October 30, 2020

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2020 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: The Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i – Honolulu Magazine – September 2020

Congratulations to this year’s Hale ‘Aina Award winners announced on Sept. 14, 2020.

By HONOLULU Magazine Staff

Published:

 



Mahalo


 


We asked, more than 8,000 votes were cast, and now it’s time to unveil the winners of the 2020 Hale ‘Aina Awards!


 


Each year, our readers vote for their favorite restaurants in the Islands, as well as naming the Restaurateur of the Year. The top restaurants were announced during a virtual live-reception held Sept. 14, 2020. See our upcoming December 2020 issue for the stories behind the menus, ordering tips from some of our Hale ‘Aina Award honorees. Subscribe now to have our Best Restaurants issue delivered right to your home.


 


The Hale ‘Aina Awards are the state’s longest running and most prestigious dining honors, started by HONOLULU Magazine in 1984 to honor the best restaurants in Hawai‘i. Whether you’re looking for weekend brunch spots, your new favorite cocktail or the best places to indulge your sweet tooth, we got you. This list of Hale ‘Aina-winning restaurants is your all-year, can’t-miss dining guide.


 


Congratulations to this year’s winners for operating at the highest levels of quality, and offering Hawai‘i’s most delicious and innovative dishes. 


 



SEE ALSO: These 3 Original Hale ‘Aina Winners Are Still Winning Decades Later“>



 


Restaurateur of the Year


Michelle Karr-Ueoka & Wade Ueoka


MW Restaurant


 


Best New Restaurant


GOLD – Rigo


SILVER – Mad Bene


BRONZE – Feast


FINALIST – Ya-Ya’s Chophouse & Seafood


 



SEE ALSO: Zigu: A Hidden Japanese Izakaya Emphasizes Local Ingredients



 


Best O‘ahu Restaurant


GOLD – Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai


SILVER – Alan Wong’s


BRONZE – Merriman’s Honolulu


FINALIST – Senia


 


Best Maui Restaurant


GOLD – Lahaina Grill


SILVER – Merriman’s Kapalua


BRONZE – Mama’s Fish House


FINALIST – Lineage


 



SEE ALSO: Sheldon Simeon’s Lineage on Maui Wins Gold for Hawai‘i’s Best New Restaurant



 


Best Big Island Restaurant


GOLD – Merriman’s Waimea


SILVER – Hawaiian Style Café


BRONZE – Roy’s Waikoloa


FINALIST – Ken’s House of Pancakes


 


Best Kaua‘i Restaurant


GOLD – The Beach House


SILVER – Roy’s Poʻipū


BRONZE – Merriman’s Fish House


FINALIST – Restaurant Bar Acuda


 


Best Service


GOLD – Hy’s Steak House


SILVER – Lahaina Grill


BRONZE – Roy’s Hawai‘i Kai


FINALIST – Merriman’s Honolulu


 



SEE ALSO: Chef Mavro Celebrates 20 Years of Promoting Local Food



 


Best Business Lunch


GOLD – Mariposa


SILVER – MW Restaurant


BRONZE – Merriman’s Honolulu


FINALIST – Nico’s Pier 38


 


Best Breakfast


GOLD – Café Kaila


SILVER – Koko Head Café


BRONZE – Cinnamon’s


FINALIST – Basalt


 



SEE ALSO: 2019 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: The Best Breakfast Restaurants in Hawai‘i



 


Best Brunch


GOLD – Orchids


SILVER – Koko Head Café


BRONZE – Café Kaila


FINALIST – Hōkū’s


 


Best Buffet


GOLD – Lā Hiki Kitchen


SILVER – 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar


BRONZE – Orchids


FINALIST – Hōkū’s


 



SEE ALSO: 35th Hale ‘Aina Winner: Herringbone Waikīkī is Hawai‘i’s Best New Restaurant



 


Best Cocktail


GOLD – Bar Leather Apron


SILVER – Moku Kitchen


BRONZE –  Bevy


FINALIST – Monkeypod Kitchen


 


Best Wine Program


GOLD – Vino


SILVER – Amuse Wine Bar


BRONZE – Lahaina Grill


FINALIST – Merriman’s Honolulu


 


Best Beer Program


GOLD – Square Barrels


SILVER – Maui Brewing Co.


BRONZE – Kona Brewing Co.


