Guide to Honolulu Restaurants

updated January 2004

The following is a selection of recommended restaurants in Honolulu, mostly located either close to the University or to the hotels in Waikiki. Note that this is not a complete listing of all the good restaurants in Honolulu. There are others, especially in Waikiki.

Chinese Egyptian Hawaiian Indonesian Indian Italian Japanese Korean Pacific Rim Thai Vietnamese Others



Excellent Northern Chinese cuisine, close to the university. Located at 2518 Beretania Street, at the corner of S. Beretania and Isenberg. Reservations usually not necessary. 942-1888, 943-8822.

Legend Seafood Restaurant

At 100 N. Beretania in Chinatown. Call 532-1868 for reservations and directions.

New Kapahulu Chop Suey

Inexpensive but good Chinese food. Dingy atmosphere and surly waitresses. Located at 730 Kapahulu, a 10-minute walk from the New Otani Hotel and Radisson. Call 734-4953. Best value anywhere.

Won Kee Seafood

Quite popular, but still very good, with some creative dishes. Adjacent to Chinese Cultural Plaza at 100 N. Beretania (524-6877).

Doong Kong Lau Seafood Restaurant

100 N. Beretania, near Won Kee Seafood Restaurant (around corner, on stream side of cultural center). Not expensive. (531-8833)


Located at 1778 Ala Moana Blvd, in the Discovery Bay Tower across from the Ilikai in Waikiki. Specializes in Hong Kong Style food.(947-3771)

Hee Hing

Located close to Waikiki at 499 Kapahulu (upstairs, Koko Head side of street). Serves a variety of regional cuisines and has attentive waiters. (735-5544)

On On Chinese Restaurant

Nice informal place with good inexpensive food. Hong Kong style, some excellent hot dishes. 909 Kapahulu, (735-4557)

Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant

Close to Waikiki, upstairs at the McCully Shopping Center at the corner of McCully and Kapiolani. Has Hong Kong cooking, and the taro basket is unique. Open until 3 AM every day. Call 973-0168 for reservations.

Panda Cuisine

At 641 Keeaumoku, Diamond Head side of street, just mauka of Tower Records, upstairs. Phone 947-1688. Very clean, good food, serves a variety of regional styles. Do not confuse this restaurant with the tacky chain of fast food joints called Panda Express.


The Pyramid

758 Kapahulu Avenue, 10-minute walk from the New Otani Hotel and Radisson. Belly dancers some nights. Call 737-2900 for reservations.


People's Cafe

This place is good and inexpensive. Not fancy. 1300 Pali Highway, makai (ocean side) of Vineyard. Not close to the university or Waikiki. (536-5789)

Ono Cafe

Authentic Hawaiian cuisine. Located at 726 Kapahulu Avenue, a 10-minute walk from the New Otani Hotel and Radisson. Call 737-2275 for reservations.

Hau Tree Lanai

Continental/Hawaiian, recommended for the view at sunrise and sunset. Located inside the New Otani Hotel, at 2863 Kalakaua. 923-1555.



Located at the intersection of McCully and Kapiolani, across from the McCully shopping Center. 10-minute walk from the Maile Sky Court. 1901 Kapiolani Blvd, 949-2254.



This Indian restaurant is quite decent, and close to the university, at 2509 S. King St. The waiters, however, can be a little slow.(951-7447)



Located at the Manoa Shopping Center, near UH and adjacent to IFA. This restaurant has excellent Italian food and a pleasant atmosphere. Vegetarian choices are available, and will also omit cheese upon request. Call 988-5932 for reservations.


Italian, popular with Japanese tourists. 255 Beachwalk St, 5-minute walk from the Maile Sky Court. Their phone number is 923-5557, but they don't take reservations.


Italian. Located at 354 Ulunui, in Kailua, about a half-hour drive. Reservations are needed (261-2772).


Expensive Italian restaurant, at 339 Saratoga Rd., a 5-minute walk from the Maile Sky Court. Call 924-1414 for reservations.



This sushi bar rivals good sushi bars in Japan. Always crowded, so phone 923-5526 for reservations. Open every day of the week for dinner, but accepts reservations only up to 6:30pm. Located in Waikiki, at 255 Beach Walk, off Kalakaua Ave.


This is a buffet-style Japanese restaurant, located close to UH at the Manoa Shopping Center. (988-1551).


Hawaii Nissei-style Japanese. 563 Kapahulu, 10-minute walk from the New Otani Hotel and Radisson. Call 737-1141 for reservations.

Yanagi Sushi

Located at 762 Kapiolani, across from Ala Moana Center. Phone 597-1525 for reservations.


Possibly the best izakaya in Hawaii. A small, cozy place with an excellent sushi master. Located at 611 Kapahulu Avenue, a 10-minute walk from the New Otani Hotel and Radisson. Call for reservations at 739-2800. Closed Sundays.

