Oahu has some of the best food in the world. Chefs from all around the world settle here to feed a never-ending rotation of tourists. In our opinion, the best food vacation to Oahu includes both fine dining experiences and the delicious mom-and-pop shops you would walk right by if you didn’t know it was a local favorite spot. And this list has it all! So, keep reading for the top five best restaurants to visit on Oahu.
1. The Pig & The Lady
This small Vietnamese restaurant has become popular with both tourists and locals on Oahu. The menu sources fresh, local ingredients whenever possible to create authentic and creative Vietnamese dishes. After you take one look at the menu, you’re going to want to order a little bit of everything. Some favorites are the boiled dumplings, the portobello mushroom banh mi, and the grilled banana leaf-wrapped opah belly. Come to The Pig & The Lady for lunch or dinner and leave feeling happy and satisfied.
Merriman’s touts itself as a “pioneer in the farm-to-table movement.” Owner Peter Merriman believes in creating an atmosphere that celebrates local seafood in a fun, vibrant space. This restaurant has won many awards for its fantastic food, wine list, and farm-to-table efforts. Along with an Oahu location, Merriman’s has locations in Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.
We recommend planning to spend several hours at Merriman so you can relax with some drinks, have some oysters to start, and transition to your main course. The Wagyu Umami Burger is a crowd-pleaser you have to try!
3. Helena’s Hawaiian Food
If you come all the way to Oahu, you have to have authentic Hawaiian cuisine at least one time. The best place for real Hawaiian cuisine that will have you drooling is Helena’s Hawaiian Food. This restaurant originally opened in 1946 and is still family-run to this day. Now, Helena’s grandson runs the operation and carries on Helena’s vision.
Helena’s Hawaiian Food received the Regional Classic Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2001. It’s one of a few Hawaiian restaurants to receive this award.
We recommend ordering one of the combos (Menu A-D), where you get to choose between a small or large portion and can add two scoops of rice. Menu D gets you a little bit of everything – Kalua Pig, Lomi Salmon, Pipikaula Short Ribs, and Luau Squid.
Hoku’s is a sophisticated waterfront restaurant located in the Kahala Hotel. With both indoor and outdoor seating, you get stunning ocean views from almost every table in the restaurant. The restaurant is run by Chef Jonathan Mizukami who has been trained in several Michelin-star restaurants around the world. He brings his creativity and experience to Hoku’s, creating a menu that is a mixture of French and Hawaiian cuisine.
For dinner, you can choose between a four-course or eight-course tasting menu. This tasting menu is an unbelievable experience that constantly changes to incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients. If a tasting menu sounds too extravagant for you, don’t write off Hoku’s. You can opt for the lavish Sunday brunch instead! Save this spot for when you’re celebrating a special occasion or want a romantic night in Oahu.
5. Hula Grill Waikiki
Hula Grill Waikiki is everything you want from your dining experience while on vacation in Oahu. The staff is friendly, you get to sit in front of the oceans, and the menu features local fish, meats, and produce. Come here for the poke tacos, the crab and macadamia nut wontons, and the strong, delicious cocktails. This spot is perfect for lunch, afternoon cocktails, or a relaxing dinner.
Now, we challenge you to fit all five of these restaurants into your next trip to Oahu. Trust us, you won’t regret a single meal!
And if you choose to order take-out one night, we’ve got you covered with the best take-out options in Oahu too!