Iâ€™ve been to Honolulu many times, but recently itâ€™s just been as brief as a stop in the airport awaiting a connecting flight. Kenny hadnâ€™t actually gotten out of the airport so I decided we needed to check it out! We got some wheels and off we went, eating - shopping - exploring - eating - shopping đź™‚
In our short getaway we were able to try many great restaurants and local establishments:
1. Sushi Bay
We knew there would be a line, and boy was there a wait! Despite being starving and heading into Seeâ€™s for some chocolate to hold us over we both agree it was worth it. There were about 15 people before us on the list and we waited what felt like 45 minutes. This is the average. The sushi quality was fresh, and portions very big (I actually had trouble finishing everything) even though I had been starving!
2. Shirokiya Village Walk
I picked up some rolled thick rice noodles with pork and green onion (called Look Fun) with some dipping sauce and Ken got a steak bowl with some rice and salad that was insanely tender and savory. On the way out we got six little Hello Kitty Taiyaki (aka filled waffles) to go since we were pretty full. They didnâ€™t last long thought, we got a custard, chocolate, strawberry, original, and mochi filled taiyaki! We both agreed that the custard was our favorite!
3. Pressed Juicery
A great dairy free option for dessert. I was so excited to see this location because I thought it only existed on the West Coast! You can choose from some wonderful combinations or build your own sundae (also pick up some nice juices as well)!
My oh my! How did I miss this place in all my prior visits to Oahu? I donâ€™t know but we were too excited by the options so we got one of each (the red velvet pancake, guava chiffon pancake, and crab-cake eggs benedict).
5. Waiola Shave Ice
I am so impressed — this is the MOST FINE ice I have ever eaten. I canâ€™t explain or fathom how they did it even though I watched them make it — We got Lychee, Coconut, and Guava flavors which were amazing.
6. Leonardâ€™s Bakery
How could we pass up the opportunity to try some famous malasadas? We also got a few to share (custard filled, original, and cinnamon sugar). Ken says they were the best heâ€™s ever had, and I think they are still second to Homemade Bakeryâ€™s original malasada from Maui.
Filipino fast food! I was super excited to try this as Iâ€™ve watched a lot of famous mukbang-ers try Jollibee in their area. Ken and my friend got burgers while I ordered some fried chicken, spaghetti, and the palabok fiesta. I really enjoyed the fried chicken with gravy and the spaghetti was a super local version that I also loved.
8. Shirokiya Village Walk (drinks this time)
Great prices on beer, a couple bucks per glass which Iâ€™m sure is part of the reason itâ€™s so busy in there! I also tried the Lemon Shochu and Peach Chu-Hi which were both really good —
9. Murakame Udon
This place was also worth the wait. We had tried to go previously to the Waikiki location around dinner time which was absolutely ridiculous (line almost going around the block)! We returned the next day for lunch and were very happy with our udon. Udon is a wonderful thick noodle, I got mine with a shoyu base and pork, while Ken got a sweeter dashi with soft boiled egg and some chicken on the side. I also picked out one shrimp tempura which was perfection with my noodles.
10. Mastumotoâ€™s Shave Ice
Woo! More shave ice — This time we tried to step out of our routine and try some new flavors. We got Coconut, Yuzu and white cake in the largest size. First time flavors for the last two and WHITE CAKE definitely takes the cake!!
11. Uncle Boâ€™s
We got a great recommendation from my friend who is from the area that let us know we had to eat here, and especially not miss the Taro Beignets! It was decadent without being heavy, and probably helped that we shared one order of 6 beignets. There was a nice dipping sauce and one scoop of vanilla ice cream that balanced the dessert so well.
12. Lahaina Chicken Co.
I always love chicken, this one was roasted to perfect and juicy on the inside. I went for classic local sides (white rice and mac salad) which hit the spot. I wonder if someone in Lahaina really did start this or they just needed a catchy name —
Check out my photos on Instagram from the trip @nikkibrittain —
We also visited Pearl Harbor, Ala Moana (of course), Don Quijote, North Shore and more!