O‘ahu has a vibrant culinary scene, inspired by its location at the crossroads of east and west. Home to many celebrity chefs and many more up-and-coming culinary rock stars, there is no shortage of delicious everyday eats and high-end gourmet dining. If you like to pair a view with your meal, however, you won’t want to miss these incredible oceanfront O‘ahu restaurants.
One of the few O‘ahu restaurants located right ON the beach, Duke’s boasts a lively patio with nightly musical acts and a laid-back island atmosphere complete with surfers, tiki torches, and stunning views of Waikīkī Beach and Diamond Head. The menu is contemporary American with a Hawaiian flare, and their salad bar buffet is great as a stand-alone dinner or as an add-on to any meal for those who like to sample a little bit of everything. Enjoy fanciful island cocktails and cold local beers while you gnosh on fresh fish prepared one of four styles (baked, encrusted with macadamia nuts, seven-spice, or spicy ginger sesame). Steaks are hearty and cooked perfectly, the prime rib melts in your mouth, and lighter fare includes delicious burgers, street tacos, and fish sandwiches.
Hau Tree Lāna‘i
Beautifully nestled beneath the boughs of a stately old Hau tree, this beachside restaurant at the Kaimana Beach Hotel has been delighting local diners and visitors for decades. Located at the base of Diamond Head just past the dense sections of Waikīkī, the sunset views here are spectacular. Enjoy them with a perfectly crafted cocktail or a refreshing glass of wine, and prepare to feast on sumptuous seafood delights like fresh ahi sashimi, crab cakes with an Asian slaw, grilled lobster with fresh asparagus and roe, or the Chef’s Ocean Trio. For your entrée you can choose from their bountiful salads heaped with fresh, local produce, or opt for a variety of fresh line-caught fish from across the islands, prepared in numerous and delicious ways.
Haleiwa Beach House
Opposite Ali`i Beach in Haleiwa on O‘ahu’s scenic North Shore, this newly renovated icon boasts a comfortable country-style vibe throughout its brick and glass interior, with sweeping views of the ocean. Enjoy cocktails like their signature takes on the Bloody Mary and classic Mai Tai at the upstairs open-air veranda bar, or join them in the downstairs dining room. The chef and kitchen are dedicated to serving only the freshest, most sustainable seafood and doing so with the attention and care that such delicious ingredients deserve. You’ll be hard pressed to choose between the Chef’s catch of the day, seven-spiced seared ahi, or the seared scallops served with a mango jalapeno glaze and charred pineapple salsa. Delicious steaks, chops, and sandwiches round out an incredible menu that definitely makes Haleiwa Beach House one of the top restaurants in O‘ahu.
Located in the decadent Halekulani Hotel on Waikīkī Beach, this popular Sunday brunch spot offers casual elegance with oceanfront views. The cuisine celebrates rustic Italian flavors but pairs them perfectly with local ingredients like Kahuku shrimp, fresh fish, and more. Signature dishes like the Prime Beef Filet appetizer – thinly sliced premium steak with parmesan, arugula, and a mushroom truffle aioli – and the Lasagnette with handmade pasta, fresh prawns, avocado, and scallops are to die for.
Barefoot Beach Café
This seaside lunch window may not be the fanciest, but for delicious local food at great prices with an unrivalled view of Waikīkī Beach, you can’t go anywhere else. This casual café is next to the Waikīkī Aquarium, at Queen’s Beach and opposite Kapi‘olani Park. Open daily from 7am to 9pm, they offer quick takeaway picnic items, fresh-caught poke bowls (fresh raw tuna marinated in soy sauce), delicious smoothies, and hefty plate lunches brimming with island favorites like Kalbi spare ribs, pulled pork, BBQ chicken, and more.