$40 Pau Hana for 2: Fresh, Filling Flavor Bombs at Merriman’s Honolulu

Good portions, good variety, good views and fresh flavors make this one of Honolulu’s best happy hours.


With prices rising, we scoped out the best happy hour deals where two people can fill up. Frolic’s $40 Pau Hana series hits every craving from pizza to sushi. We hope you will love these stops as much as we do. 


modern glass tower with restaurant on ground floor

Photo: James Nakamura


After visiting Merriman’s Honolulu for an elaborate dinner, I immediately made a mental note to check out happy hour. It turns out to be one of the very best in the city in my opinion. It’s a good value—spending $40 will leave two people very full and off good food. The location is prime in Kaka‘ako across from Whole Foods Market and one block from the movie theater. The aesthetics and modern streetscape views mean there is no bad seat in the house. And Merriman’s farm-to-table philosophy of using locally sourced ingredients shines when you taste the food.


Here’s what two of us ate.


Fish and Chips, $9


Merrimans Honolulu Fish And Chips Maddy Chow

Photo: Maddy Chow


The portion is so filling that this may be all you need to order—and it’s the same price as a McDonald’s meal (but tastes a hundred times better). Two large pieces of the catch of the day come with house malt vinegar, lemon and fresh fries sprinkled with rosemary salt. This is by far my favorite happy hour dish because of the ultra flaky fish and perfect fries.


Oysters, $4 each

Before my happy hour at Merriman’s, I had only tried an oyster once. It was horrible, like tasting sand, but I wanted to give it a second try, and Merriman’s seemed as good a place as any. I am very glad I did. The oysters come with black pepper mignonette, vegetable crudité and lemon. Slippery-fresh and light with a slight tang and salty taste, they nearly melt in my mouth and completely change my opinion about oysters.


SEE ALSO: Are These the Most Beautiful Restaurants in Honolulu?


Kalua Quesadilla, $10


happy hour Kalua Quesadilla triangles

Photo: Maddy Chow


Four pieces of quesadilla are stuffed with tender kalua pig and gooey cheese and come with housemade kim chee and mango chile salsa, my favorite. The kim chee adds a Korean flair for an unexpectedly delicious pairing. I like to eat the salsa and kim chee separately because I think they taste better on their own, especially the salsa, which is a little sweet with a slight kick at the end.


Fish Tacos, $10


happy hour Fish Tacos

Photo: Maddy Chow


We’re pretty full by now, but we decide to order fish tacos just to try. Two mini tacos come with locally grown cabbage slaw, the catch of the day, a creamy Sriracha aioli and a slice of avocado, plus sides of salsa verde, red salsa with a little bit of heat, limes, jalapeños and pickles. The succulent fish, crunchy cabbage and balance of flavors are perfect. I will definitely order this again, though I’ll also try the kalua tacos to sample the fusion of Mexican and Hawaiian flavors.


Every dish we try is a fresh flavor bomb, making Merriman’s my favorite happy hour in Honolulu. The portions are generous, and there’s a good variety, all at friendly price points. If you can, ask for outdoor seating and enjoy the city views in the late afternoon. Even though happy hour ends at 5, last order is at 4:30, so make sure to get there before then!


Happy hour daily from 3 to 5 p.m., restaurant open from 11 a.m to 9 p.m, 1108 Auahi St. #170, merrimanshawaii.com, @merrimanshonolulu



Find more $40 pau hanas:

$40 Pau Hana for 2: Signature Prime Steak & Seafood

$40 Pau Hana for 2: Sushi at ‘Ahi & Vegetable in Kapālama

$40 Pau Hana for 2: Moku Kitchen in Kaka‘ako