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One of the most popular island destinations in the world, Hawaii is known for its endless blue skies, relaxing sandy beaches, and sparkling ocean waves. It’s no wonder that Hawaii’s restaurants serve up some of the most amazing and delectable fresh seafood around. From buttery sashimi to tasty poke to Korean-spiced fish; establishments built upon relationships with local fishermen make Honolulu a seafood lover’s paradise.
Known as Honolulu’s premier fish restaurant, Nico’s Pier 38 features fresh fish caught by the local fleet, hand-picked daily by Nico and his expert fish buyers. All of the food served at the restaurant is locally grown and sourced whenever possible. Started by two local fisherman and the young French born chef owner Nico Chaize, the restaurant brings its patrons closer to the boats, the fishermen, and the unique Honolulu auction where the premium fish comes from. Nico’s began as a pioneering tiny plate lunch place, serving fresh fish at a great price. The restaurant now serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with live entertainment. It has a full bar, outdoor lanai, and a fish market with fresh fish, pokes, poke bowls, Nico’s Pier 38 special dressings and the prices are still great.
Nico’s Pier 38, 1129 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI, USA, +1 808 540 1377
Reno Henriques, chef and owner of Fresh Catch, has worked to perfect his local style dishes, and at Fresh Catch, he offers residents and visitors the best seafood and meats prepared Island Style. Patrons rave about the wide selection of delicious fresh poke, including favorites like the salmon poke, shoyu ahi poke, firecracker poke, and garlic ahi poke, just to name a few. Everything is so fresh that it melts in your mouth, and many customers even buy a pound to take home. Customer service is top notch, and they allow guests to try as many pokes as they want to help to make a decision. They also offer an amazing fresh and flavorful Furikake Ahi seared perfectly, as well as the popular Furikake Salmon, Ahi Katsu, and fish tacos.
Fresh Catch, 3109 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI, USA, +1 808 735 7653
Kyung’s Seafood serves only the freshest top grade sashimi and poke, a variety of local cuisine mixed with a touch of Korean flair, and an assortment of beer and wine. Open from morning until late, Kyung’s serves up a number of delicious lunch and dinner specials, along with a fun extended happy hour that runs from 11am to 7pm. Patrons love the sashimi platter, which comes with ahi, salmon, and hamachi, all in perfectly cut blocks as smooth as butter. Other favorites include the poke, the seafood pancakes, hamachi kama, and the seafood tofu soup. The interior is a bit small, so calling ahead is a good idea, but on the plus side, it’s a great place to go if you’re looking to avoid hoards of tourists.
Kyung’s Seafood, 1269 S King St, Honolulu, HI, USA, +1 808 589 1144
A family-owned sushi bar established in 2004, Mitch’s Fish Market & Sushi Bar offers unique specialties that include live lobster, live abalone, and the best toro found in Hawaii, as well as a wide assortment of fresh fish from all over the world. Owner Craig Mitchell and his father Mitch moved to Hawaii from South Africa, where they had been fishermen, and established what is now Mitch’s Fish Market & Sushi Bar. With Craig’s supply of fresh fish and the remarkable skill of master chefs Hideo Mitsui and Masakazu Murakami, every meal at the restaurant is a memorable one. Some of their most popular offerings include the lobster sashimi, the toro, the abalone, the van van, the uni, and the California rolls. The place is small and located near the airport, but the incredible fresh melt-in-your-mouth seafood alone makes Mitch’s worth the visit.
Mitch’s Fish Market & Sushi Bar, 524 Ohohia St, Honolulu, HI, USA, +1 808 837 7774
Nearly every local knows Ono Seafood as the go-to place in Honolulu for truly exceptional poke. Offering traditional super ono ahi and tako poke, Ono Seafood only uses fresh, premium ahi that is never frozen. They serve made-to-order poke by the pound as well as poke bowls, and even sashimi platters that you can pre-order. The menu also includes local favorites like dried fish and shrimp, pickled mango, poi, boiled peanuts, and soy beans. Though the place is hidden on the outskirts of Honolulu and the space is small, it is not a long walk from Waikiki, and people flock from all over to come to Ono for the amazing fresh poke, the most popular of which is the spicy ahi, served over white or brown rice along with a classic can of Hawaiian Sun. It is a takeaway place, and there are only a couple picnic tables out front that are almost always already taken, but everything is a great deal for fantastic portions, and the service is always great. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, Ono is one place that is worth making the effort to visit.
Ono Seafood, 747 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI, USA, +1 808 732 4806