7 Reasons Not to Miss the Hale ‘Aina Awards

The best food and dining event in Honolulu is happening in less than two weeks!
Photo: Ross D. Hamamura/ Sony


Photo: Kelli Bullock 

The Hale ‘Aina Awards are getting closer (Sunday, Sept. 27) and we’re getting excited! It’s HONOLULU Magazine’s biggest and best event of the year—featuring food from award-winning restaurants, gourmet cocktails and wine, and mingling with great people, all under the stars in Waikīkī. If you haven’t reserved your tickets yet, here are seven reasons you won’t want to miss this year’s shindig:


1. With 13 of Honolulu’s best restaurants all in one place, the Hale ‘Aina Awards are a fantastic place to try out new and exciting gourmet experiences. After sampling dishes from places such as Roy’s Waikīkī, MW Restaurant and Azure, you’ll have your dining plans set for months afterward.


2. You’ll be tasting the Islands, in a very real way. So many restaurants this year are incorporating local meats, fish and vegetables into their dishes—it’s inspiring. Not only are Hawai‘i-sourced ingredients delicious, you can feel good about supporting local agriculture. Kualoa Ranch prawns? Hāmākua mushrooms? Kahuku sea asparagus? Kaua‘i shrimp? Sign us up.


3. Whether you’re a fan of beef, seafood or even vegetarian, there’ll be a dish you love. Think red-wine-braised short ribs, kampachi topped with ume caviar or a luscious half-melted burrata cheese with black orzo. For a full list of all the dishes being served at the event, click here


4. Hope you’re thirsty. Three different bars will be serving up gourmet cocktails and beer, including, for the first time, a wine bar by Johnson Bros. Plus, there’s more locally sourced ingredients here: Keep an eye out for cocktails whipped up using Kōloa rum.


5. The Hale ‘Ainas are going to be sporting a whole new theme this year: Cirque du Cuisine. It’ll be a festive circus environment, with IONA dancers performing aerial silk maneuvers and performing as lions and zebras and geckos. Talk about a spectacle for the eyes. (And, not to worry, there won’t be any clowns.)


6. There’ll also be great live music from three different local artists: Natalie Ai Kamauu, Maunalua, and L’Escargot. Hawaiian music with a touch of French cabaret to round things out—sounds right up our alley!


7. If you want to experience all this, but more of it, there’s still time to go VIP, with six-person reserved tables that come with perks like a private bar tended by Kai Spirits. Check here for details.


Hale ‘Aina Awards, Sunday, Sept. 27 at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Coconut Grove, 7 to 9:30 p.m., Buy tickets here


 Click here for a full list of the dishes being served, and other event information.