Millions of people make their way to the Paradise of the Pacific, Hawaii, every year to enjoy the gorgeous weather, sugar-white beaches, stunning landscapes, and turquoise waves.
But in addition to snorkeling, deep sea fishing, and surfing, it’s amazing how many tourists say something like: “The thing about Hawaii is that you end up eating your way across the islands.”
That’s because Hawaii sports some of the best lunch spots in the world. In fact, the choice of restaurants here is an embarrassment of riches.
To help decide where to eat if for anyone planning to visit The Islands, here are seven great places to stop for lunch:
1. Poké Bar
Located at 226 Lewers St. in Honolulu, Poké Bar is a place to eat healthy while enjoying a wide variety of savory fare. Diners create their own meals from a wide selection of authentic local foods and mainstream selections. Food critics say Poke Bar makes it easy to customize a meal based on one’s preferred dietary needs and tastes with “endless toppings,” proteins, mix-ins and lots of other stuff.
2. Timmy T’s Sandwich Shop
This world-famous sandwich shop is located on Valkenburgh St in Honolulu. Timmy T’s is one of the best local sandwich shops. They’re known for their “classic grinder” which is an array of great-tasting sandwiches. You can customize anything you want making it a great spot for even the pickiest eaters.
3. Kono’s Northshore
This eatery has four locations across Hawaii. Its flagship is at 66-250 Kamehameha Highway in Haleiwa. It’s open seven days a week. A specialty at Kono’s are dishes prepared with pork, such as the Kalua Pork plate and lemonade combo. Kono’s is well known for its “Bombers” a wrapped burrito-like dish but with a Hawaiian interpretation. Kono’s Northshore also has simple sandwiches and just about everything else to round out a full menu.
4. Sweet E’s Café
A great place to eat breakfast in Hawaii is Sweet E’s Café. It’s comfortable because it’s casual but has a bit of a chic vibe. It’s located at 1006 Kapahulu Ave, in Honolulu. It’s open every day except Christmas, Thanksgiving, the 4th of July, and New Year’s Day. In 2019, Sweet E’s scored the prestigious ‘Ilima Award for Best Breakfast shop on the Islands. It’s family-owned and customers feel like family when they dine here.
5. Fresh Catch
Visiting Hawaii means gaining access to some of the best seafood eateries in the world. One such place is Fresh Catch located at 1113 Kapahulu Ave in Honolulu. Excellent shrimp, Mahi Mahi, yellowfin tuna, marlin, and more. Fresh Catch has its own line of proprietary sauces that make for unique flavor experiences when dining on seafood.
6. Marukami Udon Waikiki
Hawaii is a terrific place to find authentic Japanese food, and Marukami Udon Waikiki is a must-stop for lunch. Examples of savory dishes are Nikutama, homemade noodles served with sweet and savory beef, a hot spring egg, and BK sauce. Another favorite is Kitsune. This is Kake Udon (a sort of fried noodle) topped with sweet fried tofu. Murakami is located at 2310 Kuhio Ave in Honolulu.
7. South Shore Grill
What could be better than fish tacos for lunch? It’s hard to imagine. And one of the best possible places to get scrumptious fish tacos in Hawaii is South Shore Grill at 3114 Monsarrat Ave. in Honolulu. They also serve plate lunches, burritos, and burgers. South Shore Grill is just a short drive (just minutes) from Waikiki on Monsarrat, so it’s ideal for a fast lunch as you’re out sightseeing.
Some Final Hawaii Lunch Tips
Visiting Hawaii doesn’t mean that you’re limited to local traditional foods, such as poi, kalua pig, lomi salmon, and haupia. Food critics say that Hawaii has enjoyed a “food revolution” in recent years.
Because of the international influences brought to Hawaii by visitors from around the world, a selection of cuisines of an astonishing variety is available. Simple sandwich shops, delis, and food stand also thrive because they cater to the “on-the-move” nature of tourists traveling around the islands.
In Hawaii, however, a fast sandwich tends to be a lot better than “fast food.” On the Islands, you’ll find fast, flavorful and different.