About the Hale Aina Awards

In 1984, HONOLULU Magazine established its Hale Aina Awards as the Islands’ first local restaurant awards. Before then, culinary awards in the Islands had been given by Mainland travel interests. The Hale Aina Awards were the first to recognize local tastes. 

Over the past 27 years, the Hale Aina Awards have been much imitated, but they still stand out, as the most prized dining awards in the Islands.

Read John Heckathorn's "25 Years of Hale Aina"

Look for this plaque when dining out at your favorite restaurants.


All HONOLULU readers are eligible to vote. Voting takes place over the summer (June, July, August) online. A hard copy ballot also appears in the August issue each year. After the ballots are tallied, the magazine designates its readers’ favorite restaurants as Hale Aina Award winners for that year.

Hale Aina means “eating place.” It is the closest Hawaiian equivalent to the word restaurant. But Hale Aina has come to mean the most prestigious dining awards in the Islands. They act as a guide to readers about where to eat, they bolster a restaurant’s reputation and they have been publicized all over the Mainland and Japan.

Hale Aina Ohana

In addition, the awards have generated their own 501-C-3 non-profit organization, the Hale Aina Ohana. Over the years, through its annual golf tournament and other fundraisers, the Hale Aina Ohana has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support culinary education in the Islands.

Past Restaurant of the Year Winners:

1985 Restaurant of the Year The Third Floor
1986 Restaurant of the Year Michel’s at the Colony Surf
1987 Restaurant of the Year Michel’s at the Colony Surf
1988 Restaurant of the Year Matteo’s
1989 Restaurant of the Year Michel’s at the Colony Surf
1990 Restaurant of the Year Bali by the Sea
1991 Restaurant of the Year Golden Dragon
1992 Restaurant of the Year Maile Restaurant
1993 Restaurant of the Year Maile Restaurant
1994 Restaurant of the Year 3660 On the Rise
1995 Restaurant of the Year Roy’s
1996 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong’s
1997 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong’s
1998 Restaurant of the Year Hoku’s
1999 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong’s
2000 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong’s
2001 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong’s
2002 Restaurant of the Year Roy’s
2003 Restaurant of the Year Hoku’s
2004 Restaurant of the Year Roy’s
2005 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong’s
2006 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong’s
2007 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong’s
2008 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong's
2009 Restaurant of the Year Alan Wong's
2010 Restaurant of the Year Roy's
2011 Restaurant of the Year Roy's

The Hale Aina Awards also feature a fun and delicious signature event for HONOLULU Magazine. What had started as a potluck celebration in a conference room at the office has grown into a gala celebration. The awards are announced for the first time at this event, in November of each year.

See event details from:

 

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Honolulu Magazine,April

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