Best of HONOLULU 2022: The Best Food and Drinks on O‘ahu

Find 13 of our editors’ favorites, plus 36 winners and finalists voted on by readers.



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Best Shopping: These 21 Winners Deserve a Spot on Your Must-Buy List

Best Celebrations and Getaways: Readers Choose Their Top 6 Places


Best Of Food Drink 2022 Ice Cream Pie

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Ice Cream Pie

Beholding Slice by HB Baking’s menu is like emerging from a black-and-white world into full color, from a drab mud pie landscape to one glittering with gold sprinkles. Heather Lukela, formerly the pastry chef at Top of Waikīkī, opened this shop last year, serving ice cream pie by the slice, including the Strawberry Shortcake—strawberry ice cream layered with yellow cake and birthday cake ice cream on a sugar cookie crust and topped with sparkly Fruity Pebbles. Cake, pie or ice cream? Now you don’t have to choose. —MC


100 N. Beretania St., (808) 202-8601, @slicebyhbbaking



Best Boba Tea

Reader Pick

“Oh yeah, their boba is really good.” That’s the reaction from a random bubble tea fan at the mention of Hana Tea. And it is. As proof, try the bestselling brown sugar milk tea with brown sugar boba and your choice of foam (creamy cake or cheese). And scrape your straw around the bottom to slurp up the very best part: warm, softly bouncy boba trailing brown sugar syrup drips. Or abandon the straw and dredge it all up with a spoon. In a town where boba tea shops dot the landscape like, well, so many boba pearls at the bottom of your drink, Hana Tea’s two locations manage to stand out. —MT


Multiple locations,, @hanatea808



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Bahn Mi Alt

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Banh Mi

Vietnamese baguettes are their own wonderful category of bread. Chi Lam, who opened Le’s Banh Mi earlier this year, knows this. When she moved from Ho Chi Minh City to Honolulu six years ago, she tried a lot of different banh mi baguettes, “but none of them taste exactly like the [ones] I used to eat in Vietnam, so I decided to learn how to bake,” she says. She now bakes her own bread every morning (few other banh mi places do), and the results are airy and chubby loaves with delicately crackly crusts. We appreciate that her banh mi are not overstuffed affairs—from one with crispy-skinned roast pork to even the Saigon Special, with sliced cha lua (pork sausage), char siu, ham and pâté—each assembled with a restrained hand that makes the baguette an integral part of the banh mi experience. —MC


808 Sheridan St., Suite 306B, (808) 227-3066, @les_banhmi



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Roast Duck Alt

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Roast Duck

Few preparations really highlight duck’s best qualities (read: fat and dark meat) as well as Cantonese roast duck, in which the fat is rendered in the roasting process, moistening the meat below and leaving behind a thin, burnished skin. O‘ahu’s best hides below the Beretania Safeway, at Asian Mix, where the roast duck stands out for its juiciness, kissed with sweetness and a whisper of star anise. —MC


1234 S. Beretania St., A-1,



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Lemon Meringue Pie Alt1

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Lemon Meringue Pie

Wahiawā’s Kīlani Bakery towers over the lemon meringue competition on O‘ahu. The sky-high swirl of golden waves of meringue barely fits into a pastry box, but it’s the filling that takes this dessert over the top. The lemon tastes bright, fresh and still tart enough to balance the fluffy mountain of meringue. These pies have grown rarer over the years. Maybe our tropical weather makes meringue fussy, or the closing of OG Kāne‘ohe Bakery, Wailana and Hungry Lion coffee shops took a toll on those willing to bake a pie that traces its history to Philadelphia in the 1800s. While Kīlani is most famous for thin-sliced brownies dusted with powdered sugar, staffers say customers who try this pie keep coming back. —RD


704 Kīlani Ave., Wahiawā, (808) 621-5662, @kilanibakery



Best Meat Jun

Rarely found beyond the Islands, meat jun is consistently different from restaurant to restaurant. Preference may go to the Korean barbecue closest to home, but we’ll gladly hop over to Tasty Korean BBQ 3 in Kāne‘ohe for its version. Marinated sheets of beef are dredged and coated in an eggy batter and shallow fried to order. Tasty’s stands above the rest for exceptional tenderness and a flavor that can forgo dipping sauce. —TO


46-047 Kamehameha Highway, Kāne‘ohe, (808) 247-2388



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Mocktails Alt

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Best Mocktails

These days, those who choose to go spirit-less at pau hana have much more than soda water and iced tea to choose from. When dining omakase style at Bar Maze, you can have your food courses paired with zero-proof creations like a whimsical blend of mango, sweetened lychee black tea, tomato water, citrus and bubbles. Similar to their booze-laden counterparts, all mocktails are crafted by owner and barmaster Justin Park to pair with each dish. In addition to using ingredients like clarified kiwi and green tea yogurt, Park steeps teas to provide a dryness mimicking alcohol and layers flavors to achieve complexity beyond the nonalcoholic norm. —MB


