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One of the great things about traveling the world is the opportunity to taste some amazing culinary delights. Enjoying dishes prepared by award winning chefs while over looking some of the most beautiful beaches (or Volcano, see below) will be your most talked about memories for years. Finding the best restaurants in Hawaii can be tricky, especially if you are not familiar with all the options. Fret not, below is the only list you will need with options on every major island, Maui, Kaua’i, Big Island, and Oahu.
Whatever occasion you’re planning, no occasion needed, Hawaii has a wide range of excellent restaurants catering to a wide range of tastes and budgets. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below. Are you ready to find out the best restaurants in this region? Then let’s dive in ( I mean dig in)!
Mama’s Fish House – Maui
Mama’s Fish House restaurant takes pride in its tasting menu. Did you know that Mama’s Fish House is one of the highest rated restaurants in all of Hawaii? They are quite popular with both tourists and locals on special occasions. Mama’s Fish House is committed to creating the tastiest local seafood dishes. You might even choose to stay the night, thats right, Mama’s Fish House is also an Inn! Mama’s Fish House is an ideal option for celebrations and romantic dinners.
Dukes Kauai – Kaua‘i
One of the best Kaua’i restaurants is situated at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort, a Marriott Bonvoy Hotel . Did you know that it’s the sister restaurant to Keoki’s Paradise? You will notice that the menu here is quite unique with several local flavors. The main level of Duke’s is a barefoot beachfront where children are welcome and live music is played. You can eat upstairs where the main dining room is located. The food here is delicious and fresh, not to mention that the setting is tropical making it perfect for vacation meals.
Kō – Maui
Diners at the Kō Maui are guaranteed something unique with the creative cross-cultural cuisine on offer. Located within the elegant Fairmont Kea Lani it pairs perfectly with resort. You could not find a more thrilling menu of pan European and Asian cuisine. They integrate influences from Portuguese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. The highly sought after chef Tylun Pang got his inspiration from the sugarcane plantation period. You can indulge in a wide variety of dishes here from chapchae noodles to lumpia. All those favorite family dishes are served up with a unique twist.
The Pig and The Lady – Oahu
From popup to farmers market and then to a nationally recognized brick and mortar location, one new restaurant not to miss. The “Trough” tasting menu is dessert only and will set you back a bit, in your seat. Be sure to try the signature Pho soup dish and tripe chicharrones. This is definitely a place to bring friends and family with many of the dishes labeled as “shared” and the overall family style feel. You can still find them at several farmers markets throughout the week, just look for the long lines.
La Mer – Oahu
The most prestigious French restaurant in Hawaii, has been bestowed Five Stars by the Forbes Travel Guide. Located in the award winning Halekulani Hotel with oceanfront views. It is also classified as a AAA Five-Diamond Restaurant for successive years. Tropical and local delicacies inspire the menu while maintaining an old world flair for the most discerning diner. Every meal and dish is uniquely prepared, and you’ll see everything from decadent fish and meat dishes to foie grass and caviar.
Dondero’s Italian Restaurant – Kauai
Do you want to experience the best delightful northern Italian food in a superb location? There’s no need to look further because Dondero’s is the ideal place to visit. This best diner in Kauai is situated inside the Grant Hyatt Kauai Resort. It’s a bit more upscale but still kid-friendly with an amazing keiki menu. Keep in mind that most of their ingredients are sourced locally adding to the fresh and local flavor. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time and request a table on the patio for unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean.
Maru Sushi – Oahu
Maru Sushi is top rated, well reviewed, and one of the trendiest restaurants in the country. This fine-dining restaurant in Honolulu was started in 2017 from the success of the original Michelin-starred establishment in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Led by Chef Takeshi Kawasaki, the food is “mouth watering” with an over-the-top atmosphere. One of the dishes you must try here is the omakase set, one of the most reviewed and requested. Try this dish and find out for yourself why it is a “must-try”.
