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Where to eat

7 of the Best Places to Eat in Honolulu for Poke, Sushi and More

Eat like a local for the ultimate Aloha experience

The Vacationeer
Close up shot of a Hawaiian Poke Bowl.

Set amidst Hawaii's breathtaking vistas — waterfalls, lush mountainsides and some of the world's most stunning beaches — is an equally remarkable local food scene. 

Hawaii's cuisine is brimming with delicious flavors reminiscent of Polynesian, Asian, European and American influences. From classical Hawaiian dishes to innovative renditions of the island's traditional staples and flavors, it's no wonder visitors keep coming back to this foodie paradise for more.

Plan a visit to Honolulu, Hawaii's largest city, and you'll find no shortage of mouth-watering eateries to get your fill. 

So, before you Google "where to eat in Honolulu" or pull up Yelp to find local favorites, check out this list of seven places to eat in Honolulu for a taste of Aloha. 

Ono Seafood

The booming popularity of traditional Polynesian dishes such as the Poke Bowl has many travelers searching for the best place to satisfy their cravings. Enter Ono Seafood

Locals flock to this no-frills eatery for the variety of ahi poke and the laid-back atmosphere, where you'll discover traditional super ono ahi and tako poke. Other local favorites include dried fish and shrimp, pickled mango, poi, boiled peanuts and other tasty treats.

Order: Try the wok-friend yakisoba and bone-kalbi ribs and wash it all down with a crisp local beer, plenty of which flows on tap. 

Side Street Inn

In the heart of Honolulu is the Side Street Inn, a local gem that has garnered its fair share of awards and accolades for its inviting atmosphere and award-winning "gourmet comfort food."

Featured on the Travel Channel show "No Reservations," Food Network, and publications such as Saveur Magazine, L.A. Times and Travel + Leisure, this hometown favorite is arguably one of the best places to eat in Honolulu for a homestyle Hawaiian meal. 

Order: Start with 'ono grinds, then enjoy generous portions of kimchee fried rice, yakisoba and pork chops with your travel tribe — family-style.  

Maguro Brothers

Tucked away inside the fresh foods markets of Chinatown is a basic counter-service kitchen known for its wide variety of remarkably fresh poke, sashimi and cooked fish dishes. If you're a first-time visitor at Maguro Brothers, don't worry if the menu board feels a little overwhelming. 

Just remember that the board has three sections: poke, sashimi and cooked fish — all served over rice. Many travelers recommend letting a few parties go ahead of you so you can observe the ordering process. 

Order: If you're craving sashimi or poke, try the "King salmon, and add uni on rice," or the "ume-shiso Ahi poke on rice." However, if you prefer cooked fish, order it like a local — requesting sushi rice instead of the cooked rice.  

Tokkuri-tei

To taste Hawaii's Japanese influences, take a trip to Tokkuri-tei, a Honolulu food scene veteran. Step inside this Japanese-style tavern and sushi bar, beloved by locals for its sharable with small plates, or "otsumami," sushi, beer and liquor. 

Tokkuri-tei's creative menu strikes the delicate balance between traditional Japanese offerings and contemporary dishes with a Polynesian flair, creating a delight for your taste buds. 

Order: Try the melt-in-your-mouth Miso Butterfish or the IkaYaki, a squid pancake that tastes like pumpkin pie. Don't forget the Hawaiian-style sashimi poke bowls.

Mitch's

Regularly touted as "the best sushi in Hawaii," this nondescript, bring your own beer-style sushi bar offers memorable seafood dishes in a cozy space. Mitch's menu boasts various rolls and sashimi options, including the lobster sashimi — presentation in itself. 

Locals recommend making reservations and suggest street parking for convenience. 

Order: Add the swoon-worthy Toro sashimi, Miso Salmon and Lobster Van Van to your must-try list. 

Leonard's Bakery

Leonard's is one of Oahu's most popular destinations for buying malasadas, Portuguese donuts that are golden brown and crunchy on the outside, with soft, fluffy dough on the inside. The finishing touch includes generously rolling the confections in sugar for an undeniably delicious treat. 

As you can imagine, foodies from far and wide come to Leonard's to satisfy their sweet tooth. It's not uncommon for the line to stretch out the door, so plan yourself plenty of time. 

Order: Shake it up and try your malasadas rolled in cinnamon instead of the regular sugar or order try one with a tasty filling. Custard, coconut cream, chocolate and guava are among the popular options. 

Helena's Hawaiian Food

In 1946, Helen Chock opened the doors to Helena's Hawaiian Food, a humble eatery that serves the local community quality Hawaiian cuisine. Today, droves of locals and visitors frequent this unassuming Hawaiian mainstay for meals that are worth the wait. 

So much so that, in 2000, the James Beard Foundation took notice and awarded Helena's Regional Classic Award. 

Order: Popular menu items include tripe stew, short ribs (pipikaula style), and fried butterfish collar.

 

Read Best of Hawaii: Oahu Activities for more ideas to make your time in the islands unforgettable.

 

 

 

Vacationeer

The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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