Post # 1
We’re getting married on Oahu in October and I’m looking for a nice restaurant in Waikiki or Honolulu. All of our guests will be staying in Waikiki, (some with rental cars, but not all) so a good casual, restaurant that is close is what I’m looking for. I don’t want to outdo the wedding so somewhere casual is ideal. We’re beer and wings type of people so any suggestions would help.
Post # 3
I don’t know about what restaurant to go to but, why not do a search on luaus (sp?). It’s a bit kitsch but if everyone is flying in for your wedding it’s noce to show some of the culture of the area. The hotel might even be able to provide this.
Post # 4
This doesn’t fit the close factor but…… we absolutely love the Kona Brewing Company. Great food and more importantly great beer (wish we could get it mailed to Georgia) but it’s a little bit of a drive from Waikiki. Boy is it good though! (the main KBC is on the big island if you end up there).
Post # 5
I was thinking about this too. I was even thinking about having a beach luau but after the initial idea it hit me that I will have to pay for rental tables, chairs, tiki torches, etc. I also thought that the older folks may not want to sit on a beach towel on the floor. I don’t want to make a whole production of it but agree that incorporating some of the culture is a good idea.
I would like to keep costs down because we’re going (most likely) on a Catamaran Sail as a Mahalo Sail/Farewell Sail the following day and this will cost a bit more.
Great idea on the hotel… they may be able to do this as lots have nightly entertainment.
Thanks for your suggestion!
Post # 6
Duke’s Waikiki (http://www.dukeswaikiki.com) is a good place. It will be walking distance for your guests.
By The Way, Cheesecake Factory is also in Waikiki.
Post # 7
I used to live in Waikiki and work at Duke’s so I’m pretty darn partial to that place myself! And if you call ahead they can set you all up on the patio that sits right on the ocean! Great time to be had by all!
Post # 8
Buzz’s is my absolutely favorite restaurant but it requires driving. Duke’s has a fun ambience but I am not a big fan of the food.
Post # 9
Sorry, I’m not a fan of any of the "casual dining" places in Waikiki. They’re all overpriced since they have a captive audience.
Luau’s are very kitsch, but *can* be fun. The Paradise Cove one is pretty decent, and the grounds are beautiful. You can set up a group deal, probably, either directly through them or any other tour operator. The nice thing is that you can all drink as much as you like since part of the package is transportation.
Duke’s is fun, but the food is not particularly special, and, as I mentioned, I find it overpriced. The view is awesome, though.
If you venture outside of Waikiki, there are lots of nice places that are better priced. If you like Chinese, a personal favorite is called "Little Village," it’s in Chinatown, and that’s where we had our Rehearsal Dinner.
I think Kona Brewing is OK, but my pet peeve is that in about 10 minutes, your food is ice cold because of the wind that comes in off the bay.
Here are some good (local) websites with dining guides and recommendations that I find to be pretty good:
Honolulu Magazine (cross check the listings against their restaurant reviews in the magazine; this link goes directly to the guide)
‘Ono Kine Grindz
The Honolulu Advertiser (this is the link to the home page; check out their "Island Life" section for restaurant reviews, and they also have a restaurant guide on the site somewhere…they redesigned, and I hate it)
Post # 10
I don’t know if they reserve areas, but the Shorebird is one of my favorite places when I’m there.
Post # 11
I live in Waikiki and love taking out-of-town guests to Duke’s for the ambiance and because it is right on the water. However, it is a "bar" type of place and can get kinda loud sometimes!
Other great restaurants in Waikiki are:
The Yard House (I believe this is a chain, but the food is absolutely delicious)
Gordon Biersch Brewery is closer than Kona Brewery, and is also on the water (harbor).
The Hau Tree Lanai (I have not eaten here yet, but am always jealous of the beach-front seating)
Sarentos (atop the Ilikai Hotel) had awesome city/ocean views and private rooms.
Another cool place (a little outside of Waikiki) is the Willows restaurant.
Hope these help!!
Post # 12
Oh, hulafish is right — Willows! They’re cute, they have a couple of private room options, AND they have a Hawaiian buffet. Sometimes. You should probably call/check their website first. Their food is not bad, and also not too expensive. They have a really cute property, with jumping fountains ‘n’ stuff.
