The 10 best Waikiki restaurants near Vacation Rentals by Lei Hawaii Realty
In a Waikiki beach daydream, there are a few thoughts that inevitably come to mind. The warm air of an evening city stroll, calm before nightlife begins to buzz. The grapefruit hues of a Pacific ocean sunset, sea spray brushing by as waves continue to crash and birds fly overhead. Warm golden light atop the white linens of your vacation rental bedroom, as a lazy morning dawns.
This idealist view of Waikiki is certainly a world painted beautifully and is not too far from the truth. Yet, it's hard to imagine a vision of Waikiki as complete without the presence of its diverse culinary landscape. Each of the restaurants and bars stretching across Waikiki makes up a small part of a wide scene of casual happy hours, designed specialty menus, and everything in between. Tucked between skyscrapers, both hidden and proudly displayed.
It would be a lie to claim that there aren't culinary hot spots in any city you find yourself in, but there are some experiences only available in Waikiki (or at least, interpreted through the Waikiki lens), which deserve a spotlight.
Beginning from the eastern end of Waikiki, at the feet of Waikiki Shore vacation rental and only steps away from BeachWalk (yet another location brimming with Waikiki bars and restaurants) is the beloved local franchise, Roys. This location is just one member of a small local chain, serving Hawaiian inspired Asian-Fusion, created by Tokyo native Roy Yamaguchi.
Slightly down the coast, is Waikiki Yokocho, an underground recreation of a cultural staple in Japan, providing an authentic glimpse into Japanese cuisine. Hidden away from the busyness of the city, these fourteen restaurants, which spread across three streets, offer a small yet potent glimpse into Japan, through a Waikiki lens.
Perched above Marine Surf vacation rental, on top of a skyscraper, made entirely of glass, is Top Of Waikiki. A rotating restaurant with award-worthy views of Diamond Head, the Pacific, and of course, the sunset. The regional cuisine here is locally sourced and compliments the unique scenery of this Waikiki restaurant.
Waves crash into Waikiki bar Rumfire's ledge as you lounge amongst vats of fire and tiki-torches. This waterfront evening lounge, serving contemporary cuisine and world-class cocktails, morphs from a live music host at sunset to a favored stop on the local nightlife scene. The atmosphere of Rumfire is unlike anything else available in Waikiki, and should certainly not be missed.
The number one location in Waikiki for an udon and tempura feast is famed Japanese chain Marukame Udon. This location is Marukame's very first US restaurant, which is not surprising considering the demand. The quality of Marukame Udon is spoken for by the never-ending queue wrapping out of the front door and around this Waikiki restaurant building.
Newly remodeled Dukes Lane is the perfect one-stop locale for numerous appetites. Not only is the mood precisely set with fairy-lights strung overhead, but the alleyway nook Dukes Lane is situated in creates an intimate feel. Offering an internationally-inspired rotating menu at Basalt, flatbread and rotisserie from Spitfire, and premium burgers with Onos Burger Bar. Not to mention the indoor market with "Vault" liquor store, and local cafe, plus artisan Bakery built-in next door.
Situated in the very middle of the Waikiki bar and restaurant scene is the International Marketplace, home not only to an exciting shopping experience but additionally to a foodies heaven. At the ground level, you will find an upscale food court named The Street, with 12 small restaurants more aptly titled as hawker-inspired stands. Whereas at level 3, you will find 7 individual renowned restaurants, where you may be served a wide variety of cuisines.
Tucked away in a stand-up paddleboard lined alley, extending directly from Royal Hawaiian beach, is Banan. A local favorite, Banan offers frozen soft-serve desserts made from Hawaii-sourced bananas, not unlike ice-cream or frozen yogurt. With a set menu, each Banan creation has its own unique flavor profile, complete with toppings.
24-hour Waikiki restaurant M.A.C 24-7, is home to a menu of traditional American comfort food. This restaurant boasts two separate happy hours, one from 2 pm-5 pm, with the second happy hour running from 12 am to 3 am for the nightlife crawlers. If you're up for a challenge, they have even coined both a Pancake and Burger Challenge.
Waterfront at the far edge of Waikiki, just a few steps from Colony Surf vacation rental, where a local surf spot meets grassy Kapiolani park, is the Barefoot Beach Cafe. With a view of Waikiki's skyline and nightly live music, this open-air, concession-style eaterie provides an experience unlike any other.
The culinary excellence of Waikiki beach does not stop here, in fact, the food scene only continues to unfold with time, revealing a dynamic hybrid of high-class dining and hole-in-the-wall eateries. Restaurant heaven, if there ever were one, with a wide selection of choices.