A little departure from the usual today! I was recently interviewed for the upcoming PubCon conference in Honolulu mid-February (see the session grid & register here) and at which I am on a panel discussing Hawaii Social Media. Vanessa threw me what she thought was a soft-ball during the interview – “what places should people try when they are on Oahu?” and I stumbled a bit because we have sooo many fantastic places to eat here, we could have done a more than a hundred episodes on that topic alone. I decided to do a blog post on it to welcome PubCon attendees and give them something else to look forward to!  For those of you not joining us for PubCon, well, let this post serve as an opportunity to whet your appetite.

I crowd-sourced this list with a little help from my friends: @melissa808, @phillmoran @parkrat – thanks guys for your help!

In honor of our social media world, this lists features favorite restaurants who are active in social media; a foodie/social media mashup if you will. We do have great restaurants here who aren’t active in social media, but what fun is that?! Feel free to tweet me (@taracoomans) during PubCon if you want more recommendations!

Before I get into restaurants, let’s talk about what really matters: Pau Hana (after work) if your looking for a happy hour – check out the free app at Happy Hour Hawaii @HappyHourHawaii

Waikiki..or Close To It. 

Tiki’s Waikiki @tikisgrill
In addition to being on the best places to watch our famous sunsets, Tiki’s really rocks the poke (a local favorite, and yours too once you try it). Plus, they warm my heart because they bend over backwards to support our social media community here. Who knows, we might even have to do a Tweetup there! Our last Tweetup there was with Brian Solis and I didn’t hear him complain about the venue, so if its good enough for Brian, maybe its good enough for the rest of us.

Hanks Haute Dogs @hankshautedogs
With two locations, you can choose just off the beaten path or the International Marketplace location. You just HAVE to try the Hawaiian with pineapple relish, passion fruit mustard and grilled sweet Maui onions at the International Marketplace where its an exclusive. Check out the daily specials too which range from Rabbit and Veal to Lobster. Of course, you can get a more traditional hot dog at Hanks, but its these great combinations that have made THEM famous.

Pietro Hawaii @pietrohawaii : I haven’t actually been here yet, but it was recommended to me by @parkrat who is a known foodophile. They are near the Ala Moana area (just minutes from Waikiki). The food is descrived at a fusion of Italian and Japanese. Where else but here would you find that kind of experience?

Good to Grill @goodtogrill: Again, another I haven’t been to. But their breakfast looks amazing and their claim to fame is grilling on Kiawe Wood. Its on Kapahulu which is an easy jaunt from Waikiki.

Outside Waikiki – But worth the trip

Food Trucks..we like’em so much! 
Like much of the country – we have a food truck revolution happening here. And there is no better way to find out which food trucks are nearby that using the StreetGrindz app. It takes all the guess work out of the finding and all you have to do is dig in and enjoy. Follow @streetgrindz on Twitter for food truck updates too!

Soul  @pacificsoul
Soul food in Hawaii? Oh, yes. You’ll be glad you did. This ain’t your Mama’s cook’n..its waaaaay better. I can’t get enough of Shrimp and Cheesy grits..but you can take your pick of whatever warms your soul.

Freshest Fish Around: Nico’s  @nicosatpier38
Sitting LITERALLY right next to Honolulu’s fish market , you just can’t go wrong here. They’ve just opened a new location so everything old is new again…the fish has always been fresh here, so no worries. Just go. And enjoy.

Mavro’s @chefmavro
I hesitate to add this to the list since PubCon is the week of Valentine’s Day and this is a fantastic place to take a date. But maybe if you act fast, you can get that 9PM reservation.  Its a farm-to-table experience that you won’t forget at Mavro’s.

A few of the street trucks are rock’n Twitter too, coincidently, they are all beloved by our local foodies: 

Camille’s on Wheels: “Global Tacos” including Thai Pork, Quinoa, Chimichurri. And they don’t use plastic or styro which we love to see here in Hawaii. https://twitter.com/Camillesonwheel 
Shogunai Tacos: More world-wide tacos including Japanese, Greek and Korean.
Eat Gogi: “Asian-Mexican” comfort food (read: more yummy tacos), they have some excellent salsas too! 
OnoToGo: They serve Misoyaki Butterfish, a white flaky fish broiled with a miso-sake marinade. Totally hawaii!  
Yajima-ya : Japanese Udon, Soba and Donburi. Perfect hangover cures. Anyone?

 

Kailua

Prima @prima_kailua
I’ve only had the chance to eat here once, but I truly enjoyed it. Its a home-style place to eat, bustling and full of energy. And guess what? We made our reservation via Twitter. LOVE THAT.  The food was great and the service fantastic. Don’t let the distance from Waikiki scare you – its a short trip over the Pali (which is a beautiful drive) and Kailua-town is a great place to spend the day with its beautiful beaches and boutique shopping, Kailua is truly a beach community.

Cinnamon’s @cinnamonskailua
When my Uncle came to visit Hawaii after more than 10 years away, the only place he really want to go back to was Cinnamon’s for breakfast. Not sure what that says about him, but I know what it says about Cinnamon’s: they make breakfast memorable.

North Shore

Cholos Haleiwa @choloshaleiwa
The tweet stream of Cholos alone is enough to make you want to go there. Its wry and witty and slightly dangerous, just like their margaritas. After you hit the North Shore to watch some of those famous winter waves roll in, grab a margarita at Cholos and while fish tacos are a North Shore favorite, I highly recommend the Chile Verde. After 20 years in Arizona, I was prepared to be less than impressed, but they absolutely killed it. Its a great treat..and its actually spicy which I truly crave.

More local Honolulu foodie social media resources:

Ono Kine Grindz Food Blog  @okgrindz
NonStop Honolulu 
: Follow @melissa808, @nonstopmari

@808melissa recommends this post of her’s for out of town guests