The Best Restaurants in Ko Olina: Oceanfront Dinners, Mai Tai Happy Hours & Local Joints

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Whether you’re looking for a fancy pants oceanfront dinner, the best mai tais at happy hour, or a breakfast dive, Ko Olina has you covered. 

Most restaurants in the Ko’olina area are either located in resorts or the Ko’olina Center (a small shopping center across the street from Aulani). 

This isn’t a comprehensive listing of every restaurant in the area, but these are some of my favorites:

The Best Restaurants in Ko Olina

Monkeypod: This is hands down my favorite spot in Ko’olina (and one of my top in Hawaii!). Monkeypod is a concept by Hawaii famous chef Peter Merriman who pioneered the farm to table movement in Hawaii. He has some pretty highend restaurants, but the Monkeypod is considered the “bar food” version of his other places. It has the BEST food and I would consider it an “upscale casual” restaurant. There’s almost always live music and they have great happy hour specials. It’s located in the Ko’olina Center across the street from Aulani.

Roy’s: Chef Roy Yamaguchi is famous in Hawaii and he’s brought his signature restaurant chain out to Ko’olina. It’s got a nice location on the golf course. You can expect your typical steak and seafood fare here.

La Hiki: This spot at the Four Seasons does a breakfast buffet every morning followed by American style lunch and dinner, but the real draw here is the weekend brunch buffet. It’s not cheap, but the all you can eat buffet hosted on Saturdays and Sundays may be the most lavish experience of your trip to Hawaii. If you’re staying in the area (and hey, many people drive all the way over from town for it), you’ve definitely got to make a reservation.

Egg’s n Things: This famous Waikiki breakfast joint now has a location on the west side in the Ko’olina Center. It’s a great, low-key spot for breakfast.

Longhi’s: Located at the Marriott, Longhi’s has operated a couple of locations on Maui before coming to Oahu. They do a good breakfast/brunch and somewhat high end dinner. It’s not located right on the water, but most of the restaurant does face the ocean.

Makahiki: This is the place to do a character breakfast or dinner at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa. It’s a bountiful buffet, and great way to meet a few Disney characters if you’re not staying at the resort.

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AMA AMA: This “signature” dining spot at Aulani is worth visiting for the location alone. It’s right on the ocean and besides Mina’s Fish House next door at the Four Seasons, it’s the only high end restaurant in Ko’olina where you’ll find beach front dining. I’ve never been blown away with the dinner menu (it’s not bad, just not great considering the price), but breakfast is outstanding and lunch is a better value than dinner.

Mina’s Fish House: This upscale line-to-table seafood restaurant at the Four Seasons is probably the poshest place in Ko’olina. It’s a multi tiered indoor/outdoor restaurant with plenty of couches for lounging and taking in the sunset.

Noe: Located at the Four Seasons, this is probably your best bet for upscale Italian food in Ko’olina.

Olelo Room: This is my pick for the “must be” spot in Ko’olina after the sun goes down. This lounge has some of the best live music I’ve heard anywhere in Hawaii. They also have linguists on hand to demonstrate the Hawaiian language for you.

Island Country Market: AKA an ABC Store, which is a local convenience/souvenir shop chain in Hawaii. This one is really big though and has a decent selection of groceries and prepared foods. If you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen (or at least a fridge), you may want to stock up here. It’s located in the Ko’olina Center.

Island Vintage Coffee: In addition to your morning java, you can grab acai bowls and sandwiches here. It’s located in the Ko’olina Center.

Longboard’s Bar & Grill: Located at the Marriott, this is the place to go for a casual beachfront meal.

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Ko’olina Hawaiian Bar-B-Que: Nothing much to write home about, but if you’re looking for something quick (for dine in or carry out), you’ll find some local style favorites here. Located in the Ko’olina Center.

Just Tacos Mexican Grill & Cantina: If you’ve got a craving for Mexican food, they can fill it here. They also have over 300 types of tequila. Located in the Ko’olina Center.

Want to read more? Don’t miss some of my most popular (and favorite) posts about Oahu:

If you’re trying to figure out where to stay, you’re going to want to look at my favorite boutique resort in Waikiki and the lowdown on where to stay on Oahu besides Waikiki. Plus I’ve got the scoop on how to avoid illegal vacation rentals and a roundup of where to stay in Ko Olina and reviews of the Laylow and Disney’s Aulani Resort. And a LOT more on Aulani like is Aulani worth it?, tips for staying at Aulani, how many days to spend, and the best things to eat and drink at Aulani

If you’re researching luaus on Oahu, I’ve written quite a bit. First, I’ve got a full breakdown of the best luaus (and the worst) on Oahu. Then I’ve got complete reviews of Paradise Cove, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Aulani’s Ka Wa’a Luau. And if you’ve narrowed it down to the top two most popular on the island and still can’t decide, here’s Paradise Cove vs Polynesian Cultural Center

If you’re trying to put together an itinerary full of the best things to do, take a look at my best 5 day itinerary, and roundups of the best things to do in Waikiki, “secret” things to do on Oahu, plus my favorite things to do in Kailua and the windward coast, in Ko Olina, and on the north shore. And if you’re looking for food recommendations, I’ve got the best restaurants in Ko Olina and where locals eat in Waikiki

And last but not least, some of my favorite things on Oahu like Jurassic Park at Kualoa Ranch, Shangri La and the Honolulu Museum of Art, tips for visiting Pearl Harbor, easy hikes on Oahu, and the best spas on Oahu. And everything you need to know BEFORE you go to Oahu.

P.S. Thanks for sticking around and reading this whole post! If you have ANY questions about planning your trip to Hawaii, you can join my free Facebook group here. I’m there answering questions every day and there are 7500+ other friends who have a ton of Hawaii information to share!

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