Updated: December 2017

Best Oahu and Honolulu Restaurants and Dining and Entertainment

Where to eat in Honolulu? Restaurant choices abound in this busy city - the trick is finding the top, truly memorable dining spots to savor. For a great dinner experience, try Orchids, or 3660 on the Rise, or Mariposa. 3660 on the Rise is often voted Hawaii's best restaurant. Located in Kaimuki (3660 Wai'alae Ave), you'll find amazing seafood and Pacific Rim flavors here. Be sure to check out Tiki's Bar and Grill at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, where a great ocean overlook bathes you in cool ocean breezes as you enjoy the south pacific decor. If you are a carnivore, head for Hy's Steak House (2440 Kuhio Ave) - the New York steak and filet mignon are specialties. John Domini's (43 'Ahui St.) is the best fine dining spot around, featuring an indoor koi pond in the dining room where views of Diamond Head await you. This is a very elegant restaurant (and expensive), specializing in seafood.

Alan Wong's features regional Hawaiian fare on the 3rd floor of a non-descript building, but both the service and food is excellent. Finally, for the family, try the Big City Diner (3569 Wai'alae Ave., Kaimuki). Relaxed, noisy, good food and drink - what more can you ask for?

At least once during your stay, you should go to a Polynesian Luau. These outdoor feasts and parties are a lot of fun, with good unlimited food, drinks, music, and dancing (usually with grass skirts!). A lot of the big hotels have them certain nights of the week - check with your concierge for the schedule when you are on the island. Check out The Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki Beach. They have the Royal Luau every Monday night ($81 adults) on a spot overlooking Waikiki beach and Diamond Head. Great food, music, and entertainment. Another popular evening activity is a sunset cruise. Also known as "booze cruises", these are basically floating happy hour bars that cruise you along the coast for an hour or two as you soak in the sunset and some alcohol. The scenery can't be beat, and it makes for a special island experience.

Oahu and Honolulu Nightlife and Entertainment

Honolulu also has more than its fair share of bars, clubs, and nightlife. Some popular hot spots include Duke's Canoe Club Outrigger at the Waikiki Hotel, The Doghouse at the International Marketplace, Harbor Pub (1765 Ala Moana Blvd.), Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Brew Moon (1200 Ala Moana Blvd), and the Chart House (1765 Ala Moana Blvd). For Friday night dancing, check out the Red Lion (University Area). Saturdays, head for the Mai Tai Bar or Duke's. A more upscale trendy scene can be found at the W Hotel. Any night Happy Hour - spend it at the Harbor Pub or Chart House.
If you are looking for live music, visit the Wave, just down from the Hard Rock Cafe (which also has music of course!). For more traditional music, try the Hawaii Theater - this is not for the young party crowd, be warned! For an outdoor scene, check out the outdoor bar at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel - with mild local music, great drinks, and ocean breeze, it can't be beat.

Our Oahu Guide Continues: