Where to Find the Best Lunch in Honolulu and Waikiki

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. 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.

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

If you’re happy with your meal, tag us @HawaiiIslander on Instagram to share the love.

Feature image: Moku Kitchen

Honolulu and Waikiki Lunch Map

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

Fete-Honolulu-Oahu-Lunch-credit @fetehawaii-800x450
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 Saturday 11am to 9pm. Closed Sunday. fetehawaii.com

O'Kims Korean Kitchen-Honolulu-Oahu-Lunch-800x450
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 Thursday 11am to 9pm. Friday through Saturday 11am to 10pm. 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 Sunday through Wednesday 11am to 9pm. Thursday through Saturday 11am to 10pm. 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 5pm to 9pm. Saturday and Sunday for brunch 10am to 2pm and Saturday for dinner 5pm 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 breakfast 7am to 10am, lunch 11am to 3pm and for dinner 5pm to 8pm. Saturday brunch 8am to 2pm and dinner 5pm to 9pm. 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. The bakery scones are some of the best on the island. 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. Open Tuesday through Friday 10am to 7:30pm. helenashawaiianfood.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. Ono Seafood Instagram

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 9pm. barefootbeachcafe.com

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Photo: Courtesy of Outrigger Resorts

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 10:30pm 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 9:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 9:30pm. 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 10pm. omg.menu

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.

Honoululu and Waikiki
Lunch Map

Clean Plate Club

Clean Plate Club

The job of delivering the best possible content for our restaurant recommendations can not be left to one person. Click here to meet the team behind the Bay Area Clean Plate Club.

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