You are on page 1of 6


Please enjoy this brief but wonderful list of restaurants.

I hope your stay in Hawaii has been a delicious one.
Stay in touch; my upcoming book isn't far from being published!

Best Wishes from Matthew Gray

This list is sorted Alphabetically...

Alan Wong's Pineapple Room
Macy's 3rd Floor - Ala Moana Shopping Center

Innovative cuisine is always in season at The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong. Enjoy the world-renowned signature style of Hawaii Regional Cuisine: soul-warming
comfort food with a local twist, using the freshest island ingredients. Nice dining room; upscale casual. Don't allow the Macy's location to deter you.

Alan Wong's
1857 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826

Situated in a non-descript white office building, this award-winning establishment is voted #1 restaurant in Hawaii year after year. It's colorful, creative and delicious.
The dining room is loud but it's worth it. If you can afford to do a multi-course fixed price meal, do it, you won't be sorry.

Antonio's New York Pizzeria

4210 Waialae Ave.
(across from Kahala Mall - 10 minutes from Waikiki)

My favorite pizza joint in Honolulu. These guys are my friends and they are real East Coast wacky dudes with plenty of attitude. Not only are the pizzas delicious, but
their cheesecake and canolli are awesome. Here's a link to my first review:

Azul Restaurant
J W Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina
92-1001 Olani Street
Kapolei, Oahu, HI 96707
Dinner: 6-9p.m.

My favorite restaurant in Hawaii. This is the only place I ever gave a 5-Fork rating to while I was the restaurant reviewer. Top-notch quality. A bit of a drive though; it's
on the West coast of Oahu, about 45 minutes from town. Expensive.

Cafe Sistina
1314 King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii

I've always enjoyed the Italian food at this lovely neighborhood King Street restaurant about 15 minutes from Waikiki. All the beautiful frescoes were painted by Chef
Sergio himself. This is where I go when I want Italian.

Char Hung Sut

64 N. Pauahi St. in Chinatown
5:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays-Saturdays; 5:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays. No reservations. Cash only. $. 538-3335.

Before the party, head to Char Hung Sut for pork hash, manapua, rice cakes or chop suey cakes, rice roll, dumpling, pepeiao. Founded in 1945, this no-frills
Chinatown take-out-only institution opens before dawn and closes by mid-afternoon. Go early, they run out.

Gina's Korean BBQ

2919 Kapiolani Blvd. (Market City Shopping Center)
Take-out joint. Best Korean Spicy Pork in Honolulu. Inexpensive.

Green Door Cafe

1110 Nuuanu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 533-0606
Lunch: Mondays-Fridays; Dinner: Wednesdays-Saturdays - Cash Only

This is one of our favorite places; Malaysian/Singaporean food in a tiny space (4 tables; a block away from Chinatown) is not to be missed. The creamy chicken curry
should be soaked up with the hot, fresh and chewy grilled roti bread. Always a bunch of daily specials are offered. Don't go here for service or anything fancy; it's
Matthew-style... just plain delicious. Tell Betty (the owner) that I say "hi."

Hau Tree Lanai

New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
2863 Kalakaua Ave.
Dinner 5:30-9PM

Lovely terrace atmosphere right on the beach in Waikiki. We enjoy the amazing romantic setting here. Breakfast is good, as are appetizers and drinks at lunch and
dinner. We're not big fans of the entrees or the service, but the ambience is wonderful. Expensive.

Helena's Hawaiian Food

1240 N. School St. in Kalihi
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 845-8044
Lunch and dinner Tuesdays-Fridays.
Cash only. $-$$

This famous Hawaiian restaurant is a James Beard Award-Winner. It is as "local" and downscale as it gets. The Pipikaula short ribs (tender, salty-charred and chewy
morsels...whoa!) are not to be missed. It's a bit of a drive, but if you're adventurous you'll be rewarded.

Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas(

500 Ala Moana Blvd. (at Restaurant Row).
Honolulu, HI 96813

Euro-Asian fusion shows up as creative tapas-style dishes. Eclectic & yummy.

