The Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i

Congratulations to this year’s Hale ‘Aina Award winners announced on June 7, 2022.
The Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i
Photo: Travis Okimoto


We asked, more than 8,000 votes were cast, and now it’s time to unveil the winners of the 2022 Hale ‘Aina Awards!


Each year, our readers vote for their favorite restaurants in the Islands and the HONOLULU dining team names the Restaurateur of the Year. The top restaurants were announced during a live reception held June 7, 2022, at the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Hoʻokupu Center. Scroll down for photos from the event. See our upcoming September 2022 issue for the stories behind the restaurants and ordering tips from some of our Hale ‘Aina Award honorees. Subscribe now to have our Best Restaurants issue delivered right to your home.


The Hale ‘Aina Awards are the state’s longest running and most prestigious dining honors, started by HONOLULU Magazine in 1984 to honor the best restaurants in Hawai‘i. Whether you’re looking for weekend brunch spots, your new favorite cocktail or the best places to indulge your sweet tooth, we got you. This list of Hale ‘Aina-winning restaurants is your all-year, can’t-miss dining guide.


Congratulations to this year’s winners for operating at the highest levels of quality, and offering Hawai‘i’s most delicious and innovative dishes.


SEE ALSO: Déjà Food: A Look Back at Past Hale ʻAina Awards and Winners


Restaurateurs of the Year

Olay Somsanith and Macy Khounkeo

Olay’s Thai-Lao Cuisine


SEE ALSO: 2021 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: Danny Kaaialii and Jonny Vasquez of Encore Saloon, The Daley and Pizza Mamo Win Restaurateurs of the Year


Best New Restaurant

GOLD – Nature Waikīkī

SILVER – Bar Maze

BRONZE – Queensbreak



SEE ALSO: These Two Bars Deliver Some of Honolulu’s Most Luxurious and Creative Experiences


Best O‘ahu Restaurant

GOLD – Merriman’s Honolulu

SILVER – Mad Bene

BRONZE – Miro Kaimukī

FINALIST – Pai Honolulu


SEE ALSO: 35th Hale ‘Aina Winner: Peter Merriman is Hawai‘i’s Restaurateur of the Year


Best Maui Restaurant

GOLD – Lahaina Grill

SILVER – Merriman’s Kapalua

BRONZE – Mama’s Fish House

FINALIST – Monkeypod Kitchen, Kā‘anapali


SEE ALSO: 2019 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: Lahaina Grill Wins Gold for Maui’s Best Restaurant


Best Hawai‘i Island Restaurant

GOLD – Merriman’s Waimea

SILVER – Kuhio Grille

BRONZE – CanoeHouse

FINALIST – Moon & Turtle


Best Kaua‘i Restaurant

GOLD – The Beach House

SILVER – Hualani’s Restaurant

BRONZE – Tidepools

FINALIST – Bar Acuda


Best Service

GOLD – Lahaina Grill

SILVER – Merriman’s

BRONZE – Pai Honolulu

FINALIST – Miro Kaimukī


SEE ALSO: 35th Hale ‘Aina Awards: Pai Honolulu Wins Best New Restaurant, Service and Tasting Menu


Best Brunch

GOLD – Café Kaila

SILVER – Koko Head Café

BRONZE – Egg Head Café

FINALIST – Over Easy


Best Hotel Brunch

GOLD – Orchids

SILVER – Hōkū’s

BRONZE – Hau Tree

FINALIST — 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar


Best Cocktail Program

GOLD – Bar Leather Apron

SILVER – Nature Waikīkī

BRONZE – Merriman’s

FINALIST – Monkeypod Kitchen


SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Hawai‘i Drinking Guide: What to Drink to Match Your Mood


Best Wine Program

GOLD – Merriman’s

SILVER – Pai Honolulu

BRONZE – Stripsteak Waikīkī

FINALIST – Amuse Wine Bar


Best Brew Pub

GOLD – Waikīkī Brewing Co.

SILVER – Maui Brewing Co.

BRONZE – Hana Koa Brewing Co.

FINALIST – Aloha Beer Co.


SEE ALSO: 2021 Hale ‘Aina Awards: 4 Great Drink Crawls on O‘ahu


Best Bar Food

GOLD – Osoyami Bar & Grill

SILVER – Side Street Inn

BRONZE – Monkeypod Kitchen

FINALIST – Waikīkī Brewing Co.


