Waikiki has one of the more exciting food scenes of any US city. There are so many best restaurants in Waikiki. “Oahu” translates to “The Gathering Place,” and people eat when they gather! So it’s no surprise.
Waikiki is rich in cultural activity. So, you can choose the best seasons to visit in Waikiki. And yes, while visiting here, don’t miss to visit the best places in Waikiki and the best restaurants in Waikiki. There you can also find the best hotels in Waikiki to stay.
These restaurants offer stunning views of Waikiki Beach, including white sand, Diamond Head, and Pacific Ocean sunsets. Whether you prefer local gems or upscale dining, Waikiki has something for everyone’s taste and satisfaction.
Here’s a list of the best restaurants in Waikiki, Oahu, with something for every traveler:
- Cream Pot
- La Vie
- Sushi Sho
- Nature Waikiki
- Wasabi Bistro
- Ginza Bairin
- Marugame Udon
- Matcha Cafe Maiko
- Tim Ho Wan
1. Cream Pot in Waikiki
Cream Pot is popular for its breakfast offerings, like flavored pancakes, eggs Benedict, crepes, lemonade, and coffee. It combines Japanese and French influences in a cozy setting. They aim to create delicious and unique dishes using fresh, quality ingredients from local and global sources.
Eating delicious food isn’t just about the taste; it’s also about the setting and the company you’re in. Cream Pot’s atmosphere is a nice change from generic chain restaurants that often feel impersonal.
Cream Pot’s decoration combines various elements, like antiques and handcrafted designs, which create its unique style. Dining there is meant to be a simple yet memorable experience that stands out.
2. Katsumidori in Waikiki
At Prince Waikiki, the only location outside Japan, Chef Noboru Nagumo brings fusion flavors through the four seasons. Katsumidori, using seafood from the ocean and local ingredients, offers creative sushi and traditional dishes that are fresh and authentic.
Chef Noboru Nagumo blends Japanese and Hawaiian ingredients in his original cuisine at ‘KATSUMIDORI SUSHI TOKYO.’ Enjoy creative sushi rolls and nigiri sushi that offer a unique and valuable dining experience.
Inside Prince Waikiki Hotel is the only Katsumidori branch outside Japan. Unlike Japanese locations, it doesn’t have a train delivery system. Still, it offers reasonably priced, higher-quality sushi than typical conveyor belt sushi. Their top-tier sushi set (under $40) includes indulgent options like uni, abalone, and a long jumbo eel.
3. La Vie in Waikiki
La Vie is a modern restaurant influenced by local ingredients and community partnerships. We use French cuisine to connect diners with Hawaii’s essence and beauty.
La Vie is influenced by modern French cuisine and emphasizes local ingredients. The menu presentation is contemporary—you can choose three or four courses, with the dishes up to you. You can have all appetizers or desserts, making dining democratic and challenging to decide.
The eighth-floor open-air dining room at La Vie offers a beautiful view over Waikīkī. The modern French cuisine and cocktails are exceptional. You can select a three- or four-course prix fixe menu. Recent menu highlights included fried frog legs with escargot and dry-aged duck a l’orange with berbere spice. La Vie also leads to Sushi Sho, another restaurant on this list.
4. Sushi Sho in Waikiki
You can get special dinner items from Sushi Sho to take away and enjoy at the beach or at home during sunset. You can place online orders daily except Mondays (when the restaurant is closed). Same-day orders aren’t possible.
Many believe the freshest fish is the best in the US, but that’s not always the case. Like beef, fish can improve with controlled aging. Original Edomae-style sushi, which Sushi Sho follows, uses aged fish. So, don’t anticipate the freshest fish; expect aged, cured, or fermented fish that’s incredibly flavorful.
Indulge in a private dining experience in your room with the Pacific Ocean and Waikiki Beach views. Choose from gourmet dishes, fresh bread, and delicious desserts.
Sushi Sho has a great takeout option if you can’t reserve a table. Get a $40 bara chirashi with 20 types of diced seafood and veggies, including uni and abalone, over sushi rice. Remember to order ahead.
5. Castro’s in Waikiki
Castro’s, a brunch place, could thrive just from Eggs ‘n’ Things overflow customers. The food is fantastic, drawing even locals who avoid Waikīkī’s hustle. People come for tasty Cubano, chorizo, and brisket sandwiches.
Chef-owner Luis Castro’s Cuban-inspired dishes use local ingredients, like foraged flowers, pork, and fruit plates with tropical bounty. It is unusual for an independent Waikīkī restaurant.
Castro’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant known for its creative menu, vibrant Latin tastes, Cuban favorites, and complete espresso bar. We’re proud to use fresh, organic ingredients, often directly from local farms, to craft delicious and healthy dishes. Located in sunny Waikiki, we aim to feed your body and spirit as you dine in our relaxed Cuban and Hawaiian-inspired dining space.
6. Nature Waikiki in Waikiki
“NatuRe Waikiki” is a contemporary French restaurant with a unique farm-to-table approach. It’s been a year since the restaurant opened, and it offers features like a tasting menu, chef’s counter, and ingredients sourced locally.
The ground floor has Zigu, an izakaya that blends local ingredients and modern Japanese tastes. Upstairs is Nature Waikiki, focusing on French cuisine. They offer a tasting menu at the chef’s counter, with a vegetarian option. For a more casual experience, there’s an a la carte menu with items like the heart of palm beignets and Kaua’i shrimp with absinthe butter. Tasting menu reservations are necessary.
Nature Waikiki offers an a la carte menu at the bar and regular tables. The chef’s counter provides a tasting menu with regular and plant-based options. The tasting menu has add-on choices and drink pairings. Desserts are available separately from the tasting menu, just like in PARIS.HAWAII.
