Whether you’re moving or just visiting Hawaii, there are local must-see places during your stay here! Discover some of the trendiest destinations, restaurants, and nightlife spots with this hip guide to Hawaii.
1. Bogart’s Café
Bogart’s Café is a hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint that is frequented by locals, with easy take-to-go meals to enjoy at a nearby beach or park. Be sure to try the breakfast bagel or the Hawaiian waffle. Otherwise, the espresso bar satisfies every coffee addict’s dream by offering every type of espresso drink you could want!
2. 3660 on the Rise
Drawing in customers looking for a fine-dining experience, this place is indeed on the rise! 3660 on the Rise is an award-winning restaurant known for its spectacular medley of the cuisines found on the islands, featuring an eclectic array of dishes from ahi katsu to pan-seared NY steak. You will be not disappointed when you leave 3660 on the Rise!
3. Fusion Waikiki
Fusion Waikiki, the only gay bar in Waikiki, promises a karaoke party every weeknight and hosts live DJs and shows on the weekends. The club is popular with the island’s younger crowd, which flocks to the nightly drink specials and pool tables on a regular basis. If you are so inclined, check out the drag shows held mostly on Fridays and Saturdays.
4. Duke’s Canoe Club
Feel free to come in with sandals because Duke’s is the only bar that comes with sand! With a lively atmosphere and always-good vibes, Duke is the most popular spot on Waikiki Beach for tourists and residents alike! Serving the freshest fish and steaks, it’s perfect whether you’re looking for a relaxing breakfast, leisurely lunch, or romantic dinner.
5. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
With its sunset backdrop over Honolulu Harbor, this famous open-air bar and restaurant at the Aloha Tower Market is known for its flavorful beers and pub-inspired fare. You can enjoy a variety of entertainment from Hawaiian to Reggae to Jazz, while trying out burgers and garlic fries that go great with their brews. The complementary valet parking—another plus—makes it easy to find parking on crowded nights.
6. Ala Moana Shopping Center
This is the largest and most elaborate mall in all of the Hawaiian Islands, making it a go-to place for all versatile shoppers. Amidst beautiful landscaping and koi ponds, this open-air mall is made up of high-end designer stores along with mainstream department stores, plus small boutiques with unique finds. There are stores for all ages and budgets, ranging from Old Navy to Armani Exchange. In addition, the food court boasts cuisines from all over the world, making it one of the best food courts you could ever find in a mall.
7. Alan Wong’s
Inspired by a Pacific fusion theme, Alan Wong’s blends gourmet cooking with fresh and healthy locally grown ingredients to create delicious dishes like the ginger crusted Onaga. With its artwork and wood accents, the restaurant creates a beautiful dining experience and classy ambiance perfect for celebrating special occasions. The customer service exceeds expectations, and the head chef, Alan Wong himself, has been on PBS and has even written a couple of cookbooks!
8. Mai Tai Bar
Located in front of Waikiki Beach, the Mai Tai Bar truly embodies the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands and the local beach crowd gives the bar a chill, upbeat vibe. With a panoramic view of Diamond Head, the bar is the perfect atmosphere for enjoying the Waikiki scene while sipping on a mai tai. The place is popping during happy hour, and for good reason: cheap and large-portion food offerings and live local entertainment!
Roy’s is a local gem for its all-around great service, food, and drinks, making it one of Hawaii’s best regional restaurants. The food consists of Pacific Rim dishes, and the restaurant is known for its Miso Butterfish creation. Make sure to save space for dessert, because the chocolate soufflé is not to be missed.
10. Chef Mavro
Multi-award winning Chef Mavro and his team are dedicated to providing a unique dining experience and wine pairing that works for all of their guests. The restaurant offers a seasonally changing menu, but its culinary creations are grounded in French technique and Hawaiian ingredients. The multi-course dinner and wine pairings will be the highlight of your night. Don’t forget to make a reservation in advance!
11. Bar 35
Bar 35 beckons all beer enthusiasts and connoisseurs through its huge selection of over 150 brews from over 20 different countries. It is a complete bar featuring indoor and patio spaces, daily happy hour specials with $3.75 cocktails and $4 beers, DJs, special events, and live bands. Conveniently located in the downtown Chinatown-Honolulu area, Bar 35 is great place to kick off or wrap up a Friday-night bar hopping adventure.
12. Goofy Café & Dine
Living up to its theme ‘Eat Local,’ Goofy supports local farmers and producers by using all the locally grown, organic ingredients it can find. You can satisfy your breakfast craving all day long at Goofy’s, so consider ordering the eggs Benedict or Loco Moco regardless of the time of day. The café’s wall of surfboards and surf phrases gives it a beach cottage feel.
13. Tucker & Bevvy
Tucker & Bevvy is the perfect food location to prepare your picnic venture at Kapiolani Park or anywhere else on beautiful Waikiki. This homey café hosts a wide array of picnic foods, and even a fresh juice and smoothie bar. Try a combination of mean green juice, smoked ahi wrap, turkey brie panini, and mango macadamia bread and/or chocolate banana bread. At Tucker & Bevvy’s every day is a picnic!
14. Mama’s Fish House
Located on a secluded white sand beach next to a beautiful coconut grove, this beach house restaurant is a must-visit place for seafood lovers in Maui! Serving the freshest seafood on the island, the menu changes daily depending on the type of fish brought in and even tells you who caught the fish that morning. Mama’s has the most beautiful beachfront view—the view of Kuau Cove is truly something out of a postcard!
15. Lewers Lounge
Nestled within the Kalekulani Hotel, Lewers Lounge offers the perfect setting for early evening drinks and after-dinner cocktails. Home to Head Barman Colin Field, recognized by Forbes as the Best Barman in the World, Lewers Lounge offers an extensive range of classic and contemporary cocktails accompanied by live jazz music every night, making this the perfect place to wind down your day.
Whether you’re a local or a traveler, there’s always something fun to do in Hawaii—and not just because of its setting in one of the most magical ecosystems on Earth. Get out and enjoy!
– “Duke’s Barefoot Restaurant, Canoe Club and Bar- beach view” by kalihikahuna is licensed under CC BY 2.0
– “Cheers… A nice iced cold Märzen on this hot day in paradise;-)” by Patrick R. is licensed under CC BY 2.0
– “A Tasting of Classic – #3 Ginger Crusted Onaga, Long-Tail Red Snapper” by Tammy T. is licensed under CC BY 2.0
– “Ahi, Ono and Mahimahi sautéed in Panang Curry and coconut milk” by Ryan D. is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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