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The 20 Best Places to Eat in Oahu: Hotspots and Local Favorites

Are you planning a trip to Hawaii and wondering where to eat in Oahu? Look no further! As a self-entitled “foodie,” I’ve meticulously curated the 20 best places to eat on Oahu, where you can try poke, shave ice, or traditional Hawaiian food like Lau Lau, Poi, or Haupia.

From trendy cafes popular with tourists to local favorites, I’ve tailored this list to cater to every type of eater–from picky to adventurous. Let me be your guide as we explore the best food in Oahu and uncover the must-visit dining destinations on the island.

You can trust me! After all, I’ve traveled all over the world, and Hawaiian food is by far my favorite type of cuisine. During my visits to Oahu, I’ve experienced everything from fast food restaurants to fine dining, spanning from Honolulu to the North Shore.

Plus, I’ve included a map at the end so you can try to hit up as many of these spots as you can. So, let’s embark on this flavorful odyssey together–may these recommendations be your passport to savoring the very best that Oahu has to offer.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when you purchase a product or book a stay through these links at no extra cost to you.

1. Leonard’s Bakery

Malasadas from Leonard's Bakery in Honolulu

Leonard’s Bakery opened in 1952 and quickly became a success, serving up some of the best food in Honolulu: Portuguese malasadas. If you aren’t familiar with these desserts, they’re kind of like donuts made without the hole in the middle.

This Oahu food haven offers malasadas coated in sugar, cinnamon sugar, and li hing, as well as malasada puffs, which are filled with custard, chocolate, coconut, macadamia, or guava. Or, If you don’t like malasadas, go for the Hawaiian butter mochi cake.

Pink box of malasadas from Leonard's Bakery in HonoluluDue to Leonard’s popularity, you can expect a line that wraps around the street most days. If you don’t want to wait long, we suggest arriving early in the morning or during the late afternoon. 

What to order: Guava and macadamia nut malasadas. 

Address: 933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

2. Marugame Udon

This casual spot specializes in making Udon, a type of Japanese noodle soup. It’s affordable, tasty, and the best Udon I’ve ever had. You can expect a 30-minute to an hour wait due to its constant popularity.

With this in mind, the best time to try to go to Marugame is in the sweet spot between lunch and dinner. In particular, we suggest going between 2-4 p.m.

Pro tip: Skip the line by ordering your food online to go.

What to order: Nikutama Udon or Curry Nikutama Udon (spicy)

Address: 2310 Kuhio Ave. #124, Honolulu, HI 96815

3. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

Hand holding out a plate of garlic shrimp in front of Giovanni's Shrimp Truck in Oahu, HawaiiGiovanni’s Shrimp Truck is an institution on the North Shore and one of the best Oahu restaurants in this coastal area. Due to its success, it’s actually expanded to three locations: the original in Haleiwa, a second location near the Polynesian Cultural Center, and a third in Honolulu.

As you can guess from the name, Giovanni’s serves a selection of jumbo shrimp plates accompanied by two fluffy scoops of rice. The most popular menu item is the Shrimp Scampi, which features 12 jumbo shrimp marinated in olive oil, garlic, and lemon butter.

Garlic shrimp on a bed of white rice at Giovanni's Shrimp TruckIf you’d like to do your best to skip the crowds, you may want to drop by right when Giovanni’s opens at 10:30 AM.

Pro tip: Get extra napkins for the messy garlic shrimp!

What to order: The Shrimp Scampi Plate.

Address (original location): 66-472 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

4. Matsumoto Shave Ice

Shave ice with condensed milk at Matsumoto's shave ice in HaleiwaFor a delightful introduction to shave ice, Matsumoto Shave Ice in Haleiwa Town is a must-visit. Established in 1951, this family-owned shop has become a local institution on the North Shore.

Be prepared for a wait in line; however, Matsumoto’s has shave ice-making down to a science, so the queue tends to move quickly! The menu boasts a variety of tropical flavors such as guava, lilikoi, papaya, lychee, mango, coconut, and more.

What to order: Li Hing Mui flavor with condensed milk.

Address: 66-111 Kamehameha Hwy #605, Haleiwa, HI 96712

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5. Liliha Bakery

Liliha Bakery serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it’s really known for its pastries, including Coco Puff, Poi Mochi Donuts, and Chantilly Cake. Luckily for you, there are five locations on the island. However, we recommend visiting the original on N. Kuakini St.!

Although there’s usually a line, you can expect it to move quickly. Once you reach the counter, you can’t go wrong because everything is delicious. 

What to order: Chantilly coco puffs and green tea puffs.

Address (original location): 515 N. Kuakini St., Honolulu, HI 96817

6. Haleiwa Joe’s – Haiku Gardens

Haleiwa Joe’s at Haiku Gardens is by far one of the best restaurants Oahu has with a view. Note that it actually has two locations, one in Kaneohe and one in Haleiwa. You’ll have to go to the Kaneohe restaurant to see the botanical garden!

