Jump to content

Urban Honolulu: Things to Do?

Recommended Posts

I'm going to be traveling to Honolulu soon for the first time and I'm very curious about it as an urban destination. Most of the guidebooks talk about the usual Hawaii stuff but it's harder to find out much about more urban things to do. As someone who loves cities, I'd be appreciative if anyone could point me in the right direction in terms of restaurants serving innovative cuisine, boutique hotels, interesting book or record stores, cool stores, clubs, art galleries/museums and interesting things someone from elsewhere might not expect to find in Honolulu.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 11
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Hi, those are all great questions!

restaurants serving innovative cuisine: Well Hawaii has it's own cuisine (other than Hawaiian of course) the two main cuisines outside of the native cuisine would be Hawaii Regional Cuisine - the more fancy sit down and dine type which is a mixture of european, asian, pacific island, etc influences (Hawaii Regional Cuisine may include items such as herb-crusted onaga; green curry Keahole lobster; seared Hawaiian ahi with lilikoi shrimp butter; guava-smoked Kahua ranch lamb; blackened ahi summer rolls; Pahoa corn cakes; gourmet Waimanalo greens and vine-ripened tomatoes.) and Pacific Rim which is more casual but is a mixture too and more along the lines of plate lunches.

A few restaurants:

Alan Wong's (808) 949-2526

>Extremely popular serves up Hawaii Regional Cuisine

Chef Mavro (808) 944-4714

John Dominis (808) 523-0955

Roy's Restaurant (808) 396-7697

Indigo Eurasian Cuisine (808) 521-2900

Tudo de Bom (808) 942-0267

> Brazilian BBQ



Casablanca (808) 262-8196




The Pyramids (808) 737-2900



Marbella (808) 943-4353

>Spain/Spanish cuisine




BTW what cuisine would you be interested in cause there are many: Puerto Rican, Filipino, Hawaiian, Indonesian, Malaysian, Indian, Portuguese, German, Swedish, French, Italian, Mexican, Okinawan, Japanese, Macanese, Singaporean, Thai, Vietnamese, Armenian, Polish, Cambodian, Greek, Korean, Cajun, Soul Food, etc Also, fusion types like Chinese/Italian, Japanese/Italian, Korean/Chinese, Filipino Chinese, etc

example: Chinese Italian Ciao Mein

Some boutique hotels:

The W Honolulu

Hawaii Polo Inn

Waikiki Parc Hotel

Outrigger Luana Waikiki

Aqua Bamboo

Pikake Suites

Ohana Reef Lanai

The Breakers

Some interesting book or record stores:




Dragon Book Store


Hungry Ear

Too Groovz

The Beat

cool stores:

Well it depends on what you think is cool to you? :unsure:


It depends on your scene really cause there are many here are some:

Maharaja Ultra Lounge


The O Lounge



Ocean Club

Pipeline Cafe



Feng Shui




Wave Waikiki

Nicks Ultra Lounge


Blue Tropix

Mai Tai Bar



Velvet Lounge

Bar 35


Honolulu Club Life

Light Sleepers

Irish Pubs Hawaii - It excludes a fav: Murphys though

808 Shows

Girl Fest

There are many it depends on your scene or favorite music genre

Some art galleries/museums:

Chinatown has many little whole in the wall galleries/boutiques

Downtown Honolulu Arts & Culture District Gallery Map

Next Door


Flor de Cardo Galleria Boutique

Hawaii Theatre

Pegge Hopper Gallery

Ramsay Chinatown Gallery

The ARTS at Marks Garage

Honolulu AfterDark


The Contemporary Museum

Honolulu Academy of Arts

Shangri La

Arts with Aloha

>Has links to some of these places

* Honolulu Academy of Arts

* The Contemporary Museum

* University of Hawai'i Art Gallery

* Diamond Head Theatre

* Hawai'i Opera Theatre

* Hawai'i Theatre Center

* Honolulu Symphony

* Bishop Museum

* Hawai'i Maritime Center

* Iolani Palace

* Mission Houses Museum

Cinema Paradise

Arts Link Hawaii

Some Local Clothing Fashion Stores:


Akane Clotyhing

Buti Groove

Hawaii Wearable Art

Koko Cabana

Hot Mama



Shasa Emporium




Hawaii's Natural High


etc etc etc

To see or learn more about what might be going on when you arrive or prior to here's a couple of cool sites worth checking out:

Hawaii Events Online

Honolulu Weekly

Hope that helps a little. Feel free to ask if you have more specific questions and i will try to help. I'll post more eventually. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, thanks for the comprehensive list. I'd read something (I think in an airline magazine a few months back) about how Honolulu was becoming a hip, urban destination and there were some raves about local restaurants. But I didn't save it and it's not coming up on Google though I did find a short NY Times piece. But your list is better than either.

Regarding restaurants, my impression -- and it may be incorrect -- is that, traditionally, they weren't great in Honolulu as they were geared toward indiscriminate tourists. But now local chefs, like their counterparts elsewhere, are doing interesting fusions of local ingredients and global cuisine. That's the kind of thing I'm interested in.

As for cool clubs, any of the dance clubs known for good DJs or a nice, eclectic crowd, or both. Also, any alt-rock, jazz, or hip-hop nights would be interesting to check out, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^"Regarding restaurants, my impression -- and it may be incorrect -- is that, traditionally, they weren't great in Honolulu as they were geared toward indiscriminate tourists."

I think thats how most of the restaurants were in Waikiki back in the day but outside of Waikiki the restaurants/eateries have always been a fusion of cuisines and good as far as i can remember.

BTW when are you planning on going?

Here are some other sites.

Next Door http://whoisnextdoor.com/

Local Underground Vibe http://localundergroundvibe.com/

Fashionista's Market http://fashionistasmarket.com/

The Lizard Loft http://www.lizardloft.org/

Gourmet Cooking Hawaii http://gourmetcookinghawaii.com/

Hawaii Food Tours http://www.hawaiifoodtours.com/

The Wine Stop http://thewinestophawaii.com/

Sick Dog Events http://sickdog.com/events.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.