Downtown Honolulu is a foodies dream. There are so many fabulous restaurants, it doesn’t matter what you’re in the mood for, you can find it here. It was a difficult decision trying to figure out where we wanted to eat with such a limited time on the island. We ended up with a good mix of Mexican, Italian, and a beer garden, the best part is they were all within walking distance from the hotel. So without further ado here is where I recommend eating in Honolulu.
Mi Almita Cantina
Was recommended to us by the hotel concierge, Meena, and it was an excellent recommendation. Mi Almita features fresh coastal Mexican and is owned by James Beard Award-winning chefs Hugo Ortega and Michael Mina. We were here during Happy Hour, which is daily from 12pm-5pm. The happy hour menu is limited and focuses mainly on tacos, which is perfect for me, I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like. On this trip, I was just starting out as a vegetarian and tried so hard to keep it that way, but I failed miserably (after the trip I went back to being a full-time vegetarian). I ended up getting 3 beef tacos, and 1 Vegetarian taco, which has sautéed poblanos and mushrooms, and red onions. The tacos were delicious! The beef was tender and flavorful, and my vegetarian taco was perfect as well, the veggies were cooked until tender and still had a little crunch to them. One thing that sets this cantina apart is the frozen margarita wall, yes you read that right. They had 6 frozen margaritas when we were there ranging from Luau Punch to Blue Hawai’i, to Moscow Mule, and your basic margarita, which is what I ended up getting. Kenyon was our waiter, he was incredibly friendly, helpful and attentive. I loved this restaurant so much and wished we had more time to come here again.
Address: 2311 Kuhio Avenue, Honolulu, HI
First Floor of the International Market Place
Arancino Di Mare
Is located on Kalākaua Avenue and focuses on Napoli-style Italian food, made with ingredients imported straight from Italy. I found this restaurant on Yelp! And knew we had to come here when I saw pictures of the risotto di Funghi. I did get this amazing dish, which consists of five different types of mushrooms and carnaroli rice. It doesn’t sound like much until they bring it to the table and finish it tableside in an imported wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano which made it so deliciously creamy and cheesy, I couldn’t stop eating it. The mushrooms helped cut the richness of the dish. I also got the Hibiscus Royal, which is prosecco with an edible hibiscus flower at the bottom, it was okay, the prosecco would have been better on its own. Overall I enjoyed this restaurant and meal, Ricky was a fantastic waiter and took care of us while we were here.
Address: 2252 Kalākaua Avenue Honolulu, HI
Maui Brewing Company
Makes my favorite beer, Bikini Blonde, so when I saw they have a restaurant in Honolulu I knew we had to check it out. Randy was our waiter, he was attentive and friendly, he also helped me pick out a couple of my beers on the beer flight. The atmosphere here was great, very laid back, but what else would you expect from a restaurant on O’ahu? For dinner, I got a beer flight, as previously mentioned and the Fish N’ Chips, which is made with fresh local fish (the batter has Bikini Blonde in it), house cut fries, crunchy and slightly spicy slaw, and Hawaiian tartar. The fish was so good! The batter was light and airy, the fish was cooked perfectly, the french fries were addicting, and the slaw was delicious, it had some heat to it which I really enjoyed. You can’t come to Maui Brewing and not get a beer flight. For my flight, I got: Pineapple Mana, Coconut Hiwa, Makena Cloud, and Lilikoi Saison. I LOVED all of the beers, except for the Coconut Hiwa, don’t get me wrong it was good, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the other 3. I would highly recommend coming here, and I can’t wait to check out the locations on Maui.
Address: 2300 Kalākaua Avenue Honolulu, HI
Was our last meal on the island, we actually came here twice, once for drinks and for breakfast before we headed to the airport. I went with the two Ka Lei Local Eggs, which comes with your choice of meat, homestyle potatoes, and toast. I also got the Mac Nut Iced Coffee, which is made with Maui coffee. Breakfast was pretty good, my favorite part was the homestyle potatoes, they had bell peppers and onions in them, I will be stealing this for when I make hash browns at home. We got to look out onto Waikiki Beach and watch the surfers while enjoying our last meal in paradise, we also saw a double rainbow! Devin was our waiter for this last meal, he was super sweet and friendly. When we came for drinks the night before, I got a Hula-Rita blended, I couldn’t decide between passion fruit and guava, so our bartender mixed them both for me. It was one of the best tropical margaritas I’ve ever had. I would recommend Hula Grill, for an ono breakfast and for drinks, but don’t forget to save room for a slice of Hula Pie with that drink though.
Address: 2335 Kalākaua Avenue Suite 203 Honolulu, HI
Oceanfront at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
Mai Tai Bar
This legendary bar is located at the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and just like the hotel itself, this bar has a pink theme to it. We came here on our first night (which should have been our second night, but don’t get me started) to get a Mai Tai and catch an incredible Hawaiian Sunset. I was in Mai Tai heaven, they have 7 variations of this fantastic tropical drink. I went with White Wash, it’s topped with 2 floats! It has Old Lahaina silver rum, Ferrand dry curaçao, orgeat, fresh lime, and pineapple juices, and is topped with a float of Old Lahaina dark rum and their signature coco-loco foam, Phew! I have to say it not only was it pretty to look at, but it also tasted quite good! I paired my Mai Tai with the Chocolate Seduction, it was a chocolate cake, toasted coconut, caramelized mac nuts, and a vanilla bean gelato. Let me just say O-M-G this was the most delicious, decadent dessert I’ve ever had! EVERYTHING about this dessert was amazingly delicious, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Address: 2259 Kalākaua Avenue Honolulu, HI
Oceanfront at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Is located at The Laylow, Autograph Collection, which happens to be the hotel we were staying at. We came down for drinks and something to eat. I felt like a beer and a burger (bad vegetarian, I was just starting out, gimme a break) I got the Mainlander burger, wagyu beef burger with American cheese, and a house sauce, it also came with fries and house pickles and my beer was my all time favorite, Maui Bikini Blonde. The burger was delicious and bigger than I was expecting. It paired perfectly with my beer and was exactly what I needed after a long day. I wish we had more time to explore more of the menu, but we had minimal time and a lot of restaurants to try. I highly recommend the Hideout, even if you’re just coming for a drink.
Address: 2299 Kūhiō Ave, Honolulu
Every restaurant we went to in Honolulu was fantastic, we didn’t have a bad meal anywhere. The only other time that has happened to me was Portland, another foodies dream. I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you been to any of the restaurants mentioned in this post? What restaurants do I need to check out the next time I’m on the island? Let me know in the comments! Mahalo for reading!