Haleiwa Joe’s doesn’t take call ahead or online reservations, so we recommend arriving at 3:30 PM–30 minutes before they open. You’ll wait in line to get your party on the list and then receive a call when your table is ready.

Pro tip: Pack bug spray if you plan to explore the gardens. 

What to order: The Prime Rib or New York Strip.

Address: 46-336 Haiku Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744

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7. Helena’s Hawaiian Food

Helena’s Hawaiian Food is a highly frequented spot for locals and tourists to chow down on local Hawaiian cuisine. It even won a James Beard award in 2000, making it one of the best places to eat in Oahu. Click this link to view the full menu.

Note that this restaurant is only open from 10 AM-7:30 PM on Tuesday through Friday. With this in mind, drop by at least once during the week to sample local favorites, like Kalua Pig, Lomi Salmon, Lau Lau, Luau Squid, Poi, and Haupia.

Pro tip: Visit when they open at 10 a.m. to avoid the crowds.

What to order: MENU B – Kalua Pig & Pipikaula Shortribs with Poi

Address: 1240 N School St, Honolulu, HI 96817

8. Ono Seafood

Tuna poke on top of a bed of rice at Ono Seafood in HonoluluMany locals claim that Ono Seafood is one of the best restaurants in Oahu for poke! Since Ono is one of the top places for premium poke bowls in the area, you can expect a line. Plus, with limited seating here, it’s best to get your meal to go.

Note that each poke bowl comes with a drink, so the price is excellent! The only downside is that parking can be difficult since there are only a few spots. Ono Seafood is closed on Sundays and Mondays, and you can also find a second location in Kalama Valley.

What to order: The #1 Shoyu Ahi Poke Bowl.

Address: 747 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

9. Waiahole Poi Factory

Waiahole Poi Factory is the best place to eat on Oahu if you want to try authentic local Hawaiian food. As with most popular restaurants on the island, the line can get very long at this Windward side establishment.

Guest favorites include the Squid Lu’au, Kalua Pig, Laulau, and the Haupia (which comes with combo plates). Another of Waiahole Poi Factory’s biggest draws is the Sweet Lady of Waiahole dessert. 

What to order: The Kanaka Nui sample plate.

Address: 48-140 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

10. Maguro Spot

Poke at Maguro Spot in Honolulu, HawaiiAre you looking for fresh and affordable poke in Waikiki? You’ll find this local establishment just two blocks from all the sun and fun of Waikiki Beach and near all the big hotels. Although there’s usually a wait, the line at Maguro Spot (open 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.) tends to move quickly.

In our opinion, Maguro Spot has the best poke in Honolulu and is one of the best places to eat in Waikiki. Plus, we love that you can customize your poke bowl here. For example, you can pick a menu option OR choose tuna, salmon, marlin, or shrimp and select your rice, toppings, and sauces.

What to order: Make Your Original Poke Bowl.

Address: 2441 Kūhiō Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815

11. Diamond Head Market & Grill

Diamond Head Market & Grill is the perfect place to stop for an affordable Hawaiian plate lunch after hiking the nearby Diamond Head Crater Hike. All plates come with white or brown rice and a tossed salad, and prices run from about $12-16. 

Besides plate lunches, Diamond Head Market & Grill is famous for its signature scones–especially its blueberry cream cheese scone. You can check out the market’s scone schedule on their website to see what they offer the day you visit.

What to order: Loco Moco, the Surf & Turf, the Kalbi Short Ribs, or the Teriyaki chicken.

Address: 3158 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

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12. Fresh Catch 

Shoyu salmon poke at Fresh Catch KaneoheFresh Catch offers fresh fish, poke, plate lunches, and platters prepared “island style.” There are three locations on Oahu: off Kapahulu Avenue, in Kaneohe, and in Pearl City. We recommend ordering 1/2 a pound of a few different pokes and sharing with a friend or partner.

In our opinion, Fresh Catch serves the best poke on Oahu. Our favorite is the Shoyu Salmon Poke, although the Spicy Ahi Poke and Ahi Limu Poke​ were also contenders. If you’d prefer a plate lunch, definitely try the Ahi Katsu Spicy!

What to order: Shoyu Poke or Spicy Ahi Poke.

Address (Kapahulu location): 1113 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

13. Koko Head Cafe

Celebrity chef Lee Anne Wong (a New York native) creates a one-of-a-kind Asian fusion brunch at Koko Head Cafe. It’s one of the best places to eat in Honolulu, so be prepared to wait; or, arrive at opening (7 a.m.) to hopefully avoid a queue.

Even though the wait and the parking situation can be off-putting, Koko Head Cafe is famous for its flavor-packed Asian fusion cuisine. Guest favorites from the menu include the Koko Moko, the Chicky & Eggs, the Breakfast Bimbimpap, and the Don Buri Chen pork belly bowl. 

What to order: Dumplings All Day Wong and the Cornflake French Toast.

Address: 1120 12th Ave #100, Honolulu, HI 96816

14. Haleiwa Bowls

Small açai bowl at Haleiwa Bowls on Oahu's North ShoreHaleiwa Bowls is located in an adorable shack along Kamehameha Highway in Haleiwa Town, on the North Shore. More importantly, it’s home to the best açai bowls in Oahu, serving smoothies, coffee, and tea as well!

