(This time I’m skipping right over the apologies for delays in posting, if that’s okay w/ everybody. Suffice it to say it had something to do w/ my own personal Cerberus of the end of our legislative session, working on a sequel to the upcoming Cold Fire, and traveling. Your understanding is quite appreciated…)

To ease myself back into the posting game here today, I have decided to take a bit of a spin on a question that was posed to me recently…

If a person had a six layover on Oahu between Seattle and Tokyo, where should they go to eat??

::rubs hands together while cackling w/ delight::

Clearly the correct answer is that you should swing by Chez D for homemade pizza and sweet tea, but since that isn’t always an option, here is an extremely pared down version of how I answered that question. (This list is 20 long, corrected to reflect the passing of Sweet Home Waimanalo [so sad], and pared back from the original 43)

Per usual, these are just the things that came right off the top of my head and happen to be joints I enjoy. Feel free to disagree or add your own, as the great thing about food recs is nobody ever really loses… J

Listed in ascending geographic distance from HNL…

1.) Nico’s Pier 38. Still probably my favorite place on the island for seafood. Fantastic. Very easy to get to.

2.) Liliha Bakery. Second best part of Nico’s? They just opened a Liliha right down the street. (COCO PUFFS!!!)

3.) Helena’s Hawaiian Food. Place doesn’t look like much, but if one has a hankering for Hawaiian, this is the place to go. (Also, the original Liliha is quite close…as is the next item)

4.) Ted’s Bakery. Haupia pie. Doesn’t even matter what flavor. They’re all good.

5.) Highway Inn. Another very well-known for Hawaiian food.

6.) Opal Thai Food. On the North Shore. Best Thai I’ve ever had.

7.) The Shore Bird. This is if one has a lot of time and wants to venture down Waikiki way. A full buffet plus massive open air grills to cook own steaks/fish/chicken as you like it. Right on the water. Fantastic time.

8.) Duke’s Waikiki. Decent bar food, but you go for the Hula Pie. Nothing short of heaven itself.

9.) Bubbie’s Ice Cream. This is the place for mocha. Right off campus so can get crowded, but still…

10.) Fresh Catch. My favorite poke around.

11.) Champion’s Malasadas. Just what it says…

12.) Leonard’s Malasadas. Very busy, loaded w/ tourists from Waikiki. Champion’s is much easier.

13.) The Pig & The Lady. Ask for the off-menu Mushroom Godzilla. Ay ay ay…

14.) Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha. Makes shave ice into an art form.

15.) Aiea Bowl. Yes, it’s a bowling alley, but just trust me on this one. (Fried chicken…need I say more?)

16.) JJ Dolan. Downtown, one of the few pizzas on the island worth springing for.

17.) Side Street Inn. Definitely a dive, fantastic island comfort food.

18.) Giovanni’s Shrimp.  Be sure to bring a marker to sign the truck at Gio’s.

19.) Uncle Bo’s. Pupus. Sharing. Done and done.

20.) Jawaiian Irie Jerk Restaurant. If you like Jamaican food…

Needless to say I could continue for days describing high-end places like Matsumoto’s or Alan Wong’s, but these are just my top recs for ways to kill some time on a layover. Of course, if it were me I would eat somewhere quick and enjoy everything else the island has to offer, but that’s just me though…

Hope it helps…happy eating!!

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