Kailua Restaurant Guide
by Lori Anne Tomonari
From mainstream to hideaway, meat-loving to vegetarian, Moroccan cuisine to pizza served in a paper bag, these Kailua restaurants offer customers options for every meal.
Amina Pizza: 301 B Hahani St., 263-8201. Amina serves pizza, calzones, spaghetti, lasagna, salads and sandwiches. Call ahead to have your food ready when you arrive.
Assagio Italian Restaurant: 354 Uluniu St., Suite 408, 261-2772. Italian cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner on weekdays and dinner only on weekends.
Baci Bistro: 30 Aulike St., 262-7555. Choose to dine on the lanai or in the enclosed atrium, with menu options including risotto, veal and pastas. Baci offers a wine list with an emphasis on Italian wines, as well as many Californian and Australian choices.
Big City Diner: 108 Hekili St., 263-8880. Big City offers a wide menu selection, ranging from kim chee fried rice to hamburgers to ribs. It is one of three Oahu locations.
Boardriders Bar & Grill: 201 A Hamakua Drive, 261-4600. Formerly Jaron’s, Boardriders has become a local hangout. The restaurant offers keawe-grilled steaks and fresh catch of the day, and is equipped with pool tables and dartboards.
Boots & Kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen: 131 Hekili St., 263-7929. Serving up homestyle American breakfast, Boots & Kimo’s is famous for its banana macadamia nut pancakes. You may have to wait in line outside for a table.
Boston’s North End Pizza Bakery: 29 Hoolai St., 263-7757. This is the original Boston’s—so successful that five stores have been opened since 1994. Counter service offers fresh, thin-crust pizza with an assortment of toppings.
Brent’s Restaurant & Delicatessen: 629 Kailua Road, Suite A, 262-8588. A New York style deli offering fresh sandwiches, an extensive breakfast menu and select Kosher items.
Buona Sera: 131 Hekili St., Suite 101, 263-7696. Buona Sera serves generous portions of a wide variety of Italian dishes, including an extensive vegetarian menu.
Buzz’s Original Steak House: 413 Kawailoa Road, 261-4661. Known for its seafood, steak and casual atmosphere, Buzz’s serves lunch and dinner, with views of the ocean. Remember to bring cash, credit cards are not accepted here.
Casablanca Restaurant: 19 Hoolai St., 262-8196. Forget the utensils and chairs, Casablanca serves up a true Moroccan experience. Dine in a Bedouin tent-style room and eat on hassocks and divans, with your fingers, such fare as lamb couscous and fish chermoula.
Champa Thai Restaurant: 306 Kuulei Road, 263-8281. Champa Thai has an extensive vegetarian menu in addition to its traditional Thai menu items.
Chinese Garden Restaurant: 426 Uluniu St., 261-9345. Order Chinese Garden’s specialties, oyster sauce chicken with cake noodles or a chicken salad for under $4.
Chocolate Sushi: 1020 Keolu Drive, Suite D4, 263-7878. “Buying chocolate makes life mo’ better,” is the slogan of this eatery, which sells the unusual combination of sushi hand-rolls and gourmet chocolate.
Cinnamon’s Restaurant Kailua: 315 Uluniu St., 261-8724. Cinnamon’s serves fresh, natural food — free of chemicals, additives and preservatives. The menu offers omelets, loco moco and its No. 1 seller, eggs Benedict.
Cisco’s Cantina: 131 Hekili St., Suite 103, 262-7337. Cisco’s offers standard Mexican food with a bit of Hawaiian flavor, including kalua pig, in many menu items.
Deb’s Ribs & Soul Food: 130 Kailua Road, Suite 112, 262-3327. Winner of the Star-Bulletin taste-off for best ribs, Deb’s also offers fried catfish, black-eyed peas and other soul food dishes.
Fat Boy’s Kailua: 301 A Hahani St., 263-2697. If you’ve got a plate lunch in mind, chances are Fat Boy’s will have it, serving chili, hamburger steak, kalua cabbage and basically anything you can think of.
Food Company: 1020 Keolu Drive, Suite D1, 262-6440. A broad name for a broad menu, the Food Company serves ramen, quesadillas, salads, loco mocos and roasted turkey.
Gee a Deli: 418 F Kuulei Road, 261-4412. This New York-style deli is a little hard to find, but well worth the search. Choose to sit at indoor booths or tables outside.
Good to Go: 307 Uluniu St., 266-4646. Good to Go has an extensive menu of healthy fast food. Although most customers order takeout, a few seats are available for dine-in.
K & L BBQ: 1051 Keolu Drive, Suite 102, 261-5886. K & L serves local plate lunches—hamburger steaks and barbecue chicken.
Kalapawai Market Deli: 306 S. Kalaheo Ave., 262-4359. If you’re heading to the beach, be sure to stop by Kalapawai Market Deli for sandwiches, salads and pastas. You can eat on the beach or the lanai.
