Hawaii is an island that draws millions of visitors each year from all over the world. The availability of fresh and local products and proximity to the ocean’s bounty, and an excellent growing season make this state a restaurateur’s dream. We visited ten of the top restaurants in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
1. Vintage Cave
Restaurant patrons will have a unique experience at Vintage Cave. Instead of bringing the island’s natural beauty within, this restaurant has created an environment reminiscent of ancient Italian architecture. The inside is warm and dignified, with granite floors and brick walls.
The meal consists of twelve courses of masterfully prepared and presented contemporary French American cuisine. Upon arrival, guests choose the chef’s advice or a vegetable selection that responds to various interests and needs. The fixed menu is updated regularly, depending on what is in season.
2. Chef Chai
Chef Chai serves Asian fusion cuisine and is always on point. The restaurant’s owner and executive chef, who owns multiple restaurants and has received numerous honors, is well-known throughout Hawaii. Chef Chai combines the vibrant aromas of the islands with traditional Asian techniques and flavors at his restaurant. Customers and critics alike have praised the resulting marriage of styles. From duck tacos to filet mignon, chicken satay to lemongrass oxtail soup, any diner will be satisfied with Chef Chai’s quality.
The owners and staff at Town are committed to reconnecting people with the land and one another via locally sourced, sustainable food. This restaurant is unpretentious and welcoming while being acknowledged by various magazines, critics, and organizations. Meats and fish are served without excessive sauces, letting the quality and inherent tastes of the ingredients show through. Vegetables and sides are prepared to highlight their intrinsic quality. Town’s velvety polenta, black mussels, and panna cotta desserts have received rave reviews. The town’s menu changes depending on the season, so there’s always something new to taste.
4. MW Honolulu
Traditional Hawaiian and classic American cuisine are dressed up and tweaked in fun ways at MW Honolulu. The opakapaka, a native crimson snapper wrapped with mochi and delicately fried, and the pork chop, glazed with kimchi and so soft it slips off the bone, are two of the most popular meals. The MW candy bar, a crispy macadamia praline with salted caramel, chocolate, and cookie, is equally significant and well-thought-out. With high ceilings, huge windows, and bright colors, the inside of MW Honolulu is clean and straightforward. The ambiance is expensive, but it has a laid-back tone that makes customers feel welcome and at ease.
5. The Pig and the Lady
The Pig and the Lady is a world apart from other eateries in so many respects. The chefs have made a reputation for themselves by attempting things that no one else has tried before. They make intriguing and innovative recipes by combining classic dishes with unexpected elements. With octopus bolognese and crunchy potato skins, pillowy gnocchi is served. Strawberries and Thai basil are paired with ricotta pancakes. The avocado cake is served with corn gelato, strawberries, and pea shoots. These and other creative delicacies make The Pig and the Lady a must-visit eating destination.
6. Alan Wong’s Honolulu
Alan Wong has built a name for himself over the last three decades by influencing the development of Hawaii’s now-famous artistic food. Guests are greeted by courteous employees who are enthusiastic about sharing local flavors and ingredients at Alan Wong’s Honolulu. The restaurant provides an ambiance that reflects the fine dining style of the food and the laid-back spirit of the islands. Alan Wong’s plating is beautiful, and the food looks almost too lovely to eat. Don’t forget to try ‘The Coconut,’ a chocolate shell filled with sorbet and topped with tropical fruits that resembles a halved coconut.
7. La Mer
La Mer has garnered numerous honors for its outstanding food and service. Jackets and evening attire are necessary to provide a sophisticated eating atmosphere. Inside, visitors will find a wide and open dining area with fantastic ocean views. La Mer’s menu features native Hawaiian foods prepared with traditional French techniques. La Mer is an obvious choice for fine dining, just steps from Waikiki’s beaches, with top-notch service and exquisite meals.
8. Mama’s Fish House
Mama’s Fish House is a restaurant on Maui’s North Shore that pays homage to the island’s Polynesian heritage and the wealth of seafood available in the ocean. Fresh flowers and traditional Hawaiian decor adorn the inside, and many tables overlook the sea. The menu is heavy on seafood, with only the freshest catch from local fishers featured. The macadamia-crusted Mahi Mahi, blue prawns with vanilla, and opakapaka ceviche are crowd favorites. Mama’s Fish House is an excellent place for fresh seafood with traditional Hawaiian flavors and preparation.
9. Chef Mavro
Chef Mavro, who has received numerous significant awards, gives a vibrant, Hawaiian spin on dishes inspired by his native France. It is critical to use locally sourced ingredients and support local farmers and food producers. The chefs skillfully prepare meals that are both visually and gastronomically pleasing. Chef Mavro also delivers beautifully chosen wines to complement any dish, elevating an already exceptional dining experience. This restaurant is a must for gourmet meals and special occasions in Hawaii.
10. Monkeypod Kitchen
A visit to Monkeypod Kitchen is the epitome of comfort and relaxation. This restaurant has a welcoming ambiance that is ideal for unwinding and enjoying a delicious dinner. Monkeypod serves American classics and hand-tossed pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven and fresh seafood dishes. Both the ambiance and the food are understated to show visitors how to sit back and relax in the Hawaiian style. Monkeypod takes pride in its extensive beer collection, including approximately 40 craft brews.