After a long day soaking up the bright Hawaiian sunshine and swimming in the Pacific, you’re famished. Maybe you want to fill your belly with delicious sushi, burgers, or Hawaiian foods, and perhaps check out a sunset view or sunset cruise. Our goal is to inform and inspire and we’ve done the research. Below are our favorite places to get dinner in Ko Olina — cheers! If you’re happy with your meal tag us @localgetaways_hi to share the love.
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, or explain which meat is being served and what it’s called. And possibly most importantly, the fun facts on the origins of local dishes.
Feature image: Monkeypod Kitchen
The Beach House By 604
The Beach House offers some of the best dining views on the west side of Oahu. It’s a short drive north of Ko Olina but totally worth it if you want to get outside the resort bubble for a moment. The chipotle mango ribs and the furikake ahi are worth the drive alone. Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Ocean views, tropical greenery and a koi pond create a tranquil oasis for the Ko Olina outpost of Longhi’s, which also has a second location on Maui. Bob Longhi opened the original location in Lahaina in 1976 and for decades has been providing delicious Italian-inspired cuisine to the islands. To help you soak up all the yummy cocktails the bartender’s shake and stir (be sure to try the “Sicilian Mai Tai”), the menu is full of hearty dishes like mac nut crusted fish. Open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Makahiki is named for the traditional Hawaiian celebration of the harvest season. This restaurant in this Disney Aulani Resort is a casual, family-friendly restaurant with colored lights and pretty decor. They offer a preset three-course dinner, and there is also a full-service bar for those who prefer something a little stronger than pineapple juice to wash down your dinner. Open for dinner daily 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and is grateful for your business.
This is one of Peter Merriman’s joints that sources locally and serves fresh daily. It’s a more casual atmosphere, where you can enjoy live music while sipping on a local draft and some ahi tuna poke. The waitstaff is friendly, there’s plenty of outdoor seating, and a beautiful large bar area. The menu features kiawe wood fired pizzas, locally sourced meats, and tasty vegetarian options. Open 11am to 10pm daily, with a great happy hour 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Roy Yamaguchi, one of Hawaii’s most popular chefs, has a small fleet of restaurants throughout the islands. This location is known for its locally sourced seafood and there’s something for everyone to enjoy on Roy’s menu — crispy and tender pork belly poke, sushi and sashimi, local caught fish, a nice selection of meat entrees, and even a few vegan options. Lunch is served daily 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner 5 to 8 p.m.
Take a break from the kid stuff at Disney’s Aulani Resort at this casual yet upscale open-air beach house. Enormous fresh seafood platters, grilled fresh fish and day-boat scallops are the go-to choices but beef eaters will savor the steak menu with traditional sides. Open Tuesday through Sunday 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Mina’s Fish House
Chef is a James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina. This restaurant has a stunning view to enjoy some line-to-table, fresh caught seafood. If you want raw seafood, this is the place! The menu is simple and to the point, a raw bar, local meat options, or double down and enjoy the surf and turf. Open daily 3 to 9 p.m. with a 3 to 5 p.m. happy hour.