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Does anyone have recommendations for good restaurants in Honolulu? In particular: 1) Chinese (authentic) 2) sushi and 3) fusion. If so, I’d love to get your recs in the comments or via email. It’s for my folks. I’ve only been to the big island of Hawai’i, so I’m not much help. *Shaka*

go get tropical

18 nibbles at “mahalo”

  1. chris says:

    I grew up in Hawaii and I have to admit that I am a little bias because I used to work at two of these restaurants but, you can’t go wrong with anything from DK Kodama:

    Sansei is in the heart of Waikiki and has great sushi. I worked at both Hiroshi & Vino which are excellent tapas style places and Hiroshi would meet the “fusion” category. At Hiroshi’s the Kampachi Carpaccio and the Moi are my favorites.

    Can’t say I know of a particular Chinese place but most restaurants in Chinatown are pretty good, your best bet is to look for the ones with the long lines snaking around the corner.

  2. Kitt says:

    Do your parents need a sherpa?

  3. Mrs Ergül says:

    Cant be of any help here! Sorry!

    I sure hope you didn’t spot that in a restaurant ;)

  4. KKLL says:

    Elua is an interesting place. Two chefs, Philippe Padovani and Donato Leporfido, share alternate nights. Alan Wong’s and Chef Mavro also come to mind. Check out this link from The Honolulu Advertiser’s best restaurants survey: which gives you the whole gamut from “fine dining” to “holes in the wall”. The eateries are also classified by ethnicity.

  5. Allison Day says:

    For sushi, a must-visit is Mitch’s. They have the best sashimi I’ve ever had, and although it’s a little hole-in-the-wall place connected to a fish market, the people are incredibly friendly.

    Also, Yotteko-Ya is great if they want any ramen.

  6. brooke says:

    i just made a long list of things to do/places to eat in hawaii (oahu) for a coworker…
    heres some of it… i can email you the rest if you want…

    Sushi Masa – good sushi at a pretty good price – in downtown (ward area) near Dave and Busters

    Maguro-ya – really good sushi more pricey –

    Yohei – really good sushi – brother restaurant to maguro-ya

    Chiba Ken – supposedly good sushi

    shokudo – This is a pretty good japanese fusion place – in downtown near Alamoana

    indigo is a good fusion restaurant in down town

    roys is another good fusion restaurant

    there are lots of good chinese restaurants in china town (downtown honolulu)

  7. casacaudill says:

    We liked Roy’s in Waikiki. The atmosphere was a bit hip, but the drinks and food were very good. Otherwise, all of our Oahu dining experiences have been pretty bad.

  8. Adrienne says:

    hm, fusion can mean so many things . . .
    i love orchids in waikiki, located in halekulani. the atmosphere is gorgeous.
    the food was wonderful. the service was great. the food was wonderful (repeated for effect).

  9. chicago says:

    I’m not sure about authentic, but I know that Legends Seafood Restaurant has a big selection. There are also other places downtown by Legends, like the Mandalay and Mei Sum, that also have good dim sum. I like the dim sum at Happy Day (in Kaimuki). Another good one is Royal Garden in Ala Moana Hotel.

    For sushi, I hear Sasabune near Ala Moana is good. The chef picks the sushi for you.

    For fusion, you can’t go wrong with Roy’s, ever. Alan Wong’s is also good. Both are expensive. Ooh, and also 3660 On the Rise in Kaimuki.

  10. Nate says:

    For Chinese, we always like to go to Fook Yuen in the McCully Shopping Center.

    I wasn’t impressed with Shokudo. I really liked Tokkuri-Tei but parking is tight and you gotta make reservations in advance (unless you like sitting at the bar). See my review at

    Roy’s is okay only. I’d say try Alan Wong’s for fusion / Hawaii Regional Cuisine.

  11. Julie Ferrell says:

    Jen, I travel to Honolulu every three months. I think your parents would really enjoy Orchid’s at the Halekulani. Beautiful location, attentive (but not obsequious) service, fresh food and lovely presentation. Roy’s is a chain and is a bit meh. Alan Wong’s is my favorite on the island – fusion category. I also really like Chef Mavro’s tasting menu and think your parents would enjoy its service and food. Decor is lovely there – very intimate. 3660 on the Rise is also delish but off the beaten path and harder to find. Everything has valet, and depending on where they stay, Honolulu has great cab service. Don’t know about Chinese. Best sushi (awful location) is Mitch’s Bait Shop (no lie) close to the airport. Probably not a good parental recommendation though. Also good is Nobu in Waikiki (chain but great, great, great). I also like Yohei a lot. xoxo from Nashvegas.

  12. Sharon says:

    This isn’t on your list, but if they like tonkatsu, there’s a great restaurant that specializes in it. It’s the only branch outside of Japan. It’s called Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin. The place is tiny but it’s awesome. And, as added authenticity, we were the only customers there that were not speaking Japanese. =)

    I second the Chef Mavro suggestion. It’s number one on my list of all time favorite dining experiences. The service, food, and people are second to none. Plus, even though it’s high end food, since it’s Hawaii you don’t have to go all out dress-wise.

  13. Sandy says:

    Won Kee on 100 N Beretania in Chinatown (at the Cultural Plaza) is a Cantonese hole-in-the-wall. The dim sum selection covered the basics, but if there was something you wanted but didn’t see, you could ask and they would bring it to you from the kitchen. We even went back for dinner and had Cantonese home-style foods.

    Next door was another busy (but larger) restaurant during lunch; I think it was called Legends. We didn’t try it, but I made a note to go there on our next trip (which is next summer!).

  14. Marian says:

    Hello there, my first time posting but definitely not my first time at your wonderful blog.

    Anyway, restaurants in Honolulu… I’ve been a big fan of Legends in Chinatown while growing up, although I was told that the food quality went down. Last time I went (3 years ago?) it was still quite good. Shokudo at Ala’s was pretty good, decent food at a decent price, although nothing that blows your mind. Fook Yuen’s was another of my favorite Chinese restaurants while growing up, I just loved their honey walnut shrimps! And their midnight congee special was soooo good (free congee with purchase if I remember correctly), but I’m not sure if they still do that nowadays. Hmm… I never got to try any of the upscale, fancy, expensive restaurants though, but I’ve walked by Chef Mavro’s for years while looking in their window longingly because it just looks so good.

  15. steph (whisk/spoon) says:

    you must go to alan wong’s! mavro is great, too, but doesn’t have the same atmosphere. if you make it up to the north shore have shave ice from matsumoto!

  16. jenyu says:

    Hey everyone, thanks for the great recommendations! I appreciate all of the responses and I’m sure my folks will have a great time in Honolulu with Grandma :) xxoo

  17. White On Rice Couple says:

    Oh, my little sis is in Honolulu! But we’re late…I would have asked her for you!

    What a beautiful picture! The lizard is stunning.

  18. jenyu says:

    WoRC – no worries, hon. Thanks though!

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