Best Lunch Restaurants in Honolulu

September 9, 2022
Gift Ideas
jason wolfe
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Honolulu is a very popular destination for travelers looking to enjoy sandy beaches, vast blue oceans, and an overall relaxed atmosphere. Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii and is the most populated of the cities. It sits on Hawaii’s biggest island of Oahu. There you will find Waikiki beach, which is well known for how beautiful and amazing it is. Honolulu is known to be a laid back, tropical metropolis, and you get that vibe from the way the city is set up. There is also no shortage of cool restaurants there. 

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Hula Grill

All natural restaurants with the true spirit of aloha. 

This appetizer is sure to please the whole table. Image courtesy of Open Table

2335 Kalakaua Ave Ste 203 | Waikiki | hulagrillwaikiki.com

Hula Grill serves all natural meat, fresh fish, and Oahu grown produce. This is where you can experience the unique culinary melting pot that is Hawaii while dining in a relaxed and casual setting. The food is served to customers with the true spirit of aloha! You’ll feel beyond welcome and comfortable, which is the best state to be in when enjoying a delicious meal. 

On the lunch menu you’ll find an extensive list of foods you’ll be excited to try. There is a pupu & raw bar where you can get poke tacos, hula grill sashimi, and poke tacos. On the rest of the lunch menu, they have beer battered fish n’ chips, pork bao bun sliders, and teriyaki chicken. They also have plenty of great beers and cocktails, and a good selection of desserts. 

“A nice place above Duke's overlooking Waikiki beach. The server was super nice and helpful, the food came out relatively fast, and everything we ordered was good. They definitely do not skimp on the amount! I would definitely come back next time I am here!”–Yelp Review

Hula Grill isn’t accepting GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check here for all the other GiftYa cards available. 

Highway Inn

Traditional Hawaiian food perfected over generations. 

680 Ala Moana Blvd | Kaka’ako | myhighwayinn.com

Highway Inn is a restaurant that serves traditional Hawaiian food. It has been running since 1947, and the menu has not changed much at all since that time. This restaurant serves the foods that native Hawaiians have been eating for generations. You will grow to love their food the same once you visit and try it for yourself. 

The lunch menu is long and full of unique and delicious foods to try. Some menu favorites are smoked moko pork, kalua pig and cabbage, tofu katsu, and a yakisoba plate. They also have mini versions of those meals for people who may want less food at the moment. You can get fish tacos, burgers, and poke bowls. The dessert is also a must try. Their gelato, bread pudding, or sweet potato shortbread can all make a great ending to a great meal. 

“I came here for girls night in with some of my girlfriends. We all ordered our own plates of food and some appetizers for sharing. I ordered a Lau Lau plate, their squid luau was so creamy and savory, and the poi was so good! All the appetizers we ordered was dusted because we thought it was delicious!”–Yelp Review

Highway Inn isn’t accepting GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check here for all the other GiftYa cards available. 

Tonkatsu Tamafuji

Tonkatsu that’s comparable to what’s sold in Japan. 

449 Kapahulu Ave Ste 203 | Honolulu | tamafuji-us.com

Tonkatsu Tamafuji is a restaurant that has been delighting its customers with delicious tonkatsu for 68 years. It is a dish that requires the skill and mind of a masterful cook to be done well. And at this restaurant, a masterful chef is the one running the kitchen and churning out amazing foods. They even let you in on the secret to their food’s great flavor on their website. 

They use copper pots filled with gallons of high quality canola and corn oil to fry the tonkatsu, aged pork stored in a low temperature for a fixed amount of time that helps it retain moisture, and uses golden, aromatic stock for its soups. They also offer two different sauces that they created themselves. One is the sweet sauce, which is tomato based, and the other one is a Worcestershire based sauce. 

“Tonkatsu Tamafuji is the closest tonkatsu spot I came across in the US that is very much comparable to the tonkatsu in Japan. Can't wait to come back when I'm back in town!”–Yelp Review

Tonkatsu Tamafuji isn’t accepting GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check here for all the other GiftYa cards available. 

Fresh Catch

Freshy caught island style food. 

Making a choice could be tough. Image courtesy of Spoon University

1113 Kapahulu Ave | Waikiki | freshcatch808.com

Fresh Catch is a one-stop poke picnic & tailgating deli. This fun and casual restaurant offers customers meat and seafood that is served “island style.” The chef has worked for years to perfect his local dishes, and you’ll likely appreciate taking a visit to try the results of his work for yourself! 

Fresh Catch makes over 20 varieties of poke fresh daily. They are served with the chef’s local style sauces. Some of the poke options on the menu are shoyu poke, spicy ahi poke, and tako. On the plate lunch menu, you’ll find ahi katsu, fish and chips, and baked furikake salmon. You can also get ahi seared tuna, stuffed crab rolls, and garlic chicken. You can also order large seafood platters that can serve up to 10 people. So bring a crowd with you and go enjoy some fresh seafood at Fresh Catch!

