It is surprising how many new restaurants and bars have opened on Oahu over the last year! The food scene has dramatically changed in Honolulu and across the island due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a quick list of changes to bring Hawaii visitors up to speed.

  • Waikiki Food Hall launched within the Royal Hawaiian Center. Find Meataly Boys, Five Star Shrimp, Honolulu Burger Co., Surfer’s Cafe & Tap Bar and many more on the 3rd Floor of Building C.
  • Hawaii’s first Olive Garden Italian Restaurant replaced Bubba Gump on the Hookipa Terrace at Ala Moana Center. A second Olive Garden is slated to open at Ka Makana Alii mall in West Oahu.
  • 1938 Indochine is a fantastic new eatery in Kakaako. The beautiful interior is inspired by the 1930-40s and they serve Asian cuisine. It has a huge bar with awesome private outdoor dining tables.
  • Tony Roma’s Waikiki merged with Fire Grill Waikiki to become TR Fire Grill Waikiki. Located on Kuhio Avenue, this restaurant is the place to eat the famous Tony Roma’s Original Baby Back Ribs.
  • Waikiki Brewing Co. reopened with an expanded space on the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue. It has indoor and outdoor bar areas with beers on tap and bites like giant pretzels.
  • Duke’s Waikiki has opened a new side window to the restaurant that provides direct access to and from Waikiki Beach. It provides beachgoers with an easy way to order and pick-up to-go meals.
  • Lahaina Shave Ice has launched on Beach Walk in Waikiki. This is a convenient spot to try Hawaii’s classic and original shave ice flavors including Milk Tea, Matcha Green Tea and Ube Milk Tea.
  • Allegrini Mozzarella is an Italian eatery with authentic food cooked by “a real Italian.” They’ve popped up on Monsarrat Avenue in Diamond Head. Super good pizza, pasta, burrata and tiramisu!
  • Rigo, a Spanish-Italian restaurant in Kapahulu (5-mins drive from Waikiki), was named Hawaii’s Best New Restaurant in the Hale Aina Awards. It’s great for date night with tapas and wood-fired pizzas.
  • Holey Grail Donuts has parked a yellow food truck on Waikiki’s Seaside Avenue. Try these vegan donuts made with taro (a root vegetable) and fried in organic coconut oil. They’re made to order, nice and hot.
  • Pizza Mamo opened in Honolulu’s Chinatown, bringing Detroit style pan pizza and Brooklyn style New York/Napolitano pizza to Oahu. It’s easily become one of the best pizza joints on the island.
  • Ka Makana Alii, a shopping and dining destination in Kapolei (60-mins drive from Waikiki), has a new Pacific Rim fusion restaurant called Sugarcane by Chai’s. It’s great for live entertainment and sports.
  • Chart House Waikiki re-opened with new partners. It’s one of Hawaii’s longest-running steak and seafood restaurants, with over 50 years of character inside this marina-fronting establishment.
  • MW Restaurant (Hawaii Regional Cuisine) formerly on Kapiolani Boulevard reopened in Velocity Honolulu, an automobile showroom. It’s sister cafe Artizen by MW sits on the ground floor.
  • La Vela Wine Garden launched in the White Sand Villa Hotel, relax and unwind over a glass of vino in this open-air wine bar concept. You’ll also find a La Vela Wine Bar hiding out by the swimming pool.
  • Poke Waikiki opened in the Paina Lanai Food Court at the Royal Hawaiian Center. They serve poke bowls and poke burritos, with choices of ahi, salmon and mochiko chicken, along with a range of toppings.
  • The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club has opened a new “Surfjack Shop” coffee spot replacing the old Olive & Oliver. We can confirm the coffee and cup art remains on point at this location.
  • Lokahi Brewing Co. opened a brewery and taproom in Honolulu. Four of the beers are Lokahi creations including a hazy IPA, a hefeweizen, a honey macadamia nut brown ale and a lager.
  • Miro Kaimuki (10-mins drive from Waikiki) was named as one of the best new restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. It offers modern French-inspired cuisine with a Japanese sensibility.
  • Hey Day Cafe has opened in the renovated White Sands Hotel in Waikiki. The Hey Day menu is farm-to-table and the centerpiece is a large, circular poolside bar with hanging swing-chairs.
  • Hawaii Chef Chai Chaowasaree launched a new restaurant at the Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach Hotel, Kalo Hawaiian Food. It’s the only dedicated Hawaiian food eatery in Waikiki.
  • J. Dolan’s, an Irish pub in Honolulu’s Chinatown, has expanded to a second location at Kuono Marketplace in Kahala. This pub is famous for it’s handcrafted New York-style pizza.
  • A la carte dining concept Café 410 has replaced the buffet-style Plantation Cafe at Ala Moana Hotel. They serve a mix of breakfast staples including a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and eggs benedict.
  • Fat Cheeks Hawaii moved to a new spot at Ward Village (15-mins drive from Waikiki). They’re known for gourmet lobster rolls, cajun crawfish, shrimp or crab rolls, clam chowder and shrimp bisque.
  • The Social Honolulu has opened in a new location at South Shore Market in Ward Village (15-mins drive from Waikiki). Enjoy game time specials while cheering on your favorite American sports teams here.
  • Poai by Pono Potions has opened in Honolulu’s Chinatown. This cafe serves coffee, tea, lemonade and cocktails made with Pono’s flavored syrups, created using Hawaii-grown ingredients.
  • STRIPSTEAK Waikiki on the Grand Lanai at International Market Place has reopened. It’s a modern American steakhouse with Asian influences by Chef Michael Mina. Highlights include hot stone A5 wagyu.
