2020 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: The Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i

Congratulations to this year’s Hale ‘Aina Award winners announced on Sept. 14, 2020.

 

Hale Aina Awards winners Mahalo

 

We asked, more than 8,000 votes were cast, and now it’s time to unveil the winners of the 2020 Hale ‘Aina Awards!

 

Each year, our readers vote for their favorite restaurants in the Islands, as well as naming the Restaurateur of the Year. The top restaurants were announced during a virtual live-reception held Sept. 14, 2020. See our upcoming December 2020 issue for the stories behind the menus, ordering tips from some of our Hale ‘Aina Award honorees. Subscribe now to have our Best Restaurants issue delivered right to your home.

 

The Hale ‘Aina Awards are the state’s longest running and most prestigious dining honors, started by HONOLULU Magazine in 1984 to honor the best restaurants in Hawai‘i. Whether you’re looking for weekend brunch spots, your new favorite cocktail or the best places to indulge your sweet tooth, we got you. This list of Hale ‘Aina-winning restaurants is your all-year, can’t-miss dining guide.

 

Congratulations to this year’s winners for operating at the highest levels of quality, and offering Hawai‘i’s most delicious and innovative dishes.

 


SEE ALSO: Get Your Tickets to the 2020 Hale ‘Aina Celebration


 

Restaurateur of the Year

Michelle Karr-Ueoka & Wade Ueoka

MW Restaurant

 

Best New Restaurant

GOLD – Rigo

SILVER – Mad Bene

BRONZE – Feast

FINALIST – Ya-Ya’s Chophouse & Seafood

 


SEE ALSO: Find the Best Wine Deals in Honolulu at Rigo Spanish Italian Restaurant


 

Best O‘ahu Restaurant

GOLD – Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai

SILVER – Alan Wong’s

BRONZE – Merriman’s Honolulu

FINALIST – Senia

 

Best Maui Restaurant

GOLD – Lahaina Grill

SILVER – Merriman’s Kapalua

BRONZE – Mama’s Fish House

FINALIST – Lineage

 


SEE ALSO: 2019 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: Lahaina Grill Wins Gold for Maui’s Best Restaurant


 

Best Big Island Restaurant

GOLD – Merriman’s Waimea

SILVER – Hawaiian Style Café

BRONZE – Roy’s Waikoloa

FINALIST – Ken’s House of Pancakes

 

Best Kaua‘i Restaurant

GOLD – The Beach House

SILVER – Roy’s Poʻipū

BRONZE – Merriman’s Fish House

FINALIST – Restaurant Bar Acuda

 

Best Service

GOLD – Hy’s Steak House

SILVER – Lahaina Grill

BRONZE – Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai

FINALIST& – Merriman’s Honolulu

 


SEE ALSO: 11 Chefs Dish on Their Go-To Orders Around Hawai‘i


 

Best Business Lunch

GOLD – Mariposa

SILVER – MW Restaurant

BRONZE – Merriman’s Honolulu

FINALIST – Nico’s Pier 38

 

Best Breakfast

GOLD – Café Kaila

SILVER – Koko Head Café

BRONZE – Cinnamon’s

FINALIST – Basalt

 


SEE ALSO: Travel Around the World (Without Leaving Hawai‘i) For Breakfast at These 7 Restaurants


 

Best Brunch

GOLD – Orchids

SILVER – Koko Head Café

BRONZE – Café Kaila

FINALIST &ndash Hōkū’s

 

Best Buffet

GOLD – Lā Hiki Kitchen

SILVER – 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar

BRONZE – Orchids

FINALIST – Hōkū’s

 


SEE ALSO: Best of Honolulu 2020: The Best Food and Drinks on O‘ahu


 

Best Cocktail

GOLD – Bar Leather Apron

SILVER – Moku Kitchen

BRONZE – Bevy

FINALIST – Monkeypod Kitchen

 

Best Wine Program

GOLD – Vino

SILVER – Amuse Wine Bar

BRONZE – Lahaina Grill

FINALIST – Merriman’s Honolulu

 

Best Beer Program

GOLD – Square Barrels

SILVER – Maui Brewing Co.

BRONZE – Kona Brewing Co.