FINALIST – Beer Lab HI


 



SEE ALSO: First Look: Off the Wall Emerges as Ward Village’s Newest Happy Hour Hot Spot



 


Best Bar Food


GOLD –  Side Street Inn


SILVER – Square Barrels


BRONZE – Pint + Jigger


FINALIST – Basalt


 


Best Tasting Menu


GOLD – Senia


SILVER – Alan Wong’s


BRONZE – Pai Honolulu


FINALIST – Stage Restaurant


 



SEE ALSO: Pai Honolulu Wins Best New Restaurant, Service and Tasting Menu



 


Most Romantic


GOLD – Michel’s at the Colony Surf


SILVER – La Mer


BRONZE – 53 By The Sea


FINALIST – Mama’s Fish House


 


Best Restaurant That Caters


GOLD – Chef Chai


SILVER – The Pig & The Lady


BRONZE – MW Restaurant


FINALIST – Side Street Inn


 


Best Vegetarian


GOLD – Peace Café


SILVER – Tane Vegan Izakaya


BRONZE – Vegan Hills


FINALIST – Beet Box Café


 



SEE ALSO: The 12 Best Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes on O‘ahu Right Now



 


Best Gourmet Comfort Food


GOLD – 12th Ave Grill


SILVER – Side Street Inn


BRONZE – Kalapawai Café & Deli


FINALIST – Scratch Kitchen


 


Best Steak


GOLD – Stripsteak


SILVER – Ruth’s Chris Steak House


BRONZE – Hy’s Steak House


FINALIST – Morton’s The Steakhouse


 


Best Seafood


GOLD – Nico’s Pier 38


SILVER – Mama’s Fish House


BRONZE – Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill


FINALIST – Merriman’s Honolulu


 


Best Dessert


GOLD – MW Restaurant


SILVER – Liliha Bakery


BRONZE – The Pig & The Lady


FINALIST – Tiny Pryamid


 


Best Farm-to-Table


GOLD – Town


SILVER – Merriman’s Honolulu


BRONZE – Mud Hen Water


FINALIST – Moku Kitchen


 


Best Hot Pot


GOLD – Ichiriki


SILVER – Sweet Home Café


BRONZE – Asuka Nabe + Shabu Shabu


FINALIST – Nabeya Maido


 



SEE ALSO: The Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Hot Pot in Honolulu



 


Best Chinese


GOLD – Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant


SILVER – Little Village Noodle House


BRONZE – Fook Yuen


FINALIST – Happy Days


 



SEE ALSO: How to Eat Xiao Long Bao and Other Tips for Enjoying Soup Dumplings in Honolulu



 


Best Hawaiian


GOLD – Helena’s Hawaiian Food


SILVER – Highway Inn


BRONZE – Young’s Fish Market


FINALIST – Waiāhole Poi Factory


 


Best Italian


GOLD – Arancino at The Kāhala


SILVER – Assaggio


BRONZE – La Cucina Ristorante Italiano


FINALIST – Taormina Sicilian Cuisine


 


Best Izakaya


GOLD – Izakaya Naru


SILVER – Izakaya Torae Torae


BRONZE – Sushi Izakaya Gaku


FINALIST – Izakaya Nonbei


 


Best Sushi


GOLD – Yanagi Sushi


SILVER – Ginza Sushi


BRONZE – Sushi ii


FINALIST – Mitch’s Sushi


 


Best Japanese Noodles (Ramen, Udon, Soba)


GOLD – I-naba


SILVER – Golden Pork Ton-kotsu Ramen Bar


BRONZE – Wagaya


FINALIST – Marukame Udon


 


Best Overall Japanese


GOLD – Gyotaku


SILVER – I-naba


BRONZE – Rinka


FINALIST – Yanagi Sushi


 


Best Thai


GOLD – Noi Thai Cuisine


SILVER – Thai Issan Cuisine


BRONZE – Opal Thai


FINALIST – Maile’s Thai Bistro


 


Best Mediterranean


GOLD – Olive Tree Café


SILVER – Yamas Mediterranean Cuisine


BRONZE – Shaloha Pita


FINALIST – Da Spot


 


Best Indian


GOLD – Café Maharani


SILVER – Himalayan Kitchen


BRONZE – Kamana Kitchen


FINALIST – Bombay Palace


 


Best Yakiniku/Korean BBQ


GOLD – Gen Korean BBQ House


SILVER – Million Restaurant


BRONZE – Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ


FINALIST – Sura Hawai‘i


 


Best Overall Korean


GOLD – Million Restaurant


SILVER – Sorabol


BRONZE – Choi’s Garden


FINALIST – Gen Korean BBQ House


 


Best Vietnamese


GOLD – The Pig &The Lady


SILVER – Hale Vietnam


BRONZE – Pho Saigon


FINALIST – Saigon’s Restaurant


 


Best Mexican


GOLD – Azteca Mexican Restaurant


SILVER – Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant


BRONZE – Mexico Restaurant


FINALIST – Alejandro’s