Must eats: Honolulu, Hawaii

We had a huge list of must eats but only got around to some. We stayed a total of 9 days at the Aulani Disney Resort in Ko Olina. Will discuss the resort in another post. Let’s focus on some of our meals! It was my first time to Honolulu so if you go often, you might have better suggestions on where to eat! We ate more than this! I figured these are worth mentioning based on my tastes.

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck in the North Shore. Must try! There are so many shrimp trucks and I only got to try this one. 

If there is one restaurant you can’t leave Honolulu without trying, I would say Helena’s Hawaiian. Expect to wait in line. We tried Kalia pig, Lomi salmon, pipikaula shortribs, luau squid, beef stew, tripe, laulau, macaroni salad, poi. The squid and the ribs are to die for. 

Leonard’s Bakery – fresh and hot malasadas ( Portuguese donuts) 

Fried chicken, fresh pineapples and pineapple ice cream at the Dole Plantation.

Matsumoto Shaved Ice in the North Shore. Nothing that special since I don’t like syrups and sweeteners but figured have to try it at least once.

Saimin is only found in Hawaii. We decided to try it at Shiro’s Saimin Haven. It’s a hole in the wall but the we love the warm soup noodle with spam, char siu, clams and wonton.


Try ahi tuna poke. The locals recommend Foodland and Tamura’s. We like both. They have different kinds too. Tamura’s had a spicy one with avocado which I liked.  But I heard Tamashiro and Yama’s fish market makes good poke too. 

Vintage Cafe acai bowl and breakfast croissant. Drink Kona coffee! And buy 100% pure Kona! 


We had most breakfasts at the Aulani Resort since we signed up for their character breakfast to meet all the Disney Characters. The food was alright but it was more for the experience. 

Kona Abalone at Ala Moana Center basement food court. We went twice! 


Ramen Nakamura. Loved the oxtail ramen which we don’t get in Vancouver. Fried rice and gyozas were so tasty too.

Random food court shrimp because we couldn’t get back to the Northshore.

Menya Musashi tsukemen ramen and the delicious prawns. Unless they use a stone bowl, the broth is not hot enough for me.

High tea at Orchids inside the Halekulani’s. The scones were amazing but I find the sandwiches and sweets were a bit overrated. The view of the Diamond Head made it worth it.

I love Yaki Yaki Miwa in Honolulu because the food is so delicious and you can try all 3 okonomiyaki, negiyaki, and Modan yaki here. Reminds me of Japan.

 okonomiyaki (mixed flour, grated yam, cabbage, egg with choice of toppings from pork to seafood) 

negiyaki (green onion, fish cake, Konjac, tiny dried shrimp, and okonomiyaki batter with toppings like scallop, shrimp, lunches and pork)

Modan yaki (okonomiyaki with noodles folded into the batter with choice of seafood, pork or beef)

We also ordered just mix seafood and vegetables.

Grilled purple yam with ice cream and honey

Enjoy the view at of the golf course Roy’s Ko Olina and try the Hawaiian influenced dishes: Crab cakes, ribs, butterfish, kids menu.

If you want to bring some Mochi on the plane ride back for friends and family, this was the only place that was willing to make it fresh and pack it to go. All the better places said their moch is don’t last more than 2 hours once it’s made just to be safe. It does really taste the best eaten within the first couple hours. It is called Kansai Yamato inside Ala Moana center. 

The originally Highway Inn in Waipahu. You have to order the butterfish collar (I can eat 5 plates of it), short ribs, and the loco moco.


Marukame Udon wasn’t our favourite but it’s a must try for first timer in Honolulu. It’s like a fast food udon place where you choose fried foods to go with it. 


Fujiya Mochi!!!

Uncle’s Fish Market order the butterfish and poke tower.

Tokkurei Tei is supposed to be known for the best izakayas. We ordered this instead!


We wanted to have nabe (Japnese hotpot) and found Ichiriki closest to where we were staying. The soup base was so tasty after we boiled everything in it! There were salmon under all the meat! 

Pig and the Lady

You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. VIetnamese home cooked meals with a twist.

Explore the food court at Shirokiya and eat everything upstairs and downstairs there including the roll cakes and teddy bear waffles at Kula Kula. They have shaved ice!!!

We pay more than $10 Canadian for one.

Nitrogenie was just a novel using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream.

We went a little overboard on Japanese snacks, coffee beans, Hawaiian snacks, jams, honey, cookie sheet, instant noodles, salad dressings. One coffee I wished I bought more of was the Hazelnut cream from Green World Coffee Farm. I wanted to order online after I ran out but shipping was $50 to Canada!!!

We couldn’t get a reservation at Alan Wong’s but tried the Pineapple Room. I liked the plantation ice tea and the pulled pork sandwich.

Here are some on our wish list that we didn’t get to.

Nico’s fish market, Waiola Shaved ice, Bubbies Mochi, Utage, Ono’s, Rainbow Drive, Kokohead, Pioneer Saloon, Yoshitsune, Odori-KO, side street Inn, Hawaii 678, Lucky Belly, izakaya Torae Torae, Karai Crab, Rinka, Cinnamon’s guava pancakes and the list goes on!

Last but not least, don’t forget to go to Musubi Cafe Iyasume. Spam musubis! Japanese curry! Onigiris! 

5 Comments Add yours

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! I can’t wait to go back one day to eat the rest of the wish list but there will probably be more new restaurants to try! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mukul chand says:

        welcome, all the best

        Like

  1. Dragallur says:

    So much food!!! πŸ˜€

    Like

    1. We ate way more but I figured this is a good start list for first timers!

      Liked by 1 person

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