Ahi (yellowfin tuna), aku (skipjack tuna), and tako (octopus) are just a few kinds of fresh seafood caught daily in the beautiful blue waters around Hawaii. So while you’re visiting, why not enjoy locally caught fish rolled up with some nori and sushi rice? Oahu’s best sushi restaurants are numerous, but here’s a hand-picked list of restaurants that are rolling up some of Oahu’s finest sushi.
But wait, there’s more. We’re here to help demystify some of the unusual words you might see on menus like furikake, laulau and lilikoi — and explain which meat is being served and why. And possibly most importantly of all, provide the fun facts on the origins of local dishes.
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Featured Photo: Doraku Waikiki
Sushi in Waikiki and Honolulu
From the accomplished restaurateur Kevin Aoki, this is a very popular spot — as in lines out the door. It’s also one of our favorite happy hour destinations with an extensive menu featuring hot food, sushi dishes, as well as alcoholic beverages. Doraku’s complex menu consists of both traditional and fusion creations that satisfy sushi beginners and connoisseurs alike. Open daily from 11:30am to 10pm. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4pm to 5pm.
Eating House 1849
We LOVE the story behind this restaurant’s name — it’s an homage to one of the first restaurants on Oahu. Award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi honors Hawaii’s history by using the simple flavors of the past in bold modern dishes. Eating House 1849 is open daily from 4pm to 9pm. Happy hour daily from 4pm to 5pm. Weekend brunch from 10:30am to 2 pm.
A sprawling gourmet food hall in the heart of Waikiki, STIX ASIA is the only place in Hawai’i where you can taste a diverse selection of Asian cuisines from countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea, all in one place. Dip your chopsticks into dishes like ramen from Baikohken, Taiwanese soups from Honolulu Noodle Company, freshly made noodles from Udon Yama and remarkably fresh sushi from Sushi Matsuri, reminiscent of Tokyo’s fish auctions in Tsukiji and Toyosu. STIX ASIA is open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m
This stylish sushi restaurant is front and center in Waikiki. There’s a wide selection of sushi but if you’re dining with a partner, opt for the Waikiki Bridge or the Hawaiian Bridge. Both offer a delicious assortment of fresh sashimi and sushi for two to share. Furusato is open daily from 11am to 10:00pm.
Chef Yoshi moved to Hawaii from his native Japan back in 1998, and opened his first restaurant here in 2002. Yoshi and wife Julie – Izakaya’s sommelier — launched this place in 2017 and are committed to serving the best sashimi and sushi paired with wine and sake. Open Tuesday through Saturday 5pm to 10:00pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Mitch’s Fish Market & Sushi Bar
The best sushi in Honolulu (according to their website) and we just might agree. Be sure to go early as this casual space is tiny and seating is limited. Mitch’s Fish Market & Sushi Bar is open daily 11:30am to 8:30pm and would be grateful for your business.
Sushi Ginza Onodera
Let’s start with the fact that here they call the chefs “sushi craftsmen” … and these craftsmen aim to dazzle the most sophisticated taste buds by delivering authentic Edomae style sushi. Sushi Ginza Onodera is open Monday, Thursday, Friday 5pm to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 10pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
This is one of Honolulu’s best kept secrets. Hidden in a back alley location, the small space of Sushi ii is usually filled with Hawaii restaurateurs and foodies. It’s rumored that the chef is the tempura master on island. Open Sunday 5pm to 10pm, and Monday 5:30pm to 11pm. Open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch 11am to 2:30pm and for dinner 5:30pm to 11pm.
Chef-owned and -operated since 1997, Sushi Sasabune brings authentic omakase-style sushi to Honolulu. This means no menu and no soy sauce served at the table — each course is prepared to be eaten as is, already dressed and seasoned accordingly. Sushi Sasabune’s “Omakase” is designed to be flexible and unique to each customer, as there is no set price or fixed options to choose from. They specialize in nigiri made with hot sushi rice and cold fish. Open Tuesday through Friday 5:30pm to 10pm. Saturday from 5pm to 10pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
This popular restaurant group does not disappoint! Centrally located in Waikiki, Sansei is an easy walk from most hotels. Open Sunday through Thursday 5:30pm to 10pm. Friday and Saturday 5:30pm to 1am.
Sushi on Oahu's North Shore
BANZAI Sushi Bar
Voted one of Oʻahu’s best by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser four years in a row, BANZAI prides itself in offering some of the finest sushi the islands have to offer. They’ve partnered with local fishermen and North Shore organic farmers to procure the best ingredients (according to season) for their unique sushi. Open Wednesday through Sunday 4pm to 9pm.
Sushi on Oahu's Windward Side
Local Boy Sushi
If you find yourself on the windward side of Oahu (in other words, off the beaten path), make sure you stop at Local Boy Sushi. Founded by the Pantastico brothers in 2009, their motto is “simple, classy, affordable.” Local Boy serves unparalleled ’ono grinds and local favorites with a mouth-watering twist. Just ask Siri for directions and you can thank us later. Open Monday through Friday 10am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm. Closed Sunday.