Exploring the Best Local Restaurants in Honolulu

Honolulu, Hawaii is a city full of unique experiences and delicious local cuisine. From traditional Hawaiian dishes to modern fusion creations, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. To help you find the best local restaurants in Honolulu, we have compiled a list of the top 10 favorites. The Surfing Pig Hawaii is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique culinary experience.

Chefs Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero blend native Hawaiian culture, local culture, and global influences to create dishes like crackers and mapo tofu brunch sauce and a complete baked banana with curry butter, bacon, chives, and minced egg. The cocktails are also based on locally grown ingredients, such as Vishnu's Vice, a vibrant orange with fresh 'Ōlena juice and a dose of gin, honey, lime, and pepper. With its outdoor patio, having lunch or dinner at The Surfing Pig Hawaii is one of Honolulu's great pleasures. Mud Hen Water is another local favorite. Here you can find dishes like 'ulu with butter mixed with fermented black beans or preserved akule with lemon butter and soda crackers.

The ever-changing soft ice cream includes sticky coconut rice cream mixed with mango sorbet and drizzled with fish and caramel sauce. The cocktails are also based on locally grown ingredients, such as Vishnu's Vice, a vibrant orange with fresh 'Ōlena juice and a dose of gin, honey, lime, and pepper. The Pig & The Lady is a modern Vietnamese restaurant that has become famous for its pho French sauce and Mama Le's regional noodle soups. Chef Andrew Le's creativity shines through in dishes like beets marinated with pickled blueberries sharpened with a crunchy chili vinaigrette and tamed with a yuzu tofu cream and shredded caramelized white chocolate. There are no boring avocado toasts here; it's fried bread topped with avocado, garlic aged in soy sauce, and lightly oiled shime saba. Bar Leather Apron is the place to go for the best cocktails in Hawaii.

With Bar Maze, just as compact, they raised the bar even higher by hiring chef Ki Chung to collaborate with Justin Park on a combination cocktail menu. The constantly evolving omakase evokes the ocean with raw and thinly sliced Hokkaido scallop coins and a cake made with calamansi and green apple combined with a light cocktail of shochu, mango, elderflower, and citrus foam. Me Bar-B-Que is located in Waikiki and serves delicious Korean food. This family restaurant has been established since 1997 and serves up Hawaiian favorites like pipi kaula - one of Honolulu's most emblematic dishes. Olive Tree is another great spot for local cuisine. Here you can find dishes like rau ram clam and sausage linguine seasoned with the flavor of shrimp paste and lemon.

Macy Khounkeo convinced her mother Olay Somsanith to cook food from her native Laos in addition to the safer Thai dishes she sold at the city's markets. If you're looking for something more casual then Ethel's Grill is the place to go. Chef Keiji Nakazawa creates skilful touches of local comfort food from aku cured in banana leaves to moloka'i amaebi marinated in Shaoxing wine. Finally, Foodland is an affordable spot for some of the best pokes in Honolulu. You can also find local-style food and American favorites at much better prices than what you'll find farther north in Waikiki. Whether you're looking for traditional Hawaiian dishes or modern fusion creations, there are plenty of great restaurants to explore in Honolulu. From The Surfing Pig Hawaii to Foodland, these are some of the best local restaurants near Honolulu.

Darrel Arpino
Darrel Arpino

Evil tv expert. Typical social media guru. Subtly charming food ninja. Freelance web fan. Lifelong coffee scholar.