Breaking down my favorite food stops on O’ahu!
There are so many places to eat at on Oahu, these just happen to be my favorite ones. I can’t wait to go back and try more!
Shamelessly, I’m going to plug the restaurant I worked at, DECK. The restaurant is located in the Queen Kapiolani Hotel and has an unobstructed view of Diamond Head. The food, ambiance and view are all amazing. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Knots Coffee is located in their lobby and offers a smaller, quick service menu.
Sweet E’s is the best breakfast I’ve ever had. It comes close to the local diners of home but I never left feeling over stuffed. The line is always out the door and typically you have to wait, so come early or later to try to be seated immediately.
Island Vintage Coffee
Island Vintage Coffee can be found in the Royal Hawaiian Center, Ala Moana, and Ko Olina Center. They have great food and drinks. My favorite drink is the Banana Kona Mocha.
Honolulu Coffee Company
Honolulu Coffee Company is amazing but not my first choice because you will spend half of your day waiting in line because every location is so popular. They have many locations and their food is excellent. I suggest buying a bag of grounds to take home.
Ama Ama Restaurant at Aulani
Ama Ama Restaurant at Aulani has an amazing view of their lagoon. Their pancakes are delicious and come with a macadamia nut sauce. MMM.
Ono’s poke is a hidden gem on Kapahulu Ave. We didn’t try this place out until the middle of our semester and we were kicking ourselves for it. The poke is so fresh and flavorful.
Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill
Uncle Bo’s has two locations, one on Kapahulu Ave. and one in Haleiwa. This restaurant is perfect for light lunch and sharing pupu’s with your friends.
So, Doraku was delicious and we were able to go once before they closed for renovations but they are back up and running.
Banzai Sushi Bar
Banzai Sushi Bar is located on the North Shore. My dad and I ate here after we went skydiving! We sat on mats on the floor and had amazing sushi.
Kalapawai Market is located in Kailua, my favorite part on the island. They have the best sandwiches hidden in the back of the store. I love the BLT on potato bread with a side of caprese!
General lunch tip
Hopefully you like sushi/poke because you can find it almost anywhere. Spam Musubi can also be a quick pick up at any ABC general store, there is literally one every 5 feet (also, save your receipts for free gifts).
Duke’s is one of the most famous restaurants on Waikiki, if not the most famous. You get a perfect view of a Waikiki sunset and a busy atmosphere.
Hula Grill Waikiki
If the wait at Duke’s is too long, head upstairs to the Hula Grill Waikiki. The wait will be a little shorter bu the menu will be more expensive. We actually got a pretty good seat at the bar here and it was perfect to watch the AFC Championship game and head to the beach after.
So, Lulu’s was one of our favorite spots because we could get off the bus from UH at the zoo on Kapahulu and walk a few feet and we were there. LuLu’s has the best happy hour drinks and food. The mango daquiris are the my favorite. We actually watched the super bowl here and had mimosas, calamari, and spinach and artichoke dip. Also we met so many people who were from Mass that day. I guess we all had the same idea. Lulu’s is temporarily closed right now but hopefully they are up and running soon.
Maragame Udon offers great noodles and the line is always out the door! Probably the most popular Udon Noodles in Honolulu.
Leonard’s Bakery makes Oahu’s famous Malasadas. Malasadas are Portugese doughnuts. Same have filling, some do not but most are rolled in sugar.
Haleiwa Bowls are the perfect mid day refreshing snack/meal. They have acai bowls, smoothies and coffee drinks. Haleiwa is located on the North Shore of Oahu so if you’re staying Waikiki you will need to drive a bit to get there.
Banan…I am drooling thinking of it. Banan is a banana based frozen treat. Such a good beach snack for anyone who is plant based or lactose intolerant. There a Banan in Waikiki and one located close to the UH Manoa Campus.
Cream n’ Roll
Cream n’ Roll serves the best rolled ice cream. The presentation is as satisfying as the ice cream itself. I do suggest sharing though, the rolled sundaes are so sweet!
So, when you stop at the Dole Plantation ( because I am telling you; you have to), you also have to pick up a cup of their dole whip. You will never taste anything better in your life.
Shave Ice can be found almost every two feet on Waikiki and there are plenty of places to choose from.
I have now made myself hungry writing this. When COVID slows down and tourism can return safely, these food stops are first on my list. Thanks for reading!!