The Best Restaurants in Hawaii: Top 10 Places to Eat for Food Lovers

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Best Restaurants in Hawaii

Aloha, food lovers! If you’re seeking a memorable culinary adventure across the stunning Hawaiian Islands, look no further. This guide is designed with food fanatics, explorers, and island residents in mind, all hungry to discover the best restaurants in Hawaii. Boasting a colorful and eclectic food culture, the islands present a delicious blend of classic and contemporary dishes guaranteed to leave you craving more. From the bustling boulevards of Kona to the breathtaking waterfronts of Maui, we’ve diligently scoured for the finest eateries in Hawaii, celebrated for their superb food quality, attentive service, inviting atmosphere, and impressive value for your money. So, gear up with your appetites, and let’s dive into a scrumptious escapade through paradise!

For more insights on traveling to Hawaii, check out our comprehensive Hawaii Travel Guide.

Methodology

In order to compile a list of the best restaurants in Hawaii that would appeal to foodies, travellers and locals alike, we adopted a focused strategy and considered several key aspects:

  1. Research and Reviews: We looked at online feedback, local blogs, travel sites and popular review platforms such as TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Yelp and OpenTable.
  2. Food Quality: We prioritized restaurants that excel in fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, expert preparation, and authentic Hawaiian flavors.
  3. Service: Warm, attentive, and professional staff were essential in our selections to ensure a delightful dining experience.
  4. Atmosphere: We looked for unique, inviting, and comfortable environments, ranging from cozy, intimate settings to lively, bustling venues.
  5. Value for Money: Our choices strike the perfect balance between affordability and quality, delivering exceptional dining experiences worth every penny.

By incorporating these criteria and local expertise, we’ve crafted a list that’s sure to satisfy your cravings for Hawaiian cuisine. Let’s dig in!

Top 10 Restaurants in Hawaii

Hawaii’s culinary landscape is a flavorful fusion of diverse cultures and experiences. Our list of the top 10 restaurants includes oceanfront eateries and local hidden gems, all known for their exceptional food, service and atmosphere. From traditional Hawaiian dishes with a modern twist to fresh seafood and Asian-Pacific influences, these restaurants promise an unforgettable culinary journey through the enchanting Hawaiian Islands.

1. Mama’s Fish House (Paia, Maui)

Mama's Fish House (Paia, Maui)

Mama’s Fish House is a renowned restaurant in Paia, Maui, famous for its incredible seafood and warm hospitality. This iconic establishment has been delighting guests for decades, earning its place among the best dining experiences in Hawaii.

Location:
799 Poho Pl, Paia, HI 96779

Cuisine: The menu at Mama’s Fish House showcases fresh, locally-caught seafood and Polynesian-inspired flavors, prepared with innovative culinary techniques.

Ambiance: Nestled in a picturesque cove surrounded by swaying palm trees, Mama’s Fish House boasts a relaxed, tropical atmosphere with breathtaking ocean views.

Signature dishes: Some of their standout dishes include the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi, the Panang Curry Opakapaka, and the famous Stuffed Fish with Lobster and Crab.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (14,880 reviews)
  • Google: 4.7/5 (8,438 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4.5/5 (‎8,490 reviews)
  • OpenTable: 4.9/5 (40,937 reviews)

2. Roy’s Waikiki (Honolulu, Oahu)

Roy's Waikiki (Honolulu, Oahu)

Located in the bustling heart of Honolulu, Roy’s Waikiki is a beloved restaurant founded by Chef Roy Yamaguchi. Famed for its fusion of Hawaiian, Japanese, and European flavors, Roy’s Waikiki offers a truly unique dining experience.

Location: 226 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815

Cuisine: The menu at Roy’s Waikiki features an enticing blend of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, creating innovative dishes that celebrate the diverse culinary influences of the region.

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Ambiance: Roy’s Waikiki presents a contemporary and elegant setting with a warm, inviting atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for both casual and special occasions.

Signature dishes: The restaurant is renowned for its Misoyaki Butterfish, Blackened Ahi, and Roy’s Classic Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé, which has become a dessert favorite among guests.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (3,485 reviews)
  • Google: 4.5/5 (1,591 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4/5 (‎3,080 reviews)
  • OpenTable: 4.7/5 (4,981 reviews)

3. Lahaina Grill (Lahaina, Maui)

Lahaina Grill (Lahaina, Maui)

Since 1990, Lahaina Grill, a renowned bistro in Lahaina Town, has been acclaimed as ‘The Best Restaurant on Maui‘ by Honolulu Magazine. With an elegant interior featuring artwork by Jan Kasprzycki, this culinary haven is perfect for special occasions and romantic evenings.

Location: 127 Lahainaluna Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

Cuisine: The menu at Lahaina Grill showcases a delightful blend of American, Hawaiian, and Pacific Rim influences, using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to create a memorable dining experience.

Ambiance: The restaurant’s elegant and intimate atmosphere, combined with its tasteful decor and artwork, creates a sophisticated yet comfortable setting for a remarkable culinary journey.

