Exotic flavors paired with local ingredients and farm-fresh meats continue to top Hawaii’s latest food trends. Add to that a handful of new restaurants specializing in authentic cuisine and gastropub vibes all served in a casual setting.
Here’s a look at the best new restaurants to hit Oahu this spring:
1. Italica Bar & Cafe
Get swept away to the streets of Italy at this new italian bar and casual cafe located at the corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard. Nestled within the Velocity Honolulu car dealership sits an authentic Italian cafe specializing in piping hot espresso, fresh breakfast bites, rustic sandwiches, oven roasted pizzas and delectable fine Italian creations (including a phenomenal lasagna) served in a casual setting.
At the helm, Master Chef Maurizio Roberti crafts his evolving menu meanwhile mentoring local chefs. Much of the food, aside from the tiramisu and pre-tossed salads, is prepared ala minute (it’s good food, not fast food). Items can be ordered for take out or enjoyed within the cafe. Charcuterie board and rare cheeses are imported from Italy and a specialty cocktail bar with aperitivo hour is served with canapés for the after work crowd.
Italica Bar & Cafe
888 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96813
Open 9am-9pm (hours subject to change).
2. Tiano’s Restaurant
An island favorite preparing hearty Local-American-Filipino cuisine has expanded to open a new location in Kunia. Tiano’s specializes in Filipino specialties including Mama’s Pinakbet, Kare-Kare and Lechon Kawali while also serving American classics like hamburger steak, an array of pastas, fresh seafood and juicy prime rib.
With other locations in Ewa Beach, food trucks in Waipahu and Honolulu, this Kunia restaurant is a welcomed addition to the region. The family-friendly location also boasts a specialty “kids eat free” promotion on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, offering one free keiki meal with the purchase of an adult dine-in entree of $10 and a beverage.
Tiano’s Restaurant Kunia
94-673 Kupuoahi Street
Waipahu, HI 96797
Open Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm
Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm
3. Teppanyaki Farmer
Once a hidden gem, located along the streets of Kaheka, Teppanyaki Farmer is now a bustling vendor at Ala Moana Center’s brand new food court. Located within The Lanai (the latest installation to follow the food hall trend), this casual food court aims to offer fast, sumptuous, diverse cuisines at affordable prices.
Teppanyaki Farmer delicately uses a teppan iron grill to cook up tender thinly cut meats, rolled around crunchy fresh potatoes and served with a variety of sauces. The plates are prepared using an open kitchen so you can watch all the action. Signature dishes include the original steak roll, bowls, wraps and breakfast items that include fresh eggs, USDA steak, shrimp or pork.
The Lanai at Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honoulu, HI 96814
Open Monday – Saturday 9:30am-9pm, Sunday 10am-7pm
4. The Surfing Pig
A sister restaurant to internationally known Kono’s, famous for it’s 12-hour slow-roasted kalua pork, has quietly opened a new gastropub. Along the hills of Waialae Avenue, The Surfing Pig is the latest delicious new dining option to hit Kaimuki. From Tapas, to craft cocktails and an array of roasted meats, the Kono’s mission of delicious food served with aloha continues.
The Surfing Pig is aimed at bringing the community together through the enjoyment of good food and good company. Guests can share a meal at the downstairs communal table or for a more private and elevated dining experience head to the upstairs loft. Menu items include expertly roasted ribs, flatbread pizza, crab cakes and pasta.
The Surfing Pig
3605 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816
5. The Brilliant Ox
An American-style gastropub with local influence, The Brilliant Ox brings a culmination of diverse flavors and unique ingredients to pub-style menu offerings. Local classics including Mochiko Chicken and Teriyaki Spareribs are given an innovative and remarkable new tasty twist.
Located at Ala Moana Center this refreshed location boasts evolved industrial interior design with hints of contemporary flair. The casual setting is perfect for lunch, dinner, drinks or a mellow night out with friends. Highlights include fries that are made poutine-style, the massive Brilliant Ox Burger and Sweet Potato Croquettes.
The Brilliant Ox
1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, HI 96814
Open Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-2am (expanded weekend hours)
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