Chef Roy Yamaguchi

Oahu, especially Honolulu, is full of good eats! From fancy restaurants to local bakeries, there is much to savor during your trip to Hawaii.

Our favorite restaurant in Honolulu is the much loved Roy’s Waikiki on Waikiki Beach Walk. Famed for its authentic take on Hawaii regional cuisine, a meal at this well known restaurant could be the highlight of your trip to Hawaii. Ranked #21 of 1,838 Restaurants in Honolulu on Trip Advisor, Roy’s Waikiki is a popular choice among both locals and travelers.

The food at Roy’s Waikiki showcases influences from both Japanese and Hawaiian cuisines. With flavors that can be described as fresh and bright, the high quality ingredients used in each dish are allowed to shine. The best and most popular dishes on the menu are the steak, ribs, fish and seafood options. The dessert selection at this restaurant is also commendable, particularly the pineapple upside down cake. Vegetarians and vegans can enjoy the food at Roy’s. Not only is the restaurant is flexible with substitutions, there is even vegetarian sushi available.

The Chef

The founder of Roy’s Waikiki is none other than the famous Japanese-Hawaiian chef, Roy Yamaguchi. Alongside 12 other chefs, Roy is known for developing the Hawaii regional cuisine, a distinct Hawaiian fusion style of cooking that is based on local ingredients with ethnic influences.

Chef Roy YamaguchiChef Roy Yamaguchi (source: Wikipedia)

If he looks familiar to you, that’s because he is also a television personality. Roy has hosted the popular PBS show Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi, as well as made appearances on Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef USA.


Ideally located on the trendy Waikiki Beach Walk, this downtown restaurant does not hold back when it comes to ambience. At Roy’s Waikiki, you get a choice of three seating areas, either seating at an inside table, a very Hawaiian meal on the lanai or even the sushi bar for a cooler vibe. To further compliment the beautiful setting, service at Roy’s is consistently attentive and is regularly praised by customers. It is also a kid-friendly restaurant.


Roy’s Waikiki is not a particularly cheap eat as a dining experience this restaurant will cost you a little bit more than the average meal in Hawaii. That said, you do get what you pay for! Reviews of Roy’s Waikiki are overwhelmingly positive. For the sumptuous food, generous portions, beautiful atmosphere and outstanding service, it is well worth the splurge.


All that said, this popular restaurant can get busy. So, don’t forget to make reservations before you go. Roy’s Waikiki is open every day from 11am to 9.30pm. If you can’t get a reservation, you can still enjoy the food as the restaurant offers take out as an option – check out the take out menu on their website.

Address: Roy’s Waikiki, 22 Lewers St, Honolulu, Oahu.

Phone number: +1 808-923-7697

Other Good Eats in Honolulu

Tried Roy’s Waikiki and loved it, but need a change? Looking for something different for your next meal in Honolulu? As the state capital and largest city in the state of Hawaii, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat out in Honolulu. In fact, some even say that all the best restaurants in Hawaii are in Honolulu.

Here are three other highly recommended restaurants to check out during your trip to the capital city.

Best Vegan Restaurant – Peace Café

Hawaiian cuisine often features meat and seafood. It can be slightly tricky for vegans to find a good meal in the city. That being said, there are a few meatless gems on the island that would appeal to even the meat eaters among us.

Peace Café is one of those amazing vegan restaurants. Located on King Street, this cozy café is an established favorite among vegetarians and vegans. The food served here is tasty and flavorful with a home-cooked feel to it. There is plenty of variety on the menu, with emphasis on organic ingredients.

The tempeh (fermented bean blocks – tastes more delicious than it sounds!) dishes are particularly raved about, especially the BBQ tempeh and teriyaki tempeh. As an added bonus, this little restaurant is affordable while still maintaining an artsy charm with tastefully decorated interior and ambient music.

Best Coffee Place – Island Vintage Coffee

Island Vintage Coffee is a must visit for coffee connoisseurs. This café has two locations in Honolulu. Its Royal Hawaiian Center branch opens at 6 am in the morning, perfect for early birds or travelers afflicted with jetlag. The other branch is located in the Ala Moana Center.

If you find yourself here, do consider trying the world famous Kona coffee, found only in Hawaii. One of the most expensive coffees in the world, Kona coffee is cultivated on the Big Island slopes of Mauna Loa and Hualalai. The flavor profile of Kona coffee can be described as light yet rich, delicate, fruity and smooth.

Kona coffee plantKona coffee plant (source: Wikipedia)

It’s not just all about the coffee at Island Vintage Coffee. This café is known to do an excellent loco moco, the ultimate Hawaiian comfort food dish consisting of rice, fried egg, hamburger patty and brown gravy. For those with more of a sweet tooth, try the taro bagels, and especially the açaí bowls which come topped with gorgeous fresh tropical fruit.

Best Bakery – Leonard’s Bakery

Our favorite bakery on Oahu Island, Leonard’s Bakery, has been around since 1952. This little joint is famous for their malasadas. A malasada is a type of pastry similar to a doughnut, just without the hole in the centre. But these are not regular typical doughnuts – malasadas are on a whole different level of goodness. These soft and sugary balls of pillowy deliciousness originated in Portugal, but the Hawaiian version elevates it further by adding various types of fillings.

At Leonard’s Bakery, you can get original malasadas without a filling, or experiment with different flavors such as cream, jam, pineapple, kiwi, coconut, guava and even macadamia.  Malasadas are also available in other bakeries on the island, but Leonard’s malasadas are said to be the best. Apart from doughnuts, Leonard’s Bakery also sells pao doce (sweet bread), cookies, cupcakes, muffins and pies, so there is something for everyone at this bakery.

The only drawback to this place is that it can get crowded with long lines, especially towards the evenings. Go early to avoid long waits, but even if you end up in a queue, it could be worth it.