ou can’t go wrong with loco moco when it comes to eating a hearty meal in Oahu. Tourists love trying this Hawaiian original, and I promise you’ll become obsessed with it after the first bite.
Whether you’re a food-lover or just looking to try out new cuisines, a hefty serving of rice topped with a chargrilled beef patty, runny eggs, and a homemade gravy can sate any appetite.
Since my boyfriend and I are die-hard foodies, we’ve tried a lot of loco moco in Hawaii and can claim that Oahu serves the best ones. From high-end restaurants upgrading it with Wagyu beef to small shacks spicing up the original flavors, Oahu’s chefs have perfected the loco moco.
So I’ve listed places with the best loco moco in Oahu based on flavoring, prices, variations in the recipe, and much more.
Let’s get to them already!
Liliha Bakery – Best Vegetarian Loco Moco Oahu
Bakery on the outside, diner on the inside, Liliha Bakery has been serving delicious breakfasts for 65 years and has the best loco moco in Oahu.
Their traditional version of the loco moco (the best one, in my opinion) has a grilled hamburger patty, sunny side eggs, a flavorful gravy, and delicious buttered rolls to tie them together. Even better is their vegetarian take on this dish with a fried rice base, eggs, and heaps of gravy, and you can ask servers to omit the meat.
My boyfriend loves their loco moco and will drive to the bakery whenever we’re in Oahu to have it. Despite their generous portion sizes, don’t leave without getting the bakery’s freshly baked cream puffs and malasadas which are divine!
Some other great things about Liliha Bakery:
- Even though it’s usually crowded, you can get a place after a short wait.
- The servers are friendly and will make changes in certain menu items according to your dietary restrictions.
- Get the loco moco with sauteed onions on top for a great punch of flavor.
Address: 580 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817.
Heavenly Island Lifestyle – Best Gluten-free Loco Moco Oahu
We used to think it was impossible to eat healthy on vacation, but places like Heavenly Island Lifestyle proved us wrong. Since their food is locally sourced and served farm-to-table, you can enjoy the taste without worrying about the calories.
The loco moco here is fantastic and comes with a side of organic vegetables and special ten-grain rice instead of the usual white rice. Plus, it’s gluten-free, alongside many other items on the menu.
Just make sure to get a reservation beforehand and ask for patio seating to enjoy your meal with a view.
Here’s what makes this restaurant even better:
- Their healthy food won the OpenTable Diner’s Choice Award.
- Their delicious acai bowls on the breakfast menu come with organic fruit and Big Island honey.
Address: 342 Seaside Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815.
Want a break from tourist-filled diners? Head to the Rainbow Drive-In outside Waikiki and get the taste of authentic Hawaiian cuisine. Since locals love this restaurant, you know it’s worth trying, especially the loco moco.
Their original version is unbeatable, with juicy, deep-fried hamburger patties, fluffy rice, decadent gravy, and an amazing macaroni salad. But they’ve also innovated the loco moco by serving it with their house chili and a kick of spice.
However, if you’re not in the mood for loco moco, don’t miss their other Hawaiian specialties like Shoyu Chicken, BBQ Plates, and Macadamia Nut Vanilla Sauce Pancakes.
Here’s what makes Rainbow Drive-in’s recipe the best loco moco in Oahu:
- The loco moco comes in a big serving at less than $10!
- It’s far from most mainstream places on the island and has a friendly waitstaff.
Address: 3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815.
The Alley Restaurant
The Alley Restaurant is in a bowling alley at the Aiea Shopping Center, but don’t judge it based on the location since they have some of the best-tasting food in Hawaii.
The flavors at The Alley Restaurant pack a punch, and their special Korean-style Tasty Chicken and Kalbi ribs are not ones to miss. As for the loco moco, it consists of house-special hamburger patties, a scoop of fried and white rice, eggs cooked over easy and fresh gravy.
If mouth-watering aromas coming from this restaurant weren’t enough, they were also featured in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!
So don’t leave Oahu without trying their delicious menu, and make sure to take the Lemon Crunch Cake to-go.
