Aloha, fellow food lovers!
Let me take you on a journey through Honolulu’s culinary scene, where not only will your taste buds be dancing with delight, but your eyes will feast upon some of the most breathtaking views this paradise has to offer. My boyfriend and I are total foodies who visit these sun-kissed shores each year, and trust me when I say I know the ins and outs of this city’s dining experiences like nobody’s business.
I get it – we all crave that picture-perfect meal that leaves us reminiscing long after our plates have been cleared. That’s why I’ve put my taste buds (and camera) to work to curate this list of must-try restaurants showcasing stellar dishes alongside stunning Hawaiian vistas. You’ll find everything from mouthwatering steaks to sumptuous seafood, catering to casual diners and high-end enthusiasts alike.
Now let me tell you something – I’ve spent countless hours researching and sampling these eateries for their unique views, ambiance, service levels, and most importantly, the deliciousness factor. It wasn’t an easy task (I’m kidding; it was heavenly), but someone had to do it!
Warning: A word of caution though – once you’ve dined in one of these establishments with such incredible panoramas, there might not be any going back! Your standards may rise higher than those spectacular palms lining Waikiki Beach!
So grab your appetite and join me as we embark on our scrumptious adventure throughout Honolulu’s finest restaurants paired with unforgettable sights!
53 By The Sea – Premium food with a glass-walled dining room & terrace
Address: 53 Ahui St, Honolulu, HI 96813
This is my favorite restaurant because it has a breathtaking view of the ocean, which is beautiful at all times of the day. The ambiance is comfortable and welcoming, the service is intimate and friendly and the sunset is stunning. It’s a true Hawaiian experience.
This is also a top date night location because you can dress up and enjoy some privacy while overlooking the ocean. They have amazing views both from the inside glass-covered seating and outside. Large Granit stairs take you up to the restaurant, similar to a Hollywood movie experience.
The food is an imaginative combination of seafood and meat. My favorite is the local fish with scallops, prawns, vegetable stir fry, and aji Amarillo sauce. The meat is fresh and perfectly cooked with just the right amount of seasoning. Also, the lobster bisque is creamy and flavorful. Dessert lovers have to try the honey lavender cake which is delicate, sweet, and exotic tasting.
Additional details that make a real impact are the free valet parking and friendly staff. If your reservation is on a Friday night, expect to see the Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Fireworks from the terrace. (Stunning!)
This is my favorite Honolulu restaurant with a view because:
- Both inside and outside seating is spacious and comfortable and has a gorgeous ocean view. I love the glass walls looking out onto the ocean.
- It’s a perfect opportunity to dress up or enjoy a semi-casual meal.
- The food is high quality with a smart menu that includes something for everyone.
- Service is top-notch and very knowledgeable about their menu.
- They have valet parking.
DECK Restaurant – An Open air restaurant with American food and a panoramic view of Diamond Head
Address: 150 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
This is a staple restaurant in the area and my go-to for some familiar food and drinks. It’s one of the rear restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner. So no matter when you arrive you can have a great dining experience.
Unlike the other restaurants on the list, DECK has a powerful panoramic view of the iconic Diamond Head and its jungle floor. And it’s located on the 3rd-floor rooftop pool deck of the Queen Kapiʻolani Hotel next to the pool. Overall it’s a luxurious space with well-spaced out tables, elegant beach decor and a jungle feel between lush trees and plants. It also has views of Waikiki beach.
They have a full bar and offer late-night drinks. But the best experience is their dinner, which is served from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Make sure to make reservations. My favorites on the menu are the BBQ Lilikoi pork ribs and island spice-rubbed chicken. But there are also great fish and seafood options.
They have an amazing wine list and knowledgeable servers that can help you pair your food with the best bottle of wine.
This is my close second pick because:
- It has a different view than the classic beachside venue. The Diamond Head is powerful and the lush trees give your meal a jungle feel.
- They offer all three meals of the day including happy hour (for breakfast try the Japanese pancakes with fruit!)
- Service is professional and well-versed in their food and wine. (there is a full bar serving drinks till 10:00 pm)
- The food is modern, well portioned, and perfectly seasoned and there is something for everyone.
Beachhouse at the Moana – Upscale surf ‘n’ turf restaurant at Moana Surfrider
Address: 2365 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
The Beachhouse restaurant at the Moana Surfrider has exactly the relaxed and elegant atmosphere of a beach house. The restaurant is filled with natural light, it’s airy, and breezy, and has a huge and spacious outside terrace.
No matter where you are seated, you will enjoy the beachside view and open ocean. Large trees create a canopy above some tables. Your meal is additionally made great with romantic lighting, white tablecloths, and candles. Often, they even have soft live music playing.
The food is impeccable for anyone’s taste. They serve dinner Wednesday through Sunday, from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm. They also offer private dining options for groups, so make sure to ask when making a reservation. The menu is simple but carefully planned with great options.
They offer 3-course and 4-course tasting menus. I always choose the crab cakes with butternut squash curry and the braised short rib with risotto and soy glaze. For dessert, you will fall in love with the blueberry mousse, with ube coconut glaze and lavender cake. It’s my favorite dessert on the island because the flavors are so exotic but delicate and light also.
For a gorgeous view and an impeccable meal choose the Beachhouse because:
- The seating is spacious, comfortable, and great for a date or casual dinner.
- No matter where you sit, the view of the ocean and beach is wonderful and intertwined with large canopy trees.
