Where to Find the Best Lunch on Oahu

Whether you are staying in Waikiki for the first time, or living on Oahu and looking for the best spot for lunch, we’re here to help you make that all too important decision, “what’s for lunch.”  We’ve included the hot spots on the south side of the island, including Honolulu “town,” Chinatown, Waikiki, Kakaako and Kaimuki. And, we’ve included the North Shore and Ko Olina – we’ve got you covered. The foodie scene here is evolving with new places opening regularly, there’s a lot to sift through. Here are our favorite spots for that very important midday meal.

Lunch Near "town" a.k.a. Honolulu

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Photo: @fetehawaii

Fête

This restaurant is the delicious creation of a husband and wife duo — think Brooklyn, New York meets downtown Honolulu. This food is arguably some of the best on Oahu, with American-style dishes, fresh fish, housemade pasta and a great cocktail list. Fete is a great place to stop while exploring Honolulu’s Chinatown. Open Monday through Thursday 11am to 9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm. Closed Sunday. fetehawaii.com

Photo: @valiahonolulu

Lucky Belly

Part of the hopping Chinatown culinary scene, this Chinese fusion spot is great place to share a couple of gourmet dim sum appetizers like shrimp gyoza, pork belly bao or lamb lumpia (all three to an order) and then a big bowl of silky ramen (try the shrimp kimchi version.) There’s a mushroom-centric veggie ramen too, plus a more decadent version with pork belly, bacon and sausage. Note it’s best to rideshare or take a bus to this gritty urban area. Open Monday through Saturday 5pm to 10pm. Closed Sunday. luckybellyhi.com

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Photo: Courtesy of O'Kims

O'Kims Korean Kitchen

Walk through the predictable front of this Chinatown restaurant and you’ll find a charming garden setting offering a bit of respite from hustle and bustle, plus a possible wild meandering chicken. From traditional bibimbap, to an array of delicious noodles and probably the best salmon dish (seaweed salmon) on the island, the menu offers something for everyone. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm. Closed Sunday. okimshawaii.com

Lunch Near Kaka'ako / Ala Moana

lunch in Waikiki
Photo by: Kris Labang

Hiking Hawaii Cafe

Owner Crystal Evans has combined her love for the great outdoors with nutritious cuisine. The menu is perfect for your pre or post hiking tour, offering freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and delicious food. Local and organic produce is the name of the game. Their ono sauces and granola are made in house daily. This menu has plenty of gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options. The pizzas are scrumptious, and there’s even a tasty cauliflower pizza crust option for all you non gluten eaters. Open daily from 7am to 2pm. Free parking in the hotel. hikinghicafe.com

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Photo: Courtesy of Moku Kitchen

Moku Kitchen

Part of the trendy SALT at Our Kaka‘ako complex, this casual-chic restaurant is another success story from Hawaiʻi Regional Cuisine co-founder Peter Merriman (whose more upscale Merriman’s is another great addition to nearby Ward Village.) The hand-crafted-everything, local-whenever-possible approach makes pizzas , burgers and kale salad seem like the right thing to do. Open daily 12am to 9pm with 2pm to 5:30pm happy hours. mokukitchen.com

Photo: @piggysmallshawaii

Piggy Smalls

This whimsical Ward Village offshoot of chef Andrew Le’s The Pig & The Lady (a Chinatown favorite) serves up delicious Vietnamese-inspired fare, including a spicy-savory vegan pho and garlic noodles that will make vegetarians rejoice. Carnivores can chow down ginger-scallion chicken pho or hearty sandwiches like the smoked brisket pho French dip sandwich and the pork and shrimp meatball sub on crusty baguette. Open Tuesday to Friday 4pm to 9pm. Saturday and Sunday for brunch 10am to 2pm and Saturday for dinner 4pm to 9pm. Closed Monday. thepigandthelady.com

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Photo: @frolichawaii

Rangoon Burmese Kitchen

The sister restaurant to Dagon, this downtown location features more amazing Burmese cuisine. Take a culinary journey and try some of these spicy and savory salads, noodles and curries. Definitely bring your friends, you’re going to want to try a bunch of these dishes. Open Monday to Saturday 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 10pm. Closed Sunday. rangoon-burmese-kitchen.business.site

Photo: @tangocafehonolulu

Tango Contemporary Cafe

Finnish chef Göran Streng somehow found his way to Hawaiʻi in the 1990s, where his Scandinavian influences can still be seen in his open-faced sandwiches (house-cured gravlax among them) and hefty salads like roasted beets with labneh (strained yogurt) or greens with grilled pesto salmon. The light-filled cafe is on the ground floor of the Hokua building, where you can park in the garage for free for up to 2.5 hours with restaurant validation. Open Monday to Friday for lunch 10am to 3pm and for dinner 4pm to 8pm. Saturday brunch 8am to 2pm and dinner 4pm to 8pm. Sunday brunch 8am to 2pm. tangocafehawaii.com

