Best Ocean View Dining on Oahu

Feb 23, 2015 | 0 comments

Courtesy of Haleiwa Joe’s

When you’re in Hawaii ocean view dining is a definite must do.  Most beachfront hotels on the islands offer ocean view or ocean side dining venues.  There are also many other restaurants that offer great food and fantastic views to fit almost any budget.

Here are our family’s favorite ocean view restaurants on  Oahu.  Some are casual venues great for lunch and tea, others for more elegant or special dinners.
Ocean View Dining on Oahu
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Courtesy of

Nico’s Pier 38 is one of my favorites.  Located at Pier 38 on Nimitz Hwy.  it’s casual style dining right on the pier.  They have indoor and outdoor seating, we like to eat lunch here because it’s one of the few places on the island where we can bring our dog.

I’ve only ever been here for lunch, they are very busy.  The menu is limited to about a dozen or so choices.  They specialize in fresh fish, but have non-seafood choices including steak and chops.  They also have great dessert offerings such as mango cheesecake and red velvet cake, both delish.  During lunch it’s fast food style.  You order at the counter and get a buzzer to let you know when you can pick up your order.  Fountain drinks and water are self serve, but there’s a nice bar in the middle of the restaurant for cocktails, beer, and wine.
Prices aren’t too bad and the portions are good size, a plate lunch complete with salad, starch, and entree will run you about $15 on up depending on what you order.  We’ve tried pretty much everything on the menu and have caught some great daily specials.  My grandson loves the Calamari appetizer and their Fish n’ Chips.  Their garlic shrimp is very good too.
I’ve never been for dinner, but I’ve heard that there is table service at that time.  I’m sure dining at sunset is amazing as the restaurant is located at a working harbor with ocean views.
Ocean View Dining on Oahu
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My all time favorite is the Mariposa restaurant on the third floor of Neiman Marcus Ala Moana Center.  I have lunch here every time I’m shopping at Neiman’s or in the Center.Lunch begins with a small cup of chicken broth and one of their famous popovers served with a flavored butter.  I can eat just that and be happy.

Their lunch menu offers many delicious salads, entrees, and sandwiches all made with local fresh ingredients.  I love their cheeseburgers and their Kahuku corn chowder.  Their Lobster club is also a favorite.  They also have a very tasty Plantation Iced Tea.  You can dine inside or on their patio that overlooks Ala Moana Beach Park. Prices range from about $15 for a burger to $25+ for the Lobster club or seafood bouillabaise.

Dinner begins with the same broth and monkey bread instead of popovers.  Dinner prices are sightly higher.  They also have a very nice wine list and the service is usually excellent.

The restaurant is very busy, specially at lunch.  Reservations are recommended.  Drop-ins are welcome but there may be a long wait.  I usually call ahead on my way to the center or ask my sales associate to make reservations so I can shop while I’m waiting.

Courtesy of The Kahala Hotel & Resort

The Kahala Hotel & Resort has several beach side and ocean view dining venues.

Lunches are served pool side at the Seaside Grill or beach side at the Plumeria Beach House which also serves breakfast and dinner.
This restaurant has a Curry Buffet during lunch as well as an ala carte menu, Friday and Saturday nights they also offer a Seafood Buffet.  Both restaurants have children’s menus.

Afternoon tea and light dinners are served at The Veranda which has indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the beach, pool, or dolphin lagoon.

For a fancier meal there’s award winning Hoku’s.  They serve an excellent Sunday Brunch and wonderful dinner choices.

Expect to pay top dollar at any of these restaurants – Tea Service starts at $20 per person at the Verandah.  Burgers run about $22+ and the Seafood Buffet at the Plumeria Beach House is $55 per person, Brunch  Buffet at Hoku’s is $65 per person.

Courtesy of Hilton Hawaiian Village
Ocean View Dining on Oahu

One of my favorite dinner venues is Bali Steak & Seafood at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

This is Pacific Rim Cuisine served in an ocean side restaurant.  My favorite is their Red Curry Seafood Medley with Kona lobster tail, Kauai prawns, and island fish.

Prices are similar to those at most upscale steak houses,  Every thing is ala carte and entree prices start at $34 for Honey- Ginger Chicken to $138 for a Porterhouse steak for 2.

Ocean View Dining on Oahu
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Roy’s Hawaii Kai is Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s original restaurant that opened is 1988.  He’s since expanded and has restaurants on all the major islands as well as 5 mainland states from California to Florida.

Roy’s offers his take on Pacific Rim cuisine emphasizing fresh local ingredients from island fish to local produce.

I’ve never had a bad meal at any of Roy’s restaurants.  Entree prices start at $16 for a small portion of grilled salmon to $56 for a
16 oz. Rib Eye steak.

Courtesy of Sheraton Waikiki

Kai Market at the Sheraton Waikiki has a great dinner buffet every night.  It overlooks the Sheraton infinity pool and Waikiki beach.

This used to be the location of the Ocean Terrace where we held our annual office Christmas Party until they closed to remodel.

They’ve re-opened as Kai Market with pretty much the same buffet.  It’s one of our favorite buffets on the island.

Price for weeknight buffet is $55 per person,
Friday – Sunday night seafood buffet is $58.

Ocean View Dining on Oahu
Courtesy of Halekulani

The House Without a Key at the Halekulani in Waikiki is one of my old time favorites.  I’ve been having lunch here since I was in high school.  Back then they had a Kama’aina Buffet featuring hawaiian food and the old Tutus (grandmas) and Kapunas (teachers) would gather to talk story, sing songs, and dance hula. I’m not sure if this was a daily thing or some sort of special occassion, but  it was lots of fun.

That buffet is long gone, today they serve breakfast,  lunch, and dinner with an island flair.  There is still outdoor dining and entertainment with Hawaiian music and former Miss Hawaiis dance hula by the centuries old Kiawe Tree.

Expect to pay resort prices for your meal.  You can also enjoy their signature Mai Tai on the outdoor tables and watch a magnificent sunset over the ocean.

The Halekulani  is also home to La Mer, Hawaii’s highest rated 5-star restaurant featuring fine French cuisine with a tropical twist, and Orchids a casually elegant oceanside restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and the best rated Sunday Brunch on the island.  Again expect to pay resort prices at Orchids and top prices at La Mer.

Ocean View Dining on Oahu
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Moderately priced Duke’s Waikiki in the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel  is a favorite gathering place right on Waikiki Beach.

We’ve always enjoyed dropping by for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just drinks.  The food is good, the prices very reasonable for Waikiki.  Daily breakfast and lunch buffets cost $16.95 per person.  Dinner entrees start at under $20.

Another ocean side dining option at this hotel is Hula Grill.  This restaurant also serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.  The restaurant is a bit more upscale with dinner entrees starting at $25 for the Ginger Pear Glazed chicken.

Both restaurants have children’s menus.

Courtesy of

Haleiwa Joe’s Seafood Grill is a local favorite. They have 2 locations.  The Haleiwa location on Oahu’s North Shore is right on Haleiwa Harbor and has beautiful ocean views.

The Kaneohe location is in Haiku Gardens on the Windward side of the island.  This is a favorite wedding venue, the restaurant is nestled in the Koolau Mountain Range and overlooks a garden pool with a gazebo making it the perfect venue for a tropical island wedding.

Both locations serve lunch and dinner with entrees starting at $16.50 for the chicken.  The Kaneohe location has a moderately priced banquet menu starting at $27.95 per person adding to it’s popularity as a wedding venue.

There are many more ocean side dining restaurants around the island, but the ones I’ve listed are my personal favorites.  Perhaps one of them will become yours as well!

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