This post comprises of a couple restaurants I visited on my trip to Hawaii. I ate a variety of foods and cuisine, including traditional Hawaiian dishes and more modern dishes. Hawaii has one of the best seafood I've ever eaten. My family and I received some great recommendations from a local, and we also used Yelp to find these places. I highly recommend using Yelp wherever you go, it's not only useful for finding restaurants but also finding different attractions and activities to do.
This was the first place my family and I visited. Duke's is right by Waikiki Beach so it has an amazing view of the beachfront. They also have a nice bar lounge where you can relax and hang out. It's a super busy restaurant so the best way to get a table is to make reservations or come in at odd hours. We went at around 3:00 pm. We ordered their Chicken burger, Fish and Chips, Beef Teriyaki Tacos and Fish Tacos. Their Fish and Chips was my favourite. The fish was so fresh, I died a little bit inside with every bite I took.
Island Vintage Shave Ice
This is a popular spot for tourists in Waikiki. My family ordered a Pink Island, which includes Strawberry, Lychee Mint, Organic Soft Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberry, Lychee, Mochi, Lychee Popping Boba, and Snow Cap (Condensed Milk on Top). You can also customize your own shave ice if you want. Most shaved ice places use one type of ice machine but Island Vintage uses two types so you get two different consistencies of ice. They also use fruit puree as a sauce, rather than just syrup over ice. It's definitely a must have if you're ever in Waikiki!!
Salmon Poke with Rice
Poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish that's served as an appetizer. Poke is basically raw fish that's sliced and cut into small chunks and seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil. This dish is highly influenced by the Japanese and other Asian cultures. It's usually eaten with dried seaweed and rice. I found the fish on its own to be very strong but pairing it with rice balanced it out. I highly recommend this if you like eating sushi!! You can find Poke just about anywhere in Hawaii, I just went to a local grocer near my hotel.
A local recommended this drink to me. He said to try to find 100% traditional Kona coffee but I couldn't find that so I opted for this which has only 10%. The drink was pretty watered down, not the best taste.
Blue Water Shrimp & Seafood
Although we didn't get to go to Giovanni's Shrimp (a must if you're in Oahu!), this place hit the sweet spot too. There were so many different options, I was overwhelmed but so happy. The best way to go are the combo plates, you get two choices of meat/ seafood and a bunch of sides. We got two combo plates with sirloin steak, garlic shrimp, mahi-mahi and calamari steak. We also got fish tacos with fresh mixed ahi, mahi and salmon as appetizers too. It was all well cooked and SOOOO flavourful. It was honestly such a good meal, I'm crying looking at the photos right now.
This shaved ice store is pretty underrated but it's so good! We stopped by the store on our day trip to Kailua. Did you know Obama takes his family here every year?? I got a regular shaved ice with ice cream, mochi, and snow cap. You get to choose three different flavours and trust me always go for sour flavours. I got raspberry, guava, and mango! It melts really quick so it felt like a race trying to finish the shave ice in time. But I guess that's a part of the fun!
This gelato deserves a mention. It's just a random pick up from the grocery store but it's so tasty. I ate the whole pint by myself. There are many different flavours to choose from too.
Flamin' Hot Crunchy Cheetos
If you go to the States and don't buy a bag of Hot Cheetos, you're doing it wrong. We have Jalapeno Cheetos here, but that's so sub-par. If I could I would bring a whole suitcase back, and if you do don't make the mistake I did of buying plain crunchy Cheetos at the airport...
The Lovin Oven
BYOB and pizza. How great is that? The Lovin Oven is a neat secret spot tucked in the busy neighbourhood of Waikiki. It's located inside the Aqua Bamboo hotel in the back, so you have to go through the hotel lobby to get to the restaurant. We ordered the True Hawaiian pizza, which includes Jalapeno BBQ Marinara Sauce, Kalua pork, Portuguese sausage, Grilled pineapple, Caramelized onions, and Green onions. BEST HAWAIIAN PIZZA I EVER ATE. Can you feel the enthusiasm that I have towards this pizza? But seriously, it was so good.
Heavenly is a natural health food restaurant that uses local and organic ingredients. We ordered their organic veggie and beans loco moco, big island honey french toast, and acai bowl. Loco moco is another Hawaiian dish that consists of a hamburger patty, fried eggs, beans and rice. We chose the Hawaiian fruit french toast, and mixed berries acai bowl. Overall, we had a great experience. There was good food, and it was a very quaint and relaxed environment.
Overall, this trip consisted of such good food and we didn't even get to try all the places we wanted to!