Though the beach, surf, and sunsets generally take center stage, eating is one of the most engaging activities on Oahu. Over the first few days, it’s fun to sample the local fare and nibble on purely Hawaiian cuisine.
After a while, you just may get over it.
If you hear a burger call your name, or Mexican food mesmerizes you or French food fascinates you, you’re in luck! Oahu offers up a plethora of deliciously prepared foods from different lands.
So, loosen up that belt and let’s hashtag eat on!
Cravin’ Cajun? Karai Crab
Are you in the mood for a spicier dining experience? Then this is your place!
A casual culinary treat, this place is laid back, unassuming and delicious! Start with the jalapeno cornbread, then move on to the delicious garlic shrimp. The check won’t set you back much, so you will have more cash left to go out partying or spend on a tour.
Manic for Mexican? Buho Cocina y Cantina
Traditional Hawaiian cuisine is awesome, but this charming rooftop restaurant can hold its own against any Hawaiian restaurant. Pick a table with a view and enjoy your evening. Try one of their signature margaritas and a tasty taco, or the brisket quesadillas. Enjoy some fresh made guacamole and crispy chips along with the stunning view.
Combining live music with two master chefs they kidnapped straight out of Mexico (does it ever happen that way? Kidnapped FROM Mexico TO the US? Sorry, I digress) guarantees that anything you bite into is going to be authentic and awesome.
Insider tip: There is a great happy hour here that begins at 10pm. Tuesday is a smart night to go, if you want to save a few bucks, as it’s Taco Tuesday.
Itching for Italian? Taormina Sicilian Cuisine
This place recently celebrated its tenth anniversary in business and is going strong. Dress up a bit and head over to experience a delicious taste of Italy on your Hawaiian vacation. Spoon up some of their Sweet Pea soup, choose a pasta, like the Blue Cheese Lasagna and pair it with one of their many wine choices. Save room for their delectable tiramisu. You are guaranteed to be both stuffed and impressed by the fresh, delightful offerings.
This restaurant is a bit higher end, so be prepared to pay a little more to eat here.
Fancying French? Le Bistro
This is a unique culinary treat if you are in Oahu. They proudly offer some of the best service on the island. Start with a blue cheese salad or French onion soup. For your main course, indulge in tender rack of lamb or share the wagyu tomahawk steak for two, then peruse the dessert menu for a tasty ending to the meal.
Even though this place is nestled deeply in the tropics, the atmosphere is so authentic, you will swear you’re in Paris.
Insider tip: Although not required, if your heart is set on eating here, reservations are recommended.
Pining for Peruvian? Mimi’s Place
This charming Oahu eatery is open for lunch and dinner and packs a real punch with its authentic Peruvian fare.
The halibut ceviche is made with fresh lime and is fantastic for a light lunch or a start to dinner. Among the favorite entrees are oven baked Parmesan scallops and seafood fried rice. The price is also palatable, in the mid-range.
Insider tip: This place is BYOB, so grab a bottle (or two) of wine on your way, which saves even more money on your night out!
Voracious for Vietnamese? Hale Vietnamese Restaurant
If you need your Vietnamese food fix, forgo the traditional Hawaiian eateries and make a path to this family-owned restaurant.
Nibble on starters like a seafood salad or papaya salad, and imperial spring rolls. Enjoy the large portions of Ginger Chicken or Curry Beef. If pho is your preference, their well-flavored recipe is a don’t-miss. If you’re not a pho fan, the extensive menu is bound to offer up a dish that speaks to your appetite. The prices here fortunately won’t break your budget.
Inclined toward Irish?: Kelley Oneil’s
From their huge portions to their friendly staff, this establishment knows what it takes to offer patrons a memorable experience.
Hearty choices like Reuben sandwiches, burgers, chowder pies and hearty Irish stews rule the menu, but smaller appetites can also find good choices in the veggie burger and Caesar salad.
They also boast a large beer and whiskey menu, which will make you want to dance when the nightly Irish folk band begins to play.
All in all a fun, boisterous experience awaits you, at a reasonable price.
Greek: Olive Tree Café
A yummy choice for Greek food, this unpretentious, cafeteria-style restaurant whips up both chicken and lamb souvlaki that makes you think you are sunning yourself in Santorini. The baked eggplant and mussel ceviche are excellent choices to titillate your taste buds as well. This is not the place for a quiet, romantic meal, but is lively and fun.
Insider tip: They only take cash, so make sure you have a few bills before you order. It is also BYOB, but there is a wine store a couple doors down that carries a nice array of Greek wines that pare nicely with this place’s menu.
Mad for Middle Eastern? Kan Zaman
Craving a more exotic dining experience? Then this is your place!
Dine on authentic dishes such as Baba Ganouche, lamb kabob sandwiches, or a delicious falafel with a side of hummus. Enjoy the speedy service and the reasonable prices along with the atmosphere.
Aching for American? BLT Steak
Sometimes, you’ve just got to have a big, thick piece of meat. Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking beef!
This place delivers amazing cuts of steak, served efficiently by friendly staff. If the sea beckons, you can get fish here, too. Try the jalapeno mashed potatoes or the spicy corn and bacon to add some extra heat to the dining experience.
Their menu will absolutely satisfy your need for an American meal.
If you have enjoyed authentic Hawaiian fare for several days and want a meal that originated hundreds of miles away, chances are you will be able to find it by picking from this list. So go ahead, and eat around the world on Oahu!