5 Restaurants To Visit On Your Next Hawaiian Vacation

There are plenty of reasons to visit Hawaii, from the rich culture to the breathtaking natural beauty. The islands are also home to plenty of fantastic eateries, offering fresh local cuisine to visitors from around the world. Whether you're a hard-core foodie or a surfer looking to try something new, check out the five restaurants listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Fantastic Hawaiian Restaurants

Name Location(s)
Highway Inn Waipahu & Honolulu
Roy's Waikiki, Hawaii Kai, Ko Olina, Kaanapali, & Waikoloa
Hali'imaile General Store Makawao
Sky Waikiki Honolulu
Alan Wong's Honolulu

What Is Hawaiian Food?

Where Hawaii Ranks As A State

Metric Rank (out of 50 states plus District of Columbia)
Per Capita Personal Income 17
Average Annual Employee Wage 24
Unemployment Rate 1
Poverty Rate 3
Household Income 4
Non-English-speaking Population 4
Health Insurance Coverage 2
Population with Bachelor's Degree 19
Home Ownership 47
Monthly Gross Rent 1

8 Great Movies Set In Hawaii

  1. Princess Kaiulani (2009)
  2. Race the Sun (1996)
  3. Lilo & Stitch (2002)
  4. Step Into Liquid (2003)
  5. 50 First Dates (2004)
  6. Soul Surfer (2011)
  7. Pearl Harbor (2001)
  8. Hidden Hawaii (1993)

Living Off The Land In Hawaii

Fascinating Non-Fiction Books About Food

Title Author(s)
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles Jennifer 8. Lee
The Secret Life of Fat Sylvia Tara
Apples of Uncommon Character Rowan Jacobsen
The Cooking Gene Michael W. Twitty
Protest Kitchen Carol J. Adams & Virginia Messina
A Mouthful of Stars Kim Sunée
The Sugar Barons Matthew Parker
Ritz and Escoffier Luke Barr
Cumin, Camels, and Caravans Gary Paul Nabhan

In Depth

Ever since the US government conspired with private corporations to overthrow the Kingdom of Hawaii, the islands have held a special allure for American settlers. As sugar and pineapple production have declined, tourism has picked up the slack to motor the Hawaiian economy, bringing countless new visitors every year. In recent years, the food scene has become a major marketing point. This list, unfolding in no particular order, looks at five great restaurants on the Hawaiian islands.

Starting things off at #1, Highway Inn has operated on the island of Oahu since 1947. Seiichi Toguchi, who co-founded the restaurant with his wife Nancy, was born in Hawaii but raised in Okinawa, Japan. He founded the business after surviving internment by the US government during World War 2. Today, there are three locations: two in Honolulu in addition to the Waipahu outpost that has been around since 1960.

The menu hasn't changed significantly since the restaurant opened its doors more than seventy years ago. The signature Hawaiian combo plates are served with poi or rice, sides, and a selection of proteins including beef, kalua pork, pork or chicken lau lau, and butterfish and stew grav. Poke can be eaten in-house or ordered to-go at Highway Inn's Seafood Market.

The signature Hawaiian combo plates are served with poi or rice, sides, and a selection of proteins including beef, kalua pork, pork or chicken lau lau, and butterfish and stew grav.

#2 is Roy's. While the well-known chain opened by celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi operates more than thirty locations across the mainland, it all started in Honolulu. In addition to the original location, Roy's Hawaii portfolio includes outposts at Waikiki, Turtle Bay, and Ko Olina on Oahu, in Kaanapali on Maui, and Waikoloa on the Big Island. Yamaguchi also maintains a series of other restaurant concepts throughout the islands.

The Roy's philosophy places an emphasis on customer service. Its food is a unique fusion of Hawaiian, European, and Asian cuisines. Striving to be an active and involved member of the communities in which it operates, Roy's sources ingredients from local farms and fisheries. Each Hawaii location of the chain hosts exclusive events, featuring guest chefs, winemakers, farmers, and other celebrities.

Coming in at #3, Hali'imaile General Store is a farm-to-table restaurant nestled in the pineapple fields on the lower slopes of the massive Haleakala volcano on Maui. It features Hawaiian regional cuisine from Chef Beverly Gannon that uses local ingredients, sourcing many of them from Hawaii farmers, fishermen, and ranchers.

It features Hawaiian regional cuisine from Chef Beverly Gannon that uses local ingredients, sourcing many of them from Hawaii farmers, fishermen, and ranchers.

The restaurant serves dinner throughout the week. Entrees include Macadamia Nut Crusted fish of the day, blackened seared ahi tuna, and a roasted half-chicken served with a dijon mustard sauce. On weekends, there's a lunch service offering smaller items such as sandwiches, tacos, and cheeseburgers. Hali'imaile's full bar mixes up an array of signature cocktails.

In the #4 position, it's Sky Waikiki. The rooftop bar and restaurant hovers nineteen stories above ground level, overlooking the famed Oahu beach and the Royal Hawaiian resort. It serves Hawaiian regional cuisine overseen by Executive Chef Lance Kosaka, an island native who uses as much locally grown produce and livestock as possible in his dishes.

The dinner menu offers entrees like a Sizzling Surf and Turf composed of sirloin steak and grilled lemongrass shrimp. Many items are designed for sharing, such as slider plates, with options like teriyaki pork, garlic chicken, and lobster. Sky Waikiki's one-of-a-kind view draws many patrons to the bar, which has happy hour offerings, as well as a semi-private karaoke room.

The dinner menu offers entrees like a Sizzling Surf and Turf composed of sirloin steak and grilled lemongrass shrimp.

Closing out the list at #5, we've got Alan Wong's, which has been operating in Honolulu since 1995. While many restaurants in Hawaii prioritize location and view, Wong opened his first eatery on the third floor of a nondescript office building. Now he's one of the best-known chefs in the United States, appearing on television shows like Top Chef and preparing a luau for President Obama in 2009.

Alan Wong's Honolulu has received a number of awards over the years, including Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, Honolulu Magazine's Hale'Aina, and Open Table's Diners' Choice. The menu's selection of Hawaiian regional cuisine, now overseen by Chef Paul Matsumoto, changes seasonally. The bar is prized for forward-looking mixology, and even offers a cocktail omakase course on special occasions.