For anyone looking for a reason to visit Honolulu or invest in Honolulu real estate, the fantastic cuisine and the beaches are two of the best reasons. Being out in the middle of the Pacific, Hawaii has a wealth of cultural influences that make up its cuisine, from Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Below are some favourite picks of local restaurants, and a few great beaches of different styles.
Let's start with some favorite culinary picks in Honolulu:
Top of WaikikiWhile picking the only revolving restaurant is a bit predictable, for anyone new to Honolulu this restaurant offers a spectacular 360 degree view, with amazing food to match. You get to view the full range of Honolulu's scenic beauty from several hundred feet up, which fits perfectly with the pacific-fusion cuisine. While here I recommend the tasting menu which features dishes such as the spicy ahi poke stack with sambal and shoyu sauce, crispy won tons, avocado crÄme, papaya slaw and greens with kiwi-lime vinaigrette. This sampling of seafood and meat dishes also affords you time to soak up the view as well.
Alan Wong's HonoluluIf you are looking for the best in fine contemporary Hawaii cuisine, you must visit Alan Wong's. This restaurant often appears on lists for the best restaurants in America, and Alan is even credited as being one of the fathers of contemporary Hawaiian cuisine. One interesting original appy here is Chinatown Roast duck nachos, with homemade tapioca chips and avocado salsa, bringing Asian and Latin flavours together.
The Pineapple RoomThis is the second of Alan Wong's restaurants and is another hot spot to visit. Located on busy Ala Moana Boulevard near Irwin park, this is a fun place for lunch or dinner. The â€œPineapple Room Burgerâ€ my favourite here: Kiawe-Grilled Kuahiwi Ranch Natural Beef Burger, Onion Rings, Bacon, Cheddar Cheese and Avocado Salsa.
Puka DogIf you are looking for a quick and tasty snack that's a Hawaii original, try Puka Dog, a twist on the old-fashioned hot dog. Puka means hole in Hawaii, and refers to the special bun used. It is a unique recipe and instead of a cut down the side, a hole is â€˜poked' through it. Then a selection of secret sauces and tropical fruit relishes are poured in, with a premium polish-style or veggie hot dog to follow. Once you try a Puka Dog, you'll be hooked and have to return to try different combos of sauces and relishes. This popular dog was even featured on the travel Channel'sAnthony Bourdain: No reservations
Bubbies Ice CreamIf you're looking for desert after, don't look any further than Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & deserts. For 25 years, Bubbies has held the title of best ice cream in Hawaii, and is a must-visit for any sweet tooth. This ice cream can be found in fine restaurants across Hawaii and even stateside. But you must come here to enjoy a truly decadent experience. Along with all kinds of ice cream, sorbets and cakes, Bubbies is famous for itsMochi Ice Cream. It is a ball of creamy ice cream, wrapped in a sweetened rice confection. The result is an attractive sushi-styled snack you can even eat with chopsticks!
Now here is a selection of top Honolulu beaches, each with a completely different style:
Waikiki BeachOf course while in Honolulu you're going to find yourself on Waikiki beach, right at the heart of the action. While being too crowded for some, you come here for the excitement and people watching. You can hop from the beach to a bar for a drink or stroll down the boardwalk and shop.
Hanauma Bay Nature PreserveThis beautiful beach acts as a nature preserve, formed from a volcanic crater. This geography let coral and sea life flourish and now it is a designated preserve that you can use your snorkel to explore. Note there are no water sports here and the grounds are maintained. You pay a small fee to enter, that helps keep this ecosystem preserved for years to come. You will definitely spot some diverse sea life, making this a worthy visit.
Kahala BeachesIf you are looking for less-crowded beaches, head to Kahala. This area is home to million-dollar vacation homes and high-end resorts, popular with celebrities. Don't worry if you don't reside beach front though, this tranquil area is only 15 minutes away from busy Waikiki beach.
Kailua Beach ParkThis beach is often considered the best beach in Hawaii and is situated in a perfect crescent-shaped bay with crystal blue water. The steady trade winds also make it one of the top wind-surfing and kite-surfing spots in the world. If extreme sports aren't your thing, it gives you a great chance to see it first hand while you relax at an amazing beach.
Hope you enjoyed my pick of beaches and restaurants in Honolulu, Hawaii. So if you're a foodie or just a fan of the tropical climate, this makes a perfect place to buy a home or just to visit.