Also, hubs and I were talking about this place: MAC247
It stands for "Modern American Cuisine" 24-7 (as in all day, every day). It’s basically an ultra fancy diner. So, it would be pretty casual style of food, but it’s a very nicely mod looking venue. They’re never busy that I can tell, and I love that I can get breakfast whenever I want. I’m a breakfast fan that hates getting up for breakfast. The catch is that their service is really not so great on an average basis. BUT, maybe if you have a group, you’d be better off since they’d probably devote servers to you. (I do also tend to go at totally random hours of the night.) As far as price, we usually get out for about $35-40 for two of us; hubs feels it’s a bit pricey for the style of food, but I don’t think it’s so bad. (He just thinks, you can get eggs & bacon for $10 elsewhere…) Oh, the portions are HUUUUGE on most of their dishes. (If you order the pancakes, no joke, they are as big as hubcaps.)
Also, I’m incredibly entertained by the fact that there are only 2 hours in the day (4AM – 6AM) that they DON’T serve alcohol!
Post # 13
THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your suggestions. I started calling a few places a couple of weeks ago and checked out Dukes and Kona Brewing Company. The manager at Dukes said that at time of year (October) it tends to rain and they have had parties on the patio area get rained on. I would prefer to sit outside and soak up Hawaii but definitley don’t want to be caught in the rain. She suggested a few other restaurants that I have yet to check out.
I also found Indigo restaurant and also know someone that had their Rehearsal Dinner there. Anyone familiar with that joint? Trying to find a restaruant that they can’t go to on the mainland, ya know?!
I was thinking about bringing in the Hawaiian culture, hence the luau idea but the majority of his family does not eat pork. I know this can be typical of some of the traditional food. But we LOVE L&L BBQ so I know we can find somewhere that will acoommodate his family and mine.
I’ll check out all the suggestions. Thanks again former Bees!
Post # 14
Indigo is quite cool! Make sure you find out if it’s a "club night" on the night you want to go. I forget which nights they do this, but after the regular dinner "hour," they bring in DJ’s and go nuts. It can be a bit much for "older folk," but fun for the young ‘uns. Oh, and they have the AWESOMEST martini deals around pau hana (after work) — it’s like $2 or something ridiculous like that. And they’re not watered down, teensy things either! Yum!
They have creative "Eurasian" food, which is quite common in Hawaii, but to as much so on the Mainland. I’ve never done dinner there, but have had lunch. Pretty tasty. (Honestly, I can really only vouch for the drinks…sorry!)
I will warn ya: the restaurant is in Chinatown, and that area is, well, "scrungy" pretty much sums it up. It’s not dangerous or anything (no more so than any other largeish urban city), but sometimes people are thrown to be confronted w/ that sort of thing in "paradise." The front entrance is on a perfectly decent, well-lit street and all; not scary or anything. They do also offer valet, if you don’t want to bother with parking (if you’re not familiar w/ the area, it might be a good idea; the streets are one way, which can be annoying).
Oh, and if you do still want the luau idea: they serve more than kalua pig. Some of ’em even serve regular "American" food that you’d find anywhere. Pig and poi sometimes scare people. Bleah, poi.
Just call and check, or see if the website has a menu of the full buffet offerings.
Post # 15
i’m getting married on oahu in september. we’re having our rehearsal dinner at Duke’s, and our reception dinner at Roy’s in Hawaii Kai. Duke’s doesn’t take reservations for parties of 10 or more, based on what i read. Since we’re staying at the outrigger waikiki, i think they would make an exception for our rehearsal dinner reservation. Roy’s would be another good choice for rehearsal dinner. it’s the original Roy’s, and i heard that the view is nice from the dining room. also, they are undergoing renovation soon and will reopen in the fall, so i assume that the decor and ambience would be even nicer. =)
Post # 16
Hi PrincesskittyHI – Thanks a bunch for the "insider scoop". This is great to know and I wouldn’t read it on their website. I did notice that they have live music/DJ and thought that it might be a bit too loud. Our parents haven’t met before and I don’t want everyone screaming just to hold a conversation. If we don’t end up having the Rehearsal Dinner there, I’ll definitely have to remember them for drinks!
I looked at the luau’s on the island (Paradise Cove, PCC, Germaine’s) and at $50 minimum per person that would turn into costing a whole other mini wedding.
Clessy00 – When you called Duke’s about your Rehearsal Dinner, did they mention anything about in raining? Are you eating on the patio outside or inside? The lady at Duke’s said one person can put the name in for the entire party… so everyone doesn’t need to be present before getting seated.
I still have Hulafish and Princesskitty’s suggestions to check out. Wish me luck!