Great ideas for date night on Oahu
Oahu is an island for lovers. True, it’s usually plagued with tourists, but it doesn’t make it any less intimate for lovebirds. With the ubiquitous honeymooners, it’s easy for anyone to catch the love bug. From adventurous couples’ activities to romantic seaside dinners, Oahu caters to all types of ku’uipos (sweethearts).
Oahu is swarming with places to wine and dine your love. Let’s start with the way to most people’s hearts: food. There are a range of restaurants that are suitable for every type of date. For a relaxed date night with your personal casanova, one can’t go wrong with Town. This restaurant nestled in the heart of Kaimuki is a great place to savor some local flavor. The best part is that the menu changes every day based on the availability of local ingredients, so you’re guaranteed a unique experience with every visit. Try the famous pa’i’ai made from taro root (used for making poi, a staple of Hawaiian cuisine) at Town. We guarantee its savory taste will change any preconceived notions you had about taro. Enjoy the tastes of Town every day of the week except for Sundays.
If you’re looking for a more formal experience, get yourself dolled up and head to the shores of Waikiki to dine at Park. This restaurant offers beautiful views of iconic Diamond Head. You’re going to think we’re crazy, but the Brussels sprouts served at Park are out of this world. They were by far our favorite dish of the night. If veggies aren’t your thing, try the mouthwatering flat breads (the kale, pecorino, and blue cheese béchamel was our favorite) or the housemade potato gnocchi and lamb ragu.
Viewfinder Tip: To reap the benefits of this upscale eatery but save your wallet, head to Chef Chai for the late-night happy hour (9PM to closing) that features half-price pupus.
To celebrate an anniversary, pop the question, or just treat yourselves to a night of pampering, look no further than Chef Chai. Named after its creator, Chai Chaowasaree, this is the place to spoil your taste buds and your sweetie. We dined on the refreshing pupus, including the ahi tartar in mini waffle cones, crispy Asian taco with smoked duck breast, and my personal favorite, the sun-dried tomato and puna goat cheese wontons. If you’re not feeling up for a full meal, we recommend ducking in for a signature cocktail and ordering a few appetizers.
The deconstructed Beef Wellington at Chef Chai
Chef Chai is the place where you can indulge without the guilt. As sinful as the food may taste, Chef Chai strives to make its food exquisite and healthy. With the exception of the desserts, items on the menu are made sans butter. In addition, instead of cream, Chef Chai uses coconut milk. Lean cuts of meat are also the highlight of the dinner menu and a chorus of angels wouldn’t be able to convey the beauty that is the deconstructed Beef Wellington.
With all this talk of food, you and your ku’uipo are sure to want a little island activity. Depending on how adventurous or relaxed you want to be, there are a plethora of options for seducing your sweetheart.
Most people might not exactly find snorkeling to be a romantic activity. Partner snorkeling with my fear of the ocean and you’ve got yourself a date. I insist that Chris hold my hand with every snorkel adventure. Cue the oohs and ahhs. Some people might stroll hand-in-hand on the beach, but I prefer swimming side-by-side in the ocean. The best place for snorkeling on the island is the famed Hanauma Bay. This nature preserve is home to friendly ocean wildlife. Accustomed to visitors, the turtles, eels, octopus, and fish are happy to swim alongside you. Our advice is to arrive early since the parking lot fills up quickly.
For a more traditional date night on the water, try a breezy sunset dinner cruise. The Star of Honolulu sunset dinner cruise offers beautiful views of Waikiki shores and Diamond Head, a three-course steak and crab dinner with the obligatory mai tai. After dinner, you’ll be treated to macadamia nut ice cream, on-board entertainment, and dancing.
Whether you and your honey prefer casual dates or the more formal, you’re sure to find your passion on Oahu. The stunning sunsets and tropical breeze makes for the best romantic backdrop on any date.
Where’s your favorite place for a date night?
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Chris and Tawny have had articles and videos published on USA TODAY TRAVEL, BBC Travel, Matador Network, as well as appeared as guest stars on TLC Asia's Fun Taiwan television series. When not on the road, you can find Chris and Tawny nestled in their home in Tacoma, Washington fueling up on coffee and cat cuddles while planning their future adventures. You can follow their travels on their blog, Instagram, and YouTube