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Top Ten Restaurants in Kailua Oahu

Kailua has a wealth of delicious eateries and restaurants.  For me the hardest part of traveling is choosing where to eat.  We have compiled a list of our favorites restaurants in Kailua.  Whether you’re from Hawaii or just visiting these places will delight your taste buds and leave you anxious to return.

10. Island Snow - 130 Kailua Road

Island Snow is not a restaurant but is included because they serve the best shaved ice on the island.  While Matsumoto’s shave ice is sometimes more well known, this shave ice place serves twice as many flavors and options.  Their ice is finely shaved and the shop is conveniently located just steps away from Kailua Beach.  Obama has even been spotted wearing their shirt around town because it is his favorite place to go in Kailua.  We recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying the lilikoi flavor with li hing mui on top.

9. Cinnamon’s Restaurant- 315 Uluniu Street

Cinnamon’s in Kailua is best known for its delicious breakfast menu.  On the weekends there is always a line out the door.  They pride themselves on sticking to the basics of good food at an affordable price.  We would recommend without a doubt their Guava Chiffon Pancakes.  This morning delight is a great way to surprise your taste buds with the sweet hawaiian flavor of guava.  

8.  The Grove - 33 Aulike Street

The Grove serves inspired island cuisine.  Their eclectic menu even provides sustainably fresh seafood, vegan options and healthy options for children.  The Grove also specializes in serving playful cocktails named after locations in Kailua.  We would recommend trying their Kiawe grilled fresh island fish special.

7. Big City Diner - 108 Hekili Street #101

Big City Diner is a local favorite.  With locations all over the island, this diner provides large portions of modern hawaiian cuisine.  They even offer a fun promotion called twitter tuesdays.  Follow their twitter page and every tuesday they post a coupon that can be printed and brought to any restaurant.  Want to try authentic Hawaiian cuisine?  Big City Diner also serves a hawaiian plate that includes Kalua Pig, Lau Lau, Lomi Salmon and Poi.  We recommend trying their Haupia Glazed Macadamia Nut Bread Pudding with vanilla ice cream.  The one time you won’t regret eating those extra dessert calories.    

6. Prima - 108 Hekili Street #107

Prima is new addition to the Kailua dinner scene.  This italian restaurant offers customers a kiawe wood fired brick oven pizzas.  We would recommend trying their Di Bologna pizza with a soft poached quail egg on top.  It may look strange when it comes out but the taste is divine. 

5. The Food Company - 1020 Keolu Drive

The Food Company is home to Kailua’s best local style plate lunch.  Right next door they also have their new Market and Cafe, which offers customers local produce and gourmet lunches.  When visiting The Food Company we would recommend trying the Mochiko  Chicken, one of their most popular dishes.  

4.Buzz’s Steak House - 413 Kawailoa Road

Buzz’s Steak House is a famous dining spot in Kailua.  This local landmark serves perfectly cooked steaks, mahi mahi filets and Hawaiian themed cocktails.  Located near the beach, it is a great place to stop by after a fun day on the beach.  The filet mignon is always a great choice.  A fun drink to try is their lava flow.  This is a pina colada with a little grenadine to give it the appearance of a lava flow. 

3. Cactus - 767 Kailua Road

 Cactus was recently nominated for its first Hale Aina Award as the best new restaurant on Oahu.  This small restaurant features all organic and locally grown ingredients to make their Central and South American menu.  We would recommend trying their Malbec Braised Kuahiwi, Big Island, Grass Fed Beef Short Ribs with Waianae Yucca.  


2. The Kalapawai Market - 750 Kailua Road

The Kalapawai Cafe on the beach was established in 1932 and has a newer gourmet restaurant located in downtown Kailua.  The Kalapawai Market is a “Euro-Bistro” that serves wine flights, and tasty upscale meals.  Their pizzas and truffle bruschetta will not disappoint.

1.  Uahi Island Grill  - 131 Hekili St. #102

This small mom and pop shop features local favorites with a twist.  A common meal in Hawaii includes kalua pork and cabbage, Uahi Island Grill has put a twist on this dish and instead features kalua pork with kale, another leafy green packed with nutrients.  Their menu is delicious and playful.  When dinning at Uahi Island Grill for dinner make sure you don’t forget your favorite bottle of wine.  They are BYOB and don’t charge a corkage fee, so you’ll be able to enjoy a glass of wine and save some money.

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