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Hawaii restaurants

The native Hawaiian diet once revolved around a few root vegetables, fruit, wild boar, and fish. But several factors moved Hawaiian cuisine far beyond those humble beginnings: Laborers who came from China, Japan, Portugal, Korea, and the Philippines to work the sugar cane plantations brought a panoply of new flavors; the influx of hippies and professional athletes brought a new health consciousness; and luxury hotels and resorts introduced Continental tastes. Today, many restaurants in Hawaii reflect these cultural currents combined with native traditions—a phenomenon that in the early '90s became known as Hawaii regional cuisine, spearheaded by a band of a dozen now-famous chefs, including Beverly Gannon, George Mavrothalassitis, Peter Merriman, and Alan Wong. Its hallmark is a use of fresh, local ingredients to concoct haute or healthy renditions of traditional dishes such as grilled short ribs, poke (marinated raw fish), shredded pork, and lau lau (meat and fish wrapped in leaves and steamed). The original (greasier) versions are typically sold as $7 mixed plates at roadside lunch shacks. Outside Hawaii's upscale restaurants, island food tends to focus on red meat and can be salty (vegetarians and heart patients, take heed). But there is also plenty of fresh fish and fruit: Check out the numerous roadside farmers' markets, and if you see a guy selling coconuts by the side of the road, buy one and have him stick a straw in it for you. The sweet liquid inside is the distilled essence of Hawaii—and more memorable than any mai tai.

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Josselin's Tapas Bar & Grill, Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Chef Jean Marie Josselin isn't as well known as some of the other founders of Hawaii regional cuisine, but his food is still entirely worth seeking out....more

see the Kauai guide
Editors' Pick
Jo-Jo's Anuenue, Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii

There are two shave ice (Hawaiian snow cone) places in Waimea called Jo-Jo's. And, oddly, the bright yellow Jo-Jo's Clubhouse on the main highway isn't the real...more

see the Kauai guide
Editors' Pick
Jawz Tacos, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Jawz started as a roadside taco truck outside Makena State Park. You can still get killer fish tacos there (in fact, there are two trucks now—one inside...more

see the Maui guide
Editors' Pick
Java on the Rock, Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii

Alii Drive is pretty insufferable, especially at night when hordes of spring breakers are on the prowl. That's why it's best to experience Kona's oceanfront...more

see the Big Island guide
Editors' Pick
Ihilani, Lanai, Hawaii

Although the over-the-top decor (handblown Italian crystal chandeliers, Chinese-style antiques, and a glass ceiling) has been toned down, Manele Bay's Ihilani...more

see the Lanai guide
Editors' Pick
Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

As the name implies, the draw here is small plates meant to be shared. Chef Hiroshi Fukui's menu has lots of sample-worthy creations, such as filet mignon...more

see the Oahu guide
Editors' Pick
Hilo Farmer's Market, Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii

This bustling little scene of local vendors is a great place to stop and get cheap, tasty snacks such as tamales, Vietnamese spring rolls, bento boxes, and...more

see the Big Island guide
Editors' Pick
Hilo Bay Café, Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii

This is Hawaii regional cuisine at its most accessible, familiar enough to appeal to locals (the vast majority of diners at Hilo restaurants), and yet inspiring...more

see the Big Island guide
Editors' Pick
Hanapepe Café, Hanapepe, Kauai, Hawaii

This humble hole-in-the-wall in Hanapepe, a little plantation town just west of glitzy Poipu Beach, promotes a purposefully healthy take on food—which is...more

see the Kauai guide
Editors' Pick
Hamura Saimin, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

The first thing you will notice about this hole-in-the-wall lunch shop, honored in 2006 by the James Beard Foundation in the America's Classics category, is...more

see the Kauai guide
Editors' Pick
Results 31-40 of 50  | previous   1 2 3 4 5 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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