The Top Rated Restaurants in Waikiki: Food To Live For

When I first arrived in Waikiki, I was greeted not only by the stunning views of Waikiki beach but also by the irresistible aroma of Hawaiian cuisine.

From fresh fish tacos to iconic loco moco and delectable French cuisine, the culinary scene here on Kalakaua Avenue is a paradise for food enthusiasts.

Join me on a delectable journey as I explore the 11 best restaurants in Waikiki, each offering its own unique flavors and dining experiences.

Whether you’re craving signature dishes, sushi delights, or a taste of Pacific Rim cuisine, you’re in for a treat as we dive into the vibrant world of Hawaiian food.

1. House Without a Key

This open-air restaurant and bar, named after the classic Charlie Chan novel, exudes the essence of Hawaii’s charm. With its stunning views of the ocean and Diamond Head, this spot is a favorite among both locals and visitors alike.

House Without a Key is renowned for its iconic Mai Tai cocktails and crispy rice topped with spicy tuna – an irresistible combination that keeps patrons coming back for more.

I can tell that the atmosphere here is pure Hawaiian elegance. Traditional live Hawaiian music and hula dancing under the century-old kiawe tree set the scene for a memorable dining experience.

  • Best Suited For: Ideal for couples seeking a romantic evening; it’s also a great choice for families looking to enjoy a taste of Hawaii with children.
  • Budget: $$$
  • Dress Code: Resort casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: 2199 Kalia Rd Halekulani Hotel, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1936. Open daily from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM.

2. Marukame Udon

This bustling eatery is renowned for its freshly made udon noodles, prepared right before your eyes. The aroma of simmering broth and the sight of chefs handcrafting noodles create an authentic Japanese dining experience.

Don’t miss their signature udon bowls! Especially the Ontama Udon, and classic Chicken Katsu Curry – a Hawaiian favorite.

Marukame Udon has a casual and vibrant atmosphere as well. It’s a self-serve style restaurant, so you’ll have the opportunity to customize your meal too.

  • Best Suited For: It’s a great spot for families, solo diners, and couples looking for a quick, affordable, and delicious meal.
  • Budget: $
  • Dress Code: Very casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: Find Marukame Udon at 2310 Kuhio Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815. They typically open from 10 am to 10 pm.  Rent a scooter and get there quick!

3. Aloha Table

Aloha Table is a treasure trove of diverse flavors, blending the best of Hawaiian and global cuisines. From juicy steaks to delectable tacos, it’s a culinary adventure that awaits.

I say indulge in their signature poke bowls, fresh seafood, and mouthwatering Mochiko chicken, creating a perfect blend of Hawaii’s beloved flavors.

  • Best Suited For: Aloha Table is family-friendly and ideal for solo diners or couples looking for a relaxed meal with a taste of Hawaiian fusion cuisine.
  • Budget: $$
  • Dress Code:
  • Location and Operating Hours: Situated at 2238 Lauula St, 2F, Honolulu, HI 96815-5215. They have different times for lunch (11:30 am to 2 pm) and dinner (4 pm to midnight).

4. Eating House 1849

Step into the past at Eating House 1849, where classic Hawaiian dishes are reimagined with a contemporary twist. The restaurant’s name pays homage to Hawaii’s first restaurant, opened in the mid-1800s.

Order their famous garlic shrimp and flavorful plate lunches, showcasing the essence of Hawaiian cuisine with a modern flair. You can even build your own steak!

I found their atmosphere to be warm and inviting too, reflecting the spirit of old Hawaii with a touch of modern elegance.

  • Best Suited For: Eating House 1849 is suited for couples, families, and those looking to explore the rich flavors of Hawaiian cuisine with a contemporary twist.
  • Budget: $$$
  • Dress Code: Resort casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: 2330 Kalākaua Ave #322, Honolulu, HI 96815. They’re open from 4 to 9 pm—except weekends when they’re also open from 10:30 am to 2 pm.

5. Liliha Bakery

Liliha Bakery has been a local favorite since 1950, known for its mouth watering pastries and iconic Coco Puffs. It’s a place where sweet traditions are celebrated daily; you can rent an e-bike if you want to get there in style.

Bite into their famous Coco Puffs, sweet bread, and savory dishes like their scrumptious hamburger steak.

  • Best Suited For: Liliha Bakery is family-friendly but still great for solo diners or couples searching for a hearty, budget-friendly meal.
  • Budget: $
  • Dress Code: Very casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: Located at 515 N. Kuakini St.Honolulu, HI 96817. They typically open early in the morning – 6 am to be exact – till 10 pm.

