By Olivia Cuccaro
The island of Oahu is where surfing was born and continues to reign. From Honolulu to the North Shore, the ocean is an integral part of this Hawaiian island’s culture – and cuisine. Fresh, local seafood defines dining in this region, with incredible restaurants on the beach and in the area’s top hotels. Click through to see our picks for the best restaurants in Oahu.
At luxury Waikiki hotel Halekulani, La Mer personifies Hawaiian elegance in both its dishes and decor. The restaurant features French-inspired cuisine utilizing local ingredients for a twist of tropical flavor. From the Tasting Menu, guests will enjoy duck foie gras, lobster gnocchi and beef filet.
Inside the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach, Sushi Sho brings a taste of Tokyo to Oahu. Renowned sushi master Keiji Nakazawa employs techniques of the ancient Edo sushi masters, taking advantage of the area’s fresh fish to pair with rice and seasonings. The intimate restaurant seats only 10, offering guests an exclusive omakase-style experience with courses hand-selected by the chef.
The beachfront views at The Royal Hawaiian’s restaurant, Azure, are hard to beat. Housed within the landmark Luxury Collection pink property, Azure serves the finest locally-caught seafood, fresh from the daily Honolulu fish auction. A Tasting Menu features five courses that are inherently Hawaiian in their flavor and preparation. Look out at the waves on Waikiki Beach while delighting in a wine pairing from the sommelier.
With locations in both Waikiki and Hawaii Kai, Roy’s highlights local Hawaiian cuisine from Chef Roy Yamaguchi. Roy’s Hawaii Kai opened more than 25 years ago and continues to uphold a neighborhood restaurant approach to fine dining, complemented by views of Maunalua Bay. The menu changes daily according to what’s fresh, but often includes blackened ahi tuna and Bristol Bay Hokkaido sea scallops.
Despite the lack of ocean views that other Hawaiian restaurants flaunt, Alan Wong’s Honolulu flagship has held a place as one of the area’s best restaurants since 1995. Known for the bold flavors coming out of its experimental kitchen, Alan Wong’s serves Asian-fusion cuisine in its office building location. Try the Chef’s Tasting Menu for dishes like Hawaiian kampachi sashimi and Maui nui venison.
For Hawaiian cuisine with a French influence, look no further than Chef George Mavrothalassitis’ Honolulu restaurant. Hailing from Provence, Chef Mavro’s signature dishes includes lobster, wagyu beef and island free range chicken. Enjoy a nine-course wine pairing with the Chef’s Grand Tasting Menu and savor bigeye ahi as well as Hawaii island goat cheese.