Best Tasting Menu

GOLD – Miro Kaimukī

SILVER – Pai Honolulu

BRONZE – Merriman’s



SEE ALSO: 2019 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: Senia Wins Gold for Hawai‘i’s Best Tasting Menu and Silver for O‘ahu’s Best Restaurant


Most Romantic

GOLD – Michel’s at the Colony Surf

SILVER – Merriman’s

BRONZE – Mama’s Fish House

FINALIST – 53 By The Sea


Best Restaurant That Caters

GOLD – Chef Chai

SILVER – Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering

BRONZE – The Pig & The Lady

FINALIST – Side Street Inn


Best Vegetarian

GOLD – Tane Vegan Izakaya

SILVER – Moku Roots

BRONZE – Peace Café

FINALIST – Pai Honolulu


SEE ALSO: At Mō‘ili‘ili’s Tane Vegan Izakaya, a Fiery Tale of Suspense


Best Steak

GOLD – Hy’s Steak House

SILVER – Ruth’s Chris Steak House

BRONZE – Stripsteak Waikīkī

FINALIST – The Signature Prime Steak and Seafood


Best Seafood

GOLD – Mama’s Fish House

SILVER – Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill

BRONZE – Nico’s Pier 38

FINALIST – Herringbone Waikīkī


SEE ALSO: 3 We Tried: Who Has the Best Seafood Tower on O‘ahu?


Best Dessert

GOLD – MW Restaurant

SILVER – Roy’s

BRONZE – Pai Honolulu

FINALIST – Liliha Bakery


SEE ALSO: 2020 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka of MW Restaurant Win Hawai‘i’s Restaurateurs of the Year


Best Hot Pot

GOLD – Ichiriki

SILVER – Nabeya Maido

BRONZE – Hot Pot Heaven

FINALIST – Shabuya


SEE ALSO: The Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Hot Pot in Honolulu


Best Dim Sum

GOLD – Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

SILVER – Yung Kee Kee Dim Sum

BRONZE – Tim Ho Wan

FINALIST – Legend Seafood Restaurant


Best Chinese

GOLD – Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

SILVER – Little Village Noodle House

BRONZE – Happy Days

FINALIST – Fook Lam Restaurant


SEE ALSO: How to Eat Xiao Long Bao and Other Tips for Enjoying Soup Dumplings in Honolulu


Best Hawaiian

GOLD – Helena’s Hawaiian Food

SILVER – Highway Inn

BRONZE – Young’s Fish Market

FINALIST – Waiāhole Poi Factory


Best Italian

GOLD – Arancino at The Kāhala

SILVER – Mad Bene

BRONZE – Assaggio

FINALIST – Sale Pepe


Best Izakaya

GOLD – Izakaya Torae Torae

SILVER – Izakaya Naru

BRONZE – Izakaya Nonbei

FINALIST –  Sushi Izakaya Gaku


Best Sushi

GOLD – Yanagi Sushi

SILVER – Sushi Sho

BRONZE – Katsumidori Sushi Tokyo

FINALIST – Mitch’s Sushi


Best Japanese Noodles (Ramen, Udon, Soba)

GOLD – Noods Ramen Bar

SILVER – Goma Tei

BRONZE – I-naba

FINALIST – Star Noodle


Best Overall Japanese

GOLD –Ginza Sushi

SILVER – Gyotaku

BRONZE – Restaurant Suntory



Best Thai

GOLD – Maile’s Thai Bistro

SILVER – Noi Thai Cuisine

BRONZE – Olay’s Thai-Lao Cuisine

FINALIST – Bangkok Chef


Best Mediterranean

GOLD – Istanbul Hawai‘i

SILVER – Olive Tree Café

BRONZE – Shaloha Pita

FINALIST – Yamas Mediterranean Cuisine


Best Indian

GOLD – Café Maharani

SILVER – Himalayan Kitchen

BRONZE – Kamana Kitchen

FINALIST – Spice Up House of Indian Cuisine


Best Korean Barbecue

GOLD – Gen Korean BBQ House

SILVER – Million Restaurant

BRONZE – Yakiniku Korea House

FINALIST – Sikdorak


SEE ALSO: 2020 Hale ‘Aina Award Winner: The Beginner’s Guide to Korean Barbecue


Best Overall Korean

GOLD – O’Kim’s Korean Kitchen

SILVER – Sorabol

BRONZE – Choi’s Garden

FINALIST – Million Restaurant


Best Vietnamese

GOLD – The Pig & The Lady

SILVER – Hale Vietnam

BRONZE – Pho Saigon



Best Mexican

GOLD – Taqueria El Ranchero

SILVER – Serg’s Mexican Kitchen

BRONZE – Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant

FINALIST – Alejandro’s Tacos


Best Filipino

GOLD – Elena’s 

SILVER – Max’s Restaurant

BRONZE – Julie’Z Restaurant

FINALIST – Thelma’s Filipino Restaurant


Best Outdoor Dining

GOLD – Merriman’s

SILVER – Hau Tree

BRONZE – Queensbreak

FINALIST – Plumeria Beach House


SEE ALSO: 2021 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: Hau Tree Restaurant at the Kaimana Beach Hotel Wins Gold for Best Outdoor Dining in Hawai‘i


Best Takeout: Affordable

GOLD – Kūhiō Grille

SILVER – Zippy’s

BRONZE – ‘Ili‘ili Cash & Carry

FINALIST – L & L Hawaiian Barbecue


SEE ALSO: Plant-Based Spam Musubi: Try ‘Um Before You Knock ‘Um


Best Takeout: High End

GOLD – Merriman’s

SILVER – MW Restaurant

BRONZE – Roy’s

FINALIST – Pai Honolulu



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