My Favorite Places to Eat in Honolulu


Honolulu has many excellent restaurants for food fanatics. Walking along Kalakaua Avenue, it is easy to find plenty of fancy and pricey restaurants. However, finding affordable places to eat in Honolulu are also easy with the help of the locals.

After living on Oahu for three years and dining out many times, I have my own list of favorite places to eat in Honolulu. These restaurants are not only budget-friendly, but also give you a taste of the food from all over the world. You can find $2 dim sum, $6 Japanese Udon, and $7.45 pad Thai.

If you plan to visit Honolulu and want to eat at the places offering cheap and high-quality food, check out my favorite restaurants below.

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Bangkok Chef

Bangkok chef is my go-to place to eat authentic Thai food. There are three locations in Honolulu and I frequented the ones on Nuuanu Avenue and East Manoa Road. Bangkok Chef offers assortments of Ala Carte with pad Thai for $7.45, curry chicken for $8.45, and basil shrimp(my favorite) for $10.80. The service is friendly and speedy. All main courses are served in a large bento box that can be saved for two meals.

Address: 1627 Nuuanu Avenue/2955 East Manoa Road/900 N Nimitz Hwy

My favorite places to eat in Honolulu

Fish patties and sticky rice @Bangkok Chef

Goma Tei Ramen

Goma Tei Ramen is my favorite Japanese ramen place in Hawaii and I frequented this restaurant every month. Two of my favorite ramen there are vegetable and seafood tan tan, which come with shrimp, calamari, green onions, and green veggies. If you order vegetable ramen, you will see plenty of celery, carrots, mushrooms, and onions on the top and you do not have to look for any ingredients in the soup. The broth is delicious and not salty at all.

My favorite places to eat in Honolulu

Vegetable Tan Tan at Goma Tei Ramen in Honolulu

There are two Goma Tei Ramen restaurants in Honolulu – one at Ala Moana Shopping Center and the other at the Ward Center. I have eaten at both restaurants and find the ramen at the Ward Center tastes better than one at Ala Moana.

Address: Ward Village, Sector 5, #429, 1200 Ala Moana Blvd (Ward Center)/1450 Ala Moana Blvd (Ala Moana)

Marukame Udon

My favorite place for Japanese Udon was at Marukame Udon in Waikiki. Unlike other Japanese restaurants that charge a lot for a small dish, this place creates affordable dishes starting from $6. I tried their Curry Udon and Niku Udon that consists of freshly cooked broth and chewy noodles. The quality of the side dishes like fried chicken is excellent and the portion is generous. In short, Marukame Udon is well-priced for the quality of the food you get, and it has become a famous place in Waikiki with a long line up every time I went.

Address: 2310 Kuhio Ave #124, Honolulu, HI

My favorite places to eat in Honolulu, Hawaii

Angelo Pietro

I am not a fan of pizza, but I cannot pass up the pizza dish at Angelo Pietro. Here, you can make your own pizza by choosing a variety of toppings and their pizza is made with a thin crust and is very crispy. In addition to pizza, Angelo Pietro makes a delicious fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine. I highly recommend that you try their Japanese sauce (spaghettis) and mushroom soup.

Address: 1108 12th Ave C Honolulu, HI 96816

My favorite places to eat in Honolulu, Hawaii - Angelo Pietro

Japanese sause Takana and Sausage: pickled mustard cabbage and sausage in a shoyu sauce topped with nori @Angelo Pietro

Rum Fire at Sheraton Waikiki

Rum Fire is another excellent place for happy hour. The food option during the happy hour is very limited but you can get kimchi fried rice and chicken wings for $6.  Their prime location, in my opinion, made it the best place for happy hour. They have outdoor seating on the oceanfront where you can have a gorgeous sunset view while listening to live music being played by local musicians.

Address:  2255 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

My favorite places to eat in Honolulu, Hawaii - RumFire Waikiki

RumFire outdoor seating


For Korean food, Chodang is one of the best places for budget travelers, if the service is not the best. It is popular among locals because they have daily specials for around $7. You can get several mini banchan dishes (sweet potatoes, kimchi, bean sprouts salad, and spinach salad) with your order. If you arrive at the peak hours, be prepared to wait in line, but the high quality of food and the reasonable price are worth the wait.

Address: 451 Piikoi St, Honolulu, HI 96814 (Ala Moana Center) 

My favorite places to eat in Honolulu, Hawaii - Chodang

Chodang mixed noodles bibimien

If you plan to travel in Oahu on a budget, I highly recommend you to stay at the Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel. I stayed there for a week during my return trip. Amazing location and the staff there are very knowledgeable about Hawaii and can give you great recommendations on things to do and places to visit. This hostel also offers free breakfast and affordable day tours. Click here more information about this hostel.

Happy Garden

For a cheap dim sum meal, Happy Garden is the place to go. This Chinese restaurant opens from 6 am to 10 pm and features all day dim sum with $2 for most items. I love to have their shrimp dumpling, beef balls, chicken feet, turnip cakes, and rice soup. It is a cash-only restaurant so make sure to bring enough cash before you go.

Address: 1113 Maunakea St, Honolulu, HI 96817 (China Town) 

My favorite places to eat in Honolulu, Hawaii - Happy Garden

Dim Sum at Happy Garden

Honolulu has many great restaurants in very touristic places, but there are always budget-friendly restaurants providing quality food with enough portions. When it comes to my favorite places to eat in Honolulu, these aforementioned restaurants are always my top places.

Where are your favorite places to eat in Honolulu? Comment below.

More on Foodie’s Travel Guide:

My Favorite Food to Eat in China 

7 Best Cheap Eats in Toronto

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My favorite places to eat in Honolulu Hawaii

Julie Cao

Julie is the creator of Always On The Way. She lived in Hawaii and now resides in London (Ontario, Canada). In 2017, she went on an overland trip from Bogota Colombia to Puerto Williams, the southernmost city in the world. She believes travel is not only about visiting tourist attractions but more about getting to know the culture, people, and the place.

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