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2017 Hale ‘Aina Awards

Sept. 25, 2016 from 6:30–9:30 p.m. 

Congratulations to the 2017 Hale ‘Aina Award winners! Click here to see the full list of winners.


Restaurant lineup:


  • Tiki’s Grill and Bar  Roast bone marrow, Kolea Farms sunchoke puree, pineapple agrodolce (roasted veal bone, puree, toasted bread crumbs, parsley salad, mignonette, sweet ‘n’ sour pineapple)

  • Arancino – Arancini ai funghi porcini (lightly fried porcini mushroom risotto croquette, parmigiano cream sauce)

  • Agu Ramen Bistro – Hot Mess Ramen (extra rich broth made with black garlic oil, garlic chips, and silky se-abura. Original kotteri topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese)

  • Top of Waikīkī – Southern inspired hot chicken and biscuits with achara (spicy buttermilk fried chicken with home-made biscuits and a Filipino-inspired green papaya pickled relish)

  • Mission Social Hall & Café – Mochiko ulu (charred Hirabara kale, spicy Kewpie, cheezit parm)

  • Livestock Tavern – Sauteed scallops and bone marrow with truffle'd grits (sauteed bay scallops with bone marrow grits with truffle oil)

  • Lucky Belly – Lobster shu mai with lobster butter sauce (steamed shellfish dumpling with lobster, scallop, shrimp in a lobster bisque butter sauce)

  • Cafe Laufer – Sacher torte and coffee gelee (classic Austrian torte (chocolate cake with apricot marmalade) coffee gelee with caramel sauce and whip cream)

  • Noi Thai – Thai larb chicken (a Thai style salad of minced chicken tossed in a zesty lime dressing mixed with red onion, cilantro, and toasted rice)

  • Fête – Fete fried chicken (fried chicken with spicy tomato jam, Charleston grits, collard greens)

  • Kai Market – Pan seared maple duck breast, butternut squash, horseradish beet puree and brussels sprouts

  • Pikake Terrace  Causa dorada (truffle potato cake, seared hamachi, masago, yuzu gel, micro cilantro)

  • Piggy Smalls Scallion Arepa (anchovy XO sauce, pickled corn cilantro)


Use your Priority Destinations® or Priority RewardsSM credit card at checkout and receive a 20% discount off GENERAL ADMISSION tickets courtesy of First Hawaiian Bank. Enter the first 8-digits of your card number in the discount code field to redeem this special offer.


Signature cocktails and beverages:

  • Kai Spirits

  • Ocean Vodka

  • Menehune Water

  • Johnson Brothers of Hawai‘i, Inc.

  • The Cherry Co. LTD

  • Southern Wine & Spirits

  • Paradise Beverages

  • Koloa Rum

  • Maui Brewing Co.



Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?

The Hale ‘Aina Celebration is open to guests of all ages; however consumption of alcoholic beverages at the event is prohibited under state law to guests under the age of 21.

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

Self parking is available at the Sheraton Waikīkī or valet parking is available at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Questions about the event can be directed to or 808-534-7573.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

You are encouraged to bring your paper tickets to the event to make the check-in process more efficient. Should you forget your paper ticket, please check-in by LAST NAME (of the ticket purchaser) at the registration tables.

What is the refund policy?

Ticket purchases made prior to Sept. 25 are eligible for a refund. If a refund is needed, email or call 808-534-7573.


After Party

Join us as we continue the festivities at RumFire Waikīkī, next door at the Sheraton Waikīkī! Sip on Hale ‘Aina Award-winning signature cocktails featuring RumFire’s private-label single-barrel rum. Get frisky with “The Fierce Piña” featuring RumFire single-barrel rum, Cruzan 151, Angostura bitters and house piña colada mix blended with ice. Or, relax oceanfront with “Tradewinds,” featuring Cruzan light rum, Dekuyper watermelon and Soho lychee liqueur all while enjoying live entertainment from Tim Rose.


About the event

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

All HONOLULU readers are eligible to vote. Voting took place in June. A hard copy ballot also appears in the June 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.

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 on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 at The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort.


The Hale ‘Aina Awards ballot nominations

In each Hale ‘Aina Award category, there are six available slots for nominations. Three are automatically filled with the gold-, silver- and bronze-award-winning restaurants from the previous Hale ‘Aina Awards, in recognition of their demonstrated high quality. Two restaurants are nominated by HONOLULU Magazine’s food and dining editor, Catherine Toth Fox, based on her own research and impressions of Hawai‘i’s dining scene. And lastly, one nomination slot is reserved as a write-in, to allow readers to suggest their own favorite restaurant in each category, if it hasn’t already been nominated.


The Passion fruit creamsicle dessert from STAGE.


Past Hale ‘Aina Award Winners

2016 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners (Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i) 

2015 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners (Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i)

2014 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners (Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i)

2013 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners (Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i)