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Oahu, Hawaii - Food

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  • May 17th, 2019 12:33 pm
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[OP]
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Jun 22, 2014
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Markham, ON

Oahu, Hawaii - Food

So, I'm planning a trip to Oahu, and will be staying in Waikiki (just like everyone else).

Anyone have any advise on where to get authentic Polynesian food? What about food trucks?

Are there any MUST HAVE foods / restaurants?

We will have a car, so recommendations for anything on the island would be appreciated!
17 replies
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Oct 12, 2006
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Marukame Udon
North Shore shrimp trucks - our family's preference is Romy's

Haven't been in a while, but that's what sticks out in my head. I'm sure you'll get other recommendations.
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Jul 7, 2017
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Wakiki is full of chains catering to white bread North American tastes at a hefty price. Didn't even go into Waikiki my last two swings through Honolulu in the past two months (admittedly on the first swing through, there was paid-for fine French food).

Other than for poké which seems to be the new rage, there's not much of Polynesian food that can be had in Waikiki. Going further afield, try a plate lunch which is the local adaptation of the Japanese bento. The Shirakuyu(sp) food court in the far bowels of the Ala Moana Mall s a good place to get food (and cheap beer) albeit the food is mostly Asian.
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thriftshopper wrote: Wakiki is full of chains catering to white bread North American tastes at a hefty price. Didn't even go into Waikiki my last two swings through Honolulu in the past two months (admittedly on the first swing through, there was paid-for fine French food).

Other than for poké which seems to be the new rage, there's not much of Polynesian food that can be had in Waikiki. Going further afield, try a plate lunch which is the local adaptation of the Japanese bento. The Shirakuyu(sp) food court in the far bowels of the Ala Moana Mall s a good place to get food (and cheap beer) albeit the food is mostly Asian.
The saimen is good at Shirokiya.
Zippy's for local food.
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Chingyul wrote: The saimen is good at Shirokiya.
Zippy's for local food.
I've tried Zippy's, L&L and Fat Boys in the past couple of years, all very disappointing.
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Oct 3, 2011
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OTTAWA
speaking of poke... can someone tell me what the differences are between a poke bowl and a sashimi donburi are? From pictures and what people are telling me.. I don't get what the deal with poke is.
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lurkknight wrote: speaking of poke... can someone tell me what the differences are between a poke bowl and a sashimi donburi are? From pictures and what people are telling me.. I don't get what the deal with poke is.
Seasoned vs unseasoned. Sashimi is just raw fish (you can add your own condiments such as soy and wasabi). Poké is one of those food fads, I wager.
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Mar 10, 2003
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thriftshopper wrote: Poké is one of those food fads, I wager.
It's a fad for the continental US and NA. It's been around and popular in Hawaii since the early 1970s. You want poke in Hawaii? Get it from your local Foodland.
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Nov 11, 2011
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These suggestions are places that are kind of Hawaii only type places...

Leonards Bakery for Malasadas, a type of Portuguese donut which you can have sugar coated or filled with some amazing creamy fillings
https://www.leonardshawaii.com/home/

Try to get 100% Kona Coffeee somewhere (not Kona Blend), a couple of places with a really good Kona are Kai Coffee in the atrium of the Hyatt Regency or Island Vintage coffee at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Centre

Rainbow Drive In for plate lunch and some home cooking style dishes.
http://www.rainbowdrivein.com/

We LOVE the shortbread (especially the milk chocolate dipped) from Hawaiian cookie company, there are stores all over the islands and a couple in the local Waikiki area alone
https://www.honolulucookie.com/

If you are on the beach over by the Hilton Hawaiian Village, near Kalia Road, there is a great little place called Steak Shack. It is honestly not much more than a stand but they food is really good
https://www.yelp.ca/biz/steak-shack-honolulu

If you are driving and coming back from snorkelling at Hanauma Bay or someplace else on the East side, stop into Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha. They are strictly shave ice and you can get that all over but they make their syrups and they are soooo good
https://houseofpurealoha.com/

Also, if you are headed up to the north shore, we love to spend time at Sunset Beach and then have a late lunch at Teds Bakery. The reason we really like it is they offer a variety of foods including garlic shrimp, true charcoal bbq'd burgers and meats etc. It is very simple and you eat outside but it is just so great.
http://tedsbakery.com/


There are lots of fun places! and yes, poke from Foodland as @milhaus says above.
Last edited by alohamom on May 16th, 2019 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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We haven't been to Oahu in a few years but one of my favourite meals was from a place in the North Shore called Opal Thai's. The food was fresh and pretty reasonably priced (don't know about now)...the owner basically takes over and orders for you but it's all good.

We also had a good meal at Teddy's Bigger Burger on Kapahulu Ave. ME BBQ was pretty decent for Korean bbq. The food court at Ala Moana has something for everyone. If you are into fast food, i.e. McDonald's, we found that the locations outside Waikiki had better pricing and promos.
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Chingyul wrote: Marukame Udon
North Shore shrimp trucks - our family's preference is Romy's

Haven't been in a while, but that's what sticks out in my head. I'm sure you'll get other recommendations.
Marukame Udon is overrated. Long lines and it gets really crowded in the seating area. If you're in the GTA area or have been to Japan, I would just skip it.
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GateGuardian wrote: Marukame Udon is overrated. Long lines and it gets really crowded in the seating area. If you're in the GTA area or have been to Japan, I would just skip it.
Agreed, we tried Marukame Udon when we was in Honolulu. It was overated, people goes there because there is always an line up, which attract curiosity from tourist.
Most udon cost less than $10US but when you adding on stuff, it get close to $20US easily, once you get your food, you have to find an empty seat with your tray on hand. You are not allow to get a buddy to hold the seats for you while you are getting food, the staff will kick you out.

It is not a bad try, but there is just so many other better foods elsewhere.
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Not hawaiian food but I do recommend checking out the top of waikiki happy hour. Just a really nice atmosphere and good pupus and drinks.
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dealguy2 wrote: Not hawaiian food but I do recommend checking out the top of waikiki happy hour. Just a really nice atmosphere and good pupus and drinks.
Yes, I went there as went for Happy Hours as well. Just grab an drink and snacks. The view from the Top is awesome and it moves 360 so you can have a complete view of Waikiki.
Be sure to wear shoes (no flip flops) and shirts. They have dress code and will denied entry, I've seen someone who wore flip flop got denied to go up.

Don't forget Open Table to reserve. I got a 1000 pts when I made a reservation (usually only 100 pts)
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MP3_SKY wrote: Agreed, we tried Marukame Udon when we was in Honolulu. It was overated, people goes there because there is always an line up, which attract curiosity from tourist.
Most udon cost less than $10US but when you adding on stuff, it get close to $20US easily, once you get your food, you have to find an empty seat with your tray on hand. You are not allow to get a buddy to hold the seats for you while you are getting food, the staff will kick you out.

It is not a bad try, but there is just so many other better foods elsewhere.

I guess we lucked out then. We got there for late lunch at 2 or 3.
I'll agree, it wasn't mind blowing, but it's an interesting concept I hadn't seen before and wasn't pricey (relatively speaking).

If we did line up long and had to fight for tables, I'd probably be with you saying it's overrated and not worth the wait.
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Why would some idiot downvote this thread? I really don't get some people. It isn't off topic, nor is it a stupid question. I upvoted to cancel out your stupid downvote.

For OP, I haven't stayed on Oahu for many years, so I wouldn't have any recommendations. I've been to Maui more.

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