Looking for the best restaurants on the island of Oahu? With so many delicious options to choose from, narrowing down the list is no easy task. From authentic Hawaiian dishes to Japanese cuisine and even Portuguese desserts, there is a wide variety of dining options to choose from. We’re covering 15 of the most popular spots on the island, including food trucks, local favorites, and even a few can’t-miss tourist destinations.
1. Big Wave Shrimp
Located in Haleiwa, this local spot is, without a doubt, one of the best places on the island for freshly grilled garlic shrimp (served with white rice and a side salad) and traditional Hawaiian plate lunches. Oahu’s North Shore is known for its food trucks, and there are plenty to choose from. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck is another popular spot among both locals and tourists. Regardless of where you choose to go, the North Shore of Oahu is, without a doubt, the best place on the island for delicious seafood, fresh fish, and shrimp. Check out the other food trucks nearby to end your meal with some fresh fruit or a smoothie!
Check out the full menu for Big Wave Shrimp HERE.
2. Koko Head Cafe
This Asian-inspired brunch location was opened by celebrity chef Lee Anne Wong in 2013 and has since become a popular dining spot in southern Honolulu. Whether you prefer your brunch in the form of french toast or Koko Moco (Koko Head Cafe’s take on traditional Loco Moco with a unique twist) this is a great place for anyone looking to experience great food. The menu features Asian-inspired breakfast skillets and more traditional American brunch options. An extensive drink menu also consists of many cocktail options, juices, coffee, matcha, and more.
Check out the full menu for Koko Head Cafe HERE.
3. Rainbow Drive-In
Rainbow Drive-In is one of the best Oahu restaurants for traditional Hawaiian food if you’re in the market for delicious local cuisine. Although there are multiple locations, the original location is downtown Honolulu near the Zoo (3308 Kanaina Ave). Expect the parking lot to be packed and there to be a line outside, but the wait is worth it. Rainbow Drive-In offers an extensive menu, specializing in local food and plate lunches (although American food such as burgers and sandwiches is also available). I recommend the Loco Moco Plate for anyone wanting to try a popular, more traditional option.
Check out the full menu for Rainbow Drive-In HERE.
4. Haleiwa Joe’s
This casual, island-themed, local spot now has two locations (the original location is Haleiwa, and the other is Kaneohe). The restaurant and bar are open daily from 4:00 pm until 12:00 am, with brunch being served only on Sundays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Haleiwa Joe’s is known for its delicious fish, shrimp, and fresh seafood, as well as its “from the land” selection, including steak, chicken, ribs, and much more. With a full bar menu, this charming spot is the perfect place for happy hour or after-dinner drinks as well.
Check out the full menu for Haleiwa Joe’s HERE.
5. Marugame Udon
Depending on the time of day, you may end up waiting in a long line (and for good reason) to experience this local favorite near Waikiki Beach. Marukame Udon is a Japanese restaurant featuring udon, rice bowls, and freshly made tempura. Some of the best things on the menu include Nikutama (pictured below) and the teriyaki chicken rice bowl (featuring Japanese chicken katsu). One of my favorite things was the made-to-order cafe-style setup and tempura bar!
Check out the full menu for Marugame Udon HERE.
6. Leonard’s Bakery
Leonard’s Bakery is a famous Portuguese bakery located in Honolulu. Famous for its malasada, which is a fried Portuguese pastry (similar to a donut), this popular place has been a local favorite since its opening in 1952. In addition to malasadas, the menu features different types of bread, pies, pastries, and more! If you’re planning on visiting the area, make it a priority to swing by Leonard’s Bakery to grab a small bite or a sweet treat!
Check out the full menu for Leonard’s Bakery HERE.
7. North Shore Tacos
Another one of the delicious food trucks located on Oahu’s North Shore is North Shore Tacos. The food truck is between Sunset Beach and Waimea Beach park, but there is also a restaurant location about half an hour away in Laie. The menu features plates including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos, as well as a selection of delicious tropical drinks. If you’re in the mood for a coffee, acai bowl, or some fresh fruit, stop by the Sunrise Shack located right next to the North Shore Tacos truck!
8. Helena’s Hawaiian Food
In 2000, this local favorite was awarded the James Beard Award, the highest honor that can be received for excellence in the culinary arts field. Specializing in local food, the menu features kalua pork, short ribs, and other authentic Hawaiian cuisines. Helena’s Hawaiian Food has remained a family-owned restaurant since its opening in 1946 and is still the perfect place to indulge in some of the best food on the Hawaiian islands.
