Explore Oahu

Oahu for Foodies

With Oahu’s beautiful beaches and mountains, there’s much natural beauty to explore. But once you’re done frolicking through the Pacific or scaling extinct volcanic craters, the island’s restaurant scene offers fantastic refueling options.

Once thought of as a food desert for delicious high-end dining, the local foodie scene has evolved, thanks in part to 12 award-winning chefs behind the Hawaiian Regional Cuisine (HRC) movement. Moving away from continental cuisine and frozen imported ingredients, the chefs promoted the use of fresh, local produce, blending Hawaii’s melting pot of cultures into their recipes.

Their dishes reflected Hawaiian and immigrant ethnic flavors of the islands' diverse cultures. Oahu’s food landscape continues to evolve, with restaurants helmed by a new generation of local chefs, mainland top chefs and local favorites. Visiting Hawaii never looked and tasted so good. 

Chef Chai at Pacifica

Popular local restaurateur Chai Chaowasaree offers a fusion of flavors, preparing such dishes as oxtail soup, grilled Mongolian lamb chops, vegetable terrine and Thai-style whole fresh fish.

Alan Wong's

Chef Alan Wong has cooked for President Obama, won the James Beard Award, and his restaurant was named one of America’s Top 50 Restaurants in Gourmet Magazine.

Chef Mavro

Honolulu’s legendary French chef is a passionate proponent of local products and has devised many a celebrated dish. A winner of the prestigious James Beard Award, he’s dedicated to food and wine pairings and features three-course, four-course and six-course meals.

MW Restaurant

Tucked in the old KGMB building across Ala Moana Center, this upscale restaurant serves local comfort food with a twist. Husband-and-wife team Wade Ueoka and Michelle Karr-Ueoka worked alongside Alan Wong for almost 20 years as a chef de cuisine and pastry chef, respectively.


This popular restaurant in Kaimuki is always packed for the “undiscovered” bar and the extremely tasty Italian-themed treasures created by Chef Ed Kenney, whose food mantra is “local first, organic whenever possible, with aloha always.” Find dishes like gnocchi with sage brown butter sauce and a half roasted chicken on a bed

Koko Head Cafe

For a true island breakfast experience, head to Koko Head Cafe, where regulars return for favorite dishes like the Cornflake French Toast and Breakfast Bi Bim Bap created by celebrity Chef Lee Anne Wong. The neighborhood cafe vibe is great for families with young children or brunch dates.

Sushi Sasabune

A must-visit for sushi aficionados, this restaurant has been called the “best Tokyo-style sushi experience in town” offering the freshest (and exotic) fish and seafood.

12th Avenue Grill

This bistro, located in the heart of Kaimuki, features contemporary American cuisine with a commitment to fresh, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Sustainable seafood and the best of Hawaii’s island farms and ranches make up the menu: house-cured meats, organic produce and grass-fed beef.

Helena's Hawaiian Food

One of the only Hawaiian food restaurants to offer sit-down service, you can expect all of the traditional style dishes here, plus some signature dishes like pipikaula-style short ribs. To prepare pipikaula (Hawaiian smoked beef), strips of beef are rubbed with coarse salt and then hung to dry.