Holiday Travel > Travel Inspiration > Luxury Travel >  

Honolulu, Hawaii best places to eat: Chef Bill Grangers guide to the top restaurants

TIME : 2-26 17:14:55

Australian chef, restaurateur and internationally loved columnist, cookbook writer and TV personality Bill Granger opened his first restaurant, bills, in Sydney's Darlinghurst in 1993. With recent openings, he now has three restaurants in Sydney, five in Japan, three in London, one in Seoul, and bills Sydney in Waikiki. See billshawaii.com/#waikiki.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TABLE IN HONOLULU? 

At the Diamond Head Grill: no frills, sitting outside on plastic chairs or at the tuckshop-style counter. I order "Kim Chee" fried brown rice every time, for breakfast, which is the time I like to visit, after a long walk to Diamond Head. See diamondheadmarket.com.

LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY OF THE PAST YEAR?

Molokai beef. We love supporting local when possible, and offer our burgers and steaks with locally raised, grass-fed beef straight from the island of Molokai. It can still be tricky to source locally but the Hawaiian food scene just gets better, more sophisticated and more exciting all the time. 

WHAT IS THE AREA'S BEST KEPT SECRET? 

The best kept secret I'd say is Bellows Beach in Waimanalo.  Pristine, white sand beach that feels like you're walking on sugar.  A little hard to find, but when you do, it's really a piece of Hawaii that stays with you even when you leave.  It's closed Monday-Friday because it's next to an airbase, but open to the public on weekends.  

PLACE TO GO ON A DAY OFF? 

After an early breakfast at Morning Glass Coffee in Manoa I like to go hiking.  Kealia Trail up in North Shore is great. A well maintained hike, good for the family with breathtaking views from the lookouts and of Mokule'ia​ and Haleiwa.  See morningglasscoffee.com.

FAVOURITE INDULGENCE IN HONOLULU?

Leonard's malasadas – hot hole-less doughnuts that come with different coating options: plain sugar, cinnamon sugar and li hing mui (Chinese preserved plum) sugar, and with different filling options such as custard, coconut and chocolate, as well as daily specials like lilikoi​ (passionfruit) or pineapple. These come in the best packaging ever invented for food: pink and white striped boxes with 50s typography. Aside from the cutest '50s shop, they also have a striped food truck that pops up all over the island of Oahu where Honolulu is located. What's not to love? See leonardshawaii.com.

WHAT [FOOD-WISE] TO AVOID? 

All the US mainstream chains in Waikiki – there is too much of a dynamic local food scene to experience to succumb.

BEST TIME TO VISIT FOOD-WISE AND WHY?

 All the time – Honolulu is blessed with the most perfect climate all year round. Sure it gets a bit hotter sometimes or a little wetter others, but really, all in all, in my experience, it has the best climate I've come across. The food is best experienced at the local farmers market in Honolulu called the KCC Farmer's Market in Diamond Head. See hfbf.org/market/.

WHAT'S HOT IN THE AREA RIGHT NOW?

The Pig and the Lady started as a market stall and now has a restaurant too. Their Laotian fried chicken sandwich is very popular but I'm still a big fan of their breakfast pho. See thepigandthelady.com.