Locals' List: Best Places to Eat on Oahu

Hawaii’s tropical weather, soft sand beaches and clear blue waters inspire some to call this isolated destination in the Pacific Ocean "paradise." The melting pot of ethnicities and cultures makes Hawaii unique and visitors will be able to find a wide variety of delicious restaurants around the island. Here is a list of places on Oahu that many locals can agree are delicious and/or iconic, as well as suggestions on what to try. Be ready to let your tummy run wild as you taste what Oahu is all about.

Jermel-Lynn Quillopo

1. Liliha Bakery

For the longest time Liliha Bakery’s chantilly cake, a chocolate cake with a rich buttercream frosting, was the bakery’s best seller. Although it still may be a popular cake, the coco puffs are what put Liliha on the map. The shop's coco puff has a light crust, filled with a light chocolate cream on the inside and is topped with a dollop of chantilly frosting. The bakery still has seating at a retro 1950’s diner counter, and if you ever plan to sit down to eat you have to try a butter roll with your meal. The butter rolls are toasted on the grill until one side is golden brown. When served, it comes with a bright pinkish nuclear-looking jelly. Once you spread that on top of that roll it will become your next delicious guilty pleasure.

What’s cool: If you end up liking their signature jelly or coco puffs, they can package. You can bring the delicious them for you so that you can take them home. The waffles are also great here, very soft and airy texture.
Liliha Bakery

515 N. Kuakini St, Honolulu, HI 96817

Jermel-Lynn Quillopo

2. Romy's Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp

If you've never visited Oahu’s North Shore before, a local will agree that it is mandatory for first-timers to get their hands dirty peeling and eating garlic shrimp. Romy's Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp is a family-run business and has been raising and serving savory seafood for years. The butter and garlic sautéed shrimp is their signature dish; it comes with a generous amount of succulent garlic shrimp, soft rice and a secret shoyu sauce for dipping. There are also other seafood choices to choose from like the sweet and spicy plate, which adds a little kick to your shrimp, juicy steamed prawns and even fried sunfish.

What’s cool: Romy’s Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp serves fresh prawns and shrimps daily. When Hawaiians say fresh, they mean they raise prawns and shrimp on the premises. Diners will be able to see some of the farming pools next to the dining area.
Romy's Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp

56781 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, Hawaii 96731

Jermel-Lynn Quillopo

3. Helena's Hawaiian Food

In the heart of Kalihi lies one of Hawaii’s oldest Hawaiian food eateries, Helena’s Hawaiian Food. Serving traditional Hawaiian food using the family secret recipes of founder Helen Chock, this restaurant introduces visitors to how Hawaiian food should taste. If you want to try a little bit of everything Helena's has to offer, order “Menu D.” It comes with the traditional tasty kalua pig, semi-salty lomi salmon, appetizing pipikaula (dried beef) short ribs and luau squid. Save room for the haupia (coconut) desert. If you want to try melt-in-your-mouth goodness, order the Fried Butterfish Collar as a side dish.

What’s cool: If you look behind the counter, you will see the fresh pipikaula, Hawaii's version of beef jerk, hanging over the stove.
Helena's Hawaiian Food

1240 N School St, Honolulu, HI 96817

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