6. Kona Coffee Purveyors | B. Patisserie

This unique establishment brings together the rich flavors of Kona coffee and the artistry of B. Patisserie, offering a harmonious blend of caffeine and sweets.

I recommend their expertly brewed Kona coffee, paired perfectly with a delightful selection of pastries, including buttery croissants and exquisite French desserts.

  • Best Suited For: Kona Coffee Purveyors | B. Patisserie caters to those who appreciate the finer things in life, making it perfect for those of you with a penchant for gourmet coffee and pastries.
  • Budget: $$$
  • Dress Code: Smart-casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: Kuhio Avenue Mall Entrance – International Marketplace, 2330 Kalākaua Ave #160, Honolulu, HI 96815. They’re open from 7 am till 4 pm.

7. Tommy Bahama

Tommy Bahama captures the essence of island living with its flavorful dishes and refreshing cocktails. It’s a haven for those seeking a taste of the tropics.

For me, must-haves include their island-inspired dishes like Mahi Mahi tacos and lobster bisque, paired perfectly with their signature cocktails.

The atmosphere is also casual and laid-back, reminiscent of a beachside retreat.

  • Best Suited For: Tommy Bahama welcomes everyone – families, solo diners, couples, and anyone craving a relaxed dining experience.
  • Budget: $$$
  • Dress Code: Resort casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: 298 Beach Walk Suite 137, Honolulu, HI 96815. They’re open from 10 am up to 9 pm.

8. Paia Fish Market Waikiki

Paia Fish Market is where the spirit of Hawaii’s North Shore comes to life in Waikiki, through its seafood offerings. It’s a place where I can savor the ocean’s bounty.

Check out their incredible fish tacos, generous poke bowls, and plate lunches brimming with fresh poke and scoops of rice.

  • Best Suited For: Paia Fish Market caters to a diverse crowd, provided they share a love for fresh seafood.
  • Budget: $$
  • Dress Code: Very casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: 2299 Kūhiō Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815. Operating hours are from 11 am to 10:00 pm.

9. Hula Grill

Hula Grill embodies the spirit of aloha, serving up a menu inspired by the diverse flavors of Hawaii. It’s a place where the beauty of the beach meets the deliciousness of Hawaiian cuisine.

I suggest you dine on their fresh fish tacos and sashimi that showcase the essence of island dining. Don’t forget their signature cocktails either!

  • Best Suited For: Whether you’re a family, a solo diner, or a couple seeking a romantic beachside dinner, Hula Grill is a welcoming choice for all.
  • Budget: $$$
  • Dress Code: Resort casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: 2335 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815. They typically open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

10. Maguro Spot

Maguro Spot offers a diverse menu of customizable poke bowls that prioritize freshness, flavor, and nutrition, catering to various dietary preferences.

The restaurant elevates the traditional Hawaiian dish, offering a range of options to suit different tastes and dietary needs. It’s a personal favorite of mine too!

As customers, we can create our own poke bowl with choices of bases (mixed greens or sushi rice) and an array of fresh toppings.

  • Best Suited For: Maguro Spot caters to a diverse clientele who share a passion for Japanese cuisine and are seeking customizable poke bowls with fresh ingredients.
  • Budget: $$
  • Dress Code:
  • Location and Operating Hours: 2441 Kūhiō Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815. Open from 10 am to 8:30 pm.

11. Sushi Sho

Sushi Sho is where the art of sushi reaches its pinnacle. With a focus on traditional Edomae-style sushi, it’s a place where every bite is a masterpiece.

I say their omakase menu is a must-check, where the chef’s creativity shines, and fresh, seasonal ingredients take center stage.

Additionally, the atmosphere is intimate and serene, perfect for couples and those who appreciate the craftsmanship of sushi.

  • Best Suited For: Sushi Sho is a haven for sushi connoisseurs, couples, and anyone looking for an exclusive dining experience.
  • Budget: $$$$
  • Dress Code: Smart-casual.
  • Location and Operating Hours: 383 Kalaimoku St, Honolulu, HI 96815. They’re open exclusively from 5 to 10:30 pm.

Summary: The Waikiki Foodie Scoop

In the heart of Waikiki, we’ve explored a delectable culinary journey.

From fresh fish and sushi delights to Hawaiian comfort food, the dining scene on Kalakaua Avenue is a paradise for food enthusiasts. While prices vary, you’ll find options to suit different budgets.

Explore these diverse flavors, savor stunning ocean views, and create unforgettable memories in Waikiki’s vibrant food scene. Aloha!

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