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View Full Version : Best Cheap Eats in Waikiki?



consultant
November 17th, 2005, 04:44 PM
Spending a couple weeks on Oahu, half of it in Waikiki, half out at the Ko Olina Resort. We are staying in a large condo. Been to a lot of the nice restaurants. I'm looking for recommendations on two things:

1) Hidden gems, cheap but good, in Waikiki, nothing fancy, just good food at a good price. I rememer finding a hole in the wall little Teriyaki/Sushi joint on the corner by the beach with a great little happy hour with cheap beer and sushi. Looking for more little diamonds in the rough like that. Like all types of food.

2) Good place to buy fresh seafood so I can do some eating in. (Won't have a car so I'll have to cab it or bus it unless its within walking distance.)

Thanks

kimo55
November 17th, 2005, 05:29 PM
cheap eats and the locales that offered them have gone the way of the wind; All old inexpensive cute charming reasonably priced locally owned places have been decimated; torn down so the land can realise "the highest and best use"..
that is; bulldoze the old location, buildings, lots, and erect another 40 story tower and fill it with expensive upscale restaurants and multinational chain eateries you find in every other gawdawful overbuilt resort town that looks no different, now, than our Waikiki.

Albert
November 18th, 2005, 09:47 AM
I haven't set foot in Waikiki this year, so don't know what is still there, but there hasn't, at least in the past fourteen years, really been any special "cheap eats" places. I guess Smorgy's is about as good as it gets.

MadAzza
November 18th, 2005, 12:39 PM
Smorgy's???

<raaaaaaalph!>

What's that place up from the Sheraton, I think it's on Lewers ... I was just there a couple of weeks ago. Kind of a dive, with good beer and OK food. Well, my quesadilla was OK, anyway. It's a two-story place. Dang, I can't remember the name of it. It'll come to me after I hit "send."

Pomai
November 18th, 2005, 01:41 PM
Wailana Coffee House

24 hour diner, located across the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki, on the corner of Ala Moana Blvd. & Ena Rd. Award-winning locally owned establishment that's been there for years. Cheap eats (most items under $10) and broad menu selection. Great portions & service. They also have a cozy little side bar with Karaoke.

Great Eggs Benedict! Pretty good Won Ton Mein too.

Menu PDF's* here:
http://www.anytimegrinds.com/menu.asp?ID=343

*Courtesy of anytimegrinds.com

i-hungry
November 18th, 2005, 02:06 PM
I guess it depends on what you qualify as "cheap".

In general, you may have better luck going just outside of Waikiki for "cheap" eats.

AbsolutChaos
November 18th, 2005, 08:17 PM
To be honest, I live in Waikiki now, and I definitely have to travel outside this area in order to find "cheap eats." Sadly, as mentioned by someone else on this thread already, most of the businesses cater to luxury tourist dollars these days.

However, one way to enjoy "cheap eats" in Waikiki might be to take advantage of various happy hours on weekday afternoons--for ex, at Nick's Fishmarket (on Kalakaua) between 5:30pm and 8:30pm, if you sit in the bar area you can enjoy half-price pupus and low-cost martinis. This place is considered more "formal," so expect a guitarist playing tunes while you eat in the bar area, plus pupus here run the gamut, from your standard kalua chicken quesadilla to ahi tartar to Greek salad to sashimi. I've definitely made an entire meal out of pupus at this place.

Other restaurants with happy hour meals: Moose's on Lewers, Sansei Seafood Restaurant/Sushi Bar (Sun & Mon Early Bird Special, 5pm-5:30pm: 50% off food/Thurs thru. Sat, Late Night Special, 10pm-2am: 50% off Pupu/Sushi Menu), and Shanghai Bistro (3:30 to 6pm, half off select appetizers and drinks). Shanghai Bistro is more in the Ala Moana area, but it's very close to Waikiki, as is Todai (mentioned later).

I do second Wailana as a good place to check out for reasonably priced food, though it gets immensely busy in the morning, being a popular breakfast dining destination. Eggs n' Things is another choice for breakfast bargains.

Other reasonably priced options: the various noodle/ramen houses scattered about, Todai (all-you-can-eat-seafood buffet--very crowded!), and Gyu-kaku (Japanese yakiniku). If you walk around on Kalakaua in the evening be sure to keep an eye out for the Gyu-kaku guys...they hand out useful coupons that my boyfriend and I usually find advantageous.

G/L and enjoy your trip!

MadAzza
November 18th, 2005, 09:42 PM
Moose's on Lewers! That's the one I was trying to think of.

Pomai
November 19th, 2005, 07:09 AM
Teddy's Burgers is good. Located on Kapahulu st. at the end of Waikiki, across the Zoo. Locally owned and reasonably priced. Voted Oahu's best burger by many.

As for the "diamonds in the rough" notion, that's a misnomer, since Waikiki was never considered a "rough" area.

Unless you're talking Lemon St. or Pau st. :D

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Speaking of burgers... yesterday I finally tried KULIA GRILL in the JABSOM center. I also met Carol Uyemura, da' managah'. Nice lady.

My boss and I arrived rather late in the lunch hour (about 2pm) so the burgers were pre-made and wrapped under a heat lamp. Their "famous" chips were sold out, so we bought fries instead.