Customize your açai bowl with toppings like fresh fruit, bee pollen, hemp seeds, almond butter, coconut, honey, and more. If possible, we recommend visiting Haleiwa Bowls during the week when it’s less crowded–there’s even convenient parking behind the shack!

What to order: The hapa açai bowl or the blue majik bowl.

Address: 66-030 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

15. Over Easy

If you plan to spend time on Oahu’s Windward Coast (the east side of the island), you won’t want to miss Over Easy in Kailua. Breakfast is served all day at this sunny spot, and lunch is available after 11 AM.

Especially for brunch, guests rave about the Fried Egg Sandwich (served on house-baked sourdough) and the Kalua Pig Hash dishes. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, Over Easy doesn’t take reservations, but you can join the call-ahead list if you’re within 30 minutes of arriving.

What to order: The Custard French Coast and Kalua Pig Hash. Or, go with a classic Fried Chicken Sandwich.

Address: 418 Kuulei Rd #103, Kailua, HI 96734

16. Sunrise Shack

Acai smoothie at Sunrise Shack across from Sunset Beach, North Shore, OahuSunrise Shack has five locations on Oahu: Sunset Beach, Shark’s Cove, the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, Kailua, and the Ala Moana Center. If you make your way to the North Shore, the best location is the original shack across from Sunset Beach.

Enjoy bullet coffee, flavorful smoothie bowls, juices, and other snacks, and then spend some time in the sand! The smoothie bowls are super colorful and instagrammable–our favorite is the Tropical Bowl, followed by the Monkey Bowl. You can check out the full menu here

Woman in yellow dress posing in front of the Sunrise ShackWhat to order: The açai bowl–add macadamia nut butter.

Address (Sunset Beach location): 59-158 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

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17. Mud Hen Water

Mud Hen Water offers classic Hawaiian food with a twist! The name “Mud Hen” is actually a loose translation of “Wai’alae”, the street in Honolulu where the restaurant is located.

For dinner, order the beet poké, the chicken long rice croquettes, and the sausage & clams. The miso-butterscotch rice pudding is to die for if you have room for dessert.

What to order: The Chicken Long Rice Croquettes and the Sausage & Clams.

Address: 3452 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

18. Hawaiian Aroma Caffe

Hawaiian Aroma Caffe is located on the second floor of the Beachcomber Waikiki Hotel and serves specialty waffles, açai bowls, paninis, and more. While Waikiki can feel commercial, this quaint café offers a cozier breakfast experience.

Hawaiian Aroma Caffe is a great place to both start and end your day, open until 7 PM and offering specialty Okole Maluna cocktails. Our favorite was the “Lost in Waikiki” drink, which looks like the adult version of a Capri Sun.

If you’re looking for more of a baked goods and coffee type of place, don’t miss Kona Coffee Purveyors, located in the Kuhio Mall Entrance.

What to order: The green tea waffle or the tropics açai bowl.

Address: Beachcomber Waikiki Hotel, 2300 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815. It also has locations at The Ilikai and Ohana East.

19. Musubi Cafe IYASUME

You can’t go to Hawaii without trying spam musubi! We know spam on a bed of rice might not seem appealing, but we promise you, it’s delicious. Whether it’s your first time trying musubi or not, Musubi Cafe IYASUME is a great place to pick up these delicious snacks.

This restaurant serves an incredible variety of musubi, like Avocado Bacon Egg Spam Musubi, Eel Egg Spam Musubi, Takuan Pickles Spam Musubi, and even Plum Cucumber Spam Musubi. Plus, it has seven different locations centering around the Waikiki area.

What to order: The Avocado Bacon Egg Spam Musubi.

20. ARVO Cafe

Flat lay of nutella and meatball toast at ARVO cafe in HonoluluARVO may mean “afternoon” in Australian slang, but this trendy plant-filled café is one of the top places to eat in Oahu for breakfast. It’s open from 8 AM to 2 PM and can get pretty busy, especially on the weekends. For fewer crowds, visit in the morning or from 1-2 PM.

Favorite items off the menu include Nutella toast, smoked salmon toast, loaded avocado toast, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and the charcoal latte. If this café isn’t your vibe, check out the nearby Highway Inn Kaka’ako.

Table at ARVO with breakfast toastWhat to order: Loaded avocado toast and a charcoal latte.

Address: 324 Coral St Suite 1A-104b, Honolulu, HI 96813 (SALT At Our Kaka’ako shopping center)

Read More: Travel Tips for Visiting Oahu

Want to remember where to eat on Oahu? Pin this post for later!

Looking for the best places to eat in Oahu? This blog post lists 25 top restaurants, featuring a variety of cuisines and dining experiences. From trendy cafes to local favorites, the list covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, including notable dishes and addresses. Whether you're craving poke, shave ice, or traditional Hawaiian food, this guide has you covered.

This article was first published in July 2021 and has since been updated.

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