Avalon Gastropub – Kauai
Opened in 2018, this is the first-ever gastropub in Kauai, the brainchild of Ali and Gabe Avalon. The staff here is fantastic and they are eager to go above and beyond in satisfying their guess.. Avalon is also expanding the cocktail game in the region with handcrafted cocktails that are mouth-watering and unique. You will not find a cocktail lounge like this one anywhere on the island.
Town – Oahu
A hip, vegetarian friendly restaurant in the new “foodie” Waialae Ave. area you will find some very unique items on the menu. Only a couple of miles outside of Waikiki you feel like you are definitely eating genuine local cuisine. Working closely with local farms for that fresh to the table experience they deliver consistent quality to guest. An Italian American menu with lots of fresh vegetable to keep things healthy.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar – Kapalua, Maui
This restaurant offers exactly what you are craving, from fresh seafood, grilled fresh catch of the day and a wide spectrum of poultry and beef menus. Third-generation Japanese American Chef D.K. Kodama runs the restaurant with traditional cooking style. The original location was opened in 1996 at the Kapalua Resort. Today, you will find four different Sansei restaurants on three other islands. This amazing fish house is famous for its modern Hawaiian spin on Japanese cuisine and its vibrant ambiance. When you visit, make sure you check out the Award Winners section on their menu.
Maui’s Chef Table by The Mill House – Maui
This restaurant in Hawaii feels and looks like no other place in the country. It offers a country estate feel and a fine-dining menu combining continental luxury along with sustainable and local Hawaiian ingredients. It’s worth mentioning that most ingredients are locally sourced from over 100 fishers and farmers. You will find a sophisticated Old Hawaii-style property that is set in the middle of the Maui countryside. Some of the highly popular menu items includes, fresh Onaga, Molokai Venison, and Big Island Lamb. This is a set menu restaurant and if you have children under 11 you need to call ahead.
Rays on the Bay – Big Island
Do you want an amazing oceanfront eating experience? Then Rays on the Bay got you covered with a relaxed yet elegant open-air look combined with an eclectic, casual menu. They offer everything from burgers to fresh-catch entrees and shareable pupu platters. When it comes to drinks, you can also enjoy their signature cocktails. One of them is the hibiscus-flavored Pacific Rim Margarita. You can dine here while the giant manta rays romp in the lovely lit bay a few yards away. Located within the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa a Marriott Bonvoy reward hotel.
‘Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge – Big Island
Located in the Award Winning (Forbes 5 Star, AAA 5 Diamond Rated) Four Seasons Resort – Hualalai. Their modern Hawaiian cuisine is paired perfectly with this amazing destination on the Big Island. It is under the management of Executive Chef Chris Bateman. The fine-dining restaurant aims to become artisanal, seasonal, and regional by sourcing seventy-five percent of its menu from various local fishers and farms. Their farm to table specialties include Big Island wild boar, fresh sushi and seafood, as well as the roasted Kekala beet salad with smoked Puna goat cheese.
Chef Mavro – Oahu
One of the founding fathers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine is Chef George Mavrothalassitis. He is a master of the tasting menu and gained AAA Five Diamond Awards for the previous six years at his restaurant, Chef Mavro. Did you know that his four 6- and 11-course menus are inspired by his childhood in southern France as well as his twenty-years in Hawaii? The best Hawaii restaurant in Honolulu offers fresh farm to table local seafood and produce. One of the best things about this restaurant in Honolulu is that Chef Mavro adopts an “aloha casual” dress code even though it is a fine dining restaurant.
The Rim at Volcano House – Big Island
This upscale restaurant in Hawaii is the only dining option in the region with a majestic and jaw-dropping view of a volcano! How amazing is that? The food here is locally sourced seafood and gets 4 out of 5 stars on Google. Can you think of another restaurant that allows you to see the majestic glow of the caldera from your table! One tip you need to take note of when eating here. Make sure you make a reservation for dinner around sunset. Located within the Volcano House hotel.