What was messed up was Carol told us to get our condiments on the side, where we seen a ketchup and mustard dispenser. What we didn't realize was there was also a vegetable area for the lettuce and tomato that was supposed to be for our burgers.

So we ended up buying our cheeseburger ($4.25) and fries ($1.25) and took it back to the office. When we opened it up, NO VEGGIES. :(

It wasn't Carol's fault, but ours for not looking. Since the burgers were wrapped in paper, we assumed they had everything in it, but no.

Other than that, the burgers were excellent. Nice grilled flavor. Hand-made patties that were rather large. Gourmet Onion bun.

We'll go back again early (about 11am). Next time we'll top it the right way and hopefully get to try some of those chips you guys mentioned.

glossyp
November 19th, 2005, 10:26 AM
Speaking of burgers... yesterday I finally tried KULIA GRILL in the JABSOM center. I also met Mrs. Hirata, da' managah'. Nice lady.

My boss and I arrived rather late in the lunch hour (about 2pm) so the burgers were pre-made and wrapped under a heat lamp. Their "famous" chips were sold out, so we bought fries instead.

What was messed up was Mrs. Hirata told us to get our condiments on the side, where we seen a ketchup and mustard dispenser. What we didn't realize was there was also a vegetable area for the lettuce and tomato that was supposed to be for our burgers.

So we ended up buying our cheeseburger ($4.25) and fries ($1.25) and took it back to the office. When we opened it up, NO VEGGIES. :(

It wasn't Mrs. Hirata's fault, but ours for not looking. Since the burgers were wrapped in paper, we assumed they had everything in it, but no.

Other than that, the burgers were excellent. Nice grilled flavor. Hand-made patties that were rather large. Gourmet Onion bun.

We'll go back again early (about 11am). Next time we'll top it the right way and hopefully get to try some of those chips you guys mentioned.

I should have posted a while back that they decided to open a veggie bar after many customers demanded "customized" burgers. The old way was you picked it up and everything was complete. Blame popularity and picky eaters for the change. I'm sure there are others though who appreciate having a choice. Don't miss the chips - they are worth a visit!

And, a second for Teddy's as good affordable food. Another spot with more choices is Teddy's wife's place on Monsarrat, South Shore Grill - not in Waikiki but close enough. She offers really great food at excellent prices. Important to note that both Teddy's and SSG are cash only.

Pomai
November 19th, 2005, 10:48 AM
I should have posted a while back that they decided to open a veggie bar after many customers demanded "customized" burgers. The old way was you picked it up and everything was complete. Blame popularity and picky eaters for the change. I'm sure there are others though who appreciate having a choice. Don't miss the chips - they are worth a visit!

And, a second for Teddy's as good affordable food. Another spot with more choices is Teddy's wife's place on Monsarrat, South Shore Grill - not in Waikiki but close enough. She offers really great food at excellent prices. Important to note that both Teddy's and SSG are cash only.

Sorry I had Carol's name wrong in my first posting. She didn't say her name, but I immediately recognized her from GlossyP's review (http://www.hawaiidiner.com/reviews/review.php?review=75&PHPSESSID=d5f52a2f52a9424467cbfdbd7ab752b6) at HawaiiDiners.com. She was working the register when we paid, and I told her about reading a review at HawaiiDiner.com. She was very fond of that!

Someone should suggest that they put a sign by the burgers about the condiment thing. I'm sure we weren't the only ones who missed that.

All those fixinz' you mention are way at the end of the counter line. Easy to miss.

They should add sauteed garlic & mushrooms as a burger condiment and keep 'em in a steam warmer. I'd be there every week if they offered that!

I read a review a while back on South Shore Grill. They replaced the old Teddy's location. I'll definately check it out when in the area.

GlossyP, suggestion: Make a sign with the HawaiiDiners.com logo that says:


VOTED BEST CHEESEBURGER of SUMMER 2005
by HawaiiDiners.com

Many restaurants do that to augment sales and promote their product. I'm sure Carol would be more than happy to post that at the restaurant (providing it complies with campus policy).

jimnyo
February 14th, 2007, 11:40 PM
time to revive this thread...the fam and i are playing tourist and staying in waikiki for 2 nights starting tomorrow thanks to the promotional the star-bulletin ran last year when you signed up. anybody have anymore recent recs for good/cheap grinds down in waikiki?

for breakfast, already thinking either wailana or the new ihop. anybody have lunch and dinner ideas? thanks!

Bard
February 15th, 2007, 05:03 AM
I know you've already got breakfast covered, but we ate quite a few meals at a place called Morning Galaxy. Memory's fuzzy now so I can't remember exactly where it was, but there was basically a bar that turned into a breakfast place until noon, and they had $3-$4 specials with quite a bit of food every day. Also some very good mac nut and pineapple pancakes if you're into that :)

There was a place next door doing basically the same thing, so I suspect they were having some sort of price war... no idea if it's still going on.

AbsolutChaos
February 15th, 2007, 10:54 AM
There was a place next door doing basically the same thing, so I suspect they were having some sort of price war... no idea if it's still going on.

Morning Galaxy moved to a 2nd floor location so it's not directly next to the other breakfast place anymore. It's now where a strip club used to be, on the opposite side of the street from its old location (but further toward Diamond Head side).