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Dining and food shopping near Lanikai, Oahi


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I have a beach house on Lanikai booked for March Spring break, and am looking for recommendations both for dining and shopping.

We plan to sightsee, so I imagine we will be lunching out a lot, but evening meals I anticipate mostly cooking at home.

I would appreciate any recs for sourcing great fish and produce. Any local specialty shops we should not miss?

Any advice on which restaurants in our vicinity - Lanikai/ Kailua - are worth seeking out. Is there somewhere worth a splurge? Or are we going to do better with hole-in-the-wall spots?

We plan to do the shrimp boats up North, and will visit Pearl Harbour/ Honolulu etc. Any recs for good value lunches near major sights gratefully received.

Our first day is in Honolulu - at the Waikiki Parc Hotel. Looking for a great breakfast joint and any good ideas for a lovely lunch.

We are a family of four, with fairly adventurous kids aged 13 and 6 who are used to eating out. (We live in Vancouver, BC, so fish/Asian influences are standard fare for us, and sushi a favourite).

Many thanks in advance.

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Lanikai is a tiny enclave with no commercial businesses... Kailua... nothing exciting culinarily wise... you can eat okay in town but there aren't any gems... actually most places that locals eat at are aggressively mediocre... Kalapawai Cafe, Baci Bistro, Formaggio, Tokoname to poor Big City Diner etc.,

Adjust your expectations down & you will eat okay, not great.

P.S... I base my assessment on haven lived there for three years recently

Edited by EatNopales (log)
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We stayed in Kailua for several days six years ago. The place I still remember the best of the places we dined was Haleiwa Joe's in Kane'ohe. The restaurant overlooks Hai'ku Gardens. The view was spectacular!

Second Haleiwa Joe's for the view / setting... you are up against the Koolau Mountain chain on a hill overlooking a little pond & tropical forest.. sunset is pretty spectacular... the food is just okay (typical tourist trap type stuff) but the view alone is worth the price of admission. Oahu doesn't know how to do outdoor dining (such a waste) so Haleiwa Joe's is pretty unique for the island.

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Thanks. My expectations are pretty low - that's why it would be great to get tips on best places to shop for fresh fish and produce.

And I'll make a note of Haleiwa Joe's - everything tastes better with a beautiful view :-)

For fresh fish you really have to go in town to Tamashiro's market.. they are the only really great fish monger in town.. otherwise the fish at Foodland is decent but Tamashiro is the institution.

For fresh produce your best option is the Thursday late afternoon / early evening farmer's market at the Long's parking structure in Kailua

I would highly recommend you drive up the coast for a picnic at Kualoa regional park... grab some Sashimi & Poke at JJ Seafoods in Kaneohe (put it on ice), keep driving on Kamehameha (Kam) Hwy then on the intersection of Kam Hwy & Kahekili you will see some mobile vendors with Kalua Pig, Kiawe chicken (split chickens grilled over local Mezquite a largely uncredited contribution from the original Paniolos - Mexican cowboys sent to teach the craft to the locals) & other local foods grab what you like.. keep driving a few more miles you will see some roadside stands with farm fresh pineapple, papaya & chilled coconuts... another 5 miles you will be at Kualoa park... it is probably the most reliably pleasant, lightly windy spot in otherwise torridly humid & sticky Windward Oahu, it is never too crowded, the 360 degree view is gorgeous (the backdrop is Kualoa Ranch where Jurassic Park was filmed)

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