Hawaii Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Sunrise Shack
59-158 Kamehameha Hwy., Hale'iwa
A favorite with the early morning surf crew that frequent the North Shore, Sunrise Shack has the basics—injected with the latest in wellness—down. Bulletproof coffee is upgraded with grass-fed butter and fragrant Madagascan vanilla. Refreshing acai bowls (some with blue algae whipped in) are topped with a shocking-pink dragon fruit syrup, toasted coconut flakes for crunch, and sweet bee pollen. The Shack’s three founding brothers grew up on these beaches and know exactly what their fellow Hawaiians want first thing: great coffee, fresh fruit, and cheery local banter.
Rainbow Drive-In
3308 Kanaina Ave., Honolulu
The first thing you should know about the Kapahulu drive-in is that it’s an Oahu institution. And the second is that it’s a complete hole-in-the-wall. One that’s been going strong since the early ’60s. But what this mom-and-pop shop lacks in good looks and ritzy ambiance, it makes up for with its local-style lunch plates, piled high with island favorites, like shoya chicken with generous scoops of rice and mounds of mac salad. In fact, everything about it—from the walk-up window to the shared picnic tables, even the iconic rainbow-lit sign—reminds you this is a place with character. Local tip: Order the gravy-smothered loco moco (don’t knock it till you try it) after a day in the waves.
Paia Fish Market
100 Baldwin Ave., Paia
This laid-back seafood restaurant is exactly the kind of place we dream about and can never find. It’s a super chill dive filled with natural light and communal tables, and it serves what many agree are the best fish sandwiches anywhere on the island. Everything on the menu—from the mahi in the fish tacos to the ahi sashimi—is caught locally and prepped the second it’s delivered by local fishermen every morning. If seafood isn’t your thing, the burgers and chicken dishes are all sourced from neighboring farms. You can’t go wrong. (There are two other locations on the island.)