O'ahu Food Guide: Exploring Restaurants & Eats in Hawaii

A Local's Guide to Eating in Hawaii
Wendy Diep
Group Travel Addict, Co-founder of Let's Jetty

Aloha, fellow foodies! Get ready to eat and drink in paradise, because O'ahu has a great food scene and amazing restaurants. As someone born and raised in Hawaii, I've got the inside-scoop on must-try local eats in O'ahu. Here are some "local approved" recommendations:

Must Try Local Favorites in O'ahu, Hawaii

There are just some things you have to try when you visit a place, and that's no different with O'ahu. Even as someone who grew up there, here are some places I always make it a point to go to when I'm visiting.

Helena's Hawaiian Food

For a true taste of aloha, look no further than Helena's Hawaiian Food. From kalua pork to lomi salmon, every bite is a celebration of island flavors.

Haleiwa Bowls

When the sun's beating down and you need a refreshing pick-me-up, Haleiwa Bowls is the answer. Their acai bowls are a tropical delight that'll have you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

Garlic shrimp aficionados, this one's for you. Giovanni's Shrimp Truck serves up buttery, garlicky goodness that'll have you licking your fingers clean.

Leonard's Bakery

No trip to Hawaii is complete without indulging in a malasada from Leonard's Bakery. These fluffy, sugary treats are pure bliss in every bite.

Best Local Spots for Authentic Hawaiian Style Poke

Let's start with poke -- a dish that went from a local Hawaiian specialty to an international sensation. Seriously, I grew up getting it from my local grocery store, and I've found that it was better than many places I've had it all over the mainland (yes I call the continental US the mainland).

Ono Seafood

Prepare yourself for a flavor explosion at Ono Seafood, where the poke is so fresh it practically swims onto your plate. Trust me, you won't find poke like this anywhere else.

Website: https://onoseafood.site/

Tamashiro Market

Don't let the unassuming exterior/interior fool you—Tamashiro Market is a hidden gem for poke aficionados. Dive into their irresistible poke bowls and thank me later.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tamashiromarket/

Nico's Pier

For a taste of Hawaii's coastal bounty, head to Nico's Pier for some of the freshest seafood delights you'll ever encounter. Their poke is a true oceanic delight. It's a restaurant with open air seating both indoors & outdoors.

Bonus? Live music every night!

Website: https://nicospier38.com/
Instagram: @nicospier38

Sushi & Japanese Recommendations

No food guide for Hawaii is complete without sushi recommendations. Thanks for Japanese tourism and immigration, there is a plethora of Japanese restaurants that will convince you of that. Below are just a few of local recs.


Sushi lovers, rejoice! Katsumidori is where it's at for top-quality sushi that won't break the bank. Your taste buds—and your wallet—will thank you.

Website: http://katsumidori-hawaii.com/
Instagram: @katsumidorisushi

Tonkatsu Tamafuji

Craving comfort food with a Japanese twist? Look no further than Tonkatsu Tamafuji, where crispy, golden tonkatsu reigns supreme. Make sure to book ahead—it's worth the wait.

Website: https://tamafuji-us.com/index-en.html
Instagram: @tamafuji.honolulu

Sushi Sho

Ready to treat yourself? Splurge on the omakase experience at Sushi Sho for a culinary journey that's worth every penny. Just be prepared to be blown away.

So there you have it, foodies! Whether you're a sushi fanatic, a poke connoisseur, or just looking for your next culinary adventure, Hawaii's got something to satisfy every craving. Mahalo for joining me on this delicious journey! 🌺🍣

Read more of our foodie guides for your next trip.

Plan your next trip on Let's Jetty

Create an account or sign in to get started

Let's Jetty is a group travel planning app that makes it easier, faster, and more enjoyable to plan group trips. With features like invitations, surveys, and an itinerary builder, planning a group trip has never been simpler.

Travel Inspiration & Tips

see all