  • Tropics Bar & Grill, a casual beachfront eatery at Hilton Hawaiian Village, has reopened with a refreshed breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. The large patio area affords al fresco dining.
  • Kapolei’s Moani Island Bistro & Bar has opened a second location, Moani Waikiki, on the Grand Lanai at International Market Place. It serves comfort food crafted from local recipes and live music.
  • Hilton Hawaiian Village’s premier restaurant, Bali Oceanfront (formerly Bali Steak & Seafood), has reopened with an elevated prix fixe style of dining for breakfast and dinner.
  • Castro’s Cuban Food on Saratoga Road is a new Waikiki family-owned and run Cuban restaurant. Try their innovative breakfast and lunch menu with bright latin flavors, Cuban classics and a full espresso bar.
  • Podmore has opened in the historic Joseph W. Podmore building in Downtown Honolulu (20-mins drive from Waikiki). It’s a new concept “brunch by day and cocktails by night”.
  • Bar Māze, a new concept by the team behind Bar Leather Apron, has opened in Kakaaako (15-mins drive from Waikiki). The vision for Bar Māze is to specifically pair dishes with curated cocktails.
  • Raising Cane’s has opened a new fast-food outlet in the Paina Lanai Food Court at the Royal Hawaiian Center. Meals include crispy made-to-order chicken fingers, Texas toast, coleslaw and crinkle-cut fries.
  • Skybox Taphouse has opened on the Grand Lanai at the International Market Place. It’s a large sports bar and restaurant with over 40 state-of-the-art TV’s overlooking Kalakaua Avenue.
  • Following a stylish renovation, PF Chang’s Honolulu has reopened for lunch and dinner at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. It is an Asian cuisine restaurant chain with a focus on wok cooking.
  • Aloha Melt Waikiki on Royal Hawaiian Avenue specializes in made-to-order grilled cheese sandwiches (that can be paired with tomato basil soup). Try the classic 4 Cheese Melt. Open nights only.
  • Musubi Cafe Iyasume is the place to try Hawaii’s SPAM Musubi. They just added a store at Waikiki Beach Walk. Other Waikiki locations include Waikiki Monarch and Waikiki Seaside Avenue.
  • For a little bit of Texas in Hawaii head to Sunset Texas Barbecue, now in Kakaako (15-mins drive from Waikiki). Try smoked meats including beef brisket prepared in 1,000-gallon custom-built smokers.
  • Plantoem is Honolulu’s one and only plant cafe. It’s a tropical oasis in Kaimuki (10-mins drive from Waikiki). The cafe is adorned in rotating art by Hawaii artists, it’s a great spot for remote working.
  • It kills me to say that Bills Hawaii (Australian restaurant) is gone for good! The new restaurant that has taken its place is called Upstairs Hawaii, it’s a Japanese restaurant and sake bar concept.
  • Halekulani’s House Without A Key has finally reopened after a renovation. It’s stunning! Enjoy sunset cocktails and live entertainment daily from 5:30-8:30pm. Reservations recommended.
  • Waikiki Leia is a gorgeous privately-owned property under Diamond Head that’s used as a wedding venue, however, they’re now open to the public Thu-Sun as a restaurant. Enjoy the view!
  • Royal Hawaiian Dining Plaza is a new food court on Waikolu Way in Waikiki. It’s a congregation local eateries including Aloha Bowl (Asian flavors), Ramen Ezogiku and Leo’s Taverna (Mediterranean).
  • Island Brew Coffee House has opened its third location in Anaha Shops at Ward Village (others in Hawaii Kai and at Ala Moana Center). The menu offers a range of local coffee drinks and snacks.
  • Who remembers the eatery atop Ilikai? It used to be Sarento’s but that’s long gone, now there’s a new seafood and pasta restaurant, Pesca Waikiki Beach. It’s the place to go to for fresh fish and seafood.
  • Wicked Maine Lobster is dishing out authentic Maine lobster rolls in the Paina Lanai Food Court at the Royal Hawaiian Center. This is the first shop in Hawaii for this seafood shack.
  • Hawaii’s iconic Liliha Bakery opened their fourth location on the Grand Lanai at the International Market Place. It’s a Waikiki must-eat restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There’s an onsite bakery too.
  • Herringbone Waikiki has reopened on the Grand Lanai at the International Market Place and is dishing up California coastal cuisine. Hit them up for dinner, daily Oyster Hour (4-6pm) or weekend brunch.
  • Kani Ka Pila Grille, a poolside restaurant at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, has reopened with more outdoor seating, a larger stage and new menu. This is a premier venue for live Hawaiian music.
  • Nature Waikiki has opened in the old Paris Waikiki space on Seaside Avenue. This restaurant centers around sustainable island French cuisine. They support farmers that purvey local products.
  • Find Sato Seafood, a brand new poke-focused shop on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki. Choose from a variety of freshly made poke bowls with marinated fish, rice, salad and plenty of toppings.
  • Donut King Hawaii has open it’s third shop on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki. This is not a chain, it’s a locally owned business and their donuts are very popular. They’re known for their maple bacon donuts.
  • Hawaiian Cane Juice is now open at the Royal Hawaiian Center, find them in a kiosk at the entrance by The Royal Grove. Calamansi (lime), lilikoi (passionfruit) and pineapple are a few seasonal flavors.
  • Foodland Farms Ala Moana Center has a new cocktail bar, ELEVEN. This is the second bar set within the supermarket, it features handcrafted cocktails, small plates and desserts.
  • There’s a cute Aloha Pineapple Cafe open on Diamond Head’s Monsarrat Avenue (15-mins walk from east Waikiki). It’s perfect for a pre- or post- crater hike coffee, smoothie bowl or egg salad toast.
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