Welcome, fellow food enthusiasts!
On my latest adventure to Honolulu, I embarked upon a tasty quest with a twofold mission: to try out the top-rated local seafood joints and to share my personal findings with you. So if you’re craving bold and exciting flavors on your next trip, I’ve got you covered!
I have been traveling and eating my way through various destinations for years now, always seeking out unique local dishes. My beloved boyfriend (who luckily shares the same passion) joined me for this gastronomic expedition in discovering the true gems of Honolulu’s seafood scene.
As an experienced food enthusiast who values quality and taste above all else, I spent considerable time researching these establishments based on attributes such as freshness of ingredients, impeccable presentation, unparalleled flavor combinations and ambiance that encapsulates what makes each joint truly special.
Warning: this list might just make you want to jump on a flight straight to Hawaii so that you can indulge in its delightful seafood scene without further delay!
Embrace your inner gourmand by indulging in these four best places boasting diverse menus filled with delicious options. Whether it be savoring poké bowls bursting with complexity or graciously enjoying delicately prepared sushi masterpieces – immerse yourself in Honolulu’s magnificent edible seascapes while creating memories that will last a lifetime!
Nobu Honolulu – Unforgettable, Award-winning Seafood Restaurant in Honolulu
You might have heard of Nobu even if you haven’t visited – it’s a celeb hotspot partly owned by Robert De Niro. Apart from its Hollywood connections, the food at Nobu deserves its own red carpet.
With two Michelin-starred locations under their belt, they’ve been offering exceptional dining experiences since 2007. In 2016, they reimagined themselves as Nobu Honolulu.
The Japanese-Peruvian fusion on their menu sets them apart with unique flavors. With at least 4.5 stars on every review site, visit for the wonderful ambiance and stay for mouth-watering seafood creations.
My boyfriend had been before; however, it was my first time dining there. The experience was nothing short of phenomenal due to:
- Freshly prepared dishes presented like works of art
- An extensive drinks menu featuring inventive cocktails
- Top-notch service provided by attentive staff
- Menu accommodations tailored around dietary restrictions such as gluten-free or vegan options
- A lovely outdoor patio lounge suitable for private receptions or enjoying happy hour specials
Our favorites included black miso cod (their signature dish), salmon skin salad, oysters with Nobu sauces, and shrimp kakiage.
Though prices start from $50-$60 per person, the fantastic food justifies the cost entirely. If I ever return to Honolulu, I’ll be back – highly recommended!
Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck – Best Budget-Friendly Seafood Spot in Honolulu
Looking for a quick bite to eat en route sightseeing? Then Giovanni’s shrimp truck is the best place to grab a quick bite to eat. And bonus: You don’t have to break your bank while you enjoy their famed garlic butter shrimp.
While they serve all kinds of Hawaiian seafood and fast food varieties, their menu is more diverse than just the garlic butter shrimp, it was one of the many things we tried that captured our hearts.
Giovanni claims they are the “originals” that started the food truck craze in Hawaii, which you see now all along Oahu’s north shore coastline. And with good reason to believe this claim, they celebrate almost 30 years of being in this business.
Boasting a simple yet lucrative menu (priced at an unbelievable 15$ for a 3 plate selection) we were spoilt for choice.
I think we went a bit overboard while placing our order and ended up ordering more than we could eat. But still, I don’t regret it one bit! We had the garlic butter, lemon butter, some scampi, and a spicy shrimp version which comes with a disclaimer of “No refunds”. But man was everything so good.
What I loved about this food experience was:
- Good food, good location (the truck is parked near a picnic shelter)
- Consistency in taste. We make sure to pop in for a few shrimps every time we are nearby or in the area and they never disappoint.
- Locally sourced. The shrimp farms are nearby.
- Generous servings
- Provides a great casual seafood dining experience
P.S. On some days, you might find a long queue, but don’t let that intimidate you. The line moves fast.
Poke Bar- Best place to eat authentic Hawaiian Poke
Poke might be the most famous thing to come out of Hawaii (Apart from actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). So if you ask me, a trip to Hawaii would be incomplete if you didn’t have a bowl of authentic Poke here.
When you are in Honolulu, there’s no other better place to have Poke than at the Poke Bar. Here get a taste of the freshest ingredients, the bold seafood flavors, customized with your choice of dressings and protein along with any other additional mix-ins that you fancy.
And what’s more, it’s super healthy! So no more cheating on your diet. And an added bonus for those people who are on special diets, they cater to people who are vegan, vegetarian, or on a gluten-free diet.
My favorite part about this restaurant was their “Build your own bowl” option. With several choices at every step, it was pretty easy to customize your lunch/dinner according to your preferences. With a 6 step process, you choose your:
- Bowl size
- The actual Poke (protein)
- The mix-ins
- And finally, the sauce to go over it all.
So I ordered a small serving on a base of white rice, with spicy tuna for a kick, with corn, cucumbers, and green onions as my mix-ins, drizzled with shoyu sauce and a seaweed salad on the side, topped off with some crispy onion and garlic for that crunch.