Lunch Near Kapahulu

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Photo: Courtesy of Diamond Head Market & Grill

Diamond Head Market & Grill

Don’t judge a book by its cover. This spot is awesome. Start off with the mixed plate, teriyaki chicken, char siu pork and hamburger patty… and then keep going. Open daily 7:30am to 9pm, and are grateful for your business. diamondheadmarket.com

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Photo: @helenashawaiianfoood

Helena’s Hawaiian Food

Looking for a taste of local cuisine, kalua pig with cabbage and laulau pork… all of it and more. Seriously, if you want to taste the equivalent of a gorgeous Hawaiian sunset, eat at Helen’s. During Covid times, hours are Tuesday through Friday 10am to 7:30pm, and are grateful for your business. helenashawaiianfood.com

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Photo: @kaimukisuperette

Kaimuki Superette

Kaimuki is a bustling neighborhood that boasts some of Honolulu’s best places to eat and shop. Ed Kenney opened Town Restaurant in 2005, and has since expanded his talents across the street to Mud Hen Water and The Superette. The mantra is “local first, organic whenever possible, with aloha always.” This deli-style joint showcases local ingredients, handmade pickled goodness, and Hawaiian-made products. Open Monday to Saturday 8am to 2pm, and is grateful for your business. Closed Sunday. kaimukisuperette.com

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Photo: @ono.seafood

Ono Seafood

Ono Seafood claims it serves the best poke in Honolulu since 1995… and yup! Think about it, they were doing Poke (pronounced poh key) way before it became trendy. Open Tuesday through Saturday 9am to 6pm. Closed Sunday & Monday. Yelp

Lunch in or Near Waikiki

lunch in Waikiki
Photo: @barefootbeachcafe

Barefoot Beach Cafe

Located at Queen’s Surf Beach, on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki. Enjoy watching the surfers as you while you grind down on some fresh food at this family owned and operated cafe. It appears to be a snack bar but don’t be fooled, it’s whipping up some delicious and refreshing dishes with some of the best views in all of Waikiki. There’s a great vegan menu in case you aren’t in the mood for the fresh caught Ahi Burger or a Kalua Pig & Cabbage Plate. Open daily 8am to 8:30 pm. barefootbeachcafe.com

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Photo: @hulagrillwaikiki

Hula Grill Waikiki

This just might be the epitome of Waikiki lunch dining. Fun Fact: it’s the original location of the Outrigger Canoe Club, it’s a very long story, but let’s just say there is lots of good surfing mojo in this space. Don’t expect fine dining, but once you add in the view and location and friendly service, it’s a win-win. Open 7am to 10pm daily. hulagrillwaikiki.com

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Photo: @noithaicuisine

Noi Thai Cuisine

If you can’t decide between the pad thai or the yellow curry, there’s no need to worry, Noi Thai has a selection of lunch combos to soothe all your cravings. This finely decorated and affordable Thai restaurant is a gem to find in the middle of the bustling Waikiki. Open Monday through Friday 11am to 3pm and 4:30pm to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 10pm. honolulu.noithaicuisine.com

oahu mexican grill Waikiki
Photo: @oahumexicangrill

Oahu Mexican Grill

If you’re in the mood for a margarita and a fatty burrito between surf sessions, OMG has got you covered. This Tex-Mex is whipping and flipping freshly made salsas and guacamole. They serve only grass fed, antibiotic free meats. So it’s fresh, it’s delicious, it’s filling and it goes very well with your mango margarita. Open daily 7am to 11pm. omg.menu

Lunch in Ko Olina

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Photo: courtesy of Coquito's

Coquito’s

Coquito’s menu features featuring popular Colombian, Puerto Rican and Caribbean favorites.  Enjoy empanadas, pollo a la plancha and pasteles at this laid-back little restaurant. Open Tuesday through Saturday 11am to 9pm. Closed Sunday and Monday. coquitos-latin-cuisine-restaurant.business.site

Where to Get the Best Lunch In Ko’Olina
Photo: courtesy of Kahumana Cafe

Kahumana Cafe

TEMPORARILY CLOSED

You won’t get more farm to table than this cafe located on Kahumana Farm land.  The food is grown in the surrounding fields and served fresh. This non-profit is doing a lot of good for the local food system and in Hawaii, so go support them, check out the beautiful property, and enjoy a fresh, locally sourced lunch. kahumana.com

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Photo: courtesy of Longboards Bar & Grill

Longboards Bar & Grill

Grind on Hawaiian style appetizers and lunch fare at this oceanfront restaurant. Longboards Bar & Grill serves American-style cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere, featuring tasty sandwiches and refreshing chardonnays. Open daily 11am to 8pm. marriott.com

