Sustainable Dining

With its rich foundation of native and immigrant cultures, Hawaii's food is a way to experience and indulge in a delicious connection to our home.

For Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) Hawaiʻi’s staple foods include kalo (taro, from which poi is made), ‘ulu (breadfruit), ‘uala (sweet potato), maiʻa (banana) and niu (coconut). Those foods were brought to the islands on Polynesian sailing vessels across thousands of miles, and have ornate origin stories in Hawaiian mythology. Thousands of years later Western settlers established modern plantations in the islands, and imported labor from China, Japan and the Philippines to work in the fields farming sugar, and later, pineapple. Those laborers brought new varieties of fruit and delicacies, including lychee, mango and starfruit.

We've curated this list of restaurants which prioritize local ownership and sourcing from local farmers and fishers, as well as serving seasonal organic produce, meats from humanely raised animals and sustainably harvested seafood.

By following these tips you will reduce your environmental impact, enjoy yourself, and come across interesting places and foods you may have never encountered.

Mud Hen Water

Group-friendly place by TOWN's Ed Kenney featuring inventive Hawaiian small plates and craft cocktails.

TOWN

Ed Kenney is perfecting a farm-to-table approach to Hawaiian cuisine with his town restaurant. The pa‘i ‘ai is amazing, as is the risotto. The menu changes daily, so you can dine here a few times during your stay. The small space fills up quick, so dinner reservations are recommended.

Kaimuki Superette

Cafeteria-style eatery for locally sourced breakfasts, seasonal veggies and creative sandwiches.

Bills Sydney

Bills Sydney has demonstrated a strong commitment to eco-friendliness. Their take-out containers, cups, and cutlery are biodegradable or use recycled materials. The restaurant is part of a LEED certified building and the building’s design allows for the utilization for natural lighting and controlled use of their LED lighting. Their food is health and energy conscious, and they continually work to improve their product mix to increase sourcing of local produce and proteins.

Morning Glass Coffee and Café

This may be the best café on the island. Owner Eric Rose serves excellent Hawaiian coffees, but ask him if they have ice cream (they make it right there). Stop in Fridays at lunchtime for their Good and Better burgers. But don’t bring your laptops there—go to Starbucks down the road to write your Yelp post.

Tucker & Bevvy Picnic Food

Before heading out for a day at the beach, stop here for a toasted turkey and brie sandwich, Caesar chicken wrap or a Mediterranean salad with a Tropical Storm fruit smoothie. Everything can be packed to-go. Grab and go!

Eggs 'n Things

Since 1974, this eatery has been feeding visitors and locals while treating everyone like ‘ohana. The menu is extensive, with pancakes, steak, omelets, loco moco, crepes, waffles and meats. And the best part? There are two locations in Waikīkī, so it’s convenient no matter at which end of Kalākaua Avenue you are.

Kona Brewing Company

Enjoy a premium Hawaii-influenced brew and a bite while overlooking the gorgeous Koko marina, which is the location of the ancient Kuapa fishpond.

the nook neighborhood bistro

Anyone hungry for a great meal will enjoy dining in the nook’s sidewalk café atmosphere. Tucked away in Puck’s Ally, you’ll find a delicious, playful menu that is packed with local produce, meats and dairy. An ingredient focused restaurant featuring new American cuisine. The nook can satisfy at any time of the day.

Buzz's Original Steak House

Laid-back steak house presents a surf 'n' turf menu & drinks in a tiki-style space. Located right across the street from Kailua Beach Park.

Cholo's Homestyle Mexican

Festive eatery & bar for burritos, tacos & margaritas in a colorful space with Mexican artifacts.

Kalapawai Cafe

A laid back Kailua coffee shop and deli by day and a contemporary dining experience with table service by night.

Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade

Handcrafted lemonade with locally sourced fruits and produce served in mason jars with a straw. Available around the island and at Da Lemonade Stand in Wahiawa.

Coffee Gallery

Hawaiian Gourmet Coffee Roasters was founded in 1987 with a passion to serve exceptional artisan coffee and delicious, homemade food in our shop, the Coffee Gallery. Located in the unique community of Haleiwa, on the North Shore of Oahu, all of the gallery's food and pastries are prepared in house from scratch, to ensure quality and freshness.

Ke Nui Kitchen

Ke Nui Kitchen is a full service catering company located near Waimea Valley on Oahu's North Shore. Created in 2012 by Chef Thomas Naylor, Ke Nui Kitchen provides creative and elegant dishes with island and regional influences. Flavors are bold, with South American, New American, Mediterranean and Pacific Rim influences and an infusion of Hawaiian flavors. All menu items are created from scratch, and sustainability is a priority. Ke Nui Kitchen buys from local fisherman, and all ingredients are locally sourced from surrounding farms and use practices that are environmentally sound.

