Dining on Lanai

With the exception of the restaurants at Four Seasons Manele Bay, every restaurant on the island of Lanai is within walking distance of the other. By simply taking a stroll around Dole Park, which forms the symmetrical, pine-tree-lined center of historic Lanai City, visitors can choose from cuisine that ranges from bowls of ahi poke, to burgers, bistros, baristas, bentos, or ice cold beer on tap.

In terms of fine dining, Lanai City Grille inside Hotel Lanai has dinner from Wednesday-Sunday, and features fresh fish, a comprehensive wine list, and the city’s freshest cuisine. The setting is nothing short of romantic in the plantation home interior, and with a background of live music that’s occasionally punctuated by the high-pitched clinking of glasses, it’s a night on the town that ranks as some of the best dining on Lanai.

To start the day in Lanai City, Coffee Works opens at 7am and is the only coffee shop in town, which serves bagels, egg sandwiches, and a full selection of your favorite caffeinated drinks. Just down the street is famous Blue Ginger—a Lanai dining staple with a cult following for the secret recipe of their burgers. If you don’t get a burger, order a plate lunch of chicken katsu or filling hamburger steak, and sit outside on the small patio that faces out towards the park. Next door to Blue Ginger is humble Canoes—a family-run restaurant with burgers, plate lunch, waffles, and excellent breakfast, that also serves a family-special burger and offers breakfast until they close.

All the way across town—on the other side of the park—Pele’s Other Garden is a sophisticated bistro with pizzas, sandwiches, and salads, and is the only place in Lanai City you can order a beer on tap. Café 565 is just up the street and has sandwiches and filling plate lunches, although if you feel like flavorful, cubed up fish that’s served on a bed of white rice, head to the Lanai Ohana Poke Market just one block back from Dole Park. Here you’ll find a selection of poke that’s served in a dozen different flavors, from Furikake and Ahi Shoyu to the popular spicy poke. Because the take-out is so popular, however, the fish can quickly sell out, so be sure to get there before 11:30am to ensure you still get some fish!

Aside the from the collection of Lanai City restaurants, there’s another cluster of restaurants on Lanai inside of the Four Seasons resort, from the succulent Nobu with its famous brand of sushi and spectacular assortment of fish, to Views by the golf clubhouse that overlooks Hulopo‘e Bay. From here, whether you’ve recently finished a round of golf or are simply visiting for the day, kick back with a beer and sandwich and watch dolphins splash down below, or watch the surf as it detonates on shore during the largest swells of summer.

Though the dining on Lanai is essentially relegated to two small parts of the island, it’s possible to find everything from mom and pop menus to world-class sushi and fish, or basic plate lunch to catch of the day—depending on the price and your mood.