A take on the Greek word and concept of hospitality called xenia, Honolulu’s hottest resto is a collaboration between island chef Chris Kajioka and British chef Anthony Rush, both of Thomas Keller’s Michelin starred Per Se.
75 N. King St., Chinatown
Named for part of a Hawaiian word meaning “to excite, encourage, inspire, rouse and uplift,” Kevin Lee’s ambitious ingredient-driven resto defies categorization. The offerings change constantly, but the chef’s tasting menu is always a win, and standouts have emerged—including the amazing dry-aged beef tartare. Vegetarians and vegans will be glad to note that they can be accommodated with48 hours of advance notice.
55 Merchant St., Ste. 110
La Hiki at Four Seasons Ko Olina
If you’re looking for the best selection of meats—think grass-fed Kunoa Cattle Co. beef, Colorado lamb and A5 Australian wagyu—look no further than popular eatery La Hiki. Helmed by farm-to-table pioneer chef Simeon Hall Jr., the restaurant features two dining experiences: La Hiki Kitchen, a daily gourmet buffet, and La Hiki Steak, boasting prime cuts, island-inspired dishes and craft libations. From a prepared-tableside beef tartare and the renowned Kunoa beef burger—a recipe the chef remains tight-lipped about—to a seared cauliflower steak with heirloom Kahumana Organic Farms carrots for vegan diners, there’s simply no wrong choice.
92-1001 Olani St., Kapolei
Orchids at Halekulani
One of the most elegant breakfast and brunch offerings in the islands—guests are askedto dress up and to refrain from wearing slippers—is at Orchids, the quintessential anniversary-dinner destination. In the mornings, experience Halekulani’s five- diamond hospitality and the chefs’ truly astonishing array of sweet and savory items, from poke and nigiri to French pastries.
2199 Kalia Road, Waikiki
The Pig and The Lady
With a continual bevy of new dishes, Andrew Le may very well be the ruler of the emerging Chinatown cuisine scene. While his take on pho is still a must-try, voracious diners should order the communal Primal Offerings menu, a meat-lovers feast including a 12-hour brisket and porchetta.
83 N. King St., Chinatown
Hy's Steak House
The granddaddy of Waikiki’s high-end steakhouses is a beloved classic. With faves like garlic steak, filet and foie gras, and good ole bananas Foster and cherries jubilee flambeed tableside, Hy’s is a homerun every time.
2440 Kuhio Ave., Waikiki
An evocative twist on a classic American steakhouse, island hot spot STRIPSTEAK Waikiki recently debuted its new pau hana menu. Served daily from 4 to 6pm, the menu includes everything from savory truffle duck fat fries to an assortment of fresh sushi rolls. While the delicious cuisine is standout, this new menu is also boasting with libations and bragging rights.
2330 Kalakaua Ave., Ste. 330
Master sushi chef Keiji Nakazawa helms the first U.S. location of the Japanese mecca for luxury omakase. This haven to all things marine seats just 10 patrons per night, and the level of precision is so high that Nakazawa prepares rice at a range of temperatures in order to perfectly complement each piece of fish.
The Ritz- Carlton Residences, Waikiki
Tropical flavors and contemporary French cuisine come together to great effect at this hot new Waikiki dinner spot, which offers an ever-rotating prix fixe menu and just two dining hours per evening: 5:30pm and 8pm. Embrace the French- ness of these restrictions, or enjoy the pupu menu at the bar for greater flexibility.
413 Seaside Ave., Waikiki
Capri meets O'ahu at Noe at the Four Seasons O'ahu at Ko Olina with a next-level alfresco dining experience. A garden terrace overlooking the ocean and the neighboring Lanikuhonua Cultural Estate provides an idyllic backdrop while you nibble on trufflicious tagliatelle and mascarpone coffee mousse tiramisu, and indulge in the award-winning wine list.
92-1001 Olani St., Kapolei
The story behind this lauded resto is part of its charm: The husband-and-wife chef team have been partners in love and cuisine since first meeting in Alan Wong’s kitchen. The food, however, is the real headline (try the succulent beef and foie gras), but do leave room for dessert, as James Beard pastry chef semifinalist Michelle Karr-Ueoka creates scrumptious sweets.
