When visiting Honolulu, you might be convinced to stay beach-side for the best views of the sunset over dinner. And while you can certainly wet your tastebuds using this philosophy, don’t be surprised if you find some mouthwatering establishments a little further off the beach. I’m giving you my top 3 culinary experiences while on Oahu, which may just be the most amazing Honolulu restaurants.
1. The Street
The Street, a new concept restaurant by established chef Michael Mina (of Stripsteak), was a wonderful surprise located just across the street from where we stayed in Waikiki at the Royal Hawaiian Center. This social house eatery features a variety of cuisines run by separate speciality chefs, from shave ice and burgers to BBQ and ramen. Ideal for families, tourists, and couples starting out their night, this cafeteria-style restaurant also features a Tiki bar with some pretty fabulous beverages.
Price Point: $
Ambience: Casual, cafeteria style
Overall Rating: 8/10
2. Duke’s Waikiki
Okay, so everyone knows about Duke’s and yes, it’s beachfront with those fabulous sunset views, but you know: it’s actually as delicious as they say! Unlike some other over-hyped, tourist-packed restaurants, this one had an authentic feel with Hawaiian acoustic entertainment. We opted for some small seafood starter plates, which paved the way perfectly for my main course: the lobster, oh my! Don’t forget to order the Kimo’s original hula pie for dessert – it’s just divine (and can definitely be shared between 2!).
Price Point: $$
Overall Rating: 9/10
3. Chef Mavro
I’m not sure it’s fair to call the dishes as Chef Mavro “food” since they are simply so much more than that; they are art! This restaurant lays off the beaten path of Waikiki Beach further towards downtown Honolulu, but is well worth the 15 minute drive. Here, you might just taste some of the most incredible food you’ve ever experienced! We opted for the small dishes, which is a new concept offered at Chef Mavro, and even got the opportunity to have a conversation with the chef himself. Some of my favourite dishes were the tuna poke, the caper mashed potatoes, and of course, the wagyu beef. Honestly, this is one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had!
Price Point: $$$
Overall Rating: 10/10
Of course, you’ll have no trouble reaching The Street and Duke’s while staying in Waikiki, but I highly recommend also treating yourself to something special and making a visit to Chef Mavro – you definitely won’t regret it!