Side Street Inn is Local Comfort Food at Its Best
(Sponsored) Nearly three decades later, the restaurant is still a local icon.
Now through January 2021, use your First Hawaiian Bank Mastercard at any 2020 Hale ‘Aina Gold-winning restaurants and you’ll receive double points on your purchase.
Before I’d ever stepped foot in Side Street Inn (the O.G. location, before its second one in Kapahulu was even in the works), I knew about its reputation. My sister would come home from a night out with friends, weighed down with leftovers of kimchee fried rice, yakisoba and pork chops that were impossibly juicy and thoughtfully cut into bite-size pieces. Those Styrofoam takeout boxes were hefty—a testament to Side Street’s generous portions—and always miraculously vanished by the next day.
Side Street Inn opened its first location in 1992 in a hole-in-the-wall spot off Pi‘ikoi Street (its Kapahulu location, opened in 2010, offers a more polished ambience that’s popular for business-centered dining), and since then it’s become a spot where regulars go to talk story over ‘ono grinds, local chefs wind down after a long shift and hungry diners come to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or just the end of the work week. The restaurant has received much deserved attention over the years from the media, including multiple Hale ‘Aina Gold awards and a feature in Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, where Side Street Inn’s late owner, the beloved Colin Nishida, gave the world an insider’s peek into what local food and culture was really all about.
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If your daydreams have been occupied by Side Street’s signature garlic chicken or roast pork poke, its two locations are open with all of its most popular dishes—there are quite a few—available for dine-in or takeout. Online reservations can be made here, and to-go orders for the Ala Moana location and Kapahulu location can be placed via Toast TakeOut.