FINALIST – Beer Lab HI

 


SEE ALSO: Real Gastropub, Hawai‘i’s First Restaurant to Focus on Craft Beer, Won’t be Reopening


 

Best Bar Food

GOLD – Side Street Inn

SILVER – Square Barrels

BRONZE – Pint + Jigger

FINALIST – Basalt

 

Best Tasting Menu

GOLD – Senia

SILVER – Alan Wong’s

BRONZE – Pai Honolulu

FINALIST – Stage Restaurant

 


SEE ALSO: The Best Hawai‘i Restaurants for Celebrating a Special Occasion


 

Most Romantic

GOLD – Michel’s at the Colony Surf

SILVER – La Mer

BRONZE – 53 By The Sea

FINALIST – Mama’s Fish House

 

Best Restaurant That Caters

GOLD – Chef Chai

SILVER – The Pig & The Lady

BRONZE – MW Restaurant

FINALIST – Side Street Inn

 

Best Vegetarian

GOLD – Peace Café

SILVER – Tane Vegan Izakaya

BRONZE – Vegan Hills

FINALIST – Beet Box Café

 


SEE ALSO: The Best Local Takeout Food for Game Days During Quarantine


 

Best Gourmet Comfort Food

GOLD – 12th Ave Grill

SILVER – Side Street Inn

BRONZE – Kalapawai Café & Deli

FINALIST – Scratch Kitchen

 

Best Steak

GOLD – Stripsteak

SILVER – Ruth’s Chris Steak House

BRONZE – Hy’s Steak House

FINALIST – Morton’s The Steakhouse

 

Best Seafood

GOLD – Nico’s Pier 38

SILVER – Mama’s Fish House

BRONZE – Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill

FINALIST – Merriman’s Honolulu

 

Best Dessert

GOLD – MW Restaurant

SILVER – Liliha Bakery

BRONZE – The Pig & The Lady

FINALIST – Tiny Pryamid

 

Best Farm-to-Table

GOLD – Town

SILVER – Merriman’s Honolulu

BRONZE – Mud Hen Water

FINALIST – Moku Kitchen

 

Best Hot Pot

GOLD – Ichiriki

SILVER – Sweet Home Café

BRONZE – Asuka Nabe + Shabu Shabu

FINALIST – Nabeya Maido

 


SEE ALSO: The Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Hot Pot in Honolulu


 

Best Chinese

GOLD – Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant

SILVER – Little Village Noodle House

BRONZE – Fook Yuen

FINALIST – Happy Days

 


SEE ALSO: How to Eat Xiao Long Bao and Other Tips for Enjoying Soup Dumplings in Honolulu


 

Best Hawaiian

GOLD – Helena’s Hawaiian Food

SILVER – Highway Inn

BRONZE – Young’s Fish Market

FINALIST – Waiāhole Poi Factory

 

Best Italian

GOLD – Arancino at The Kāhala

SILVER – Assaggio

BRONZE – La Cucina Ristorante Italiano

FINALIST – Taormina Sicilian Cuisine

 

Best Izakaya

GOLD – Izakaya Naru

SILVER – Izakaya Torae Torae

BRONZE – Sushi Izakaya Gaku

FINALIST – Izakaya Nonbei

 

Best Sushi

GOLD – Yanagi Sushi

SILVER – Ginza Sushi

BRONZE – Sushi ii

FINALIST – Mitch’s Sushi

 

Best Japanese Noodles (Ramen, Udon, Soba)

GOLD – I-naba

SILVER – Golden Pork Ton-kotsu Ramen Bar

BRONZE – Wagaya

FINALIST – Marukame Udon

 

Best Overall Japanese

GOLD – Gyotaku

SILVER – I-naba

BRONZE – Rinka

FINALIST – Yanagi Sushi

 

Best Thai

GOLD – Noi Thai Cuisine

SILVER – Thai Issan Cuisine

BRONZE – Opal Thai

FINALIST – Maile’s Thai Bistro

 

Best Mediterranean

GOLD – Olive Tree Café

SILVER – Yamas Mediterranean Cuisine

BRONZE – Shaloha Pita

FINALIST – Da Spot

 

Best Indian

GOLD – Café Maharani

SILVER – Himalayan Kitchen

BRONZE – Kamana Kitchen

FINALIST – Bombay Palace

 

Best Yakiniku/Korean BBQ

GOLD – Gen Korean BBQ House

SILVER – Million Restaurant

BRONZE – Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

FINALIST – Sura Hawai‘i

 

Best Overall Korean

GOLD – Million Restaurant

SILVER – Sorabol

BRONZE – Choi’s Garden

FINALIST – Gen Korean BBQ House

 

Best Vietnamese

GOLD – The Pig &The Lady

SILVER – Hale Vietnam

BRONZE – Pho Saigon

FINALIST – Saigon’s Restaurant

 

Best Mexican

GOLD – Azteca Mexican Restaurant

SILVER – Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant

BRONZE – Mexico Restaurant

FINALIST – Alejandro’s