Turtle Bay Resort

All seven of Turtle Bay's restaurant and dining options offer farm-to-table fresh ingredients, working with local farmers and fishermen to create flavorful, healthy and sustainable cuisine.

The Beet Box Cafe

Organic, vegetarian breakfast (available all day) & lunch options, raw juices, smoothies, teas and homemade desserts served in a colorful, informal setting.

Sprout Sandwich Shop Haleiwa

A fun, fresh and healthy sandwich shop located on the North Shore of Oahu.

Puka's

Bar and restaurant with outside eating at Kahala Mall launched by Whole Foods Market.

The Counter Kahala

Contemporary chain with customizable gourmet burgers, including vegetarian, plus beer & wine.

Downbeat Diner and Lounge

Downbeat Diner and Lounge serves American diner fare sourced from free range, grass fed beef, and locally grown produce. Every item on the menu can be made vegetarian or vegan and the bar serves tasty, signature cocktails, bottled and canned beers, and rotating craft beers. Open late.

Leahi Health

Leahi Health uses organic ingredients in all of its beverages, sandwiches and salads. Farm to table standards are set by using the best and freshest fruits and vegetables grown right here in Hawaii. Also serves homemade Leahi Kombucha, which takes weeks to create and provides health benefits like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases. With multiple locations around the island.

Koko Head Cafe

In a more just world, Chef Lee Anne Wong would serve brunches of Auntie Alohi Cakes, The Pancakes and Queen's Mimosas twenty-four seven, 365. An absolute must-try.

Green Garden

A food truck concept by Plant Based Heaven offering tasty, plant-based meals that are good for the soul, for animals and for the environment. All the homestyle recipes, including the Green Garden Burger patties and sauces, are original, all-vegan, organic, natural, non-GMO and healthy.

Chef Chai

Upscale, contemporary venue serving Hawaiian regional fare from the celebrated kitchen of Chef Chai Chaowasaree.

Juicy Brew

A cafe with an emphasis on high quality, locally minded and environmentally conscientious preparation and delivery started by sister chefs Jennifer and Christina Hee. In creating Juicy Brew’s daily food and beverage offerings, the sisters Hee endeavor to source ingredients that have done as little harm as possible to animals and the environment. They are known for their nourishing, wholesome dishes; even Juicy Brew’s baked treats incorporate vegetables, fruits, and nuts with organic whole grain flours. Many of their creations are plant based–balancing whole grains with legumes, seeds and vegetables.

Kahumana Cafe

It's hard to get fresher than Kahumana Cafe's farm-grown produce. Kahumana is committed to providing local fresh meals, served in a pleasant farm environment at an affordable price. The dishes highlight produce grown just steps away from your table, wild-caught fish brought in by local fishermen and responsibly farmed, local meats.

The Windward Bar

Located in Whole Foods, this bar features organic wines, draft microbrews and casual, American plates.

Hau Tree Lanai

Seaside eatery doling out creative Pacific Rim fare for brunch and dinner at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel. Chef Rene Caba prepares his continental cuisine with an island flair; the steak and seafood selections are expertly selected and sustainably sourced.

Bevy

Located in the hip neighborhood of Kakaako, the vibe at Bevy reflects the eclectic, artistic nature of the surrounding community. Keeping true to the vibrant and dynamic spirit of Kakaako, Bevy takes a modern approach to cocktails, cuisine, music and art while looking to the past for time-tested methods and technique.

Kaimana Farm Cafe

Kaimana Farm Cafe is committed to providing an exceptional dining experience using the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

Cactus

Cactus is a celebration of pan-Latin cuisine, transporting the flavors, culinary traditions and techniques of Central and South America, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico to Hawaii. Cactus' menu selections focus on local produce from the islands and feature Shinsato Farms pork from Kahaluu, Oahu, Kulana and Kuahiwi beef, veal and wild boar from the Big Island, and sustainably caught or farmed seafood from throughout the archipelago.

Guava Smoked

Guava Smoked is dedicated to sourcing the highest quality meats from Hawaii's farmers and producing delicious smoked products for you to savor and share with family and friends.

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Summit is Hawaii's global magazine of ideas, style and smart living. We're named for Queen Kapiolani's motto, "kulia i ka nuu," strive for the summit. Summit is available on fine newsstands throughout North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

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Ikaika Hussey
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Mae Ariola
Editor
Will Caron
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Michelle Garcia
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Karen Shishido
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James Charisma