Hawaii’s famous beautiful blue skies, gorgeous green mountains, and sparkling ocean waves are all well represented in the state’s exciting capital. Home to an abundance of delicious locally sourced cuisine and diverse arts and culture, Honolulu is a haven for its residents and a paradise for its visitors. If you’ve got a craving for some tasty pizza while in the area, Honolulu offers some amazing options, with everything from homemade pies to New York-style to brick oven pizzas to personal pans with local flare. Here’s where to find them.
A comfort food pizzeria for families in the Waikiki area, Amina Pizzeria is an off the beaten path establishment run by a friendly woman who has developed great relationships with many of the local regulars. The owner serves as the cashier, cook, and server, always remaining calm with a smile on her face and providing the best customer service. The delicious pizzas are all made with the freshest ingredients and loads of cheese, pleasing customers of all ages. Patrons love the affordable prices and the homemade quality of the pies, a nice change from all of the fancy five star restaurants in the area. Most like to get take out from the restaurant, but there is a small seating area in the warm and cozy interior as well. One of the most popular choices is the combination pizza, with a delicious thick base and generous tasty toppings. The restaurant offers many other delicious Italian classics, including the tasty calzones, pasta dishes, and hot sub sandwiches.
In 2008, J.J. Niebuhr and Danny Dolan teamed up to create J.J. Dolan’s, an Irish pub with New York pizza in Chinatown, Honolulu. The thin crust pizzas, perfectly crispy on bottom with great topping combinations, have turned many locals into regulars and caused numerous visitors to seek the place out. The restaurant has tons of seating, super friendly staff, a great beer selection, and televisions above the bar perfect for watching your favorite game. Favorite specialties include the Giacomo with pepperoni, salami, sausage, and black olives, the Molto Formaggio with six different cheeses, and the Deli Meat Special piled with sausage, cappacola, ham, and salami. Customers love chatting with the owner, J.J., who is passionate about supporting the Chinatown community. The place is extremely popular, especially with the after work crowd coming in for pau hana, as well as sports fans who love hanging out with delicious pizza and beer while watching the game.
Arancino at The Kahala is an Italian dining concept showcasing classic but innovative Italian dishes. For nearly 20 years, Arancino Restaurants have been serving authentic Italian cuisine in the heart of world famous Waikiki to visitors from around the world. Its recipes reflect Napoli-style epicurean delights, made with imported cheeses, meats, and pastas from Italy, and fresh seafood and produce from Hawaii’s farms, creating an authentic yet contemporary Italian dining experience. The award winning Arancino Restaurants have received much praise from many guests, including from high profile celebrities. Guests can experience the culinary creations of Italy through Executive Chef Daisuke Hamamoto’s thoughtfully crafted menu that includes a wide selection of house made pastas, brick-oven pizzas, gibier (game meat delicacies), and more.
Bar 35 serves the local Chinatown and downtown Honolulu community by offering over 200 brews, ales, porters, lagers, and more from 20 different countries, as well as incredible fusion gourmet pizzas. The handcrafted pizzas include flavors from around the world as well as high quality ingredients. Some of his most popular creations are the Smokey Heaven, which features smoked salmon, red onions, capers, cream cheese, and gorgonzola cheese; the Deep Forest, which includes imported prosciutto, fresh mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, and a touch of extra virgin olive oil,;the Italian Perdition topped with anchovies, Italian sausage, and olives; and the Sweet Bangkok, which has Chinese sausage, Sriracha, and cilantro. With a casual yet professional crew, people from everywhere find a home at Bar 35 whether they’re beer connoisseurs or stopping by for a quick drink and bite to eat after work. The restaurant also offers classic cocktails, along with some of their own specialty cocktails. With live local DJs and bands, art events, dancing, beer tastings, and an assortment of daily specials, it’s always a happening spot.
The original da Big Kahuna’s Pizza ’n Stuffs opened its doors in 1993, and the little green shack on Puuloa Road quickly became the only place for ‘real pizza with local flair’ in the neighborhood. In 2006, the business moved to a new location at the Airport Trade Center, and the loyal customers followed. Using the finest quality ingredients available and making the pizza dough daily, all of Big Kahuna’s pizzas are the ultimate in freshness. The restaurant takes pride in making its bread on the premises and the delicious pizza, subs, and famous garlic cheese balls are always made to order. Locals love the large serving sizes, the fantastic friendly customer service, and the cute beach-themed decor. All of the pies are thick crust pan pizzas topped with delicious things like Kalua pork, Portuguese sausage, teriyaki chicken, barbecue sauce, and plenty of cheese. The place is small but often crowded with a line going out the door, and there’s only a few tables inside, but the wonderful service makes dining inside a really great experience.