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5 Hawaii Restaurants Among 100 Most Scenic in U.S.

Michel’s at the Colony Surf Waikiki

Honolulu Star Advertiser’s Erika Engle reports today* that three Honolulu restaurants and two on the Big Island of Hawaii offer among the best scenery in America, according to to a survey taken from reviews for online dining reservations site OpenTable.com.

On Oahu
Michel’s at the Colony Surf
Signature Prime Steak & Seafood atop the Ala Moana Hotel (previously Aaron’s; previously Nickolas Nicholas)
Top of Waikiki, at the top of Waikiki Business Plaza

On the Big Island
• ‘Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Kaupulehu
Island Lava Java Bistro in Kailua-Kona (also in Waikoloa)

California had the most scenic restaurants on OpenTable‘s list with 38, Washington came in second with 7, while Hawaii took 3rd place with 5, followed by Florida with 4.

The results were selected from reviews by OpenTable users collected between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

Favored cuisines among the 100 top restaurants include American, seafood, Chinese, French, Italian, Peruvian and Polynesian.

View from Japengo at Hyatt Ka’anapali, Maui

There are definitely WAY MORE scenic restaurants in Hawaii than just those five. How can not one restaurant on Maui not make that list? And of course, what one considers “scenic” is very subjective. Many see a gorgeous view of the pacific ocean as ideal, while others rather be overlooking a beautiful, lush green valley or fresh water lake.

Then there’s the type of “scenic view” of the female form us fellahz love, where I pick Mai Tai’s in Ala Moana for the win! lol

The lovely gals of Mai Tai’s Ala Moana

Trying not to think about a storm right now, which Hawaii restaurant(s) would you nominate for most scenic in the U.S.?

Top of Waikiki, overlooking Royal Hawaiian Hotel (in pink), with the Sheraton Waikiki on the right and Waikiki beach

*Source: Five Hawaii restaurants are among Top 100 Most Scenic in U.S.


14 thoughts on “5 Hawaii Restaurants Among 100 Most Scenic in U.S.

  • August 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Out of the five from Hawaii, I’ve only been to Island Java Lava Bistro in Kona. While it’s a perfectly nice setting right across from the water, there are several other eateries along Alii Drive with the same view. And to me, the view isn’t all that scenic. Use Google Street View and you’ll see. The photo of the view from Japengo, IMO, is much more scenic. But it could be that most of those surveyed were from California, thus the high number of California eateries. Other Maui restaurants with scenic views would include Kula Lodge, Mama’s Fish House, and numerous restaurants on the west side of Maui, facing Lanai and Molokai. I just ate at the Plantation House in Kapalua and with views facing down onto the Plantation Golf Course and Molokai (and a piece of Lanai) and the Kapalua coastline, I’d also include that restaurant with a great scenic view.

  • August 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    @ David,

    I agree there has been a lot left out in HI and slanted towards California.

  • August 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    @ Ken – What’s that one restaurant/bar in Maili? that’s two-story wood building right across the street from the beach with breakwater protruding out. I think it’s just below the medical center on the hill out there. Have you ever gone in there? Looks like the view from there must be pretty spectacular of Oahu’s west coast seashore.

    @ David – Next time I hit Maui, I’ll definitely check out Kula Lodge. I also want to try Ben Gannon’s upcountry restaurant. I think upcountry Maui is one of the most beautiful places in the world! Truly heaven on earth.

    As you recommended, I checked out some Google street views of Ali’i Drive on the Kona Coast, and ironically, the day the Google camera car took those shots, it looked like a storm was blowing in! ;-O

    • August 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      It’s called Maili Sunset Bar and Grill: http://mailisunsetbarandgrill.com/

      It has changed names a couple of times this past year. It was a biker bar and then changed into a Cajon Seafood Crab restaurant now it has been spruced up on the outside and the whole building repainted. I don’t know if it changed owners. I’ve heard mixed stories about the place some good and some bad especially from one of the bartenders that came to Tacos and More and looking at the menu it’s cheaper to drive into Honolulu for the same thing so I’ve stayed away and limited myself to Tacos and More and Rest Camp bars for food and drink.

