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 Kalua pork quesadilla, 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.
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 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.
Goma Tei Ramen
Goma Tei Ramen is my favorite Japanese ramen place in Hawaii and I frequented this restaurant every week. 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.
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 AlaMoana.
Ryan’s Grill is a Kama’aina restaurant located across the World Theater, and it provides a perfect combination of worldwide cuisine and a relaxing atmosphere. It is popular among the locals as they have happy hours (4-7 p.m. and after 10 p.m) featuring half-priced pupus and drink specials. You can get Kalua pork quesadilla for $6, and hot crab and artichoke dip for $7. Portions of pupus are huge so there is no need to order a main course.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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