While I am obsessed with Acai bowls and coconut pancakes, dinner is in fact is my favorite meal to chow down on in Oahu. Here are my must-eats… Dinner edition.
This place is amazing. While it is a chain with over 201 locations that doesn’t discount its’ uniqueness. Located on Kuhio Ave across the street from the Laylow Hotel. They make the noodles in-house which is super fun to watch while you wait. Oh, and you will wait. This is standing room only. No matter what time of day (even breakfast) there is a line. Be prepared to wait for 30 – 45 minutes. My personal fave is number 8 beef. The curry is also amazing. Make sure to grab some tempura as well!
This is a small (only about 15 seats) traditional ramen house. No frills here. Just solid, traditional AMAZING ramen. It’s located on Kalakaua Ave in between Saratoga and Beachwalk. Just like Marukame there is always a bit of a wait. It’s usually no more than 30 minutes but, be prepared. This was one of my first places to eat at in Oahu, and it’s a staple for me. Me and my fiancé have a constant battle over which is better, Marukame or Nakamura. My vote will always be Nakamura. I normally get Shoyu ramen with gyoza. It’s SO good.
Mahina and Son’s is located in the lobby of the Surfjack Hotel on Lewers Street. Head Chef Ed Kenney takes Hawaiian favorites and elevates them. Chef Ed Kenney is also a huge advocate of ocean-friendly seafood sourcing. His menus are traditional and old school yet, new and unique. They are farm to table at it’s finest using only local and seasonal Hawaiian ingredients. Not only is the food amazing, but I love the vibe here. It’s new and hip but, retains it’s mid-century 60’s Hawaiian esthetic. The food and atmosphere make this a perfect spot a great date night. I was lucky enough to be there for Thanksgiving. We ordered a whole fish, and IT WAS INCREDIBLE. Make sure you make reservations, it’s highly recommended.
Anyone who knows me, knows I have an unhealthy love for all things Anthony Bourdain. So this was one of the first places I hit upon my first trip to Oahu. Featured on an episode of No Reservations, I was eager to try their traditional Hawaiian offerings. That was over ten years ago. It maintains a must-stop status every time I am in Oahu. Opening its first location in 1992, they currently have two. This is home-style cooking. Food is family-style, so bring your appetite. My must-tries: poke, Side St Signature fried rice, side Soba, and Kalbi ribs. Reservations are recommended.
This hidden gem has it all. Just want late-night drinks, a fire pit, and tasty snacks? Hideout’s got you. Want a fabulous meal with incredible views? Hideout’s got you. I was pleasantly surprised how much time I spent at the Laylow on my last trip to Oahu. The drink menu is top-notch. The food isn’t half bad either. I highly recommend visiting. If you want to dine in I would recommend reservations. Favorite bites: Kalua egg rolls, Piggy Marley burger, and Short ribs (not always available).
Gyu-Kaku is a chain but, don’t let that stop you. Located on Lewers St, right off of Kalakaua Ave. This place is just fun. I always have a blast here. It’s the same concept as Korean BBQ in many ways. They have a massive menu from a la carte to all you can eat. Just gage your appetite before arriving. If I had to suggest one item, it would be the Kalbi. If you are scared to cook for yourself, the waiters are there to assist you with times and will even cook it for you.
No matter where you eat at in Oahu, the food will inevitably be served with that aloha spirit that we all come to Hawaii to enjoy.