Hungry in Honolulu? That’s a good problem to have! With so many diverse cultures co-existing on the island of Oahu, your options for exquisite eats are vast. From Asian noodles to farm-fresh Vietnamese, traditional Hawaiian to the freshest catches of the day, here’s a round-up of the tastiest menus in town.
Breakfast at Brue Bar. You’ll need lots of energy to tackle a big day of sightseeing on Oahu. To kick-start your day, I recommend a visit to Brue Bar in Chinatown.There are four locations around Honolulu; that’s four opportunities to try some of the most delicious coffee in the city. Brue Bar's cold brew is one of the best I’ve ever tasted and there are always a ton of Aloha vibes brewing about the cafe!
Poke at Ahi Assassins. If you’re not familiar with poke, you quickly will become a poke pro after a few days in Hawaii! This delicious ahi tuna salad is prepared all over Hawaii. Some local supermarkets even serve it by the pound. One of the most delicious poke iterations in Honolulu can be found at at hole-in-the-wall restaurant named Ahi Assassins. It doesn’t get any fresher than the poke here. The fish comes straight off the boat and into your plate. Their “caught here, not brought here” motto and reasonable prices keep locals coming back. One of my favorites is the Spicy Ahi; it packs the perfect amount of kick and is so fresh you'll want to savor each bite.
Traditional Hawaiian at Helena’s. If you don’t know what Hawaiian food tastes like, you’ll be schooled at Helena’s Hawaiian Food. Helena’s is a James Beard Award-winning mom-and-pop shop that serves no-frills island cuisine. You can try local delicacies like laulau (pork wrapped in taro leaves), lomi lomi salmon, and the succulent Kalua pig, a fan favorite. Here it’s cash only, so make sure you hit the ATM beforehand.
Eclectic eats at The Pig & The Lady. Chef Andrew Le has lured hordes of hungry foodies to his Chinatown restaurant and farmer’s market with some of the most innovative cuisine in the city. Inspired by his Mom’s home-cooking and his experience at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Chef Le serves a mix of Vietnamese and Pacific delicacies such as indulgent brisket that gets roasted for 12 hours! I died and went to foodie heaven after trying the restaurant's beignets with cauliflower foam dipping sauce (it sounds odd, but was incredibly tasty). If you can’t make it for dinner, check out The Pig & The Lady’s farmer’s market, where produce from Chef Le's favorite local farmers is prepared in delicious sandwiches such as the Pho French Dip Banh Mi.
Noodles at Lucky Belly. Just down the street from The Pig & The Lady, Lucky Belly is Honolulu’s home for noodles. Getting a table isn’t easy, as reservations are only accepted until 6:30 p.m. Once you’re in, get ready to be treated to bowl-fuls of flavor. The Belly Bowl (ramen with pork belly, bacon and sausage) is the signature dish, and definitely one to try.
Where do you like to eat in Honolulu?