MW Restaurant – Oahu
This is truly one of the best restaurants of Honolulu, highlighting unique Pacific Rim menus by partners in real life, Pastry Chef Michelle Kerr-Ueoka and Chef Wade Ueoka. Eating the mochi-crusted Kona Kanpachi should be high on your list for dinner. The lovely and unique fish preparation is what made Wade famous and put this place on the map.
Beach House – Kauai
The Beach House boasts views from all sides that are spectacular, not to mention that the food is incredibly fantastic. Peter Merriman owns this location along with several other award winning restaurants in Hawaii.
The quality at this location is credit to Chef Marshall Blanchard, who converts seafood-inflected comfort food, into the ideal volume of fancy. Did you know that the Beach House hosts different events as well, such as live music and weddings?
Duo Steak & Seafood at Four Seasons – Maui
This restaurant, located at the Four Seasons Wailea, boasts a stunning poolside setting that overlooks the Pacific ocean. A “true” high end steak and seafood restaurant, be sure to try the bone in ribeye. The Duo is a perfect place to enjoy an elegant atmosphere and a romantic setting. Take advantage of the private dining room for small events, parties, or after meeting get together.
The Original Roy’s in Hawaii Kai – Oahu
Roy Yamaguchi is one of the orginal Hawaiian chefs in charge of placing Hawaiian fusion cuisine on the worldwide culinary map. When you visit this restaurant, you will relish fresh Hawaiian fare in a modern setting with fabulous sceneries of Maunalua Bay. We suggest that you order the Misoyaki butterfish or short rib as entrees.
Huggo’s – Big Island
Oceanfront, sunset views for days, tiki drinks, and great food, what more can you ask for. Opened in 1969 it was initially a meeting place for local fisherman, eventually it transformed into the most sought-after restaurant n the Big Island for fresh seafood. The signature teriyaki steak is their best seller and over the top tiki drinks are so much fun.
Nick’s Fish Market at The Fairmont Kea Lani – Maui
Nick’s Fish Market serves a wide variety of Mediterranean style dishes with a Hawaiian influence, employing the fresh taste of both coastal cultures. Located within the Fairmont Kea Lani resort amongst a lush tropical setting. If you want to take advantage of the happy hour be sure to go early, it is quite popular and there can be waits.
Keoki’s Paradise – Kauai
Will you be looking for a restaurant on Kaua’i with a tropical vibe? Then Keoki’s Paradise is where you should be heading with it garden landscaping and fresh local cuisine. Make sure you leave room for one of the fan favorite dishes Hula Pie, we suggest you split it, if you must.
Merriman’s Outdoor Oceanfront Grill at Kapalua – Maui
Merriman owned restaurants have come up on this list earlier and its no surprise that another one has popped up. Chef Peter Merriman always puts his heart and soul into creating an amazing dining experience. This location is renowned for its ocean front views and farm to table experience. Enjoy a picture perfect sunset over Kapalua Bay or bubbly during brunch, you cant miss.
Helena’s Hawaiian Food – Oahu
Helena’s is for the true foodie who wants to try genuine, homestyle local food and flavors. Sit down at this iconic restaurant and order what the locals order, you will not be disappointed. If you are looking for oceanfront views and fine china, move on. This Honolulu eating place is famous for its squid luau. It’s a traditional Hawaiian dish, which is made from butter, calamari, coconut milk, and luau leaves. Get everything you would get at a luau without any distractions, if you want a truly authentic eating experience in Hawaii, this should be your first stop.
Spago at Four Seasons – Maui
A Chef Wolfgang Puck restaurant located within the Four Season Maui at Wailea resort is a perfect place to enjoy the culinary delights of Maui in a pleasant, modern setting. Take note that this best restaurant earned a AAA four-diamond and Mobil four-star rating. A farm to table establishment with amazing sunsets and neighbor island views from the lanai.
Which of these restaurants in Hawaii do you plan to visit soon? Know of one we should add? Let us know in the comments below.