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America’s 50th state is made up of 6 major islands and has at least 8 restaurants you shouldn’t miss
#8 Bogart’s Café, Oahu
#7 The Beach House Restaurant, Kauai
At Beach House Restaurant, the fish comes directly from island fishermen, the beef and coffee comes from neighboring ranches, and local fruits and vegetables are incorporated whenever possible. The result? Dishes like shrimp and scallop linguine in roasted garlic, sundried tomato, and white wine butter; crab-crusted catch of the day with sautéed kale and mandarin orange chile glaze; and furikake-dusted ahi with wasabi mashed potatoes and tropical salsa. However, despite the deliciousness of the cuisine, the biggest attraction is still the remarkable view. Guests can watch the sun dip into the Pacific waves while they dine – an experience that landed The Beach House the No. 6 spot on our list of the world’s 50 best restaurants for a sunset view. The Beach House is also routinely voted as the best restaurant in Kauai by the readers of Honolulu Magazine and received an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator Magazine for the last seven years.
#6 Da Poke Shack, Big Island
#5 Mama’s Fish House, Maui
Family-owned since 1973, Mama’s Fish House serves seafood so delicious that it was voted the No. 2 best restaurant in America in 2013 by OpenTable diners, and also the best seafood restaurant in Hawaii and second-best restaurant in all of Maui in 2016 by Honolulu Magazine. The beachfront eatery also serves seafood so fresh and local that not only does it promise every catch was reeled in less than 24 hours before hitting the plate, but the menu also lists exactly where the fish was caught and the name of the freshman who caught it. Current offerings include mahi mahi stuffed with lobster and crab; a’uku with caramelized Maui onion, Hawaiian chile pepper, and avocado; and ono (aka wahoo) seared in Panang curry and coconut milk with Mama’s mango chutney. For those seeking some turf with their surf, the prime tenderloin is paired with Tristan Island lobster, which hails from the most remote inhabited island in the world.
#4 Lahaina Grill, Maui
The only reason Mama’s Fish House didn’t grab the top spot in Honolulu Magazine’s list of the best restaurants in Maui was because Lahaina Grill has claimed that distinction for the last 23 years in a row. (23 years!)
Click here to check out more information about Lahaina Grill and its wildly successful history thus far.
This contemporary bistro originally opened in 1990 as a small, 55-seat restaurant, but has since more than doubled in size to accommodate all the visitors clamoring for Lahaina’s homemade veal, pork, and Angus beef meatballs; seared mahi mahi with local spinach; and sesame seed-crusted ahi with vanilla bean jasmine rice. For a more special experience, opt to dine at the chef’s table, where parties of six to 10 can enjoy a semi-private dining experience.
#3 Chef Mavro, Oahu
What’s the secret to the success at Chef Mavro, the only independently owned Hawaii restaurant to earn AAA Five Diamond status in 2016 (which it has held for nine years in a row)? If you ask the restaurant’s mastermind, James Beard Award-winning chef George Mavrothalassitis, it’s the fact that he starts every day with a clean slate and builds his menu from scratch, giving 100 percent to the new challenges of the day.
Click here for more about Chef Mavro and his famous eponymous eatery.
Chef Mavro offers numerous seasonal dining options that mix local ingredients with Mavrothalassitis’s own French heritage — like baby squid sautéed with parsley, shallots, and garlic; long-tail red snapper in fisherman’s bouillabaisse; and herb-crusted rack of lamb — as well as a six-course chef’s menu with optional wine pairings. Interestingly, the dining staff members (under the direction of the sommelier and dining room manager) actually vote on the wine pairings themselves, a testament to the expert staff on hand at the restaurant.
#2 Roy’s Waikiki, Oahu
Tokyo-born Roy Yamaguchi, whose first restaurant jobs involved cooking French food in Los Angeles, didn't invent fusion cuisine, but he took it far and wide. There are now roughly 25 Roy's Restaurants in eight states that are grafting multicultural Hawaiian influences onto the European-style training and Asian ingredients Yamaguchi has been working with for years. There are five Roy's locations in Hawaii, all with slightly different menus, but most fans prefer the Waikiki iteration. The big attraction here is the fresh local fish, which is served as sushi, sashimi, and in such dishes as macadamia-crusted opah, Hawaiian style misoyaki butterfish, and Hawaiian kampachi with cauliflower purée and roasted kale. Roy’s appeared on our 101 Best Restaurants in America list in 2014 at No. 90, but has since been edged out.
#1 Alan Wong’s, Oahu
Considered a godfather of modern Hawaiian cuisine, Alan Wong creates traditional cultural dishes with a contemporary twist using the finest, island-grown ingredients at his eponymous restaurant, a Honolulu staple since 1995. While maintaining close relationships with Hawaii’s farmers and agricultural society, Wong has won a James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northwest and was named Master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine by Bon Appétit, among numerous other awards. These accolades are immediately apparent upon tucking into dishes such as the steamed shellfish bowl with lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, and snapper in a bouillabaisse-style broth; ginger-crusted long tail red snapper with miso sesame vinaigrette; or macadamia nut-coconut lamb chops. Although the restaurant was squeezed off our 101 Best Restaurants in America list after 2013, it still found its way onto our list of America’s 25 best Asian restaurants the following year.