Compadres Mexican Bar & Grill Ward Centre 591-8307
Pepper's (Mexican) 150 Kaiulani Ave. 926-4374
Cha-Cha-Cha Salsaria (Mexican/Caribbean) 342 Seaside Ave. 923-7797
Pyramids Restaurant (Middle Eastern) 758 Kapahulu Ave. 7 737-2900
Café Monsarrat (Spanish tapas) 3106 Monsarrat Ave. 737-6600
Singha Thai Cuisine 1910 Ala Moana Blvd. 941-2898
Traditional Hawaiian food and island-style cuisine can be enjoyed at a number of places in the Waikiki/Honolulu area.
Alan Wong's Restaurant 1857 S. King St. 949-2526
Aloha Poi Bowl 2671 S. King St. 944-0798
The Hanohano Room Sheraton Waikiki 2255 Kalakaua Ave. 922-4422
Helena's Hawaiian Food 1364 N. King St. 845-8044
Don Ho's Island Grill Aloha Tower 528-0807
Masu's Massive Plate Lunch 1808 Liliha St. 524-4260
Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch & Crab 580 N. Nimitz Hwy. 545-7979
Sam Choy's Diamond Head Restaurant 449 Kapahulu Ave. 732-8645
RAINY DAY FUN
Zippy's is a very popular chain of local-style restaurants with locations all over Oahu. They're open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and feature a fast-food counter. The local people really like it, and so might you!
Eating at a Luau
You can experience all of the fun, food, and entertainment at an Oahu luau. Here are a few venues:
Germaine's Luau: Located on the leeward coast west of Honolulu. 949-6626 1-800-367-5655 www.germainesluau.com
Paradise Cove Luau: Features a Hawaiian village with crafts, games, demonstrations, and a dance show. Located at the Ko Olina Resort on the leeward coast west of Honolulu. Transportation is provided from Waikiki. 842-5911 www.paradisecove.com
Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore presents its Ali'i Lu'au every evening except Sunday. They offer a variety of transportation options. 1-877-572-2347 www.polynesian.com
Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach presents a luau on Mondays. 931-7194 www.royal-hawaiian.com
At a real luau, you'll see that the pig is roasted in an imu, a pit. Rocks are placed inside and heated in a fire. Then, a layer of leaves is placed on the hot rocks. The food goes on top and is covered with additional layers of leaves or cloth. Hot rocks are usually also inserted inside the pig to help it cook faster.
Theme restaurants have always been popular, and chains such as the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood can be found in lively tourist locations around the world. Honolulu has its share of such interesting eateries, plus some originals of its own.
All Star Café: A sports café at the local Nike Town. 2080 Kalakaua Ave. 955-8326
Hard Rock Cafe: Rock and roll! 1837 Kapiolani Blvd. 955-7383
Oceanarium: This eatery, located at the Pacific Beach Hotel, features a huge three-story aquarium full of tropical fish and the occasional scuba diver. 2490 Kalakaua Ave. 921-6111
Planet Hollywood: This chain restaurant is all about the movies. 2155 Kalakaua Ave. 924-7877
Tiki's Grill & Bar: A restaurant with a “retro South Pacific” theme, located at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, near the zoo. 2570 Kalakaua Ave. 1-800-923-8454
Fine dining usually means expensive dining. Expensive dining often means a good view and a talented chef. Reservations are usually required. Here's a selection of some of Waikiki/Honolulu's best:
Aaron's Atop the Ala Moana 410 Atkinson Dr. 955-4466
Bali by the Sea Hilton Hawaiian Village 941-2254
The Chart House 1765 Ala Moana Blvd. 941-6669
The Colony Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa 2424 Kalakaua Ave. 923-1234
Hakone (Japanese) 100 Holomoana St. 944-4494
Hy's Steak House 2440 Kuhio Ave. 922-5555
Kuhio Beach Grill Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort 921-6111
La Mer (French) Halekulani Hotel 2199 Kalia Rd. 923-2311
Michel's Colony Surf Hotel 2895 Kalakaua Ave. 923-6552
Neptune Garden Pacific Beach Hotel 2490 Kalakaua Ave. 921-6112
Orchids Halekulani Hotel 2199 Kalia Rd. 923-2311
Sarento's Top of the Ilikai Hotel (Italian) 1777 Ala Moana Blvd. 955-5559
JUST FOR PARENTS
If you're looking for afternoon tea, it is served daily at the Halekulani Hotel (3-5:30 P.M.), the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (1-4 P.M.), the Hawaii Prince Hotel (4-6 P.M.), and the Sheraton Moana (1-4:30 P.M., Sundays 3-5 P.M.). You might want to call regarding reservations.