Top 14: Where to Eat In Kailua Oahu

Where to eat in kailua, oahu

Where to Eat in Kailua Oahu

Where to eat in Kailua was one of my first questions when we moved here! With ten days of government per diem and four boys to feed, I wanted to make the most of exploring our new town! Its been several months and we have the opportunity to try a bunch of places and return to our favorites.

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places to eat in Kailua so you don’t have to do the research! These places are mostly table service, and locally owned.

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Where to Eat Breakfast in Kailua

When we first arrived I felt like there were more places to eat breakfast than dinner! Its not true, but there are MANY options:

  • Over Easy
  • Cinnamon’s Cafe
  • Moke’s Bread & Breakfast
  • Kono’s – You wouldn’t guess it from a pulled pork place but check out their breakfast bombers – essentially a massive breakfast burrito
  • Kalapawai Market & Cafe – There are two Kalapawai Markets in Kailua – one in the center of town near Easy Que and one at the beach. The town location has more seating and feels more like a restaurant. In the evening at 5p, the counter service turns to table service only. The Beach location has a bigger market for grab and go. They still have the same menu and seating.
  • Sunrise Shack – Sunrise Shack Kailua is one of a few locations of this stand that started at the North Shore. They focus on healthy options with smoothies, bowls and bullet coffee. We recently hiked the Lanikai Pillbox and ended with treats from Sunrise Shack.

DSC 7962 by Alison Bell, Photographer

Hi! I’m Alison, your chaos coordinator, toddler briber, and parent commiserator. Oh! And Oahu family photographer!

As the ringleader of my own 4-boy circus, I know how hard getting family photos can be.

I run my photo session like a party. I give you something TO DO so you don’t feel awkward wondering, “Where do I put my HANDS?!”

Dad is playing with the kids, everyone forgets what’s ACTUALLY happening, and you look amazing bc you’re actually enjoying yourself. #whoknewphotoscouldbefun

Fast. Fun. Done.


Where to Eat Lunch In Kailua

These are my top pics for where to eat lunch in Kailua for one a few reasons:

  • Its a simple counter service joint.
  • They’re open for lunch and its less expensive than dinner
  • Its in the middle of Kailua Town and convenient while shopping

All of them have great food, of course!

Buzz’s Original Steak House – On the beach in Lanikai since 1962. This is a modest house overflowing with tables. The serve lunch 11-3, dinner 4:30-9p

Kalapawai Market & Cafe – There are two Kalapawai Markets in Kailua – one in the center of town near Easy Que and one at the beach. The town location has more seating and feels more like a restaurant. In the evening at 5p, the counter service turns to table service only. The Beach location has a bigger market for grab and go. They still have the same menu and seating.

Easy Que BBQ – This is Hawaiian BBQ. Its a bit different (sweeter, if you can believe it) than most southern variations. Their brussell sprouts are SO good. If you can get the chips, do it! They sell out fast.

Maui Brewing – This is not your typical brewery menu. Its impressively diverse and upscale. There’s burgers, chicken, tacos, pizza, and salads. They’ve got live music several nights of the week and the outdoor seating in the middle of Kailua Town is unmatched ambiance.

Kono’s – Kono’s serves slow cooked pulled pork 7 days week. They’re open for breakfast and also have amazing milkshakes! They open early, and close early! 7a-7p daily

Paia Fish Market – This is the second location of the fish market, located at the end of my favorite street in Kailua near tons of local boutiques. Paia gets fish fresh from the market daily and serves it until its gone!

Mala Market – This location just opened this fall. Its counter service sandwiches with 6 different vegetables on each sandwich! I was shocked at how pretty 6 vegetables could look. The turkey & avocado is my personal favorite.

Alison Bell, Photographer
Nico’s Kailua

Where to Eat in Kailua for Dinner

My favorite places to eat dinner in Kailua, Oahu are:

Nico’s Kailua – Nicos has several restaurants around Oahu, but this is probably my favorite. It feels local like the neighborhood eatery. They’re open for lunch Monday- Saturday and dinner daily. We went on a Thursday with live local music, ate the bar, muah. Great vibes. They serve ahi, fish bites, poke, calamari, crab cake, fish & chips, burger & short ribs.