Hokus Restaurant
Kahala Resort
5000 Kahala Ave.
7 nights Dinner 5:30-10PM

Beautiful dining room, fantastic service. You can always have a great meal here. A short taxi ride (about 15-20 minutes) from Waikiki. Expensive.

Hy's Steakhouse
Waikiki Park Heights Hotel
2440 Kuhio Ave, #A
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-5555

Hy's is where Keira and I go for that special steak dinner. Get dressed up, have a few drinks, celebrate, and have a great dinner in this beautiful room. Expensive.

John Dominis
43 Ahui St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 523-0955
Sunday Brunch, and Dinner 7 Nights a week

Expensive and sophisticated seafood restaurant. Perhaps the most extensive selection of sea treats found anywhere in Hawaii. Lovely setting.

Liliha Bakery
515 Kaukini St
It's all about the "Coco Puffs" here; a yummy éclair pastry filled with a rich chocolate-cream filling, topped with Chantilly frosting. Wowee! On our Hole-in-the-Wall
Tour. In the neighborhood of Liliha, not far from the Punchbowl National Cemetery.

Little Village Noodle House

1113 Smith St. (in Chinatown) - 545-3008

Best black bean sauce dishes in town, along with a good selection of vegetarian Chinese dishes.

Mei Sum Dim Sum

65 N. Pauahi Street
Dim Sum 7am - 8PM

My favorite place for Dim Sum. Inexpensive. In Chinatown.

Mekong II Thai
1726 South King St.
Lunch M-F 11a.m. - 2p.m.
Dinner 7 nights 5-9:30p.m.

My favorite Thai place in Honolulu, bar none. A short taxi ride (about 15-20 minutes) from Waikiki. Affordable to Moderate.

Ninnikuya (The Garlic Restaurant)

Dinner 6 -11PM Tuesday through Sunday
3196 Waialae Ave.

I love this place. Everything has garlic in it, but not overpoweringly so. Situated in an old converted house. A short taxi ride (about 15-20 minutes) from Waikiki.
Moderate to Expensive.

Ono Hawaiian Foods

726 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 737-2275
Mon-Sat. 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Literally just a few blocks from Waikiki, this culinary landmark for Hawaiian food is like our version of New York's Carnegie Deli where the walls are covered in
photos of local celebrities. The food is authentic, plentiful, affordable and simply delicious. I love the laulau here, so make sure to order a "combination" plate that
includes this. This is an extremely casual place, so wear your shorts and sandals. Be prepared to wait outside until a table opens up.

Panda Cuisine (Chinese)

641 Keeaumoku Ave.

This is where we go for late-night dim sum (til 2am). Inexpensive. Across from WalMart and close-by to the Ala Moana Shopping Center.

Pho Nam (Vietnamese)

725 Kapi'olani Blvd. (entrance on Cooke Street)
593-2009 -- 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Closed Sundays.

If cooking were painting, Vietnam would have one of the world's most colorful palettes. This is our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Honolulu.

The Vietnamese have few culinary inhibitions, always willing to try something adventurous and new. They use spices that are like songs in your mouth, aromas that
trigger emotional connections, and finished dishes that astonish by their cleverness and sensuousness. Sitting in a Vietnamese restaurant like Phô Nam, you are about to 
sample a long, rich history and culture.

Pineland Chinese Restaurant

1236 Keeaumoku Street

Downright delicious; a true "dive." The best Kung Pao in Hawaii. Also fantastic Garlic Shrimp. Inexpensive.

758 Kapahulu Ave.
Lunch: Monday -Saturday 11a.m.- 2p.m.
Middle Eastern cuisine; we like their lunch buffet. Full Bar at night - Belly Dancing every evening. On the same street as the Honolulu Zoo. Inexpensive at lunch;
moderate at dinner.

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar

Waikiki Beach Marriot Resort & Spa
2552 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 931-6286

We really enjoy Sansei, especially when yummy, creative and delicious Japanese cuisine is what we're looking for inside Waikiki. Matthew loves their spicy Japanese
calamari salad, miso butterfish and almost all the inventive sushi.

