Question from a reader about food in Honolulu:
Thank you as well for the burger joint recommendations. My husband will be pleased to know he won’t have to eat fish all the time. Do you know any good places for Hawaiian food, other than a luau?
Our vacation hotel has a kitchenette so I can cook some of our meals. Is there a good farmer’s market on the island or where is the best place to get groceries, especially fresh fish?
For traditional Hawaiian food, try these places that serve “plate lunches”:
HELENA’S HAWAIIAN FOOD (Winner of a James Beard award)
1240 North School Street, Honolulu, HI 96817
(Honolulu / Kalihi Area)
Tel. (808) 845-8044
HAILI’S HAWAIIAN FOODS
Ward Farmers Market
1020 Auahi Street,Honolulu, HI 96817
(Honolulu / Ala Moana Area)
Tel. (808) 593-8019
For a modern fusion of Hawaiian with other culinary styles, ALAN WONG’S on S. King St is a must-do. He is a famous chef and cooked last summer for the Congressional picnic luau at the White House. The fish you find on his menu will be the freshest and to die for.
I recommend trying “ono” (a medium-firm white fish) if Wong has it. BTW, “ono” in Hawaiian means really good, so the fish matches its name. If Wong has poi on the menu, you’ll want to try his version, too.
Something relatively new food tours of some great “hole-in-the-wall” places. I’ve never done it, but I’ve heard it’s fun. Something to consider.
For produce shopping, there are farmer’s market at Ward Center and Chinatown (more exotic veggies at cheapest prices; also fun to walk around).
To buy the freshest fish, try:
UNCLE’S FISH MARKET
1135 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, 96817
GARDEN & VALLEY ISLE SEAFOOD MARKET
22 Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu 96817
Tel: (808) 524-4847
You might also want to pick up a copy of Honolulu Magazine (usually on bookstore news stands, or check out their website). They are utterly devoted to food and will have many good recommendations.
No matter what, there is so much good local food around and just about every type of Asian food imaginable that you almost can’t go wrong — unless, of course, you get stuck in some tourist trap. But you’ll be able to spot those. Classic signs are nautically-themed decor, plastic leis, lots of old white people and Mainland chains.