Exploring the Best Local Restaurants in Honolulu

In an increasingly globalized world, it is becoming more and more difficult to find unique experiences. But in Honolulu, there are a few restaurants that stand out from the rest. From Mud Hen Water to The Pig & The Lady, Bar Leather Apron, Bar Maze, Side Street Inn, Helena's, Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar, Olive Tree, La Mer and Ethel's Grill, these eateries offer a unique blend of Hawaiian culture, local culture and global influences.

Mud Hen Water

is a delight for those looking for something different.

Here you can find dishes such as 'ulu with butter mixed with fermented black beans, preserved akule with lemon butter and soda crackers and porchetta filled with lū'au. The cocktails are also based on locally grown ingredients. With its outdoor patio, having lunch or dinner at Mud Hen Water is one of Honolulu's great pleasures.

The Pig & The Lady

is a modern Vietnamese restaurant that has made a name for itself with its pho French sauce and Mama Le's regional noodle soups.

But chef Andrew Le's creativity doesn't stop there. He also offers beets marinated with pickled blueberries and fried bread topped with avocado, garlic aged in soy sauce and lightly oiled shime saba.

Bar Leather Apron

is known for serving the best cocktails in Hawaii. With Bar Maze, 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 a citrus foam reminiscent of sea foam.


has been around since 1946 and was awarded a James Beard America's Classics award in 2000. Here you can find traditional Hawaiian food prepared from recipes that haven't changed since the restaurant opened seven decades ago.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar

is located in the heart of Waikiki and is known for being a farm-to-table restaurant with a beautiful living wall of herbs and tropical plants and an outdoor terrace with sand, a fire pit, live music and a stunning view of Honolulu.

Olive Tree is arguably the most consistent restaurant in Honolulu that isn't a fast food restaurant. Now located in a larger space in Kapahulu, this casual yet elegant restaurant is a popular place for brunch on the weekends.

La Mer

is much more than a restaurant; it's a tasting destination and is known as one of the best birthday restaurants in Honolulu. This elegant spot offers the freshest local seafood with the best Hawaiian products in an intimate setting adorned with candles and impeccable tables.

Ethel's Grill is one of the best places to dine in Honolulu right now among visitors looking to try authentic Hawaiian food. This small restaurant offers traditional Hawaiian dishes prepared from scratch that will make you feel like you're eating like the locals with the locals. Honolulu has something for everyone when it comes to dining out - from traditional Hawaiian cuisine to modern fusion dishes - all served up in unique settings that will make your experience truly unforgettable. Whether you're looking for an intimate dinner or an outdoor patio experience, these restaurants have something special to offer that will make your visit to Honolulu truly memorable.

Darrel Arpino
Darrel Arpino

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