Top 10: Best Restaurants in Honolulu


Tanaka of Tokyo

Tanaka of Tokyo Chef does an elaborate fire trick while grilling up food for guests.

By Alexis Bennett, Staff Writer

Oahu offers a variety of flavors and cuisines that make deciding on one restaurant a hard decision. Here are the top 10 best places to eat for special occasions.

10.) The Old Spaghetti Factory: The Old Spaghetti Factory is not only known for the spaghetti but also for the other amazing Italian entrees. The garlic shrimp fettuccini is an Italian favorite with a Hawaiian twist. The shrimp spinach and artichoke dip is warm and cheesy, which is the perfect complement with the toasted bread. Another important thing is the gluten-free menu, including gluten-free pasta and Alfredo sauce. The Old Spaghetti Factory has a rustic feel with authentic Italian accents.

9.) Buho: Buho is a Mexican restaurant inspired by Hawaiian flavors. Located on a rooftop in Waikiki, this modern restaurant is surrounded by open air but also has indoor seating in case of inclement weather. I recommend going in the evening as the sun sets. There are sparkly lights and wooden gazebos to protect from the intense sun. The bar also features authentic Mexican cocktails and the bar lines one side of the restaurant. A little on the spicy side the fish tacos are perfectly accompanied with the fresh guacamole and salsa. Salsa dancing is also performed every night and guests are encouraged to join in and learn a couple moves

8.) Camellia Buffet: This all-you-can-eat Korean buffet will leave you satisfied. Start with the buffet and there will be an arrangement of raw chicken, pork, and beef, along with fresh cut vegetables. Bring everything back to the table and place on the grill that is built into the table. While waiting for everything to cook, snack on several appetizers that are available throughout the meal. Camellia is perfect because everyone gets exactly what they want and have the ability to personalize each dish with different spices, and sauces. The Korean buffet is casual and perfect for right after the beach or on a fun night out.

7.) Alan Wong’s Restaurant: The Hawaiian and Asian fusion restaurant is not only known for the amazing flavors of food but also the presentation. The tasting menu at Alan Wong’s is a great choice for a first visit. Restaurant favorites give guests some choice without being overwhelmed by the entire menu. “The coconut” dessert, a fruity sherbet surrounded by a chocolate shell and filled with fresh fruit resembles an actual coconut. The care that the chefs take in every dessert and entree adds to the special experience.

6.) Shokudo Japanese Restaurant and Bar: Shokudo is known for Honey toast, a unique dessert that includes two thick pieces of toast filled with scoops of ice cream. Honey toast comes in several flavors: Oreo cookies and cream, chocolate, cinnamon, and more. Shokudo is known for its Japanese food and fresh seafood. It is also very affordable, offering meals for two for less than 50 dollars.

5.) Crab Bucket: Calling all seafood lovers to this cute and authentic restaurant. Several combinations, including “all from the sea,” are a combination of crab, lobster, oysters, and clams. Baked red potatoes, onions, and corn bring out the flavors of the fresh seafood. Waiters lay the seafood spread on the table and you are ready to dig into fresh crab, shrimp, lobster, and more.

4.) Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse: Ruth’s Chris is known for its mouthwatering steaks and romantic atmosphere. Marbled ribeye is a common favorite and deliciously juicy. Not only known for its steak, Ruth’s Chris has specialty entrees including fresh market fish that is always in season, and the fresh lobster tail is a personal favorite. When making the reservation, the hostess also asks if the guests are celebrating a special occasion and decorates the table accordingly to ensure a perfect experience.

3.) Buca di Beppo: A family style Italian restaurant with unique artwork and many interesting rooms, this restaurant creates dishes for two or four people and has appetizers, entrees and desserts ready to share. Also if a birthday or other special event is being celebrated, the hostess addresses the event and lets your waiter know exactly what the night is about. While being seated guests are taken on a tour of the restaurant and kitchen to see where the magic happens.

2.) Roy’s Waikiki: Roy’s is an inspired by Hawaiian and Asian fusion. The fresh scallop ceviche has the perfect amount of spice, while the Hawaii Kai crab cakes offer a savory flavor. Another favorite entree is the garlic buttered filet mignon; the flavors are strong while the steak is tender and thick. For chocolate lovers, Roy’s melting hot chocolate soufflé is an incredible blend of raspberries and warm melted chocolate.

1.) Tanaka of Tokyo: This restaurant takes the number one spot for the fun and excitement that is brought to every meal. The seafood steakhouse is well known for preparing food right in front of with vibrant and exotic fire tricks that the chef performs while grilling different foods. The grilled calamari accompanied with the Tanaka sirloin is perfectly grilled at the table by the chefs who chop, grill, and sautée to perfection.