New category time! Welcome to Top 10 Thursday! Each Thursday, I’ll introduce my top 10 favorite whatevers- websites, restaurants, trends, etc. Basically, whatever I’m in the mood for. I decided to include this new category for a couple of reasons. One, I love reading top 10 lists. They’re a fast, fun and efficient way to get a general overview of the best of the best. And two, as they are fast and fun to read, I figured they’d also be fast and fun to write. We’ll see.
Without further ado, my first Top 10- Honolulu Eats. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Honolulu, Hawaii for a few days. My family’s home away from home, we’ve been escaping there for as long as I can remember. My Hawaiian schedule tends to go something like this: eat, surf, eat, surf, eat, sleep. Repeat. So, I thought I’d share 10 of my favorite places for the “eat” portions of my day. Aloha!
1. Alan Wong’s– An obvious #1, Alan Wong’s is the restaurant against which all other restaurants are measured. Everything is as beautiful as it is delicious. I am partial to the tasting menu as you can try a bunch of their specialties. I also love to order and share a bunch of appetizers. Basically, everything is so wonderful, you want to indulge in as many dishes as your bikini/speedo body will allow.
2. MW Restaurant– The love child of Alan Wong’s former head chef and pastry chef is as would be expected- adventurous, indulgent and absolutely scrumptious. Consider it a more homestyle, slightly more wallet-friendly version of Alan Wong’s.
3. Imana’s Tei Restaurant– If it were up to my mother, we would eat here every night. Imana’s may have the best sushi I have ever tasted. It’s freshness is unparalleled. And everybody knows it. Make sure you get here early or you’ll be stuck in line.
4. Leonard’s Bakery– Leonard’s has a place on this list for one reason- malasadas. Made while you wait, these Portuguese doughnuts are incredible. Make sure you eat them right away. They’re not so great once they’ve cooled down. The only problem here is trying to limit yourself to just one. I just imagine myself looking like a malasada. That usually does the trick.
5. Marukame Udon– Originally a chain from Japan, they make the best homemade udon in town. Super cheap, super fresh, super yummy.
6. Yummy’s Korean BBQ– I don’t really do red meat, but I make an exception for Yummy’s. Try the combo beef/chicken plate. Awesome to takeout and eat on the beach.
7. Ala Moana Poi Bowl– Full disclosure- I’m not a huge fan of Hawaiian food. I try it every trip, but I can’t get into it. But, my parents can. And they swear by this place. I’m always happy to accompany them because it happens to be at Honolulu’s best shopping mall, Ala Moana. Everybody wins.
8. Pineapple & Coconut Hut– They closed our favorite Dole Whip dispensary at the now defunct International Market. In it’s glory days, my sister was known to consume jumbo cups of Dole Whip a minimum of three times a day. Now we are forced to make the drive to Ala Moana. But again, they have the shopping, so you don’t hear me complaining.
9. Royal Hawaiian– We haven’t stayed here in a few years, but I have fond memories of their over-the-top brunches. Don’t miss out on the waffle bar, complete with coconut syrup. Beyond.
10. Waiola Shave Ice– No Hawaiian food list would be complete without shave ice. And nowhere is better than Waiola. They’re homemade syrups and snowlike shave ice are the best in Honolulu.
Images via explorationhawaii.com, alanwongs.com, mwrestaurant.com, flavorboulevard.com, pennappetit.com, everywhereonce.com, sunnyyq.files.wordpress.com, blogilates.com, dukeswaikiki.com + iluvice.com