Signature dishes: Some of the standout dishes at Lahaina Grill include the Tequila Shrimp and Firecracker Rice, the Kona Coffee Roasted Rack of Lamb, and the popular Triple Berry Pie for dessert.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (5,005 reviews)
  • Google: 4.8/5 (1,396 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4.5/5 (‎2,585 reviews)
  • OpenTable: 4.9/5 (9,436 reviews)

4. Merriman’s (Waimea, Big Island)

Merriman's (Waimea, Big Island)

Merriman’s, located in Waimea on the Big Island, is a pioneer of farm-to-table dining in Hawaii. Founded by Chef Peter Merriman, this iconic restaurant focuses on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, and offers an authentic taste of the islands.

Location: 65-1227 Opelo Rd, Waimea, HI 96743

Cuisine: The menu at Merriman’s features a mix of contemporary Hawaiian and Pacific Rim dishes, showcasing the rich flavors and diverse culinary traditions of the region.

Ambiance: With a warm and inviting atmosphere, Merriman’s offers a comfortable dining experience that highlights the natural beauty of the Big Island.

Signature dishes: Notable dishes at Merriman’s include the Kalua Pig and Sweet Onion Quesadilla, the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi, and the Waimea Tomato Salad.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (2,182 reviews)
  • Google: 4.7/5 (1,378 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4/5 (787 reviews)
  • OpenTable: 4.8/5 (7,652 reviews)

5. The Plantation House by Gaylords (Lihue, Kauai)

The Plantation House by Gaylords (Lihue, Kauai)

The Plantation House by Gaylords, situated in Lihue on the island of Kauai, is a historic restaurant offering a delightful dining experience in a charming plantation setting.

Location: 3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766

Cuisine: The menu at The Plantation House combines classic Hawaiian flavors with international influences, creating a diverse and satisfying culinary experience.

Ambiance: Surrounded by lush tropical gardens, The Plantation House offers a relaxed, elegant atmosphere that transports guests back in time to the days of old Hawaii.

Signature dishes: Some popular dishes at The Plantation House include the Grilled Fresh Catch with Pineapple Salsa, the Kalua Pork Sliders, and the Guava Glazed Baby Back Ribs.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (1,864 reviews)
  • Google: 4.1/5 (965 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4/5 (1,011 reviews)
  • OpenTable: 4.1/5 (4,260 reviews)

6. Hy’s Steak House (Honolulu, Oahu)

Hy's Steak House (Honolulu, Oahu)

Hy’s Steak House, located in Honolulu, Oahu, is a classic fine-dining establishment that has been serving up delicious steaks and seafood since 1976. Known for its impeccable service and cozy ambiance, Hy’s is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Location: 2440 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Cuisine: The menu at Hy’s Steak House focuses on prime cuts of steak, fresh seafood, and classic sides, all prepared to perfection and accompanied by an extensive wine list.

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Ambiance: With rich wood paneling, leather seating, and warm lighting, Hy’s Steak House offers an elegant and intimate atmosphere perfect for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.

Signature dishes: Some standout dishes at Hy’s include the Bone-In Ribeye, the Alaskan King Crab Legs, and the decadent Chocolate Lava Cake for dessert.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (1,225 reviews)
  • Google: 4.6/5 (1,862 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4/5 (1,666 reviews)
  • OpenTable: 4.7/5 (‎6,532 reviews)

7. Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill (Kailua-Kona, Big Island)

Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill (Kailua-Kona, Big Island)

Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill, located in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, offers a sophisticated dining experience in a relaxed island ambiance. Under the expert guidance of Chef Nakoa Pabre, the restaurant is renowned for its remarkable ingredient transformations and warm aloha spirit. Complemented by a full bar and live music outdoors, Umekes creates a truly memorable dining experience for its guests.

Location: 74-5563 Kaiwi St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Cuisine: The menu at Umekes features a variety of Hawaiian and Pacific Rim dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, locally-caught fish and the island’s famous poke bowls.

Ambiance: Umekes offers a relaxed, open-air setting with friendly service, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a leisurely meal while soaking in the island vibes.

Signature dishes: Some of the crowd favorites at Umekes include the Ahi Poke Bowls, the Furikake Seared Ahi, and the Coconut Curry Seafood Bowl.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (‎920 reviews)
  • Google: 4.4/5 (4,696 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4/5 (2,144 reviews)
  • OpenTable: N/A

8. Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman (Wailea, Maui)

Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman (Wailea, Maui)

Monkeypod Kitchen, another creation by Chef Peter Merriman, is located in Wailea, Maui. This lively restaurant is known for its farm-to-table approach, innovative cocktails, and commitment to sustainability.

Location: 10 Wailea Gateway Pl, Kihei, HI 96753

Cuisine: The menu at Monkeypod Kitchen features a delightful mix of Hawaiian, Asian, and American influences, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients and creative presentations.