Side Street Inn

1225 Hopaka St
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 591-0253
Hours: 2PM until 2am

This is a sports bar and restaurant all wrapped up in one. Many restaurant types and some well-known chefs come here (as evidenced by Anthony Bourdain's show on
the Travel Channel). The signature fried pork chops, kim chee fried rice, fried chicken, and the beer make it all worthwhile. This is *downscale* eating, my friends, so
dress casually. Parking is awful here. You may have to park a ways away and hoof it over. But it's a local joint that I think you'll enjoy.

Sorabol Korean Restaurant

805 Keeaumoku Street

Very good Korean food, and sushi too - 24 hours a day... Inexpensive

3660 on the Rise

3660 Waialae Avenue
Dinner Tuesday-Sunday 5:30-9PM

Award-winning innovative Euro-Island cuisine away from the touristy area of Waikiki. We come here for our Appetizer course on our nighttime Gourmet Trilogy
Tour. The Ahi Katsu is to die for. Great Desserts too. A short taxi ride (about 15 minutes) from Waikiki. Moderate to Expensive.

Ted's Bakery
59-024 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712 -- North Shore of Oahu
(808) 638-8207

This legendary bakery not only makes superb pies (try the Macadamia Nut Chocolate Haupia pie), but they also make the best garlic shrimp on the island of Oahu.
Order inside, and eat your luscious goodies outside on their patio.

611 Kapahulu Ave.
Lunch: M-F 11a.m. - 2p.m.
Dinner: Mondays to Saturdays 5:30 p.m. to midnight

I love this place. It’s my favorite Japanese restaurant in Honolulu. I call it "New Wave Japanese" cuisine. On the same street as the Honolulu Zoo (near Waikiki).
Moderate to Expensive.

3435 Wai‘alae Ave.
Lunch: 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays.
Dinner: 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Lots of organic choices, good pasta, and an ever-changing menu (contemporary dishes with a Mediterranean touch) makes Town a nice choice for laid-back dining
and often some star-sightings.

Uncle Bo's Pupu Bar and Grill

559 Kapahulu Ave.
(808) 735-8311
Dinner nightly. Reservations recommended.

Local crowds pile in for this tasty tapas restaurant. Extensive selection of food choices; drinks galore, close to Waikiki. Late nights really hop here. Moderately priced.

Buffets: There's always something for everyone at a buffet. People with legendary appetites (like myself) can have a field day at these places.

Makino Chaya Japanese Buffet has a new location at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Go ONLY FOR LUNCH, which is affordable. It's huge, bustling, loud, and has
an incredible selection of all kinds of food. Sushi and fish lovers, get your groove on over here! Remember, go only for lunch.

Oceanarium at Pacific Beach Hotel (2490 Kalakaua Ave.; 921-6111) is notable because built into the interior walls of the hotel ia a 3-story high, 280,000 gallon
tropical aquarium. We like this place for breakfast; there’s always something for everyone...

Orchid's Sunday Brunch at the Halekulani

(808) 923-2311
One of the very nicest rooms offering one of the best Sunday breakfast/brunch buffets in Waikiki.

Plumeria Beach House at the Kahala Resort (

We love this idyllic setting and the high-quality food at their breakfast buffet ($30). This resort is a 10-minute drive away from Waikiki but feels like a million miles
away. Prince Court at the Hawaii Prince Hotel (in Waikiki - 100 Holomoana St. - 944-4494) offers gourmet buffets seven days a week that you should know about.
Nice dining room and very good service. A cut above. An old review of mine is at

Drinks and Watering Holes:

House Without a Key

(at the Halekulani Hotel)
(808) 923-2311

A beautiful oceanfront oasis for drinks, pupus, and light meals, while watching Hula (performed by a former Miss Hawaii) and listening to beautiful Hawaiian music.
When you're here you'll know how it feels to experience Paradise... Do not miss their famous and incredible coconut cake.

Lewers Lounge
(also at the Halekulani Hotel)
(808) 923-2311

For fantastic cocktails, live Jazz, and Kona coffee, all in a dimly-lit and very cool location.

This list will get you started; More suggestions if you need... just email or call!

Until We Eat Again,


Hawaii Food Tours

C.F.G. {Chief Food Guy}
808.926.FOOD (3663)

Tasty Tours for the Hungry Traveler