      It does have a great beach and water view but the Ka’aha’aina Café Restaurant (open to public): http://www.yelp.com/biz/kaahaaina-cafe-waianae up on the hill at Waianae Comprehensive Coast Health Center has a stunning view from their lanai and one of our secret places.

    • August 7, 2014 at 9:15 am

      The last time we dined at Kula Lodge it was for breakfast, right after we made the drive up to the summit of Haleakala for sunrise. Hali`imaile General Store is a nice quaint restaurant, in an old plantation building. I’ve had lunch and dinner there and both meals were excellent. I preferred the ambiance at dinner though.

  • August 7, 2014 at 3:47 am

    I been to Oceanarium at Pacific Hotel even not outside view but still nice. With underwater things to look at it not bad. Buffet was great also. The one you wrote about been there also on dates nice indeed.

  • August 7, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Pomai, I know it not scenic but when Lau Yee Chai was around family enjoy dining there and it was very nice.

  • August 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

    @ Kelike – Never ever been to Lau Yee Chai.

    @ Amy – I think Oceanarium’s a GREAT choice! Certainly one of the most unique “scenic views” in Hawaii! Every time I’ve dined there, the buffet brunch food was always excellent as well.

    @ Ken – Ah, Maili Sunset Bar and Grill. I’m glad I got the area right. Wasn’t sure if that was Maili. Yeah, I remember it changing names several times over the years. I think that place would do well for passing tourists if a national chain restaurant with a known brand name moved in, like say Ruby Tuesday. The Shack (Hawaii Kai, Kailua and Mililani) would probably do well there for the local & tourist draw. Perfect theme for the beachside location.

    Thanks for the tip on Ka’aha’aina Cafe Restaurant! Sounds awesome! I’m SO THERE on my next drive out the west side! I’ll call you when I do so we can meet there for lunch!

    The view from Humuhumunukunukuapua’a Seafood Restaurant at the Grand Wailea on Maui…

    The restaurants “floats” atop a salt water pond filled with sea life…

    Oh, the food is quite “scenic” as well…

  • August 7, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Beach House on Kauai> Kula Lodge and Honu on Maui. Just to name two obvious ones.

  • August 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Keep your heads down, boys and girls, we’re thinking about you and praying for your well being here on the mainland. Well, at least I know we are here at BBC’s home in Oregon. See you on the other side!

  • August 8, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Pomai, the Pagoda is my parents best for buffet and look at koi fishes. They like it not too tourists like more local.

  • August 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Re Maui…..On a clear day, the view from an outside table @ Kula Lodge is breathtaking! During a foggy upcountry day…..you can’t even see the next table………..switch to inside seating………..near the fireplace! (also COOL at night!)
    The view from the Seahouse Restaurant in Napili (Napili Kai Resort) is also spectacular……….one of the best crescent-shaped beaches in Hawaii………..plan ahead to get some grindz on a Wed. or Thursday evening so you can take in Bruddah George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Show which is held on the resort property.
    Attention Pomai! Don’t think BEV Gannon would appreciate you turning her into wun guy (BEN?)………..she is the Chef/Owner of Haliimaile General Store…..and also honchos another eatery at one of the Waile/Makena Resorts (name??)…………as with Kona Kay’s Brittle……….if you sample one of Bev’s decadent desserts…………..YOU ARE HOOKED!

    • August 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm


      Well, my friend, you finally came out from under the Kona rock. I hope you got your $100 buck’s worth! lol

      Oops, typo’ on callling her “Ben”. My bad. I was confusing her with “Larry” Lingle. LOL!!!

      George Kahumoku is one an awesome Kiho’alu player. Another favorite of mine is Dennis Kamakahi.

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