Ambiance: With a casual yet stylish atmosphere, Monkeypod Kitchen offers both indoor and outdoor seating options, perfect for enjoying the beautiful Maui weather.

Signature dishes: Popular dishes at Monkeypod Kitchen include the Wood-Fired Kiawe Roasted Chicken, the Hamakua Wild Mushroom and Truffle Oil Pizza, and their famous Pie Sampler for dessert.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (6,669 reviews)
  • Google: 4.4/5 (5,143 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4/5 (5,333 reviews)
  • OpenTable: 4.3/5 (‎3,141 reviews)

9. Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill Kona (Kailua-Kona, Big Island)

Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill Kona (Kailua-Kona, Big Island)

Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill, situated in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, is a cozy, family-owned restaurant known for its welcoming atmosphere and delicious comfort food.

Location: 75-5995 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Cuisine: The menu at Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill features a diverse selection of Hawaiian, Asian, and American dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

Ambiance: The restaurant’s warm, inviting atmosphere and friendly service make it a popular choice for families, couples, and groups seeking a memorable dining experience.

Signature dishes: Some standout dishes at Jackie Rey’s include the Furikake-Crusted Ahi, the Slow-Roasted Prime Rib, and the Hilo Homemade Ice Cream Pie.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (3,237 reviews)
  • Google: 4.5/5 (1,891 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4,5/5 (1,825 reviews)
  • OpenTable: 5/5 (2 reviews)

10. Pineapples Island Fresh Cuisine (Hilo, Big Island)

Pineapples Island Fresh Cuisine (Hilo, Big Island)

Pineapples Island Fresh Cuisine, famed as the sole open-air dining establishment in downtown Hilo, is the go-to spot for island-inspired dishes served with panache. The restaurant’s delightful preparations, creative plating, and top-notch service combine to create an unforgettable dining experience. Evening live music and spirited birthday festivities add to the overall charm and allure of this popular Hilo eatery.

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Location: 332 Keawe St, Hilo, HI 96720

Cuisine: The menu at Pineapples Island Fresh Cuisine features a mix of Hawaiian and Pacific Rim dishes, with a focus on seasonal ingredients and bold, flavorful combinations.

Ambiance: With a lively, open-air atmosphere and colorful decor, Pineapples is the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely meal with friends and family while taking in the sights and sounds of Hilo.

Signature dishes: Some of the popular dishes at Pineapples include the Macadamia Nut Pesto Grilled Fresh Catch, the Kalua Pork Nachos, and the decadent Lilikoi Cheesecake for dessert.

Average ratings:

  • TripAdvisor: 4.5/5 (2,039 reviews)
  • Google: 4.6/5 (3,783 reviews)
  • Yelp: 4/5 (1,932 reviews)
  • OpenTable: N/A

Honorable Mentions

Although these restaurants didn’t make our top 10 list, they’re still worth checking out for their unique offerings and exceptional dining experiences:

1. Hali’imaile General Store (Makawao, Maui)
This historic general store turned restaurant in upcountry Maui offers a unique dining experience with a menu featuring Hawaiian, Asian, and American influences. While the food is consistently delicious, the remote location may be a challenge for some visitors.

2. Kauai Grill (Princeville, Kauai)
Located in the luxurious St. Regis Princeville Resort, Kauai Grill is known for its stunning views and elegant ambiance. While the food is excellent and beautifully presented, the upscale atmosphere and higher price point may not be suitable for all occasions.

3. House Without a Key (Honolulu, Oahu)
House Without a Key, situated in the historic Halekulani Hotel, offers a relaxed, open-air setting with live Hawaiian music and hula performances. While the ambiance is ideal for a sunset cocktail, the limited food menu and relatively high prices may be a drawback for some diners.

4. Da Kitchen (Kahului, Maui)
Da Kitchen is a local favorite offering large portions of Hawaiian comfort food at affordable prices. While the casual atmosphere and tasty dishes are a hit with many, the no-frills setting and lack of fine dining options may not appeal to all guests.

5. Leilani’s on the Beach (Lahaina, Maui)
Leilani’s on the Beach, located in the popular Whalers Village, is known for its beachfront location and casual dining options. While the atmosphere and views are spectacular, the menu, focusing mainly on American and seafood dishes, may not be as diverse or innovative as other restaurants on this list.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Hawaii offers a diverse and delectable culinary scene, with restaurants catering to foodies, travelers, and locals alike. The best restaurants in Hawaii not only serve up mouth-watering dishes but also showcase the islands’ unique culture, fresh ingredients, and stunning landscapes. From the laid-back atmosphere of Umekes Fish Market Bar & Grill to the elegance of Hy’s Steak House, there’s a dining experience for every taste and occasion.

Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, innovative fusion cuisine, or traditional Hawaiian fare, these top 10 restaurants in Hawaii, along with our honorable mentions, are sure to provide unforgettable dining experiences that will leave you craving more. So, go ahead and indulge in Hawaii’s culinary treasures, and don’t forget to share your favorite discoveries with fellow food enthusiasts! Aloha and bon appétit!

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