- The meals are carefully planned and diverse with items everyone will love.
- Service is efficient and attentive and you won’t feel rushed. They also make great suggestions on wine.
Michel’s at the Colony Surf – The Best fine dining with beach and city views
Address: 2895 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
The large covered terrace of this restaurant has the most exotic view of a fine powder sand beach and crystal clear water intertwined with some tall palm trees. Here, you are literally eating on the beach. The tables are large and spacious. There is enough privacy and space to feel relaxed and enjoy your conversation.
Service is knowledgeable and they check in with you without being pushy. They have an amazing selection of wine, chosen and revised by Master Sommeliers. So no matter what you pick you will get top quality. The tasting menu also offers a wine paring option and a premium wine pairing option. If you are not a wine buff, they also have hand-crafted original cocktails and a large beer selection.
For dinner, they serve a seasonal six-course pre-fixe dinner. They are most famous for their 48-hour lobster bisque which is creamy, velvety, and several classes above any in town. My favorites also include the Steamed Onaga with noodles and greens, lamb chops, and Oysters with sherry vinaigrette. The Vinaigrette is unique and a great experience.
The atmosphere is wonderful and everyone will feel at home. You can dress up or come casual (no need for a tie, but you also won’t be out of place if you wear one). Girls, whip out that date night dress. Valet parking is available, and there is some street parking too.
Michel’s at the Colony Surf guarantees a beautiful view and meal because:
- They have a large covered terrace right on the sandy beach with incredible views of the ocean and sunset.
- They serve a seasonal pre-fixe dinner with incredible surf n turf options, fresh salads, and their legendary lobster bisque.
- The restaurant is both casual and elegant, so dress up or don’t, you will feel at home.
- The wine card is impeccable and they have highly knowledgeable staff to help you pair the perfect wine with your dinner.
La Mer Restaurant – Open-air dining at the Halekulani Hotel (Five Diamond and Forbes 5 Star restaurant)
Address: 2199 Kālia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
This is a truly high-end dining experience from start to finish. In fact, it’s the island’s only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes 5 Star restaurant. Every detail in the design, decoration, service, and presentation is impeccable. They also have a romantic view of the ocean, mountains, and slinky palm trees.
Dinner is often accompanied by elegant live music right on the well-manicured lawn overlooking the ocean. We always enjoy their four-course Prix Fixe menu with wine pairing (but it can get pricy), so that’s why the restaurant is not ranked higher.
The food is incredibly good. Everything is prepared to perfection and presented beautifully. This is a restaurant where meat and fish are the main stars. They are not overpowered by seasoning and sauce. Rather the sides complement the protein. For those who don’t eat meat, they also have a large and creative vegetarian menu.
I really enjoy their beef filet with truffle mashed potatoes, Cuttlefish (the best!), and duck Foie Gras with beets. They also have a top-of-the-notch fully stocked bar with master cocktail bartenders. They do have a dress code, so elegant evening attire. Dinner jackets, long-sleeved collared shirts, and dress slacks for men.
Indulge in a special dinner at La Mer because:
- It’s the island’s only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes 5 Star restaurant.
- The view is flawless with palm trees, ocean, and mountains.
- Service is high quality and extremely familiar with their food and drinks.
- The menu is varied, carefully planned, and vegetarian-friendly.
La Vie (The Ritz-Carlton Residence) – Modern French cuisine with a stunning sunset
Address: 383 Kalaimoku St, Honolulu, HI 96815
This elegant and well-planned restaurant has a unique view of the city buildings, lush jungle greenery, and the ocean. The space is modernly decorated, and spacious and the seating is comfortable. Large glass walls and an open-air venue bring in natural light and create a breezy feeling. They even have a piano playing after 6:30 pm.
The menu uses seasonal ingredients, truffles, caviar, and local produce to create a modern French dining experience. My usual choice is the 3-course dinner menu but they do also have a 5-course option. I love the smoked Ahi (but there are also frog legs for adventurous foodies).
My other favorites are the veal with spiced red cabbage and Maui onion Brulee and dry-aged duck breast with lentils and carrots. For dessert, don’t skip the Lychee rose gateau (it’s a mildly sweet cake with white chocolate mousse, raspberry gel, and almond meringue.
They have an amazing bar and lounge, and wine by the glass and bottle. So pair your dinner with a French burgundy white or a California chardonnay. The waiter can help you with the perfect pick. For those with dietary restrictions, they have a separate menu and a vegetarian menu as well.
Don’t skip La Vie at the Ritz-Carlton Residence because:
- They have a unique and beautiful view of the ocean, mountains, and lush forest.
- The food is perfectly portioned and creative and there are options for meat lovers, vegetarians, and guests with food restrictions.
- They have an extensive worldwide wine card for bottle and glass options. Including a top-notch bartender that makes amazing cocktails.
Conclusion on Honolulu’s best restaurants with a view
Honolulu is the hub of Hawaii offering a mixture of culture, service, and flawless culinary experiences.
No vacation or visit would be complete without dining at some of the finest restaurants with a one-of-a-kind impeccable view.
If you are looking for the ultimate fine dining, and high-class experience, check out La Mer Restaurant or 53 By The Sea.
For a more casual atmosphere, you will love the DECK Restaurant and the Beachhouse at the Moana.
Whatever place you choose, these picks are the can’t-miss – best of the best- options.
Try to visit as many as you can. They will make your vacation extra special.
Last Updated on May 2, 2023 by Brigitte