7. Wasabi Bistro in Waikiki
Wasabi Bistro Hawaii is a laid-back dining spot in Honolulu with a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Established in 1992, it’s a hidden gem among Japanese restaurants on Oahu, cherished by families and friends who gather here.
Wasabi Bistro Global offers a modern twist on traditional Japanese cuisine in an intimate bistro setting. The dining areas are beautifully adorned with Japanese art, ensuring privacy for guests. You can also take a sit at the sushi bar and watch the master chef skillfully create sushi right in front of you.
At Wasabi Bistro, seafood takes the spotlight, infused with the creativity of their innovative chefs. Opt for a sushi bar seat to witness their exciting culinary skills and be captivated by their unique creations.
8. Ginza Bairin in Waikiki
Waikiki Japanese Restaurant Ginza Bairin is the go-to place in Honolulu for genuine Japanese dishes. It’s the first Ginza Bairin restaurant outside Asia.
Run by the Shibuya family’s third generation, Ginza Bairin restaurants offer a legacy dining experience. They serve various intriguing dishes influenced by Japan’s Meiji Restoration Period, with a captivating history in every bite.
Ginza Bairin uses top-notch Berkshire pork for their cutlet dishes, with a low-sugar bread crumb batter and premium salad oil. It ensures a crispy outside and a juicy inside for each bite. Their unique Tonkatsu Sauce, made from spices, fruits, and vegetables, enhances the Tonkatsu’s natural sweetness and rich flavor.
9. Marugame Udon in Waikiki
At Marugame Udon, you can enjoy freshly made udon bowls, tempura, and drinks while watching the chefs in action. They create the udon noodles right when you order, guaranteeing delicious Japanese food.
The open kitchen transforms your meal into a memorable event. As you move along the cafeteria-style line, a skilled udon chef prepares your order right in front of you. Everything is made fresh to order, making the dining experience truly special.
Udon is a highlight at Marugame Udon, but the tempura is also fantastic. They offer many options, including chicken, shrimp, squid, sweet potatoes, zucchini, mushroom, chicken katsu, tamagoyaki, and potato croquette.
10. Matcha Cafe Maiko in Waikiki
At the heart of Matcha Cafe Maiko’s offerings is its dedication to providing various matcha-infused delicacies. Their menu ranges from classic matcha lattes and ice creams to innovative creations like matcha parfaits, shaved ice, and even matcha-infused baked goods. Each dish is meticulously crafted to balance matcha’s earthy bitterness with the complementary ingredients’ sweetness, resulting in a symphony of multi flavors that dance on your taste buds.
Beyond the food and drinks, the cafe’s ambiance and aesthetics also play a significant role in the overall experience. The interior design seamlessly blends Japanese aesthetics with Hawaiian warmth, making it a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring Waikiki’s beaches and attractions.
Matcha Cafe Maiko is more than just a place to grab a quick snack. It’s a destination that allows you to savor the harmonious marriage of Japanese culinary tradition and the relaxed spirit of Hawaii.
11. Tim Ho Wan in Waikiki
Nestled in Waikiki’s vibrant heart, Tim Ho Wan brings Hong Kong’s renowned dim sum culture to the shores of Hawaii. With a menu rooted in tradition and an atmosphere that blends bustling energy with a welcoming vibe, Tim Ho Wan offers a culinary journey through flavorful and meticulously crafted dishes.
Each bite tells a story of culinary excellence, from the famous Baked BBQ Pork Buns to delicate shrimp dumplings. The Waikiki branch combines authenticity with a touch of Hawaiian hospitality, making it a must-visit for both dim sum enthusiasts and those seeking a delectable dining experience in paradise.
Whether you’re a dim sum aficionado or a curious food lover and looking to explore new flavors, Tim Ho Wan offers a culinary journey that transcends continents. From its humble beginnings as a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Hong Kong to its global presence today, Tim Ho Wan’s commitment to crafting exceptional dim sum has remained unwavering, making it a delightful addition to the vibrant food scene of Waikiki.
A tapestry of culinary delights unfolds in the heart of Waikiki, where the sun-kissed shores meet the vibrant cityscape. From world-class seafood to international flavors that dance on your palate, the best restaurants in Waikiki have redefined the dining experience in this tropical paradise.
The best restaurants in Waikiki are not just places to dine; they’re windows into the essence of this vibrant destination, where cultures collide, creativity flourishes, and the spirit of aloha weaves its way through every dish. So, whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time traveler, let your taste buds lead you on a journey of discovery, as you savor the culinary treasures that make Waikiki a true paradise for food lovers.
FAQs of Best Restaurants in Waikiki
The information in these FAQs might change over time, so it’s always a good idea to check with the restaurant for the most up-to-date details before planning your dining experience. Here are the FAQs for the best restaurants in Waikiki:
Waikiki boasts a diverse dining scene, but some top picks include Cream Pot, Katsumidori, La Vie, and more. They offer a range of cuisines and atmospheres to suit various tastes.
Waikiki’s culinary offerings are incredibly diverse. You can find everything from Waikiki’s regional cuisine and fresh seafood to international flavors like Japanese, Chinese, and American.
It’s advisable to make reservations, especially for popular restaurants like House Without a Key and Duke’s Waikiki, to ensure you secure a table during peak dining hours.
Yes, most of these restaurants understand the importance of dietary preferences. They often offer vegetarian and vegan options; some even have dedicated menus.
Most of these restaurants accommodate dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, nut-free, and others. It’s recommended to inform the staff of your restrictions when making reservations or ordering.
Yes, several of these restaurants, like House Without a Key, often feature live entertainment, such as Hawaiian music and hula dancing, adding to the overall dining experience.
Most of these restaurants offer a range of dining options, from breakfast to dinner. However, checking their opening hours and meal availability beforehand is recommended.