1538 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Ala Moana/Kapi‘olani,
Vein at Kakaako
Modern Mediterranean-Asian fusion defines the cuisine at Vein, Honolulu's concept resto du jour helmed by executive chef Dell Valdez. A minimalist decor complements the menu, which rotates seasonally and is replete with farm-fresh offerings. Find traditional Mediterranean fare with an Asian and Hawaiian twist, like the popular uni carbonara topped with an egg yolk “confit,” or the "vein" osso bucco with Okinawan spinach.
SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, Building 2, Ste. 121
Goen Dining + Bar
This ultrachic new eatery in the increasingly urbane and chic Kailua town offers Pan-Asian comfort food with none other than local celeb chef Roy Yamaguchi's special culinary touch. Small plates like the Winter Gnocchi with kabocha and kale complement hearty entrees like the divine house pho or soba noodles with flank steak. The open design creates a chill vibe, so relax with a Ko‘olau Sour and prepare for some serious eats.
573 Kailua Road, Kailua
Helmed by executive chef and matriarch Nili Yildirim, this dining hot spot is 100 percent family-owned and -operated, and focuses on food that’s made with whole ingredients. The family’s multicultural heritage blends perfectly into flavorful dishes like specialty Doners made with Ni‘ihau lamb and local grass-fed Makaweli beef dry-aged in-house. There’s also vegan and vegetarian options, mezzes (Turkish small plates) and, of course, desserts like baklava and künefe.
1108 Auahi St., Ste. 152
Still in its first year of operations, Lineage by Sheldon Simeon is already well loved: It just nabbed an Open Table Diner’s Choice award and has expanded its offerings to include a late-night weekday happy hour menu. From 9:30pm to close Monday through Friday, pop in for a cleverly named and conceived cocktail (try the Blue Suede Slippahs) and local- style snacks like boiled peanuts and musubi.
3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea
Cane & Canoe
Known as a destination for romantic and celebratory dinners, this Valley Isle fine dining stalwart also boasts a lesser-known, but no less impressive Sunday brunch. From 7am to noon, enjoy superlative pastries; a bloody mary bar; and a wide range of brunchy dishes, from seafood rice bowls to waffles, with much in between.
1 Bay Drive, Lahaina
Wolfgang Puck’s classic restaurant is practically synonymous with breezy California elegance, and on the Valley Isle, the menu is full of haute pizzas, freshly caught fish and local produce. Private dining experiences are available for parties large and small.
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
3900 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea
The Treehouse at Hotel Wailea
The impossibly romantic setting—an actual treehouse nestled in a canopy of avocado and mango trees at the Hotel Wailea—of this once-in- a-lifetime resto makes it a top choice for proposals and anniversaries. The seven-course private dinner, which is served at sunset with wine pairings, can be customized in consultation with the chef.
555 Kaukahi St., Wailea
The Hideaway at Montage Kapalua Bay
At this low-key yet classic hotspot, chef de cuisine Robert Barrera and executive chef Chris Damskey serve a beautiful and pared-down menu that employs thoughtful technique and bright flavors. Think dishes like a coconut shrimp satay with curried shrimp mouse underneath oven-crisped panko and tuna tartare on a bed of avocado served with grilled crostini—there’s no wrong choice here.
1 Bay Drive, Lahaina
Peter Merriman’s long- awaited O‘ahu location opened in great style at the sleek Anaha high-rise, bringing the Hawai‘i regional cuisine that he is personally credited with helping to create and define to the Honolulu dining scene. Brunch in the breezy sun drenched dining room is glorious, and while the menu features many standouts, it is the humble buttermilk biscuits that steal the show.
1108 Auahi St., Kaka‘ako
Experience the unique flavors of Hawai‘i, artfully prepared with chef George Mavrothalassitis’ native Provençale influences in dishes like the day-boat snapper bourride—a pungent Marseille-style fish stew with local red snapper, aioli, fennel and tomato.
1969 S. King St., McCully/ Mo‘ili‘ili