The food was absolutely yummy!
Everything was fresh and tasted amazing. Great value for money.
And if you are confused by the multiple options at every step and what goes well together you will be guided by the kind staff.
A family on the table next to ours said they loved this place so much that they came here several times during their 10-day trip to Honolulu. I think that spoke volumes about the popularity of the Poke Bar.
Karai Crab – The Ultimate Destination for Cajun/Creole Flavored Crab
For adventurous eaters, Karai Crab is the perfect no-frills spot to indulge in custom seasoned seafood ranging from mild flavors to fiery ghost pepper heat.
Our friends suggested we bring a large group next time so that we could fully explore their fantastic menu. However, it was just my boyfriend and me on this visit.
We ordered the Karai combo with Cajun rice and a full portion of Karai special shrimp – an irresistible blend of Cajun spices and garlic butter. Their servings were surprisingly generous, providing more than enough for two people. We enjoyed our leftovers the following day!
Here’s what made our experience at Karai Crab extraordinary:
- Superb service from kind and attentive staff
- Delicious dishes that left us craving more
- A lively dinner spot perfect for spice enthusiasts
There is no better way to get an authentic Hawaiian experience than to sample the fresh seafood at the local cuisine. The great thing about Honolulu, Hawaii is that it offers plenty of seafood options to try in terms of variety and budget to suit everyone. One must-try is the Hawaiian seafood tower, a succulent variety of locally-sourced seafood, which perfectly represents the freshest seafood the island has to offer. And that’s what I loved about it.
How much do seafood restaurants cost in Honolulu?
Meal prices in Honolulu can vary depending on where you choose to eat. The best thing about dining out in Honolulu is there is something available to fit every budget from the high-end Nobu to the fast food served at Karai Crab and Giovanni’s.
What seafood dishes is Honolulu known for?
Some of the famous seafood dishes in Honolulu include:
- Seafood tower
- Seafood platter
What seafood is Hawaii famous for?
Hawaii is famous for its high-quality Tuna, Swordfish, Mahi Mahi, and deepwater bottom fish. This variety is highly appreciable even in the most discerning seafood markets. Apart from these, delicacies such as Shrimp, stir-fried or grilled, and Japanese Amberjack are also celebrated in the local cuisine.
What are some popular seafood dishes in the cuisine of Hawaii?
In the cuisine of Hawaii, you can find a wide variety of delicious seafood dishes featuring locally caught seafood like tuna and mahi-mahi. Some favorites include poke, lomi-lomi, and spicy ahi poke bowls.
Which types of restaurants serve the best seafood in Honolulu?
The best seafood can be found at various types of restaurants in Honolulu, ranging from fine dining establishments offering Hawaii regional cuisine to local markets like Uncle’s Fish Market with its fresh catch selections. Seafood restaurants in Honolulu, like Duke’s Waikiki located right at Waikiki Beach, or Ala Moana center’s several top-notch seafood spots, are highly recommended.
How does Diamond Head, Hawaii complement the Waikiki ocean experience for dining?
Diamond Head is an iconic landmark that adds to the beautiful scenery while dining by the ocean in Waikiki. The breathtaking views create an unforgettable atmosphere for enjoying fresh seafood and delicious food at nearby restaurants.
What music of Hawaii accompanies your meal at a Hawaiian seafood restaurant?
While enjoying mouthwatering local seafood at a Hawaiian restaurant, visitors might often experience traditional or contemporary Music of Hawaii played live or through speakers, enhancing their overall island dining experience.
What is the difference between seafood boil and grilling when it comes to fresh fish preparation at a seafood restaurant in Honolulu?
At a seafood restaurant in Honolulu, both boiling and grilling are popular ways of preparing fresh fish. Seafood boil involves cooking various types of seafood, such as shrimp or lobster, together with veggies in seasoned broth while grilling cooks the fish on an open flame imparting a smoky flavor.
Can I find exquisite wine pairings for my delicious seafood dishes at some of the best seafood restaurants in Hawaii?
Yes! Many of the best seafood restaurants in Hawaii offer exquisite wine selections that perfectly complement their delicious local seafood dishes enhancing your overall dining experience. For instance, the renowned Ono Seafood in Waikiki offers a wide selection of wines, perfect for pairing with their succulent seafood offerings.
Are there any signature dishes like Joey’s famous garlic steak or jumbo shrimp cocktail available at top-notch Hawaiian fishing markets?
Top-notch Hawaiian fishing markets, like Uncle’s Fish Market and others specializing in fresh catch, often serve signature dishes featuring locally caught fish. These may include items like Joey’s famous garlic steak or jumbo shrimp cocktail – all prepared with the freshest ingredients.
What unique sides can you expect with your main dish at an ocean-facing sandwich shop near Honolulu featuring fresh catch from a local fish market?
An ocean-facing sandwich shop near Honolulu that features fresh catch options might serve creative side items like spicy ahi poke, island-style potato salad or grilled vegetables on skewers along with their mouth-watering sandwiches packed full of freshly caught delicacies.
Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by Brigitte