A short guide to Oahu’s top local Hawaiian cuisine.
Side Street Inn
Side Street Inn is a true nod to the age-old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” This modest, no-frills eatery brings it when it comes to killer eats and authentic Hawaiian hospitality. Its most popular dishes include kimchee fried rice, spicy chicken, tofu watercress salad and pan fried island pork. But everything on the menu will leave your stomach (and fridge) happy, as their meals come in family-style portions so you’ll have plenty to take home and enjoy later. With one location just outside Waikiki and another by Ala Moana Center, it’s easy to find your way to this local favorite.
James Beard Award winner Alan Wong presents his innovative, energetic and colorful Hawaiian Regional cuisine in an upscale third floor space on King Street, a short drive from Waikiki. This fine dining establishment features crowd favorites like Kualoa oysters, steamed clams, twice cooked short ribs, steamed opakapaka and so much more. This star chef’s kitchen uses top-grade locally sourced seafood, meats, vegetables and fruits from around Oahu and the other Hawaiian Islands for incredible flavors. Perfect for special occasions and adventurous foodies looking for a night on the town.
Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
For a laid-back, picnic-style meal, pop by Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck on the North Shore of Oahu. This famous eatery on wheels specializes in garlic and spicy shrimp, rice and pineapple slices. The quick pit stop is ideal for beach goers and adventurers-on-the-go.
Silence your sweet tooth with a stop at Leonard’s Malasadas. This old school bakery touts some of the best malasadas – or Portuguese donuts – on the island. The shop started making malasadas as part of the traditional Shrove Tuesday starting in 1953. The bakery now bakes hundreds every day.
Sasabune is rated one of the top places to enjoy sushi on Oahu. You know a restaurant believes in their food when their tagline reads “Today’s special? Trust me.” And it’s worked in their favor, because many visitors order sans menu and leave beyond satisfied with their meals.
Sasabune is an omakase style restaurant, meaning the dishes are selected by the chef depending on your preferences. First, the chef will ask if you’d like East Coast or West Coast sushi. Next, he will create thirteen courses of freshly made sushi for you to choose from. From sashimi to nigari, lobster bake to bluefin, you won’t be disappointed with the range of flavors this establishment offers.
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