When you come to Hawaii, eating while enjoying the sunset or views of the waves is an experience that many people want to have. While you will pay a higher price at these restaurants, the food and the experience is often worth it. Since these restaurants often are expensive, and because there are so many of them, it can be hard to decide which ones are worth it. That’s where we come in!
Many restaurants on Oahu pride themselves in their local ingredients, and their amazing food to go with their gorgeous backdrops. Here are a few of my favorites!
Michel’s at the Colony Surf
Located at the foot of Diamond Head, just outside of Waikiki, you might miss Michel’s if you don’t do your research. But that’s what we here at Hawaii Aloha Travel are for! Go to Michel’s for romance, views of the beach, and, of course, stellar food. As a bonus, enjoy live music most evenings (call the restaurant to confirm).
On the menu, you’ll find French classics like Helix Escargots Bourgogne, half-a-dozen French snails in Michel’s famous herbed-garlic butter. But you’ll also find island-inspired dishes, like Michel’s Ocean Bounty, an assortment of fresh seafood featuring grilled mahi mahi, oyster Rockefeller, blackened ahi, tristan lobster tail, scampi-style caledonian and Kona baby abalone.
Or maybe it’s the 6-course chef’s choice tasting menu that is calling you. Of course, reservations are essential.
Located in the heart of Waikiki, Azure boasts incredible views in the heart of Waikiki, a romantic atmosphere, and delicious food. Every day at 5:30 am, Azure’s chefs head to the fish market to handpick the best fish to bring back to Azure.
With a strong emphasis on the highest quality of local fish, Azure offers a classic preparation of high heat aromatic herb roasting, or an innovative Hawaiian regional cuisine preparation served with bright tropical flavors. Servers and sommeliers provide recommendations for the perfect wine pairings to make the flavors of the food stand out. A tasting menu is also offered.
My husband and I go to Azure when we have something special to celebrate, and it’s always worth it. Reservations are a must!
53 By The Sea
53 By The Sea is another off the beaten path restaurant. Here, you will get sweeping views of Waikiki, Diamond Head, and the surf at Kakaako. The grand entrance to the venue starts off your elegant evening right.
With an emphasis on the freshest local foods, you will have a hard time choosing what to eat. 53 By the Sea is open for both lunch and dinner. At lunch, there is a wide variety of options to choose from, including poke, seafood, pork katsu, and salads. For dinner, the menu items include macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi, 53’s fresh catch, and surf and turf. The Chef’s Degustation Menu is an excellent choice if you just can’t decide.
53 By The Sea is a bit removed from the crowds, as it is set onto a rocky coastline away from the main Waikiki area. It feels very quiet and secluded, which is a nice change of pace from the crowds in Waikiki and Honolulu. And, don’t forget to check out the bar. T’s at 53 bar focuses on fresh, handcrafted cocktails and also has a
Hau Tree Lanai
Located within the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, Hau Tree Lanai gets its name from the Hau Tree that provides shade to many of the tables in this outdoor, oceanfront restaurant. Well known for their breakfast, Hau Tree Lanai also serves lunch and dinner. Hau Tree Lanai closes between meal services, so be sure to check their hours and to make a reservation for whichever meal you choose.
Breakfast items include omelets and pancakes, alongside a Hawaiian breakfast platter and loco moco, a local favorite. At lunch, the restaurant offers many brunch favorites, including crab cakes benedict, as well as salads, burgers, and sandwiches. And of course, Hawaiian classics like spicy garlic shrimp and a spicy ahi poke bowl are also on the menu.
At dinner, the restaurant becomes a romantic getaway, with intricate dishes including Fresh Island “Opakapaka,” steamed “Chinese Style” and topped with ginger, scallions, and vegetables seasoned with sesame oil and soy, and broiled “Kona” Kampachi, a Big Island fish topped with Citrus-Mango Sauce. If you’re feeling romantic, you might want to try the Tomahawk steak for Two, a certified prime Black Angus 32oz on-the-bone Rib Steak, with sauteed Big Island alii mushrooms, creamed spinach or caramelized Maui onions.
Roy’s Beach House at Turtle Bay
Last week, I shared all about the food options at Turtle Bay. I go to Roy’s mainly for the views of the ocean and the resort, but the food is a great bonus. With an emphasis on local ingredients, lunch offerings include everything from burgers to salads to sushi, macadamia nut Opah, and Hawaiian-style misoyaki butterfish. In between lunch and dinner, go to their bar for a laid-back vibe, drinks, and pupus.
At dinner, choose from a large menu of seafood, steak, and salads. Eating dinner at Roy’s quite a romantic experience.
And for those looking for something a bit more laid back, visit their take-out counter for meals that you can eat on the beach. You can get burgers, poke, fries, chicken wings, and more.
Haleiwa Joes has a more laid-back atmosphere. At their Kaneohe restaurant, you will get more mountain and lush views than the restaurants on the beach. The food and the views are amazing, but you can dress casual and bring the kids, which is why I also recommend it.
There are two locations on Oahu, one in Kaneohe and one on the north shore. At Haleiwa Joes, you will find lots of local favorites with a twist, like black & blue ahi sashimi served chilled, with wasabi ranch dipping sauce & pickled ginger, Thai Fried Calamari, poke, coconut shrimp, and sticky ribs.
Kona Brewing Company
This is one of my favorite places to go for a beer and some good food. Kona Brewing Company was started by a father and son team on the Big Island. Although headquartered in Kona, the Oahu location services their beer that you can’t find in many other places alongside delicious foods.
If you want to try as much beer as possible, order their sampler, which includes four 5 oz glasses of your choice.
Their menu is a long booklet, so there is something for everyone. Many of their items are influenced by Hawaiian flavors and showcase their beers, like the pua’a pork tacos, which are three soft tacos made with Kalua pork, cabbage, and pineapple salsa, topped with a drizzle of Black Sand Porter BBQ sauce.
Views of the Koko Marina are a bonus! This is also a great place to bring kids.
Located in Hawaii Kai, this restaurant is close to Koko Head Hiking Trail and the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail. Treat yourself to a beer and some pupus after a long hike!
Aloha Plate Hawaii Food Tour
If you’re interested in learning more about Hawaiian food – and trying lots of new dishes – call us to learn about our Aloha Plate Hawaii Food Tour.
Your guide for this food tour will be celebrity Lanai Tabura. Lanai was born and raised on the island of Lanai and was the winner of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.” Lanai loves taking visitors to his favorite spots and sharing his knowledge of Hawaiian food and culture.
During this tour, you will learn about the food and culture of Hawaii and have the chance to try some local food.
Lanai customizes each food tour based on what’s fresh that day. Lanai also takes your preferences into consideration. Frequent stops include poke, seafood, food trucks, and local favorites like chicken katsu, lau lau, mac salad, and sticky rice. If there is any food you want to try, just let us know!
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to savor the flavors of Hawaii with a celebrity chef! Lanai loves meeting visitors and years of insider knowledge to share with you. Call us today to get started!