Great places to eat at the Royal Hawaiian Center

Beautiful gardens and tropical landscape.

Today I’d like to talk about the Royal Hawaiian Center located right in the center of Waikiki. The location known by the Hawaiian people as Helumoa has a very rich history. Hawaiian royalty used this place as their favorite retreat. Of course Waikiki Beach played a huge part in making this area the best vacation spot ever, but also, this particular area had over 10,000 coconut trees creating a beautiful shaded setting. To commemorate these events in Hawaiian history, the Center has created The Royal Grove, a lush garden with a bronze statue of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, great grand-daughter of King Kamehameha, founder of Kamehameha Schools and Bishop Estates, owner of the Center. The Royal Grove is also the setting for Hawaiian entertainment every evening. Complimentary music nightly!

The Royal Hawaiian Center is the perfect place for visitors and kama’aina to shop and dine. There are over 100 shops and dining places, a huge selection from high end to affordable products.

I would like to talk about the places to eat at the Royal Hawaiian Center. What I like about this place is the variety of cuisine that you can choose from. There are all types of food and also, probably very important, inexpensive to expensive dining. So depending on what kind of food you are ono for and also what type of ambience you are looking for…there is a perfect dining place for you at the Royal Hawaiian Center.

First, let me talk about the restaurants. There are eight to choose from. Quite a selection. There are two Chinese places, one that is authentic, Beijing Chinese Seafood, and the other one, a popular mainland chain called P.F. Chang’s. They are both very good and reasonable. Beijing has been there for years and is a favorite of mine. Great dim sum, noodles and all the great dishes that you would expect from a traditional Chinese restaurant. The design of the restaurant is quite nice. I would rate Beijing as the most deluxe Chinese restaurant in Honolulu, along with Mandalay. P.F. Chang’s decor is also nice. Their set menus are wonderful as well as their vegetarian dishes. I have never been disappointed there.


P.F. Chang's

There are three Japanese restaurants, two that are on the traditional side, Restaurant Suntory and Okonomiyaki Chibo, and one with the influence of South Beach in Miami. Restaurant Suntory is probably one of the best Japanese restaurants in Hawaii. Their menu includes authentic Japanese dishes, sushi and teppanyaki. The prices are reasonable for lunch. For dinner, I guess it depends on what you order. Simply delicious! Chibo also offers teppanyaki but their main dish is okonomiyaki which is a Japanese style pancake filled with vegetables, meat and seafood. They brush a savory sauce over it (similar to tonkatsu sauce). It is very filling and delicious. Osaka and Hiroshima are well known for their Okonomiyaki. We offered it at the 15th Annual Honolulu Festival and the attendees loved it.



As you can see, I am into Japanese cuisine. Sushi Doraku is quite interesting because it is creative fusion cuisine. This place is owned by Kevin Aoki, the son of Rocky Aoki of Benihana fame. His original restaurant is located in Miami’s South Beach and Sushi Doraku has that South Beach flair. The ambience is hip and I have been told the evening crowd is quite lively…exciting food and cocktails.

Sushi Doraku

Tekka Don (ahi and sushi rice)

Representing Mexican food at the Royal Hawaiian Center is Senor Frog’s Honolulu Restaurant and Bar. It’s a fun place for all to hang out, sing and dance. The menu includes many Mexican dishes but also a variety of finger foods, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Very reasonable too.

Senor Frog's

The last two restaurants are The Cheesecake Factory and Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. I think that many of us have craved the cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory. It is delicious! That place is always crowded. I see folks waiting to get in all the time. And what a beautiful setting at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. I have noticed that although the menu can be pricey, that they also offer some great deals. So if you are ono for a juicy steak, this is the place to go.

Wolfgang's Steakhouse

Overlooking Kalakaua Avenue

Apart from these restaurants, the Royal Hawaii Center has little shops like Chip and Cookie (Wally Amos is the owner), Honolulu Cookie Company (great gift ideas), Island Vintage Coffee and Starbucks Coffee (gotta have a coffee place), Panya (great breads and desserts) and Tropical Iceland (unique ice cream treats).

Chip and Cookie

Honolulu Cookie Company

Island Vintage Coffee

Starbuck's Coffee


Eat Panya's goodies outdoors

The last place that I would like to introduce is their Food Court called Pa’ina Lanai on the Second Level. This is the place to go if you’re rushing to grab a bite during your busy shopping at the 100 stores at the Royal Hawaiian Center. Again, variety galore! Ezogiku is the place for you Japanese ramen aficionados. Kenny’s Hawaiian Barbecue is great for plate lunches local style. Then there’s Maui Tacos for some Mexican food. Panda Express has all your favorite Chinese dishes. Sbarro offers pizza and pasta. Burgers, wraps, sandwiches and healthy salads are available at Tacone Flavor Grill and Paradise Café. If you’re into Korean food, gotta stop by Yummy’s Korean BBQ. Ice cream at Dreyer's. Cocktails at Grove Bar. I must say there is something delicious at the Pa’ina Lanai for everybody. Terrific!

Pa'ina Lanai

Grove Bar

Panda Express





Maui Tacos

Tacone Flavor Grill

Paradise Cafe


So please visit the Royal Hawaiian Center on your next trip into Waikiki. Great food!

Honolulu Festival

Royal Hawaiian Center

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