The 4 Best Places To Eat Outside in Downtown Honolulu and Chinatown Right Now
When one door shuts, the outdoors open. Here are some of our favorite restaurants on O‘ahu for dining alfresco.
Find more outdoor dining options in the August issue of HONOLULU. Look for it in our online store.
We go to Encore for everything: birthday lunches, pau hana celebrations, midday meetings over mezcal-ritas. And if it’s a Tuesday, even better: Tecate and all tacos are $2.50, including two special tacos each week. We’ve named Encore’s fish tacos, nachos and sister restaurant The Daley’s smash burger (which you can also enjoy in the courtyard when it’s open for dine-in) as the Best of HONOLULU. The walled-off courtyard, with ever-changing murals and a retractable awning, is away from busy Hotel Street and can seat parties of up to 10 at its three long picnic tables, but call ahead for groups of five or more. –KV
10 N. Hotel St., (808) 367-1656, encoresaloon.com, @encoresaloon
SEE ALSO: Merriman’s Honolulu Opens a New Outdoor Street Burger and Beer Garden
Update: Outdoor seating on Hotel Street has been removed as of April 2022.
Can’t get a table at Fête? One of Chinatown’s hottest hot spots reserves its recently placed outdoor seating for walk-ins. You still get the vibe—sleek modern American meets historic Hotel Street—but without the bustle of Fête’s indoor dining. And yes, you can still get that twice-fried Ludovico chicken, quinoa burgers and olive oil cake. —MT
2 N. Hotel St., (808) 369-1390, fetehawaii.com, @fetehawaii
SEE ALSO: First Look: Fête
Editor’s note: As of December, O’Kims’ lanai dining was temporarily closed.
O’Kim’s courtyard dining is its hidden secret. Regulars know to walk straight through the cozy dining room fronting Nu‘uanu Avenue—down the narrow passageway by the kitchen and out onto a covered platform where, rare in Chinatown, you’re surrounded by grass and trees. It’s cozy out here, too; there are only a few tables, though, so reserve yours in advance. And don’t leave without ordering a plate of aromatic truffle mandoo for the table and a container of chef Hyun Kim’s fresh kim chee to go—it’s some of the best in the city. —MT
1028 Nu‘uanu Ave., (808) 537-3787, okimshawaii.com, @okims_honolulu
SEE ALSO: O’Kims Korean Kitchen Moves to Nu‘uanu Avenue
The Tchin Tchin! Bar
Every time we climb the dark, steep staircase from Hotel Street, we’re amazed that we’ve never spotted anyone tumbling down them, especially once you see the pages of options on the drink menu. The drinks themselves are enjoyed best from a couch that you can sink into on the bar’s open-air lānai. The rooftop setting and thriving living wall offer respite from the street. And if the ambience doesn’t do it, the truffled fries, stinky grilled cheese or sliders with cranberry jam will. Be aware that the charcuterie plate, as the original definition of the French word indicates, is strictly cured meat with whole grain mustard. Add an order of the cheese plate. It’s worth it. –CY
39 N. Hotel St., (808) 528-1888, thetchintchinbar.com
SEE ALSO: First Look: Tchin Tchin! Bar