604 Ala Moana Blvd.,, @bar.maze



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Korean Fried Chicken Alt

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Korean Fried Chicken

Koreans take everything to the next level, and fried chicken is no exception. The search for the best ends in Kaka‘ako at Good Chicken, whose humble name is an understatement. Here, Jae Kyung Park batters and double fries winglets and drums to crispy golden perfection. While the original crispy is popular, it’s the scarlet sweet-sticky-spicy dakgangjeong wings that have us licking our fingers after each bite. —TO


941 Kawaiaha‘o St., (808) 744-7239,, @goodchicken_ward



Best Farm-to-House Hookup

We’ve ordered kalo, sweet colorful Ho Farms tomatoes, ‘ulu salad dressing, tomatillos, Kualoa Ranch sausage, rainbow carrots and candy-striped chioggia beets. We bought longan, organic leeks and blocks of Aloha Tofu. We joined Farm Link Hawai‘i’s online store to buy fresh produce when everything was disrupted, and we’ve stayed on to shop for quality affordable local products from home. Since mid-June, a $6.99 delivery fee is added for orders of up to $79.99; those $80 or move have no added charge. And the selections keep expanding: from gyoza wrappers and edible flowers to guavas, soaps and other items we’ve bought as gifts. From the exciting to everyday, Farm Link delivers as reliably as a good friend with a truck. —RD


(808) 201-5252,, @farmlinkhawaii



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Noodles Local Ingredient Alt

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Noodle with Local Ingredients

There are only so many ingredients in a ramen noodle—water, flour, kansui (alkaline solution)—but what happens when you throw a wild card into the mix? Adela’s Country Eatery includes ‘ulu, kalo, sweet potato, malunggay or local avocados and runs the noodles through a ramen press using techniques learned in Hokkaido, but treats them like a pasta. Each varies ever so slightly in taste and texture while still registering as a ramen noodle. The noodle-riffing continues through various flavor combinations like malunggay pasta with lechon, or avocado and lemongrass shrimp. You can also take the dried versions home and pair with a topping of your own whimsy. —JN


45-1151 Kamehameha Highway, Kāne‘ohe, (808) 236-2366,, @adelashawaii



Best Local Beer

Reader Pick

From a pandan latte stout to a Dole Whip island sour ale, Inu Island Ales rolls out limited release beers from behind roll-up warehouse doors in Kāne‘ohe. Keaka Eckart started the brewery in 2017, and it’s since gained a loyal following—at times more than a hundred people line up for hours to get their hands on the latest drop. But for more easygoing sips, drop into the small bar, which has a hanging-in-your-friend’s-carport vibe, for any of the six beers on tap, showcasing a range of styles and Island flavors. —MC


46-147 Kahuhipa St., Kāne‘ohe, (808) 202-3684,, @inuislandales



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Cooked To Order Market Dish Alt

Photo: James Nakamura


Best Cooked-to-Order Market Dish

Like many, chef Andrew Pressler took some unwanted time off during the pandemic. Dinner for himself and fiancée Jen Klepper became his nightly occupation. Pressler referenced fond food memories for meal ideas and remembered hand-pulled biangbiang noodles, a frequent favorite of the couple’s when they lived in New York City. The more Pressler thought about it, the more it made sense to bring the street food concept to farmers markets—and Youpo Noodles was born. From the northwest region of China, the wide noodles are thin and bouncy with a delectable chew. Tossed with proteins like lamb, beef and shrimp, each bowl is made to order and boasts numbing spice combinations. —MB


Honolulu Farmers Market Wednesdays 4–7 p.m., Kailua Farmers Market Thursdays 4–7 p.m., Kaka‘ako Farmers Market Saturdays 8 a.m.–noon, @youponoodleshi



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Local Fruit Puree Alt

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Local Fruit Purée

We love stirring fresh local fruit into food and drinks. And when we can’t find fresh, we rely on imported purées. But no more! The folks at Maui Fruit Jewels—who created the chicest, tastiest fruit gummies ever—created a line of affordable purées during the pandemic that taste like we squeezed them ourselves. Liliko‘i, guava and mango are the most popular of the 100% Hawai‘i-grown line, co-founder Chris ter Horst says. “We were in the past always processing everything by hand and we simply have grown,” investing in a big industrial machine that washes and processes all the fruits. While he thought people would want the purées for baking and sauces, “it really turned out that people mainly use it for cocktails and smoothies.” —RD, @mauifruitjewels



