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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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Haliimaile General Store, Makawao, Maui, Hawaii

This is the showplace of Hawaiian regional cuisine chef Beverly Gannon—an old general store located up-country in Makawao, converted into a picturesque...more

see the Maui guide
Editors' Pick
Duke's Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

You might scoff at the idea of a surfing-themed restaurant, but Duke's (named after Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku) is actually one of the best bets in...more

see the Oahu guide
Editors' Pick
Dining Room, Lanai City, Lanai, Hawaii

The Dining Room at the Lodge at Koele is imbued with the ambience of a holiday dinner party almost every night: Flames blaze in giant stone fireplaces, and a...more

see the Lanai guide
Editors' Pick
Daniel Thiebaut, Waimea, Big Island, Hawaii

Formerly a general store and feeding stop for local ranch families, this unlikely venue is one of Waimea's top tables (the other is Merriman's). Just as chef...more

see the Big Island guide
Editors' Pick
D.K. Steakhouse, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Dry-aged steaks cooked to perfection, plus a view overlooking Waikiki Beach, have made this place a major hit since it opened in the fall of 2004. D.K. Kodama...more

see the Oahu guide
Editors' Pick
Chef Mavro, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

One of Oahu's top restaurants is the domain of chef George Mavrothalassitis (who thankfully used his nickname). Set in a residential neighborhood of Honolulu,...more

see the Oahu guide
Editors' Pick
Blue Ginger Café, Lanai City, Lanai, Hawaii

Homemade pastries, fresh mahimahi sandwiches, grilled pork chops, and ensemada (a fresh twirled bread brushed with butter and dipped in sugar) keep this little...more

see the Lanai guide
Editors' Pick
Big Island Candies, Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii

Everything is just right in this happy place—the production area is clean and pristine, the goods are beautifully packaged, and most important, the...more

see the Big Island guide
Editors' Pick
Alan Wong's, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

This James Beard Award–winning chef (who you might have seen on the season finale of the 2006 Top Chef) doesn't rest on his laurels. His dining room may...more

see the Oahu guide
Editors' Pick
22° North, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

The old Gaylord's restaurant at the Kilohana Plantation is no more, but the beautiful patio-style space with an open-air courtyard has been reborn as 22°...more

see the Kauai guide
Editors' Pick
Results 41-50 of 50  | previous   1 2 3 4 5
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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