Plaza Sushi

Located at 2250 Kalakaua Avenue, in the basement of the Plaza Shopping mall, at the corner of Seaside and Kalakaua, in the heart of Waikiki. Try to sit at the left end of the sushi bar. Call 922-8575 for reservations.


Kim Chee II and Kim Chee III

Good value, lots of food. Bring your own Beer. Kim Chee II is at 3569 Waialae (737-7733,737-5577) and Kim Chee III is at 1040 S. King (597-8017).

OK Cho

Korean BBQ, on second floor of McCully Shopping Center, at the corner of McCully and Kapiolani. 947-2922


Nick's Fishmarket

Pacific Rim cuisine, with Italian Influence. 2070 Kalakaua Avenue, near the intersection of Kalakaua and Kuhio. 2-minute walk from the Maile Sky Court. Free valet parking, and live entertainment every night. Call 955-6333 for reservations. (To get there by car, turn left from Kalakaua onto Kuhio; there are two ramps on the left; take the one going down for parking.)


One of the best places to eat fish. Located upstairs in the Ward Warehouse. (591-2005).


Pacific Rim Haute Cuisine, expensive. 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy. Not within walking distance. Bill Clinton ate there in November 1996. Call 396-7697 for reservations

Alan Wong's

Pacific Rim Haute Cuisine. 1857 S. King St.between Punahou and McCully, 5th floor. Approximately 20-minute walk from the university. Call 949-2526 for reservations.



2028 Kuhio Ave, at the intersection with Kalakaua. Not cheap, but very elegant. Popular, so call for reservations at 951-9355.

Phuket Thai

Located at McCully Shopping Center, at the corner of McCully and Kapiolani Blvd. Also serves vegetarian food, but remember to request no chicken stock. If not vegetarian, try the lemongrass soup with shrimp - tasty, but order it mild unless you can handle very spicy food. Call 942-8194 for reservations.

Singha Thai Cuisine

Located at 1910 Ala Moana Blvd, a 10-minute walk from the Maile Sky Court. Call for reservations at 941-2898. (Don't be tempted by the lines in front of the Todai buffet on the floor above Singha---it stinks.)

Chiang Mai

Northern Thai cuisine. Located near the university, across from Long's at 2239 S. King Street. A good choice for vegetarians. 941-1151 or 941-3777.

Saeng's Thai Cuisine

At 315 Hahani in Kailua (Windward side), not within walking distance. The Yum Nur and chicken are recommended. Call 263-9727 for reservations.


Pho' South King

An inexpensive but clean restaurant close to the university. 2743 S. King St. Reservations are not usually needed. 942-4577


Chart House

This seafood and steak restaurant is located at 1765 Ala Moana Blvd, overlooking the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. Live entertainment every night. 10-minute walk from the Maile Sky Court. Validated parking available. Call 941-6669 for reservations.


Eurasian cuisine, draws heavily on Thai cuisine. Interesting, spicy and unusual dishes. Located in the heart of downtown at 1121 Nuuanu Call 521-2900 for reservations and to find out whether they are open. Ask for a table on the lanai. Valet parking for $2.

Buzz's Steak House in Kailua

In Kailua, not close to the university or Waikiki. Not bad food, and unmatched ambiance. 413 Kawailoa Road, 261-4661. Bill Clinton ate there in November 1994.

Sam Choy's

They call their cooking Kona Cuisine, as Sam had great success with a small place near Kona on the Big Island. The abundant and ebulliant Sam has become a well known local figure in the restaurant business, on TV and with a book. The cooking is of the new pan-cultural variety with an oriental leaning. The portions are large and prices reasonable. Conveniently located at 449 Kapahulu Avenue (732-8645), within walking distance from Waikiki.

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream and Desserts

Good ice cream and espresso. A bit cold, so bring along a jacket. At 1010 University Avenue, near Varsity Theater, close to the university. (949-8984)

Anna Banana's

2440 S. Beretania, close to the university. An eclectic, noisy bar frequented by university folks, elderly hippy construction workers, and bikers. Live music on weekends, with dancing, upstairs. The Salza band on Sunday nights is great fun.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

Good for beer-drinking. Located at the Aloha Tower Market Place (downtown). Not within walking distance. 599-4877.

K C Drive Inn

A local favorite for many years. Has a large and inexpensive menu. Can sit down inside. Try a waffle dog and ono shake. Noodles are good too. 1029 Kapahulu, corner of Kapahulu and Harding. (737-5581).

W&M Burgers

Local burger stand just Diamond Head of City Mill Hardware, at 3104 Waialae, 1/2 mile from UH. Call 734-3350 to make sure they are open. Order Royal burger, french fries. Macaroni salad good too, but add shoyu (soy sauce).