Your Top 5: The Most Popular Honolulu Food Roundups in 2021

Think of it as 32 things to put on your must-eat list before the end of 2022.


You’ve been busy. We get it. But that’s no excuse to miss out on something delicious. So, to ring in 2022 (and kick 2021 out the door) we’re taking a look at some of our most-read stories of the year. Warning: Don’t read these on an empty stomach.


No. 5: You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Saimin Spots on O‘ahu

Palace Saimin Aaron Yoshino

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


We love that saimin is truly local; a comfort food we want with just a few slices of kamaboko and maybe a meat stick on the side. We created our own Top 5 in 2019 and since then, two have closed. So, take this as inspiration to go for a slurp at one of our mom-and-pop places so we can keep them open for years to come.





No. 4: You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Okazuya on O‘ahu 

Fukuya Delicatessen Okazuya Plate Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen


When we asked you for your favorite spot for gobo, cone sushi and tempura, more than 1,000 responded to the poll. As a reflection of these Japanese delis’ neighborhood appeal, the top five are spread out all over the island. We highlight some of the favorites at each, so you can build your bento box if you feel like a road trip.





No. 3: You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Ramen Shops on O‘ahu

Wagaya Garlic Ramen Katrina

Photo: Katrina Valcourt


Chewy noodles in silky, rich broths are a favorite in any season. (Though, with the rainy winter coming, I’m bookmarking this list.) Three of your readers’ picks in our poll are within five miles of each other, but one won in a landslide.




No. 2: We Pick Our Top 5 Lobster Rolls on O‘ahu

Lobster claw and knuckle meat overflowing a King's Hawaiian sweet roll bun

Photo: Kelli Shiroma Braiotta


It seems like everyone needed to indulge themselves during the pandemic. (Or, it may be because many of us were still working remotely in stretchy sweatpants.) But lobster rolls had more than a moment in the past year. For us, each buttery bite brought comfort. But for Feast Mānoa, the dish was a game changer.





No. 1: Where to Eat on Your First Visit to O‘ahu

Photo: Leah Friel


Melissa Chang’s list of 12 must-eat items was a big hit. We’re guessing it wasn’t just new visitors perusing her picks for everything from crack seed to plate lunch, but locals looking to see if their go-to spots made the list. (We all love to argue for our favs!) Feel free to read and re-debate. And if you missed the follow-up, “Where to Eat If It’s Not Your First Time to O‘ahu,” don’t miss the 10 newer or lesser known places where she suggests you get a bite.