If you’ve never been to Tanaka of Tokyo, you need to book a reservation right away. This Teppanyaki Steakhouse has been voted Honolulu’s best for consecutive years by Honolulu Star-Advertiser, serving up sizzling steak and seafood with style in three different Waikiki
locations. Teppanyaki style is sure to entertain, with fresh ingredients cooked right at your table, but Head Chef Mikey Kidnay explains, “it’s not just the food or the ambiance, it’s the experience and interaction between the guests and the chef. Chefs here train for years and each has his own special tricks and techniques, while serving some of the most exceptional rib-eye, lobster and scallops available.” We couldn’t resist asking Chef Mikey to share
his signature move, which included skillful, ambidextrous, sleight-of-hand dexterity that’s impossible to describe. Every entrée is served with finesse, flames and flavor, with a side of salad, grilled shrimp, Teppanyaki vegetables, steamed rice, miso soup, pickled vegetables, green tea and dessert. It’s a dining experience that creates memories for a lifetime.
At the Princess Kaiulani, right in the heart of Waikiki, is where you’ll find Pikake Terrace, a relaxed poolside, indoor-outdoor dining buffet. Enjoy Hawaii influenced entertainment while savoring tastes from around the world. Executive Chef Ralf Bauer and his team offer a menu that takes international fare and adds a local twist, creating a dining experience that is nothing short of a multicultural masterpiece. “The creation of every dish starts with an idea,” Chef Ralf explains. “I ask the chefs to use their creativity and to pull from their cultural backgrounds, from Vietnam, Japan, Germany, all over; and it shows in our cuisine, which changes themes daily.” According to Chef Ralf, letting his team add a personal touch in preparing eclectic delicacies is what makes the Pikake Terrace stand out from the rest. “They come for the prime rib and crab legs buffet, and forever remember
the tastes of the world.”
Uncle Bo’s, a worthwhile few-minutes drive from Waikiki, is one of Oahu’s favorite spots for local eats. Heck, we’ll just say it: Uncle Bo’s is legendary among residents. Chef-owner “Uncle” Bo Pathammavong features Laos and Thai influenced cuisine with generous portions and a fusion of tastes from around the world. From the size of the plates to its family-run practice, everything about this local gem says “fine group dining”—even placing as a finalist in the Hale ‘Aina Awards for Best Restaurant for Large Groups. And why wouldn’t they? With extravagantly mouth-watering and shareable plates like the Ali‘i Feast, which includes garlic rib-eye steak, prime rib slices, shrimp scampi, kalua pig and ahi poke, Uncle Bo’s is an instant favorite across the board. Even the standard fare, like the omakase (Japanese for “I’ll leave it to you”) Chef’s Choice, is the perfect shareable dish to satisfy even the pickiest of family and friends.
Tropics Bar & Grill brings together all a vacationer desires: great food, top service and ocean views. If that wasn’t enough to set Tropics Bar & Grill apart, Chef de Cuisine Frederick Pittman explains, “it’s the love we put into each component of every dish; visitors get a taste of that love, that ‘aloha’ as the islanders call it, and that’s what keeps them coming back.” From signature dishes like the Pineapple Upside Down to the Hula Girl Omelet, Tropics boasts fresh, flavorful dishes suited for everyone, even healthy options for those “watching their hula girl figure,” he adds with a chuckle. Tropics has earned a loyal fanbase of visitors and locals—the proof is in the pancakes.
Keo’s Thai Cuisine is internationally known for its exquisitely authentic Thai fare, and while quality Thai fare is plenty to look forward to throughout the day, Keoni by Keo’s, a staple in Waikiki since 1977, also cooks up delicious and affordable breakfasts daily. This restaurant serves tried-and-true classics like eggs Benedict, waffles and bacon, and delicious island-style favorites such as the fluffy macadamia nut pancakes. Breakfast is time best spent with family, and chefs Khamwa Sourisak and Donovan Pongasi insist they are just two equal members of the large ohana that makes Keoni by Keo’s so special. Every dish here is made with love, from the All-American breakfast specials in the morning to the outstanding Thai cuisine through dinner; from the Keoni by Keo’s family, to yours.
While the 20 large HD and 4k-definition TVs with endless sports vie for attention, Chef Royce insists Giovanni Pastrami is “food first.” The menu offers a wide variety of quality, comfort dishes such as New York style deli sandwiches, half-pound burgers, pastas and pizza—even breakfast, served all day. If eggs Benedict is your thing, there are nine savory varieties to tempt your palate. On the sweeter side, the French toast is a homemade bread pudding in a cornflake crust, topped with fresh berries and a coconut rum sauce. Giovanni Pastrami even ventures beyond the standard “bacon and eggs,” offering premium, thickcut gourmet bacon with three local eggs with your choice of side and bread.
Hau Tree Lanai is where you go to have it all, with incredibly flavorful breakfast choices, seated beneath Waikiki’s historic hau trees, with a dream-like ocean view across Kaimana Beach. With the soft breeze ruffling the leaves overhead and traces of sand underfoot, it’s a wonder how Chef Rene Caba creates such dynamic flavors to match, but he continues to do so even after more than 20 years.
Chef Rene and his team have earned Hau Tree Lanai the Hale ‘Aina Award, three consecutive OpenTable awards and Honolulu Weekly Reader’s Choice Award for Best Beachside Dining.
While other Waikiki restaurants are closed between meals, MAC 24/7 is producing top quality, show-stopping dishes all hours of the day (and night). Just add that to the list of feats accomplished by Food Network award-winning Executive Chef James Aptakin and his crew.
Specializing in American comfort food prepared in a local style with a creative twist, MAC 24/7 ambitiously and successfully creates stunningly flavorful profiles for every meal. With consistently high marks across the board, we asked Chef James what we can look forward to in the seasons to come. “My pupus are still going to be keeping-it-real, upscale, farm-totable, comfort-first, but our breakfasts are going a little more gutsy. We’re known for our breakfast—the quality, ingredients, technique—now we’re going to venture toward a more edgy, nontraditional breakfast menu.” What does he have in mind? He may have mentioned a handful of “cross-breed pancakes,” but you’ll have to visit to discover which creative dishes made the cut. Stop by any time, literally.
Nestled beneath swaying palms, Il Lupino is the gem of the oasis that is The Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Coconut Grove. With frequent live performances on the outskirts of Il Lupino’s patio, the sophisticated ambiance is a natural complement to the diversity of flavors offered here. This season, Il Lupino welcomes aboard its new Executive Chef, Raymond Cruz, a veteran of the restaurant industry of over 15 years.
Chef Raymond looks forward to adding a personal touch to Il Lupino’s tradition of great, authentic Italian food, “committed to using the freshest local and seasonal ingredients” in every dish, from Il Lupino’s internationally renowned buttermilk pancakes to its homemade tagliatelle pastas, giving each dish a superior taste and texture.
Locals were surprised last year when the old Mexican dive at the Shoreline Hotel was replaced by an island lifestyle-themed restaurant, and were immediately dazzled by its down-to-earth décor, farm-to-table ingredients, indoor/outdoor seating and, of course, the healthy-yet-flavorful breakfast dishes served all day. It was love at first bite. With combinations of quinoa, salad, fresh-squeezed juice and açai or pittaya (dragonfruit) bowls, Chef Keigo Yoshimoto creates dishes that are healthy, organic, and guaranteed to leave you feeling better than you arrived, like taking the heavy, Hawaii classic Loco Moco and turning into a healthy, feel-good favorite.