Where to Eat: Kapahulu

Dining Guide - Kapahulu

February 16, 2024

Running from the Waikiki Zoo on one end, to the H-1 Freeway on the other, this one mile stretch of Kapahulu Avenue is chocked full of local plate lunch spots, restaurants, bakeries, and breakfast eateries. It’s very likely that if you’re in the mood for something, you will find it in this area.

This list just scratches the surface of what you will find. If you’re visiting, Kapahulu is within walking distance of Waikiki and most places have parking lots and/or on-street parking nearby.


Donut King logo

Donut King

Donut King is a good, old-fashioned donut shop in the Market City Shopping Center. You will find a good selection of yeast and cake donuts as well as their own version of cronuts. The one thing not to miss are the croissant bites – little bits of cronut dough, fried up and glazed or sugared. They are delicious and don’t last long when we bring them into the office.

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd., #201A
Honolulu, HI 96816
Website: http://donutkinghawaii.com/
Instagram: @donutkinghawaii

Leonard’s Bakery

Leonard’s Bakery is the OG place for Hawaii-style malasadas. While people have implied that these are not the “real” malassadas found in the Azores, that won’t matter to the throngs of people waiting in line for these hot Portuguese doughnuts, dusted with sugar or cinnamon-sugar, sometimes with tasty fillings. You can order ahead if you are getting two-dozen or more.

933 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Website: http://www.leonardshawaii.com/
Instagram: @leonardsbakeryhawaii

Spanish Rolls from Nanding's Bakery

Nanding’s Bakery

Just off Kapahulu Avenue is Nanding’s, a Filipino bakery that is known for its Spanish Rolls – light, buttery rolls that are rolled in a mixture of breadcrumbs and sugar. Locals order them by the dozens. Be sure to get a few along with some other baked treats.

3210 Martha St.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Instagram: @nandings_bakery

Plate Lunch / Fast Casual

E.A.R.L. Kaimuki

From traditional East Coast subs to burgers to fried chicken, you will find something delicious and gut-busting at E.A.R.L. And watch for creative daily and weekly specials.

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96826
Website: https://www.earlhawaii.com
Instagram: @earlkaimuki

Gina’s Bar-B-Q

Like many local Korean fast casual spots, you can build your own plate lunch at Gina’s – choose your protein (e.g., kal bi, bbq chicken, meat jun) and choose your sides (e.g., kim chee, bean sprouts, choy sum, etc.) then take your hefty plate of food to the beach and enjoy!

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96826
Website: https://ginasbbq.com/
Instagram: @ginasbbq

L&L Hawaiian BBQ

For our family, L&L is the place to go for generous portions of chicken katsu (my sister and I can easily share a plate). Other favorites are the roast pork and lemon chicken plates. You’ll find an extensive menu of plate lunch options, each served with the requisite two scoops of rice and a scoop of mac salad.

Market City Shopping Center
2919 Kapiolani Blvd., #103
Honolulu, HI 96826
Website: https://www.hawaiianbarbecue.com/locations/moiliili/
Instagram: @llhawaiianbbq

Rainbow Drive-In

This is one of the OG plate lunch spots, made famous recently on shows like Hawaii Five-O. Choose from dishes like roast pork, beef curry, and shoyu chicken. And if you can’t decide, get a mix plate to give you a taste of some of the most popular offerings.

3308 Kanaina Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Website: https://rainbowdrivein.com/
Instagram: @rainbowdrivein

Dine-In Restaurants

Grilled beef tongue from Izakaya Nonbei

Izakaya Nonbei

An izakaya is a Japanese bar that serves a variety of small dishes and snacks, popular with the after work crowd. Izakaya Nonbei’s menu is extensive offering sashimi, sushi, noodle dishes, and yakitori (grilled) options, to name a few. Reservations are recommended. Parking can be tight.

3108 Olu St.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Website: https://www.izakayanonbei.com/
Instagram: @izakayanonbei

Side Street Inn - Fried Pork Chops

Side Street Inn

Side Street Inn is a great place for a large group. Food is generous and served family style. We highly recommend the Chef Colin’s Classics prix fixe menu which hits all of the best dishes. Supplement with some fresh poke and your group will leave with happy bellies.

617 Kapahulu Ave., #100
Honolulu, HI 96816
Website: https://sidestreetinn.com/
Instagram: @sidestreetinn

Sekiya’s Restaurant & Delicatessen

Sekiya’s is both a sit down restaurant that serves traditional Japanese fare like sukiyaki, tempura, and donburi as well as an okazuya or Japanese delicatessen. At the okazuya you may select a la carte items like inari sushi, namasu, and shrimp tempura to build your own bento.

2746 Kaimuki Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Website: http://www.sekiyasrestaurant.com/


Waiola Shave Ice

Waiola is one of our favorite places to get shave ice – super fine crystals and delicious toppings. It can’t be beat on a hot Hawaii day.

3133 Mokihana St.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Instagram: @waiolashaveice

Shave Ice from Ululani Kapahulu

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

For the longest time Ululani’s was only available on Maui but recently opened a location just around the corner from Waiola. One plus is all the syrups are naturally made and if you have any concerns about artificial dyes, check with them as most, but not all, syrups are artificial dye-free.

909 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Website: https://www.ululanishawaiianshaveice.com/

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