I must say we can never have enough of Hawaiian food. To be honest, most of the places we went to had amazing food. However, if we had to choose out of the restaurants we have been to, the following 5 are our favorite kids friendly picks:
1. House without a Key
(2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815)
At the top of the list is House without a Key, an indoor and outdoor sitting area, situated inside a 5-star resort on Waikiki beach called Halekulani. With Hawaiian music, cool ocean breeze and romantic sunset overlooking Diamond Head, this is definitely an iconic place to dine on Oahu.
Kelvin chose this place for dinner to celebrate Karson’s birthday owing to three main reasons. Firstly, he can experience the beautiful sunset of Waikiki. Secondly, he can also enjoy the traditional enchanting hula dance while eating. Thirdly, we get to have a taste of traditional Hawaiian food.
He booked online to ensure that we had seats when we arrived. Upon arrival, we still had to wait for 15 minutes to get our table as this place is generally pretty packed. Luckily, we were offered the closest seat we can get indoors for dinner as tables outside the patio are for drinks.
On our table, they have already placed children’s utensils and a set of licorice looking strings called Wikki Stix for Karson. Apparently, the sticks are made out of some twistable, buildable and stickable plastic materials. Children can put them together to form different shapes. It was extremely thoughtful of the restaurant!
We ordered a number of dishes. We started off with the Washington Goosepoint oysters. They were super fresh and juicy. Also, we ordered the local ahi sashimi, which consisted of grade 1 yellowfin tuna, daikon and picked ginger. It was actually very similar to the poke bowl. To share amongst the three of us, we had the lau lau chicken, a Hawaiian specialty. It was wrapped in taro leaves. Opening up, you would find steamed rice mixed with chicken, pineapple, tomato relish and kalua pork. It is very suitable for children. I found it more or less similar to the Chinese lotus leaf stick rice. In addition to the rice, we also ordered a cheeseburger with fries. The portions are good for sharing, so do not order too much.
Interested in dining at House without a Key, check them out here:
2. Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
(539 Kailua Rd #101, Kailua, Hawaii 96734)
This was actually not our first choice of restaurant on that day. However, the one that we wanted to go to originally was closed for the afternoon, so we ended up at the Teddy’s Bigger Burgers in Kapiolani (they have three branches on the island). We did not regret our choice. It was the most scrumptious burger we have had in a while.
The burger is prepared to order, so technically it is not fast food. You have to expect to wait for a bit, say 5 to 10 minutes, to be served. Also, do expect a line-up as there are so many choices in terms of ingredients, it takes a while to take the order. Nonetheless, they make your wait worthwhile. The burgers are not greasy and just right in thickness. They come in three sizes: small, medium and large. An average person should consume the small one, as it is more or less the same size as an American McDonald’s burger. The combos come with a fries and a small drink. There are four types of fries, but you must try the tater tots. They are like little tiny hash browns served in a generous amount. Check out our pictures to see for yourself. Meanwhile, the milkshake is well blended with texture and just enough sweetness. For kids, do not expect that they will be able to finish an entire kid’s combo on their own. Their portion is quite big. We made a mistake by ordering three combos (two normal size and the kid’s) and ended up packing home one portion of the fries.
Check out their menus:
3. Gorilla in the Café
(2155 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815)
Don’t worry they don’t only serve bananas. This is the place where you must stop by for your dose of acai bowl. Although it looks like a coffee shop and it does serve pretty good coffee, it is actually more well-known for its acai bowls. With generous amount of ingredients, the fresh fruits and the smoothie texture base helped to wake us up in the morning. We actually had it twice during our stay on O’ahu.
We tried the pitaya bowl and the traditional acai bowl. For a taste of Hawaii, definitely give the pineapple filled pitaya bowl a try. Those who love berries, the traditional acai bowl is your choice for sure.
Check their Facebook page out:
4. Heavenly Island Lifestyle
(342 Seaside Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815)
This was the first stop that we made after we dropped our bags off at the hotel. The reason for choosing this restaurant was its close proximity to our hotel. We only had to walk for a few minutes to get there. Despite that we did not have any expectation on what it had to offer, we ended up satisfied with our dinner.
They interior décor was very attractive. It had outdoor seating as well, yet we decided to stay indoors as it was rather chilly outdoors that night. We headed straight into the very back of the hotel where there were two picnic-setting tables, one on each side. There were candles on the tables and soft music was playing. My son loved it, as it felt very cozy.
The food is very suitable for children. They had a lot of healthy choices. We chose the heavenly’s organic veggie & beans loco moco and also order the maze soba for Karson. Meanwhile, we had a salad poke. The whole meal was super refreshing, which was just what we needed after a long haul flight. To top it all up, their smoothies mix were superb. It was not super ice cold, rather closer to juice form. Karson drank up his within minutes.
We heard that they also serve super delicious breakfast. Writing this up, I learn that they have acai bowls as well. For those who happen to stroll along Seaside Avenue, pop by for a try!
Check them out here:
5. Matsumoto Shave Ice
(66-087 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, Hawaii 96712)
From its name, you probably can tell that this shave ice has a Japanese origin. Like all Japanese goods and services, Matsumoto Shave Ice offers quality for the price. Slightly more pricey than the ones that you can get at other places on the island, this shave ice is not like any other as it offers over 30 flavors with extra toppings and ice-cream to top up the flavor. You will not regret lining up for it.
You need to expect that there would be a line at the door and a minimum wait for around 15-20 minutes at most times during the day. The shave ice is definitely worth its wait as the soft creamy ice melts in your mouth with the blended flavors make you forget all about the wait. It is definitely the best place to bring your kids after the beach or mid day when the sun is scorching hot.
Do look at their menu and make your choices before you get to the counter: