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Photo: Naoko Kawachi

Hawaii offers so many options to choose from when planning a visit.  Which islands to go to?  What adventures to go on?  Where to indulge in the best, traditional Hawaiian foods? To make your trip planning a little bit easier, we’ve gathered a list of some of the top restaurants on each island, because let’s face it, there’s no better way to explore a new place than by eating your way around it.

 

Oahu

Quick Beach Snack

Hale’iwa Bowls: Refresh your body and mind with a healthy acai bowl or smoothie made with 100% locally-produced fruits from North Shore farmers. The perfect meal to start off your day or to enjoy after a long day on the beach.

Sophie’s Pizzeria: It’s not every day you can try a gourmet Hawaiian pizza on the beach in Hawaii. Thin, guava-infused pizza crust, topped with your choice between four homemade sauces, six cheeses, 12 meats, and 19 fresh veggies makes Sophie’s a must for every trip to Oahu.

Family Outing

Cinnamons: Awarded one of the ‘top 10’ places to get pancakes, Cinnamon’s is a favorite among locals and tourists. Don’t let the long line steer you away — the wait is worth it.

The Pig & the Lady: This traditional Vietnamese street food restaurant serves only the freshest and most authentic meals that actually start out as sketches before Chef Andrew makes the creations come to life in the kitchen.

Buzz’s: Get your fix of traditional Hawaii from the delicious ‘surf-and-turf’ menu, and enjoy the Aloha Spirit attitude of the friendly workers.

 

Maui

Quick Beach Snack

Tin Roof Maui: A mom and pop owned shop that works with local farmers, fishermen, and ranchers to provide honest and quick comfort meals.

Choice: This organic health bar offers Maui locals and visitors a wide range of foods rich in nutrients to fuel your body and soul for a day of touring the island.

Family Outing

Da Kitchen: A local go-to for traditional Hawaiian food serving local, affordable, and mouth-watering food.

Monkey Pod: Foodies rejoice! This award-winning restaurant prides itself on its farm-to-fork ingredients and a laid-back atmosphere, while still offering a menu full of flavor.

Mama’s Fish House: The second most popular restaurant in the US and for good reason. Hawaiian fish are caught and brought in by the restaurant fishermen, cooked up by the chefs, and delivered right to your table all in the same day.

 

Kauai

Quick Beach Snack

Wishing Well: Acai bowls, organic shaved ice, coffee, and coconut water you can drink straight from the coconut… What more could you ask for?

Kikuchi’s: This food truck specializes in “sushi sandwiches.” Yes, that is a real food and yes, it is made with fresh fish and veggies wrapped in a rice and seaweed shell. Just like a sushi roll, only bigger (and better).

Family Outing

Japanese Grandma: Serving a flavorful mix of Japanese and Hawaiian meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you may find yourself staying here all day to try everything on the menu. Make sure to check out their events schedule for guest chefs and specialty meal nights.

Kenji Burger: Would you rather have a grass-fed Japanese burger paired with sesame teriyaki French fries or a rice and fish bento box with matcha green tea? Either way, you can get both (and much more) at Kenji Burger.

NOM: Bringing the best traditional burgers and fried foods to the island!

 

Molokai

Quick Beach Snack

Mana’e Goods & Grindz: As one of the only places to stop on the East end, Goods & Grindz acts as the perfect place to pick up a Hawaiian teriyaki chicken and rice bowl paired with a cold, refreshing beer after a day of exploring the island.

Sundown Deli: Can you imagine a better way to enjoy a specialty deli sandwich or salad than on the beautiful beaches of Molokai?

Family Outing

Molokai Burger: This burger joint is essential to locals on the island and offers a family-friendly environment in addition to delicious burgers, shakes, and fries.

Kualapu’u Cookhouse: Voted the best restaurant on Molokai, this mom and pop shop offers traditional American meals with a Hawaiian twist.

Ono Fish & Shrimp: Don’t be fooled by the small food truck, this place churns out fish tacos with big flavor! Make a trip out of this meal and catch the food truck at the Saturday farmer’s market in Kaunakakai.

 

Lanai

Quick Beach Snack

Coffee Works: Start your day off the right way with a hot cup of Hawaiian coffee and fresh acai bowl while you soak up the peaceful environment outside on the patio.

Lana’i ‘Ohana Poke Market: Home of the best eats on the island and clearly a favorite for both locals and tourists, it’s not unusual for ‘Ohana Poke Market to sell out of their poke bowls each day. Get there early so you don’t miss out.

Family Outing

Pele’s Other Garden: Come for a midday deli wrap or sandwich and coffee and stay for an Italian dinner complete with bruschetta, pizza, and seafood pasta with wine.

Nobu Lanai: Overlooking a protected marine preserve, this cliffside Japanese restaurant offers innovative sushi crafted with locally-caught fish and infused with a refreshing Hawaiian flavor.

Malibu Farm: Enjoy lunch crafted with local, organic ingredients as you look out at clear views of Hulopoe Bay. Stay into the evening for refreshing island cocktails and “pupus,” Hawaiian appetizers and small eats.

 

Big Island

Quick Beach Snack

Makani’s Magic Pineapple Shack: The dragon fruit (pitaya) smoothie bowl served in the bottom half of a pineapple and topped with ube ice cream and fresh fruit is enough to get us to try Big Island Juice Co. To sweeten the deal, they offer gourmet cuisine and mouth-watering desserts.

Kohala Burger & Taco: After a long day of surfing, what sounds better than a nice, big burger? Maybe a fresh, ahi taco? Kohala offers both, so you never have to choose between a burger and a taco again.

Family Outing

Holuakoa: This outdoor restaurant is located in a rainforest garden and offers the perfect environment to sit back and relax while enjoying high quality, locally-grown prepared meals.

The Fish and The Hog: Looking for some good ol’ comfort food? Look no further.  This restaurant specializes in savory Hawaiian BBQ, pulled pork, brisket French dip, and friendly service.

Umekes: A trip to Hawaii isn’t complete without a fresh poke bowl.  These bowls are packed with delicious fresh yellowfin tuna fish and marinated in sea salt and spices.

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