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Photo: courtesy of Roy's

Roy’s

Award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi is one of Hawaii’s most popular restaurateurs. The Roy’s lunch menu has something for everyone, including fresh caught ahi, Big Island beef, refreshing greens, and even vegan options. Lunch is daily from 11:30 am to 2pm.  Open daily for dinner 5pm to 8pm. roys.com

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Photo: courtesy of Mina's Fish House

Mina’s Fish House

James Beard Award- winning chef Michael Mina created this line-to-table, seafood-centric restaurant in Kapolei. Savor the  ginger-lime hamachi and a glass of rosé while soaking up the gorgeous ocean view. Open daily 4pm to 9pm. minasfishhouse.com

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Photo: @koolinaresort

Waterman Bar & Lounge

If you’re in the mood for a full day at the beach and in the water, this is a great place for a quick lunch break.  Check out this poolside bar and grill for a casual bite. Bite into street tacos, fresh tropical fruit, and a lobster roll in between your snorkel sessions. Open daily 10am to 7:30pm. fourseasons.com

Lunch in the North Shore

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Photo: @thebeetboxcafe

Beet Box Cafe

Looking for super satisfying all vegetarian restaurants. The menu is strictly vegetarian with many vegan and gluten free options. Breakfast is served all day; they have an extensive smoothie, juice and acai bowl menu. For lunch goers there are hearty salads and some creative vegetarian takes on burgers, tacos and sandwiches. Believe us, even the most enthusiastic carnivore will be satisfied. Open daily 9am to 3pm and are grateful for your business. thebeetboxcafe.com

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Photo: @lizzzeats

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

Looooove this spot, but not when you get behind a bus of tourists. So if you’re feeling lucky stop by Giovanni’s – and if it’s too crowded, you can shop and move on to another shrimp truck, there are plenty around. Open daily 10:30am to 5pm. giovannisshrimptruck.com

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Photo: @mayastapasandwine

Maya’s Tapas & Wine

This hip spot is a chef owned and operated local favorite. The inside bar peeks into the open kitchen and there is plenty of fresh air seating on the front deck. The dishes are Spanish and Medditarrian style featuring locally sourced ingredients. The service is fantastic and the cocktail, beer and wine menu is on point. This is a perfect spot to grab lunch in Haleiwa town. Open for lunch Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 3pm and dinner 5pm to 10 pm. Sundays 11am to 3pm. Closed on Monday. mayastapasandwine.com

Nalu Health Bar & Café
Photo: Nalu Health Bar & Cafe

Nalu Health Bar & Cafe

This joint is healthy, fresh and a crowd pleaser. People love it so much they have multiple locations! You can enjoy this deliciousness in Haleiwa, Kailua or the South Shore Market at Ward. The menu is focused on healthy food to fuel you up for your active lifestyle. Wraps, salads and sandwiches with vegan, vegetarian and carnivore options for your taste buds pleasures. Try one of their açaí bowls for a refreshing light lunch. Open daily 9am to 6pm. naluhealthbar.com

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Photo: Seven Brothers Burgers

Seven Brothers Burgers

Burger porn. Sorry to be so graphic, but that’s all we got. Let us know if you agree. Family-owned and operated, these guys are serious about their burger game. Their mission is “your happiness always,” which begins with their grass-fed beef patties. With two locations on the North Shore, one at The Mill in Kahuku and the other in Laie, if you’re craving some deliciousness, stop by and get your burger on. Open Monday through Thursday 11am to 11pm, Friday 11am to 1am, and Saturday 11am to 9pm. Closed on Sunday. sevenbrothersburgers.com

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Photo: @unclebosrestaurant

Uncle Bo’s Bar & Grill

Foodie flock to Uncle Bo’s, because this “Uncle” is a.k.a. Chef Bo Pathammavong, who with his partner, Ho Suk Lee have created a fun, hip and (tasty) empire on the island. Open Monday through Friday 4pm to 9pm, Saturday 11am to 9pm, and Sunday 10am to 7pm. unclebosrestaurant.com

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Photo: @waialuabakery

Waialua Bakery

This place is a fav, it’s tucked back from the road, next to the Malama Market.  This family owned and operated bakery features locally grown fruits and veggies.  The smoothies perfectly accompany the sandwiches featuring homemade bread.  Their cookies are abundant and you can even make your own ice cream sandwich!  This intimate little spot has some dine in seating, but it’s the perfect place to order lunch and head to the beach. Open Monday through Saturday 10am to 4pm. Closed Sunday. thewaialuabakery.com

Did we miss your favorite restaurant? 
Our always-hungry team of foodies have compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite eat@localgetaways.com.

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