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Oahu Nightlife

Doraku Waikiki
Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Third Floor
2233 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 808 922 3323
www.sushidoraku.com

Waikiki is striving to become the new South Beach, so it's fitting that Kevin Aoki chose it as the location of his outpost of Lincoln Road sushi mainstay Doraku. Aoki, son of Benihana's Rocky Aoki, serves only mediocre food, but this large, comfortable restaurant and bar on the top floor of the refurbished Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center has found its niche as a place to see and be seen. It's often the first stop on the nightlife crawl, so order up a flight of sake (there are 20 options) or a classic cocktail, and see where the night leads. DJs spin on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays starting around 9 pm.

Sundays through Thursdays 11:30 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 am to 3 pm and 5 pm to 2 am.

Haleiwa Joe's
66-011 Kamehameha Highway
Haleiwa , Hawaii
Tel: 808 637 8005
www.haleiwajoes.com

This North Shore standard with great sunset views over the harbor is a hub for local thirtysomething surfers, who come to sit at the bar and order pupus (appetizers), brag about the waves, and flirt with the few women in the room (in prime surfing season, men outnumber women here ten to one). This is sometimes fun for the ladies, sometimes not, but what action there is thins out significantly after 9 p.m. If you're hungry for more than a snack, there's a hearty dinner menu of island favorites like peel-and-eat shrimp and fried whole moi fish.

Hawaii Theatre
1130 Bethel Street
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 528 0506
www.hawaiitheatre.com

This beautiful old theater, a hub of entertainment since 1922, is still the place to go to catch live performances. The nightly shows range from big-name indie bands like Sigur Rós to traditional hula and Hawaiian music; there are also limited runs of Broadway musicals. It's the perfect venue for a romantic date or a cross-generational night out.

La Mariana Sailing Club
50 Sand Island Access Rd.
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 848 2800

Luckily, no ambitious impresario has ruined this authentic tiki bar and restaurant, untouched since it opened in 1957 (balloon-fish lanterns have become so rare). It's set in an industrial area that will make you think you're hopelessly lost, but once you arrive you'll find it worth the search. The inside is cluttered with dusty memorabilia, and the location on the water means bug spray is a must, but settle in and order a delicious snack of ahi poke (a local dish of marinated raw fish) to have with your $3 drafts.

Nightlife at the Sheraton Waikiki
Waikiki Sheraton
2255 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 808 922 4422
www.sheraton-waikiki.com

You've got two pretty great nightlife options at the Sheraton Waikiki: The Hanohano Room, on the 30th floor and surrounded by glass walls, is a restaurant and classic Waikiki nightspot with breathtaking views. It hasn't changed much since the '70s; the nightly live entertainment (which starts between 7:30 and 9) features the same smooth jazz, Hawaiian classics, and boozy lounge standards your parents probably danced to. If your style is more barefoot than dress-up, hit the beachfront restaurant and lounge, Rum Fire, for tapas-style plates of Mexican-Hawaiian cuisine and yummy rum-based cocktails under the stars. Weekend DJs and dancing keep the guests on the lower floors of the hotel up late.—Cathay Che

RumFire
Waikiki Sheraton
2255 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 808 922 4422
www.rumfirewaikiki.com

Although the legendary Hanohano Room on the 30th floor of the Waikiki Sheraton has closed, this open-air restaurant and chill-out lounge on the beach has more than taken up the slack, even pinching the crowds away from the long-standing beach bar favorite in Waikiki, Duke's at the Outrigger Waikiki. Expect to dine on tapas-style plates of Mexican–Hawaiian cuisine while perched on daybeds and sip yummy rum-based cocktails under the stars. The best part? It's open daily until midnight, with live music, weekend DJs, and dancing on the sand.—Cathay Che

Sunset on the Beach
Honolulu , Hawaii
www.sunsetonthebeach.net

Visitors often wonder about the 30-foot screen on Waikiki Beach at the spot known as Queen's Surf, across Kalakaua Avenue from the Honolulu Zoo parking lot (believe us, you'll see it). The answer: Since 2001, the city has sponsored free movies here every Saturday and Sunday at sunset, in an attempt to bring locals back to Waikiki. Food vendors set up stalls adjacent to the area, though people often come with their own picnic baskets. You'll see folks staking out spots with blankets and chairs starting in the late afternoon, but it's also possible to wander up and find a place on the sand even after the film has started. The intensity of the crowd depends on the popularity of the movie; family films draw the noisiest masses. See the website for a schedule.

Thirtyninehotel
39 N. Hotel Street
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 808 599 2552
www.thirtyninehotel.com

There's Chinatown by day—a loud, bustling, pungent open market—and then Chinatown by night, populated by young hipsters who seem more Tokyo or New York than Honolulu. The center of the scene is this club/arts center co-founded by world-famous DJ Harvey, where fashionistas dance in the gallery and mingle outside on the open-air deck. Entry fees vary, but are usually under $20; the cheapest nights are Tuesdays, when a live jazz quartet plays. Up-and-coming young designer Zana Tsutakawe also hosts monthly sample sales here for her clothing line, Akane (www.akaneclothing.com).

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.