- Other favorite menu options are their massive burgers, Crazy Chicken, and large pumpkin crunch plate.
- It’s a family-owned eatery and has excellent service.
- Their prices are reasonable and sit at $15-20 per person.
Address: 99-115 Aiea Heights Dr # 310, Aiea, HI 96701.
Highway Inn is famous in Oahu for the variety of loco moco on their menu. From three flavors, their Smoked Meat Moco takes the prize, with sweet smoked kiawe meat, a creamy aioli sauce, sautéed veggies, and sunny side up eggs.
You can also get a mini maco bowl that’s great for kids. Try their original loco moco as well which is a feast on its own.
Since the Inn stays crowded most days, you’ll have to wait for space to clear up, but when it does, the food rolls out soon after. We really appreciated their servers, who were friendly and efficient despite the rush.
Here’s what makes Highway Inn’s loco moco one of the best in Oahu:
- Their portion sizes are among the biggest on the island without compromising flavor.
- Their squid luau, pipikaula and lau lau are very flavorful and house favorites.
Address: Highway Inn Kaka’ako, 680 Ala Moana Blvd #105, Honolulu, HI 96813.
Koko Head Cafe – Best Vegan Loco Moco in Honolulu
If you’ve never been to a celebrity chef’s restaurant, then you’re in luck because Koko Head Cafe’s owner is Chef Lee Ann Wong and serves five-star restaurant quality food in the heart of Honolulu.
You’ll have to make reservations a while before coming here, otherwise, wait in line until a table clears up. But the wait seems like nothing when you eat their delicious food.
Their loco moco comes in a skillet with crispy garlic rice crusted on the bottom, a medium-rare beef patty, sunny side eggs, lots of mushroom gravy, and kimchi tempura on top. You’ll be swooning for days after trying this masterpiece!
This loco moco is our favorite spin-off on the original and pairs great with their house dumplings. Besides this, they also have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu options.
Some things to know before you visit Koko Head:
- Being celebrity status means their menu is on the pricey side, so check the prices online before going.
- Their beef patty is locally sourced from the well-known Maui Cattle Company.
- Besides Hawaiian classics, they serve delicious congee, breakfast udon, and other Pan Asian delights.
Address: 1120 12th Ave #100, Honolulu, HI 96816.
Hukilau Cafe – Best Loco Moco in North Shore Oahu
If you’re looking for a fulfilling meal on Oahu’s North Shore, stop by Hukilau Cafe and try their fantastic loco moco. Since this restaurant was featured in ’50 First Dates,’ it’s a tourist favorite, but most of them stay for the food.
In addition, their loco moco is massive, with two hamburger patties over fluffy rice and rich gravy; it can fill even the most massive appetites.
What makes it even better is the two women who run Hukilau Cafe and have a fun chat with customers while serving. We had a great time here and even returned for their great breakfast menu.
Some other things you should know about this great place:
- They look like a hole-in-the-wall establishment but the food is authentic Hawaiian and delicious.
- Parking can get tricky on the crowded street outside.
- The cafe has comfy seating and a homely interior.
Address: 55-662 Wahinepee St, Laie, HI 96762.
Wrapping Up: The Best Loco Moco Oahu
Being the third-largest Hawaiian island and home to tourist hubs like Waikiki and Honolulu, Oahu serves a range of cuisines and flavors in the many eateries lining its streets. However, nothing beats the authentic Hawaiian food on this island if the variety of loco moco available is any indication.
We always recommend Oahu to people looking for a place in Hawaii to visit that has vibrant cities and excellent food. But, especially if you’re searching for the real flavors of Hawaii, stop by the places mentioned above and have a plate of loco moco that feels like a warm hug.
Want to try the traditional loco moco with tons of delicious gravy? Visit the Rainbow Drive-In and Highway Inn.
Looking for healthy versions of this classic dish? Don’t miss Healthy Island Lifestyle.
Need a break from the usual loco moco flavor? Try the Koko Head Cafe and Highway Inn versions.
The loco moco in Oahu is one for the books!
Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Brigitte