As Summer approaches it seems like I’ve been asked a few times at work and outside about some Oahu recommendations, so I started putting together a list.
These are some of my relatives in the late 1800’s at a family luau in upcountry Maui. I missed this one but 150 years later I very much enjoy the local food. Here are some recommendations for Oahu.
Side Street Inn Home | Side Street Inn – a MUST go. This used to only be a little bar downtown we would go to after work and get their famous pork chops, but now they are on Kapahulu close by waikiki. GO. Big portions of good local food (note local does not mean hawaiian)
Ichiriki http://ichirikinabe.com/ – good sit down Japanese cook your own nabe diner.
Rainbow Drive Inn Rainbow Drive-In – classic plate lunch. Right by Waikiki. Get loco moco after dawn patrol
Da Kitchen Da Kitchen – huge portions. Good plate lunch. Word is this might be closed on Oahu.
Helena’s Hawaiian Food Helena’s Hawaiian Food – best traditional Hawaiian food, but a little outside of town.
Ono’s http://onohawaiianfoods.com/ – traditional Hawaiian food. Close by Waikiki.
Marukame Udon Marukame Udon – Waikiki – Honolulu, HI – awesome quick FRESH udon noodles. They do one thing and they do it well.
Fresh Catch http://www.freshcatch808.com/ – one of the best new additions to Honolulu is all the poke bowl shops. This is a good one.
Ruffage Natural Foods Ruffage Natural Foods – Waikiki – Honolulu, HI – vegetarian options, healthy and poke bowls.
Gyu-Kaku Gyu-Kaku : Gyu-Kaku – Japanese BBQ Dining – cook your own Japanese style.
Diamond Head Health Bar Hawaii Health Bar – close by Diamond Head. Best way to start a day is a Da Cove Bowl.
Genki Sushi Locations :: Genki Sushi USA – inexpensive sushi close to Diamond Head. Good spot for quick strike sushi lunch.
Curry House Curry House CoCo Ichibanya – Honolulu, HI | Yelp – Japanese curry chain.
Big City Diner Big City Diner Hawaii | – breakfast.
Champa Thai Welcome To CHAMPA THAI RESTAURANT – some good Thai food fairly close to Waikiki.
Deb’s Soul Food Debs’ Ribs – Debs’s Got It All…and It’s All Soulicious!: Home Page – this is on the windward side, Kailua, right by where you can rent kayaks. Rumor has it this place may be closed.
Tiki’s Grill & Bar Tiki’s Grill & Bar: Best Restaurant in Waikiki Beach & Honolulu – good view and drinks for night life Waikiki with beach view.
Sorabol Welcome to Sorabol Hawaii !!! – Korean food. Open 24hours. Classic high school, college, late night food, but good anytime.
Shiro’s Saimin Shiro’s Saimin | Catering, Noodles, Saimin, and local Hawaiian food – famous saimin shop.
Leonard’s Bakery Leonard’s Bakery – Malasadas, Pao Doce, Malasada Puffs, Pao Doce Pups, and more… – classic malasada treats – must try.
Liliha Bakery Liliha Bakery: Home – cream puffs. A little out of the way but a local favorite.
Longhis http://longhis.com/ – nice place in Ala Moana with a nice view.
Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant – Sushi – Roy Yamaguchi – Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine – good formal not too expensive restaurant.
Alan Wong’s Hawaii Regional Cuisine | Alan Wong’s Restaurants – famous. Spendy. Delicious.
Sushi Sasabune Sushi Sasabune-Yelp – Go with the Omakase.
Places To Go
Matsumoto’s Shave Ice – popular famous shave ice place.
Dole Plantation – Dole ice cream, maze, fun stop on way to north shore.
Polynesian Cultural Center – Polynesian Cultural Center Official Site – areas representing Polynesian cultures, luau, night show. Fun and educational.
Shrimp Trucks – Giovanni’s. They are all good but they constantly battle on who is ‘the original’ shimp truck.
Pali Lookout – on the way. Windy. Hold on to your hat.
Windward side (Kailua)
Lanikai beach – nice quiet relaxing beach. This and Kailua beach always voted some of best beaches.
Kailua Beach – kayaking, windsurfing. Rent kayaks near beach and kayak over to the three islands.
Olomana hike – nice medium hike with great views of windward side.
Stairway to Heaven – long stairway hike. Used to be closed for repairs but open now.
Valley of the Temples (Byodo-In Temple – Valley of the Temples Memorial Park – Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii) – peaceful nice visit.
Town (Honolulu – Waikiki, Diamond Head, etc)
Diamond Head hike
Waikiki Beach – rent surfboards right on beach.
Free Hula on Waikiki beach Tuesdays
Ala Moana Beach Park – different beach picnics place etc
Kakaako park- different beach picnics place etc
International Market – in Waikiki. Fun lots of souvenirs. Haggling. etc. I like to actually buy at the swap meet but there’s fun stuff here too.
Hanauma Bay – extinct filled-in volcano. Good snorkeling. Easy to get to. Lots of fish. Rent on the beach.
Aloha Stadium Swap Meet – GO to get souvenirs etc. This place is pretty awesome. Local artists too.
Sandy Beach – Sandy Beach – careful – warning – warning – go to watch people get dominated by crazy beach break. Enter at your own risk. Looks harmless but it will jack you up in the air, slam you down, drag you 30′ across the sand, rip off your shorts, then recede, leaving you shortless on the the beach 30′ from any water (I speak from experience). They call it the neck breaker for a reason.
Waikiki – canoes, queens – beginners. If you want to learn this is one of the best places in the world to learn. Nice breaks. Rentals right on beach.
Diamond head – no life guard only go if know what you are doing.
North shore – Waimea, pipeline, sunset, etc (go to watch big waves and competition – only in winter. A lot of times flat in summer) plenty of surf spots up here, but if you have to ask about them you probably want to stay south.
Surf News Network – local surf report (long story short Hawaii heights are different from mainland – basically 3′ Hawaiian = 6′ )
You don’t need to know any of this but it wont hurt to know a few words. The more local you go people will sometimes only use pidgin.
Ask someone directions they may say – mauka and makai. Choke traffic, puka, all pau, etc lots of daily words and phrases that people use.
How to speak Hawaiian
Hawaii Pidgin The Voice of Hawaii – YouTube
These guys were featured in a History Channel documentary and tattooed the Tongan royal family.
Soul Signature Tattoo – Home – they do traditional and modern.
Tapping at Soul Signature Tattoo Shop – Suluape Aisea
Also not many people know about this but before you plan your vacation and spend a bunch of money check the Jellyfish forecast. They are very predictable, arrive around 10 days after a full moon, and are there for 3 or 4 days. When they are there you pretty much don’t want to go in the water since there is a blanket of them and it doesn’t feel good to get stung.
Hawaii Jellyfish Calendar