“Fresh Catch is a must visit! My wife and I ordered the Ahi Katsu and we were blown away by how good it was. We will definitely be back for this since this was one of our favorite dishes of our trip to Oahu.”–Yelp Review 

Fresh Catch isn’t accepting GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check here for all the other GiftYa cards available. 

Fete Hawaii

Creative restaurant with an island sensibility.

2 N Hotel St | Chinatown | fetehawaii.com

Fete Hawaii is an American restaurant with a global outlook. It’s one part Hawaii and one part Brooklyn. Their atmosphere offers a laid back feel with an island sensibility. Fete is a celebration and homage to all the foods that the founders themselves enjoy eating. At Fete, they celebrate seasonality and culinary tradition. They are part of the farm-to-table movement, so everything you get from there will be really fresh! 

This restaurant is an urban Hawaiian farmhouse located in a historic Chinatown building. There is an open kitchen, a lush plant wall, and lots of natural light. Fete has a talented chef that has been a cookbook judge for the James Beard Foundation Awards since 2004 running the kitchen. On the menu, you will find steak caesar, Korean fried chicken, and coconut prawns. They also have a bar that mixes classic and modern cocktails!

“We live dangerously close to this beautiful place, and have been here 10+ times this year because of it. The awards given to the chef here are so well deserved. Amazing service, great prices for the quality and atmosphere, and delectable dishes.”–Yelp Review

Fete Hawaii isn’t accepting GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check here for all the other GiftYa cards available. 

Barefoot Beach Cafe

Lunch served on the beach. 

2699 Kalakaua Ave | Waikiki | barefootbeachcafe.com

Barefoot Beach Cafe is a gorgeous beachside restaurant that attracts all kinds of customers and events. Their location is ideal for the types of events they tend to hold there. Some past events they have put on are Thanksgiving on the beach, picnic in the park, and November live music. Enjoying fun performances and activities on the beach with a great meal is an awesome way to spend your lunch time while you’re in Hawaii!

Lunch is served from 11am until closing. What you’ll find on that menu includes sandwiches, gourmet plates, and desserts. You can get a furikake fish sandwich, kalua pork sandwich, and a Hawaiian BBQ chicken sandwich. There is also the option to try the fresh catch of the day, surf and turf, and their world famous garlic shrimp plate. For drinks they have a number of great smoothies and a satisfying selection of desserts. 

“So glad we made the trip here from the North Shore. Lines move pretty fast so take a look at the menu beforehand.I wish we could've eaten her more, but if we ever make it way back to Oahu, this will be on our list for sure.”–Yelp Review

Barefoot Beach Cafe isn’t accepting GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check here for all the other GiftYa cards available. 

Merriman’s

Locally sourced produce and creative option

1108 Auahi St | Honolulu | merrimanshawaii.com/honolulu

Merriman’s chef had a vision for growth and local agriculture in the rich volcanic soils of Hawaii. 

They serve food that is made with local meat and produce, and the results are just amazing. You’ll find so many great options on the lunch menu. If you want an appetizer, you can get parmesan truffle fries, oysters on the half shell, and organic taro hummus. 

They have salads on the menu made with freshly picked produce. Some options are roasted beet & fennel salad, herb grilled chicken & avocado, and Greek salad. Their entrees include rosemary grilled eggplant salad, prime short ribs, and fresh fish tacos. They also have amazing drafts and cocktails, and a really great dessert menu. Try the bread pudding or the homemade ice cream!

“Ok guys, this is where you want to eat!! The ambiance, the food, and the servers were all top notch! And our server, Tim, was a very attentive and courteous young man! Thank you all!”–Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Merriman’s.

P.F. Chang’s

Asian fusion chain with variety. 

2201 Kalakaua Ave | Waikiki | pfchangs.com

If nothing else on this list so far has appealed to you, you can always go to P.F. Chang’s! This Asian fusion restaurant has been an American mainstay since the 90s, and is still a popular go-to. P.F. Chang’s serves a variety of Asian cuisines. They offer Mongolian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese food. It has the best of everything! Pad Thai, Mongolian beef, pork and shrimp dumplings are all on the menu along with much more.

On the lunch menu, you’ll find a few classics. You can get a beef and broccoli bowl, sweet and sour chicken bowl, and kung pao shrimp. There are several other options on the P.F. Chang’s menu you can choose from, though when you order from the lunch menu during lunch hours, you also get a bit of a discount. This chain is an amazing choice when you’re looking to have lunch! 

“Great experience here. But the meal was excellent and the service was fantastic.  Definitely would return if back here in the future.”–Yelp Review

P.F. Chang’s isn’t accepting GiftYa digital gift cards just yet, but check here for all the other GiftYa cards available. 

When you’re in Honolulu, you’ll have access to traditional Hawaiian foods you’re not used to along with the types of foods you can get on the mainland. When lunch time comes, pick one of the best spots in the area and enjoy having an excellent meal!

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