Any Current Recs for Oahu and Maui?

Going to Kailua and Honolulu for a few days, then a week + on Maui later this month. Just wondering if anyone has recently enjoyed great food on Oahu? We have Maui pretty well covered. Any suggestions appreciated. TIA

Lol, didn’t think so. :palm_tree::sunglasses:

As many food trucks as you can find up north! Some are in kailua too. People serve food out of their houses as well. Stop by. You will see signs pointing off the highway into neighborhoods. That kind of stuff goes in Hawaii.

Thanks @corvette_johnny! We actually go to Hawaii frequently but not to Oahu usually. We’ll be staying with friends in Kailua for 3 days, will hit the north shore for sure and will probably stop at the shrimp/chicken trucks. Just hope the traffic isn’t too bad through Hawaii Kai. Takes so freaking long to get from point A to B on that island. Then to the Moana Surfrider for a few. Will do some research for good Japanese, sushi and Hawaiian style Chinese food. Know exactly where we want to go on Maui.

I think you know this, but downtown has a ton of the 48 state chain restaurants. They have some local flavor too.

Have you heard of the sushi nazi? Lol

Do you mean downtown by the Aloha Clock Tower or around Waikiki? Sam Choy’s by the old pineapple cannery is pretty good, as is Kimo’s, which is around there somewhere. There’s also a pretty good Italian place called Mama’s something or other across the street from a Safeway. Not interested in the lower 48 chains too much, but Cheeseburger in Paradise is usually pretty fun. Eldest daughter actually went to UH but it’s been a few years now since we’ve been there. Actually spent 2 weeks at Koalina Resort sans family in 2008. This was before the Disney resort went in, so I hear it’s much changed now. I’ll investigate Sushi Nazi - might be fun. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll post about our hits & misses.

I was referring to Waikiki.

I would spend a day just traveling up north and hitting as many trucks and beaches as you can. Just sample something from each truck and cruise!

I really like Mike’s huli huli. Def check that truck out.

Downtown try Roy’s bigeye poke…stellar dish (if you like raw tuna)…food is good too but I’d just do a drink or two and some apps at the bar.

Thanks for the clarification, that’s what I thought. Wasn’t remembering the name of the chicken yesterday, but it’s what I want from the food trucks besides shrimp. Wonder if they have trucks selling malasada’s or lumpia? Oh and manapuas! Will definitely hit up Mike’s. Have always loved Roy’s (have all his cookbooks) but I too prefer to do drinks & apps. Had dinner at the Koalina Roy’s and wasn’t overly impressed with the entrees. Did have a fab passion fruit martini and they gave me the recipe.

Love poke but sadly none for me this trip, nor any raw sushi. Immune compromised, fortunately nothing too serious though. Thanks again for your suggestions!

My recommendation is coming a little too late for the OP, but in case anyone else is visiting Maui, I highly recommend Lineage. The family style tasting menu and the cocktails were amazing. They are willing to work around food sensitivities.

In Honolulu, I loved the tasting menu at Alan Wong’s, but it was twice as much food as I can handle. I would return, and order à la carte, or order the tasting menu again and pack exactly half of each part of my tasting menu in a doggie bag or bento box. This last visit , I took my dessert home with me and had it for breakfast the next day.

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We’re headed this way in August. Looking for off-the-beaten-path and classic options for Oahu.
Currently on my list:
Side Street
Leonard’s or Agnes’
Uncle Clay’s
KoKo Head Cafe
Maguro Bros
Ahi Assasins
Sushi Sho
Yakitori Hachibei

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We’re going to Oahu in about a month and I would also love some recs. My only qualification is that I’d like places that have outdoor dining. I am not comf with eating in still. Also, if we do a circle tour, what is to eat on the northern side except the shrimp trucks? 10 yrs ago (last visit), I didn’t like those at all. The shrimp tasted distinctly farmed. Which they were. Had kind of a catfishy bottom feeder undertone. Thanks!! PS staying 1/2 in Waikiki and 1/2 around Kaneohe.

Headed out to Oahu first week in February, not interested in food trucks & would love to experience a non tourist Luau.
Interesting food & drink places also anything interesting on Kona?

I think ohahu is an underrated food destination, try:

  • side street might be my favorite restaurant in the whole world, make sure to have marinated kalbi, da works rice…so many other great dishes
  • KoKo Head Cafe is wonderful, don’t miss it
  • leonards for malasadas
  • ahi assassins
  • lady and pig
  • I could be wrong but pretty sure non-tourist Luau is an oxymoron

kona, try broke da mouth or 808 grindz


Yeah Luau is probably an ultimate tourist thing but when in Rome…
Anyway thanks for taking the time for the recommendations it greatly appreciated.

Old Lahaina Luau or the ($$$ non buffet) Feast at Lele may have the best food, since they’re owned by the people who own Aloha Mixed Plate, Leoda’s and Star Noodle. I haven’t been to Old Lahaina Luau. I did enjoy Star Noodle and Leoda’s.

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Thanks, since I am not kid friendly this is very helpful

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Luaus have changed much with the pandemic. Food is packed and delivered to your tables…buffets of yore don’t really exist now. Seconds of dishes you like are hard to come by. Seating is pre-assigned so parties don’t mix. We did some research before we went in August and opted out because we wanted our kids to have the experience we grew up knowing.
+1 on KoKo Head Cafe, Leonard’s & Pig and the Lady
Also, check out any grocery store poké…I prefer Halawa, Maguro Bros, and Ray’s Kiawe Chicken.
I missed making reservations to Sushi Sho, so that’s on my bucket list for next time in addition to a stop at Bar Leather Apron for drinks.


Thanks for the helpful information, much appreciated.