Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Hawaii
Hawaii Gourmet Dining
Hawaii is famed for its multicultural food influences, and the best way to experience this exquisite range of flavors is to visit one of the island's finest restaurants.
Of course, there are exquisite Native Hawaiian flavors, which, over the years, combined with the tastes of several waves of immigrants- each bringing their own unique influences. These include the introduction of European and American cuisine in the 1700s, followed by Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Filipino influences in the 1800s, as well as Puerto Rican and Portuguese cooking styles. The long and diverse history of immigration to the Hawaiian Islands has created a unique cuisine that encapsulates the best flavors, ingredients, and preparation techniques of the local people.
The best part? Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or would simply like to enjoy what just may be the best meal in Hawaii, you can enjoy this melding of culinary traditions by indulging at any of these gourmet Hawaiian restaurants.
1. Alan Wong’s (Honolulu, Oahu)
Alan Wong’s restaurant, without a doubt, is one of the best restaurants to frequent during your time in Honolulu. It’s very popular with locals and tourists alike and is dedicated to creating the most wonderful, flavorful Asian-fusion dishes. As everything is delectable, you may wish to select from the chef's tasting menus to experience an array of flavors. Plus, it's a perfect choice for romantic dinners or celebrations.
2. Maru Sushi (Honolulu, Oahu)
Opened in 2017, Maru Sushi is one of the trendiest restaurants Hawaii. This remarkable Oahu dining establishment was borne from the success of the original Michelin-starred establishment in Sapporo, Hokkaido, back in Chef Takeshi Kawasaki's native Japan. The result? Dining here just might mean having a date with Hawaii's best sushi. Not only is it the first Michelin sushi bar in Honolulu, the delicious offerings have also been rumored to move diners to tears. Try one of the omakase sets and find out for yourself.
3. La Mer (Honolulu, Oahu)
This upscale French restaurant in Waikiki has been awarded Five Stars by the Forbes Travel Guide and is the only place in Hawaii to receive such a high rating – as well as being ranked an AAA Five-Diamond Restaurant for a number of consecutive years. The food resembles neo-classical French cooking, inspired by local and tropical delicacies. Each dish is superbly prepared and you’ll find everything from foie gras and caviar to decadent fish and meat dishes to satisfy your palate. Oahu's finest restaurant? Break out your best elegant evening attire and let us know.
4. Kō (Kihei, Maui)
At Kō, diners will be wowed with the creative cross-cultural cuisine on offer. Nowhere else in the islands can you find a more exciting menu of pan Asian and European cookery – incorporating influences from Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino and Portuguese dishes. Chef Tylun Pang gets his inspiration from the sugarcane plantation era when immigrants came to work on the archipelago. Here you can enjoy everything from lumpia to chap chae noodles – family favorites served up with a modern twist. Kō is a must-do indulgence when in Kihei.
5. Kauai Grill (Princeville, Kauai)
This superb grill Princeville restaurant is a great place for both lunch and dinner. Headed up by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and with a designer menu created by Chef de Cuisine Maxime Michaud, you’ll be instantly won over with the food. Some must-try dishes include the juicy bigeye ahi tuna encrusted with rice cracker crumbs and served with a citrus-chili sauce, or seriously comforting glazed short ribs with crispy grits! Tasting menus are also available, including mouthwatering vegetarian options for non-meat eaters.
About the Author
Sam Butterworth is blog editor at Hawaiian Shirts Online.