There are surprisingly few restaurants where you can dine with your toes in the sand on O‘ahu, a locale where desirable shoreline real estate is highly valued and in limited supply (compared to the West Coast, for example, where it’s more plentiful). We are blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but for a number of reasons, you won’t find as many places to eat that are right on the sand as you might find elsewhere. Nonetheless, we’ve rounded up some splendid venues featuring some of the best locally sourced ingredients dotting O‘ahu’s spectacular shores for you. Here’s a short list of our O‘ahu real estate team’s favorite spots to take in the deep blue, all located just steps from O‘ahu’s world famous white sandy beaches.
On O‘ahu’s North Shore, local celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi’s excellent fare can be found in his beach house venue, tucked away at the north side of Turtle Bay Resort, overlooking the gorgeous Kuilima Cove. Roy’s Beach House is just steps from the white powder sand and you can expect the same focus on locally-inspired dishes that reflect Hawai‘i’s rich diversity and cultural history, as found in Yamaguchiʻs other eateries (Roy’s, Eating House 1849). Yamaguchi is one of the founding fathers of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine. You’ll find plenty of farm-to-table fare here, as well as an expertly curated wine list. It’s the perfect place to end a day trip to the surf mecca of O‘ahu’s North Shore, with its casual yet elegant vibe and fine food. It’s also a perfect place to start the day with a snorkel in the cove!
Driving south from Hale‘iwa, you’ll find the Fish House at the Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina, with its stunning view of a turquoise lagoon and the Pacific ocean beyond. A crescent of white powdery sand invites and once you arrive, you may never want to leave. The resort opened to high acclaim in 2015 in this booming neighborhood on the western shores of O‘ahu, boasting an array of dining options for every taste, all of them led by their talented Food and Beverage Director Martin Knaubert, formerly an executive chef and a resident of Maui.
Fish House is aptly named, with a menu that focuses on locally caught fresh catch and seafood delicacies, as well as produce sourced from farmers across the island. There’s also chicken and filet mignon for those who don’t do seafood. Think decadent seafood towers served chilled over ice, a wide array of briny oysters — like kumamoto and goose point — King crab and lobster, and plenty of line-caught local fish served up poke-style, or prepped in refreshing new ways at this West Side resort. All of this comes in a chic, yet laid-back open-air setting, with cozy, all white, low-profile lounge seating on the lānai, and an airy indoor bar. Fish House feels like a clambake or lobster boil on the beach with friends, but with an upscale menu and that signature Four Seasons service, you’ll be dazzled! Best of all, you can step down from the wooden deck and put your toes right into the warm sand.
Fish House recently announced a partnership with celebrated chef Michael Mina, who has been influencing fine dining for two decades. In recent years, his ground-breaking, eponymous restaurant in San Francisco earned him Michelin stars. His talent has been gracing our shores with the addition of Stripsteak Waikiki on the third floor Grand Lānai of the new International Market Place in the heart of Waikīkī. In May, he followed that up with the launch of The Street, A Michael Mina Social House, also in Int’l Market Place.
This Cairo-born author and celebrity chef expressed his excitement about partnering with the ultra-luxe Four Seasons brand in a seaside locale,“My love for cooking fish and seafood has been my driving passion throughout my career, beginning with my first restaurant, AQUA. The first event I did in Hawai‘i opened my eyes to the culture of the islands and it has been my dream to have a fish restaurant on the water in Hawai‘i ever since.”
Driving east from Ko olina, you’ll find the iconic pink palace that is the Royal Hawaiian right in the heart of Waikīkī, with its oceanfront signature seafood restaurant Azure. The Moroccan-inspired interior echoes the Spanish-Moorish architecture of the hotel, with high-ceilings, ocean breezes, and a bar fit for Hemingway himself. But the beachside cabanas are where it’s at — the perfect place to dig into chef Shaymus Alwin’s seafood menu, or catch the sunset while sipping a glass of wine from sommelier Micah Suderman’s expertly curated wine list. You seriously can’t beat the view of Diamond Head at night!
You can also catch a more casual sunset drink, some pūpūs and live music right next door at the Sheraton Waikiki’s more casual RumFire. A perfect spot to watch surfers catch waves and admire Diamond Head’s stunning profile, you can stroll down to the beach boardwalk, just below the fire cauldrons (what else can you call them, really?). This is a great spot for photo ops and you can often catch a rainbow or a splash of waves against the seawall.
Heading east toward Diamond Head, we recommend a visit to one old Waikīkī’s most iconic hotels. The Beachhouse at the Moana Surfrider is steeped in rich history—as the oldest hotel on Waikīkī Beach, it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The center courtyard of the hotel is resplendent with beautiful, old, shade-giving trees and the restaurant’s lānai is a breezy wraparound that’s perfect for dinner or sunset drinks, before or after your stroll along the sands of Waikīkī Beach.
The luxurious Kahala Resort sits just outside of Waikīkī, in the posh Kāhala neighborhood. With plenty of dining options on property, Hoku’s is their signature venue—a polished fine-dining favorite among residents, they serve up an innovative fusion of Mediterranean, Asian, European and island-inspired flavors. Here you’ll find white tablecloths and polished, dark wood floors, but just beyond the windows—there’s the surf crashing against a nearby reef, couples getting married on the beach, and a breathtaking view of Kokohead Crater in profile. Choose from chef Hiroshi Inoue’s tasting or prix fixe menus, or opt for some of Hoku’s classics like soy-braised beef short ribs with avocado tempura. Try their fresh ahi musubi or any of the items from their carefully prepared sushi selection. After dinner, step outside to the cool breezes and put your toes in the sand, or finish your day with wander around the Kahala’s dolphin pool and through the spectacular hotel lobby, to admire its stunning beach glass and oxidized bronze chandeliers.
O‘ahu offers a delightful array of restaurants, from super casual, ono grindz to elegant fine dining, and everything in between. Be sure to check out our round up of North Shore lunch spots if you’re planning a day trip to Haleiwa.
For Reservations or to find these beachside venues:
Roy’s Beach House, 57-091 Kamehameha Highway, North Shore, 808.293.7697; Fish House Restaurant, 92-1001 Olani St., Ko Olina — 808.679.0079; Azure at The Royal Hawaiian, 2259 Kalākaua Ave., Waikīkī, — 808. 923.7311; RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki, 2255 Kalākaua Ave., Waīkīki, 808. 922.4422; Beachhouse at the Moana Surfrider, 2365 Kalākaua Ave., Waikīkī, 808. 921.4600; Hoku’s at The Kahala Resort, 5000 Kāhala Ave., Kāhala — 808.739.8888