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Lumpia Alt

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Lumpia

Owners Janine Unciano and Susan Eladnani opened J & S Lumpia Spot at the start of the pandemic, currently the only brick-and-mortar eatery that specializes in the freshly fried comfort food. With fillings like banana or the traditional Shanghai-style pork, Unciano and Eladnani also roll up the likes of pastele, sweet potato, strawberry cheesecake and more. With a paper thin and oh-so-crunchy exterior, a pan of these lumpia is sure to make you the most popular potluck invitee at the picnic table. —MB


4369 Lawehana St., A-1,, @jslumpiaspot



Best Of Food Drink 2022 Gyro Alt

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino. Food styling: Stacey Makiya


Best Gyro

Stella Sarros and chef husband Avraam Terzopoulos started Greek Aloha Kitchen last summer as a pop-up in the community kitchen of Papakōlea Community Park. They’ve since outgrown their space and now pop up on Vineyard Boulevard in Liliha. The pork gyro is stuffed with a few tomatoes and onions along with chunks of seasoned belly meat and thick, perfectly potato-y fries. Aromatics from the marinade are echoed in the cool and creamy tzatziki. Or get the Thessaloniki-style with ketchup and mustard like they serve it in northern Greece. —MB


Fridays and Saturdays (closed this summer through early August), 517 N. Vineyard Blvd., @greek_aloha_kitchen



The Rest of the Best: Reader Picks


Best Açaí Bowl

Winner: Da Cove HealthBar
3045 Monsarrat Ave., #5, (808) 732-8744, @dacovehawaii

Finalist: Lanikai Juice
Multiple locations,, @lanikaijuice


Best Bakery

Winner: Liliha Bakery
Multiple locations,, @lilihabakery

Finalist: Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery
1027 Maunakea St., (808) 531-6688, @singcheongyuanbakery


Best Boba Tea

Finalist: Teapresso
Multiple locations,, @teapressobarhawaii


Best Bottle Shop

Winner: Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors
Multiple locations,, @tamurasfinewine

Finalist: Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room
675 Auahi St., #121, (808) 369-0688,, @villagebeer


Best Burger

Winner: Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
Multiple locations,, @teddysburgers

Finalist: Chubbies Burgers
1145C 12th Ave., (808) 291-7867,, @chubbieshawaii


Best Fast Casual Restaurant

Winner: Zippy’s
Multiple locations,, @zippys

Finalist: Nico’s
Multiple locations, and, @nicospier38 and @nicoskailua


Best Food Truck

Winner: Chubbies Burgers (now a brick-and-mortar restaurant)
1145C 12th Ave., (808) 291-7867,, @chubbieshawaii

Finalist: Banyan’s Island Grill
67-106 Kealohanui St., Waialua, (808) 426-6176,, @banyansislandgrill


Best Fried Chicken

Winner: Zippy’s
Multiple locations,, @zippys

Finalist: Popeyes
Multiple locations,, @popeyeshawaii


Best Grocery Store

Winner: Foodland
Multiple locations,, @foodlandhi

Finalist: Times Supermarkets
Multiple locations,, @timessupermarkets


Best Local Beer

Finalist: Hana Koa Brewing Co.
962 Kawaiaha‘o St., (808) 591-2337,, @hanakoabrewing


Best Local Coffee Company

Winner: Big Island Coffee Roasters
(808) 968-6228,, @bigislandcoffeeroasters

Finalist: Lion Coffee
1555 Kalani St., (808) 843-4294,, @lioncoffeehi


Best Local Coffee Shop

Winner: Ali‘i Coffee Co.
Multiple locations,, @aliicoffeeco

Finalist: Coffee Talk
3601 Wai‘alae Ave., 737-7444, @coffeetalkhawaii


Best Local Snack Company

Winner: Wholesale Unlimited
Multiple locations,, @wholesaleunlimitedhi

Finalist: Lin’s Hawaiian Snacks
401 Kamake‘e St., (808) 597-8899,, @linshawaiiansnacks


Best Local Spirit

Winner: Kō Hana Distillers
92-1770 Kunia Road, #227, Kunia Camp, (808) 649-0830,, @kohanarum

Finalist: Islander Sake Brewery
25 N. King St., (808) 800-7150,, @islandersake


Best Musubi

Winner: 7-Eleven
Hawai‘i Multiple locations,, @7elevenhi

Finalist: Musubi Café Iyasume
Multiple locations,, @musubi_cafe_iyasume


Best Place to Buy Poke

Winner: Foodland
Multiple locations,, @foodlandhi

Finalist: Tamura’s Market
Multiple locations,, @tamurasmarket


Best Plate Lunch

Winner: Rainbow Drive-In
Multiple locations,, @rainbowdrivein

Finalist: L & L Hawaiian Barbecue
Multiple locations,, @llhawaiianbbq


Best Sandwich Shop

Winner: Earl
Multiple locations,, @earlkaimuki and @earlkakaako

Finalist: Sprout Sandwich Shop
1154 Koko Head Ave.,, @sproutwich



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