Check out the full menu for Helena’s Hawaiian Food HERE.
9. Surf N Turf Tacos
If you are a fan of tacos, burritos, and bowls, your taste buds will surely be pleased the first time you dine at this great spot. With its affordable price point, large portions, and excellent quality food, I consider this place to be one of my favorite restaurants on the island of Oahu. Whether you choose to take advantage of the outdoor seating or take a short walk to Waikiki Beach for a picnic, you’ll be glad you stopped by this local spot.
Check out the full menu for Surf N Turf Tacos HERE.
10. Ono Seafood
If you’re looking for the best poke bowls on the island, a trip to Ono Seafood is a must during your stay in Oahu. The menu features Ahi Tuna and Japanese Tako (octopus), allowing customers to customize their poke bowls. This hidden gem is located in Honolulu and is a popular spot among Hawaiian locals.
Check out the full menu for Ono Seafood HERE.
11. Matsumoto Shave Ice
Another iconic spot in Haleiwa, Matsumoto Shave Ice, is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious sweet treat. This place has been very popular with locals and tourists alike since its opening in the 1950s. Expect to wait in a long line if you’re coming on the weekend or in the evening. If the line is too long and you don’t feel like waiting, there are ample other locations around the island with Hawaiian shave ice. Or, if you’re a pineapple lover, stop by the Dole Plantation or one of the other local shops selling Dole Whip soft serve for a refreshing tropical treat!
Check out the menu for Matsumoto Shave Ice HERE.
12. Liliha Bakery
Famous for its coco puffs, Liliha has been serving delicious baked goods and traditional Hawaiian food to the island of Oahu since the 1950s. The original location is on Kuakini Street in downtown Honolulu, but the business has since expanded to include multiple other locations on the island. Its extensive menu, featuring both local food and American favorites, includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is also an enormous bakery menu featuring over 100 different items, including pastries, cakes, pies, donuts, and more!
Check out the full menu for Liliha Bakery HERE.
13. Yard House
Although not local to the Hawaiian islands, Yard House in downtown Honolulu is a great option if you’re looking for an American-style dinner spot with delicious food and plenty of options. With an excellent location on the Waikiki Beach Walk, this restaurant is just a short walk from many hotels and attractions, including a huge array of stores making for some of the best shopping on the island. With its extensive menu and full bar, there is sure to be something for everyone at Yard House.
Check out the full menu for Yard House HERE.
14. Duke’s Waikiki
Although a bit touristy, Duke’s Waikiki is one of the best restaurants in Honolulu if you’re looking for delicious food and a fun dining experience. With nightly live music and a beautiful beachfront location, Duke’s is the place to be for happy hour. Located conveniently on Waikiki Beach, this popular spot is just a short walk from many of the hotels in the Waikiki area. The menu is extensive and features steak, seafood, and traditional Hawaiian cuisine, so there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.
Check out the full menu for Duke’s Waikiki HERE.
15. Polynesian Cultural Center
For anyone visiting Oahu (or the Hawaiian islands in general) for the first time, a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Center is essential. Experience a traditional Luau featuring live entertainment and dinner. Enjoy authentic Hawaiian cuisine with a dining experience that includes a kalua pig (cooked in an imu- an underground oven) and much more. The Ali’i Luau Package may be a great option for anyone interested in an all-inclusive cultural experience, including tours, activities, and even a canoe ride to their luau package. While this is an amazing addition to any trip to Oahu, it is a pricy one, coming in at around $189 per adult, so be aware of this when booking!
Explore dining and Luau package options HERE.
Other Popular Restaurants in Oahu
Combining local favorites with popular tourist destinations, we covered 15 of the best places to eat in Oahu, Hawaii. From local hidden gems to food trucks to upscale restaurants, there are so many other fantastic places to eat in this culinary hub that I couldn’t stop at just 15. Below is a list of other popular, delicious, unique, or new restaurants to add to your Oahu food bucket list.
- L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
- Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
- Highway Inn
- Mud Hen Water
- Haleiwa Beach House
- Kua Aina Sandwich Shop
- Hula Grill Waikiki
- Poke Bar
- Kono’s Northshore
- Ted’s Bakery
- Tikis Grill & Bar
- Maui Brewing Co. Waikiki
- Waiahole Poi Factory
- Uncle Bo’s Pupu Bar & Grill
Currently planning your trip to Oahu, Hawaii? Click HERE for recommendations, tips, popular attractions, and a sample 5-day itinerary!