Waikiki is full of surprises when it comes to food! You can find a lot of different options from American food, Chinese food, Mexican food, Hawaiian Food, Japanese food, and lots of others! We visited a hidden gem in the heart of Waikiki called Waikiki Yokocho. Thanks to our friends over at WhereHawaii, they invited us over to their event “Passport to Waikiki Yokocho”. Where we were able to try different dishes from restaurants at Waikiki Yokocho by getting our “passport” stamped at each stop.
Waikiki Yokocho, a Japanese Food Hall, is a hidden gem in the heart of Waikiki. Yokocho literally translates as “alleyways off to the side of the main street” but in Japan, it’s crammed with pubs, bars, and restaurants that offer special cuisines loved by both locals and visitors. This Yokocho in Hawaii is the first of its kind in the United States; far from a local food court. With fourteen acclaimed restaurants that offer authentic Japanese dishes at an affordable price, the experience will transport your senses to Japan. Many familiar Japanese-local-dishes that’s beloved in Hawaii can be found here like hand-rolled musubi, green tea ice cream, and of course, Michelin-endorsed ramen.
Eating inside any eatery takes you out of the busy street and into a different and unique ambiance. Each vendor has their unique taste and dish to offer. Another depth the area has is hiring employees from mainland Japan familiar in the industry. Waikiki Yokocho is a great way to expire Japanese culture in the best way possible: appetite satiated.
Getting back to back to the Passport to Waikiki Yokocho event, we had the opportunity to try seven restaurants, a choice of dessert, and a drink at NOMU. Here’s where our passport took us:
Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen – Mini Ramen
Baikohken – Mini Shoyu Ramen
Kaneko Hannosuke – Mini Tendon
Kushikatsu Tanaka – Shrimp & Arabiki Kushikatsu
Umami Teppan Kingyo – Mini Katsudon
Nin Nin Curry – Mini Chicken Curry
Nana’s Green Tea – Mini Soft Serve
SevenDays – Mini Acai Bowl or Mini Chia Pudding
We absolutely loved our travels to Japan and fell in love with the food and culture! After this event, we went back a few days later for more authentic Japanese food. Waikiki Yokocho is definitely a food destination that we will visit often! For anyone wanting a true Japanese experience in Hawaii, this is one of the best and what better way to experience culture than with food!
Honolulu, HI 96815