Sticky Notes of Thoughts

…because some thoughts are worth remembering

On Where a Kamaaina (local) Eats in Honolulu



My husband and I lived in Hawaii for 20 years, and then we moved to Denmark for 2 years. Please let that sink in for a moment: the extremes in weather, the difference in the definition of friendliness, the language, leaving friends behind, etc. etc. (More on Danish food culture, here.)

What affected me also was the difference in food culture. I can write for pages on this topic without hitting a mark. The simplest way to express my experience is that the level of Asian food in Denmark had me craving Panda Express for 150 Danish Kroner (about $25, which is what one entrĂ©e would set you back in a Danish restaurant named “Thai Sushi”, and a glass of tap water is an additional $2).

So, when we decided to visit our friends in Honolulu after being away for 2.5 years, my husband promptly made a list of restaurants to visit. Our friends know we enjoy good food, so they were curious what we put on the list. If you are traveling to Honolulu soon, you might find it useful, too.

  • Food Experiences
    • Kapiolani Community College Farmer’s Market (Saturdays)
    • Eat the Street (food truck meetup, once a month on a Friday)
  • Casual Eateries
    • Ethel’s (Ahi tataki, oxtail soup, other local favorites)
    • Champion Malasadas
    • Ono Seafood (poke)
    • Teddy’s Bigger Burger (spud burger, shakes)
    • Kakaako Kitchen
    • Bubbies Ice Cream
    • Liliha Bakery (coco cream puffs)
    • Fendu Bakery (best French style bakery in town)
    • Kamehameha Bakery (poi donut, but must get there early)
  • Restaurants
    • Menchanko Tei
    • Kyoto Ramen Yottekoya
    • Gomaichi (NOT Goma-Tei)
    • Big Kahuna (garlic cheeseballs!)
    • Chodang (split spicy tofu soup and meat jun for under $15)
    • Wailana Coffee Shop (open 24 hr, breakfast all day)
    • Pineapple Room (Salmon risotto chazuke!)
    • Pig & the Lady (reserve way in advance)
  • Fine Dining
  • New Experiences (because Honolulu food scene is constantly changing: places that popped up since we left Honolulu, suggested by local friends)
    • Livestock Tavern
    • Grondin
    • Mud Hen Water
    • Dagon
    • The Nook
    • Bills Sydney
  • Other Favorites
    • 12th Avenue Grill
    • Doraku for Happy Hour
    • Gyukaku for Happy Hour
    • Serg’s (Mexican)
    • Kohnotori (Izakaya, Japanese pub specializing in chicken)


Photos: Menchanko Tei lunch special ($9.50!), Meat Jun at Chodang (photo by Robert Brewer), under $7, Grilled Octopus Salad at Livestock Tavern, Honolulu, Hawaii



One comment on “On Where a Kamaaina (local) Eats in Honolulu

  1. Paulina
    March 18, 2016

    Hi Yuka! I loved your post on where to eat in Honolulu. I was hoping I could ask you a question about your guide, would you mind sending me an email whenever you have a chance? Thank you!


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This entry was posted on November 25, 2015 by in Food, Hawaii, Travel and tagged , , , .
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