Maui Brewing – This is not your typical brewery menu. Its impressively diverse and upscale. There’s burgers, chicken, tacos, pizza, and salads. Its great for kids and teens in a great location.They’ve got live music several nights of the week and the outdoor seating in the middle of Kailua Town is unmatched ambiance.

Goen – This is a fancier option! Open air seating in the middle of Kailua Town serving Japanese fusion – from gnocci, sushi, udon, short ribs, salmon and smores!

This is on my short list, but with four kids, its too expensive for us to go as a family. #datenight

Buzz’s Steak House On the beach in Lanikai since 1962. This is a modest house overflowing with tables. The serve lunch 11-3, dinner 4:30-9p

Easy Que BBQ – This is Hawaiian BBQ. Its a bit different (sweeter, if you can believe it) than most southern variations. Their brussell sprouts are SO good. If you can get the chips, do it! They sell out fast.

Alison Bell, Photographer

Best Restaurants In Kailua

Buzz’s Original Steak House – On the beach in Lanikai since 1962. This is a modest house overflowing with tables. The serve lunch 11-3, dinner 4:30-9p

Kalapawai Market & Cafe – There are two Kalapawai Markets in Kailua – one in the center of town near Easy Que and one at the beach. The town location has more seating and feels more like a restaurant. In the evening at 5p, the counter service turns to table service only. The Beach location has a bigger market for grab and go. They still have the same menu and seating.

Easy Que BBQ – This is Hawaiian BBQ. Its a bit different (sweeter, if you can believe it) than most southern variations. Their brussell sprouts are SO good. If you can get the chips, do it! They sell out fast.

Maui Brewing – This is not your typical brewery menu. Its impressively diverse and upscale. There’s burgers, chicken, tacos, pizza, and salads. They’ve got live music several nights of the week and the outdoor seating in the middle of Kailua Town is unmatched ambiance.

Lanikai Brewing – smaller and couple corners from Maui Brewing, Lanikai offers a limited menu of pizzas from the food truck parked outside. Great option if you’re looking for food & brews.

Nico’s Kailua – Nicos has several restaurants around Oahu, but this is probably my favorite. It feels local like the neighborhood eatery. They’re open for lunch Monday- Saturday and dinner daily. We went on a Thursday with live local music, ate the bar, muah. Great vibes. They serve ahi, fish bites, poke, calamari, crab cake, fish & chips, burger & short ribs.

Goen – This is a fancier option! Open air seating in the middle of Kailua Town serving Japanese fusion – from gnocci, sushi, udon, short ribs, salmon and smores!

Whole Foods Kailua – Ok, this is a national grocery store, and I would leave it off EXCEPT… its HOPPIN every Friday night. I haven’t been personally, but my neighbors enjoyed it and you cannot deny the crowd they draw. Its a common thing to order pizza during Happy Hour and enjoy your beverages while it bakes.

Sunrise Shack – Sunrise Shack Kailua is one of a few locations of this stand that started at the North Shore. They focus on healthy options with smoothies, bowls and bullet coffee. We recently hiked the Lanikai Pillbox and ended with treats from Sunrise Shack.

Kono’s – Kono’s serves slow cooked pulled pork 7 days week. They’re open for breakfast and also have amazing milkshakes! They open early, and close early! 7a-7p daily

Paia Fish Market – This is the second location of the fish market, located at the end of my favorite street in Kailua near tons of local boutiques. Paia gets fish fresh from the market daily and serves it until its gone!

Mala Market – This location just opened this fall. Its counter service sandwiches with 6 different vegetables on each sandwich! I was shocked at how pretty 6 vegetables could look. The turkey & avocado is my personal favorite.

Where to eat in kailua, oahu

Where to Eat In Kailua on the Water

Buzz’s Steak House is the only option for beach views while you eat, even then its not technically ‘beach front’ because its across the street from Kailua Beach. But it counts! On the beach in Lanikai since 1962. This is a modest house overflowing with tables. The serve lunch 11-3, dinner 4:30-9p

Nico’s in on a canal, but there’s no view or deck so while it does sit on water, not really what you’re looking for.

Alison Bell, Photographer
Kono’s Milkshake Menu

Happy hour Kailua

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I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus. They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

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I find joy in chaos. The louder, the better!

I'm a USMC spouse, South Carolina native, recovering homeschool mama of a 4 boy circus.

They've taught me the most important facet of family photography: KEEP IT FUN!

hey, I'm Alison!

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