Kim Chee Restaurant: 1020 G Keolu Drive, 261-5719. With restaurants spread across the state, many residents find old favorites on the Kim Chee menu of barbecue chicken, kal bi and other Korean dishes.
Lanikai Juice: 572 Kailua Road, 262-2383. Serving up smoothies, juice and snacks daily, but, remember, it’s closed on Fridays.
Lani’s Cafe & Restaurant: 43 Oneawa St., 262-7122. Lani’s is a quaint restaurant, with umbrella-shaded tables outside. The local-style menu offers Spam, hamburger steak, loco mocos and other local favorites.
Los Garcias: 14 Oneawa St., 261-0306. Los Garcias serves authentic Mexican food, with live music on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Outside sidewalk tables are available for dining.
Lucy’s Grill & Bar: 33 Aulike St., 230-8188. Decorated with tiki torches and saltwater fish tanks, with outside seating available. Open for dinner only, serving specialties such as roasted oysters and ribs. An innovative wine list.
Luigi's Place: 442 Uluniu St., 263-5678. Allow yourself some leisure to dine here, the menu reads “all good things take time.” Luigi’s serves pastas, soups, appetizers and salads, and offers a vegetarian menu as well.
Maui Tacos Kailua: 539 Kailua Road, Suite 102, 261-4155. Maui Tacos serves huge burritos, weighing 14 to 16 ounces—“It’s Mexican with Mauitude.”
Morning Brew: 572 Kailua Road, 262-7770: Filled with local art, creative coffee concoctions and nutritious meals, Morning brew is a popular Windward-Side coffee shop. Menu items include quesadillas, garden burgers, sandwiches, salads and an extensive dessert selection.
New Mui Kwai Chop Suey: 132 Oneawa St., 262-7800. Chinese dishes offered a la carte or choose a set menu for your party.
Noboru Japanese Restaurant: 201 Hamakua Drive, Suite 102, 261-3033. Noboru Restaurant serves a wide variety of Japanese food, offering an early-bird dinner special from 5 to 7 p.m.
Ohana Korean BBQ: 16 Kainehe St., 263-0024. Ohana Korean BBQ offers Korean-style cooking for dine-in or takeout.
Pepper’s Place: 600 Kailua Road, Suite 125, 262-3337. Although there is a lot to choose from on the menu, people come to Pepper’s for its Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. With limited seating on tables at the storefront, plan to takeout.
New Mui Kwai Chop Suey: 23 Hoolai St., 262-5833. This family-run restaurant has been around for more than 30 years, serving up mainly pizzas.
Pinky’s Pupu Bar and Grill: 970 N. Kalaheo Ave., 254-6255. Pinky’s draws the neighborhood crowd, with baby-back ribs, prime rib and barbecue wings.
Princess Chop Suey: 131 Hekili St., Suite 106, 262-7166. The menu offers Chinese specialties such as orange chicken, oyster sauce spare ribs and oxtail soup.
Roundtable Pizza: 1020 Keolu Drive, 261-4644. Create your own pizza or choose from a menu of specialty pizzas.
Saeng’s Thai Cuisine: 315 Hahani St., 263-9727. Kailuans have been going to Saeng’s since 1989 for delicious Thai food, served mild unless specified.
Saigon Noodle House: 1020 Keolu Drive, 261-2466. Saigon Noodle House offers all your Vietnamese favorites: French bread sandwiches, rice dishes, spring rolls and summer rolls.
Sushi Kai: 20 Kainehe St., 262-5661. Decorated in feng shui fashion and serving up creative sushi rolls and standard kitchen items, Sushi Kai is new to Kailua town.
Sushi Man: 108 Hekili St., Suite 104, 230-2020. One of 10 locations on Oahu, this eatery offers affordable sushi.
Teddy’s Bigger Burgers: 539 Kailua Road, 262-0820. Choose between the big burger (5 oz.), the bigger burger (7 oz.) or the biggest burger (9 oz.), with your choice of toppings. Named by HONOLULU Magazine the best burger in town.
The Shack: 1051 Keolu Drive, 261-1191. Come here for yummy bar food—potato skins, fries and mozzarella sticks. If you’re looking to be healthier, salads are also on the menu.
Times Coffee Shop: 153 Hamakua Drive, 262-0300. Open for breakfast and lunch every day of the week, Times serves bacon, ham and sausages, sandwiches and plate lunches. Kailuans say the fried rice is a must.
Willow Tree Korean Restaurant: 25 Kaneohe Bay Drive, 254-1139. Willow Tree serves Korean specialties such as kal bi and bi bim bap. Come early, reservations are not taken and seating is offered on a first come, first served basis.
Zia’s Caffe: 201 Hamakua St., Suite A 103, 262-7168. Zia’s offers indoor and outdoor seating, serving standard Italian food and “low-carb options,” with a wide menu of salad choices. Note: the lunch and dinner menus vary considerably, with more choices at dinner.