Honolulu, the capital of the American State of Hawaii, is the largest city of the archipelago and the most visited travel destination in the US. Besides being a major hub for international business and military defense of the USA, this city also hosts a variety of Pacific cultures, traditions, and cuisine. For example, in tourist areas, Japanese is used along with English, and many signboards and inscriptions are duplicated in hieroglyphs. Due to Japanese influence, here, in Honolulu, you’ll have a chance to try authentic sushi and sashimi made with the freshest Hawaiian fish. Book a seat in advance for the unforgettable experience of Omakase — a course of meals, selected and cooked by the chefs right in front of you!
Sashimi is raw seafood, typically salmon or tuna, that is sliced into small bits. It is one of the most popular Japanese dishes.
This sushi bar has only 10 seats at the counter and the chefs are cooking right in front of the guests. The course of meals is served three times a day and the dishes are selected by the chef, depending on his view and seasonal ingredients. Such a format of a restaurant, called Omakase (Chef's Choice), is different from what most people are used to, and was brought to Hawaii by the owner and executive chef, Ray Howard. He was raised in Okinawa, Japan and has been cutting traditional sushi all over Hawaii restaurants for over 20 years.
Nowadays, the restaurant serves sushi, sashimi, and Japanese cuisine using fish from Japan, delivered to the islands directly from auction. Due to a high demand and only 10 seats, it is necessary to book a seat in advance and pay a deposit around $100. It is not recommended to come late, as the course is started for everyone at the same time with or without all customers present. This unique restaurant serves to bring Chef Ray’s sushi creations to life, incorporating special ingredients and techniques to make each bite burst with flavor. His dishes have homemade flavors created from scratch and are ready to eat as they are. Definitely a must-visit place on your trip to Hawaii!
Average price: $175-225 per person
Bagels are chewy and crusty whole-grain or rye bread products shaped into the form of a ring. They are traditionally topped with seeds.
Da HI Brew is a coffee shop, conveniently located at the Ala Wai Boat Harbour, within walking distance from the most popular hotels in Waikiki. It offers hand-crafted artisan espresso coffee, teas and various snacks, such as hot panini, bagels, sandwiches and seasonal fruits. Da HI Brew was opened 6 years ago — its owner used to work as a barista in mom-and-pop coffee shops, but always wanted to start his own café. Now his dream has come true: Da HI Brew is constantly full of people, waiting for their breakfast or afternoon lunch with a cup of freshly brewed Hawaiian grown coffee. With his amazing team, who call each other a family, they have so much fun working while being professional. Apart from classic ways of making coffee, they also specialize in cold brew, which is so good that they continue to hear they need to bottle it.
Da HI Brew staff also recommends trying their signature Turmeric Latte, which will make you happy and “wowed”. Put this place on your to-do list while chilling in Hawaii, and you won’t change their coffee to anything else!
Average price: $15 per person
Inspired by the Greek name “Xenia”, which means treating friends and strangers with the same regard, the restaurant Senia is a true embodiment of hospitality.
The restaurant specializes in regional American dishes weaving Hawaiian bounty of ingredients. Delicious scallops, oysters and other seafood, Maui Venison tartare, Butternut Squash risotto or Chestnut agnolotti are professionally created with a balance of form and flavor. You can also order larger dishes such as triple-smoked salmon or braised beef cheeks for a company of 2-4 people. If you are looking for something special, try their tasting menu, with only 8 seats available at the chef’s counter. You’ll be placed inside the vibrant kitchen environment and will be able to interact directly with the culinary team and the chef himself.
Average price: $50 per person
At this sushi restaurant, you won’t find either a menu or soy sauce on a table — get ready for an unforgettable food adventure unlike any other!
Sushi Sasabune serves the guests in the authentic Omakase style, featuring a 13 to 14 course meal per person, allowing their guests to stop at any time and pay only for what has been eaten. Each course is already dressed and seasoned accordingly, but remains unique for every customer. The restaurant specializes in nigiri made with hot sushi rice and fresh cold fish, caught in Hawaii. Don’t forget to choose some sake for your meal — there are more than 20 premium sorts of it on the menu. The owner of the restaurant, Seiji Kumagawa, says that the best kinds of dining experiences are those that are left up to the chefs, so when you sit down to eat, wondering what the day's special is, just trust them.
Average price: $160-180 per person
Maguro Brothers Hawaii is a well-known spot in Hawaii, very much loved by the locals and tourists for its freshest sashimi and poke on rice. It’s run and owned by two brothers, who started their first restaurant in 2014 in Chinatown and expanded to Waikiki 2 years later.
These two restaurants serve one of the best raw sashimi made with local salmon or tuna, alongside scallops and oysters of the highest quality, sliced on the hottest plain or sushi rice. They also have grilled fish options and different kinds of miso in case you don’t want to deal with fish bones. Every day the brothers close their first location in Chinatown at 3 pm and head to Waikiki where they open at 5.30 pm and serve till 9.30 pm. That’s why there’s no difference in the quality of the served sashimi, and you can plan your meal easily depending on which part of town you are in.
Average price: from $11 per person
After exploring sushi and coffee bars in Honolulu, go hiking to Diamond Head Mountain — the most iconic landmark of the Hawaiian Islands. This volcanic mountain with a broad crater is at least 300 000 years old, and stargazing from the top will become your life-changing experience.