Food is very important… We can all agree on that right? I mean it’s probably more important to our health than our happiness, but I think it’s fair to try and accommodate both. And if you’re planning a vacation, you could argue that food becomes more important to your happiness than your health. Phrases like “I have to try the local cuisine” and “I’m on vacation” seem to justify almost any calorie count or price on the menu.
AND THAT’s OKAY. Vacations are meant for exploring! Try new things. Be bold. Be adventurous. Live life. Experience the culture. These are all vital aspects of traveling the world. And there’s almost no better way to accomplish those things than through food. The local cuisine can speak volumes about a culture if you let it. Some people, like Anthony Bourdain, have made it their life’s ambition to learn about people from all over the world by talking to them about food. (And if you haven’t watched him, check out one of his shows now! Parts Unknown is my favorite.)
With that being said, Hawaii has some truly incredible restaurants that you have to check out! And most of them are located on Oahu! Since there are way too many too list, I decided to narrow it down to my top picks by category.
Moku Kitchen – Best for The Food
Honolulu, HI – $$
Cool creative locale featuring locally sourced, modern American fare & cocktails, plus live music
La Mer – Best for Romance
Waikiki – $$$
Opulent open-air dining at the Halekulani with a high-end fixed price French menu & ocean views
Haleiwa Joe’s – Best for The Atmosphere
Kaneohe, HI – $$$
Seafood specials, prime rib, & jumbo Mai Tai’s in a polished, breezy space where sandy feet are okay
Buho Cocina y Cantina – Best for The Budget
Waikiki – $ ($2 Street Tacos on Taco Tuesday)
Roomy, modern rooftop restaurant & open-air bar featuring locally sourced Mexican eats & cocktails
Haleiwa Beach House – Best for The View
Haleiwa, HI – $$
Quaint casual stop for surf ‘n’ turf, pupu platters, colorful cocktails & a terrace with a view
Kono’s – Best for The Local Vibe
North Shore, Kailua, Waikiki – $
Quirky café for kalua pork and milkshakes. Comfort food. Quick bite. Hip.
So when you’re planning your vacation to Oahu, make room in your itinerary for these amazing local eats! And remember, it’s totally acceptable to splurge a little and make a few diet exceptions when traveling to a new city! I certainly won’t tell 😉
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