There is no shortage of fine Italian cuisine in Honolulu, though many of the Italian restaurants (especially in Waikiki) are terribly overpriced and offer sub-par service in a frenzied atmosphere. Then there are those Italian restaurants that boast delicious and authentic Italian dishes, friendly and competent service, and unforgettable ambiance all at a reasonable price. These are the Italian restaurants this article will focus on, the top Italian restaurants in Honolulu.
A few miles west of Waikiki, you will find Palomino Euro Bistro, which offers some of the finest Italian cuisine in Honolulu. Located at 66 Queen Street, Palomino has a well-earned reputation for spectacular food. Palomino’s round architecture makes for a unique setting and offers some magnificent views of Honolulu Harbor. Their pasta dishes are all outstanding, and the pizza is quite possibly the best on the island. In addition to Italian dishes, Palomino offers prime rib, lobster and various other entrees. Of course, there is no better way to end an authentic Italian meal than with a slice of tiramisu and a glass of vintage port wine. The prices are very reasonable. Palomino does often attract crowds, and when they do, it can be difficult to get a table, so I suggest making reservations by calling 808-528-2400. You can also visit Palomino’s website at http://www.palomino.com/
If you find yourself at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, hungry for fine Italian cuisine, pay a visit to Assagio, 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard (808-942-1935). The portions here are incredible, and the selection is terrific. Choose from plenty of entrees, including pastas, seafood, chicken, and even sandwiches for lunch. The atmosphere is somewhat formal and the service is just fine. Assagio has locations all over the island of Oahu, but I highly recommend you visit their Honolulu location at Ala Moana Center. Though Assagio does not have a website of its own (at least not one I could find), visit the Ala Moana Center website at http://www.alamoana.com/
Auntie Pasto’s is a favorite Italian restaurant of many Honolulu residents and visitors. Located at 1099 South Beretania Street (808-523-8855), Auntie Pasto’s offers great Italian food with a festive Italian feel. Just visit their website at http://www.auntiepastos.com/ to get an idea. The Italian music might just get you in the mood for one of their many delicious Italian dishes, including a wide selection of pastas, calamari and eggplant. Auntie Pasto’s on South Beretania recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary. It can be a bit loud when its busy, but that just adds to the fun Italian atmosphere. Prices are very reasonable.
If you are staying in the Waikiki area of Honolulu, check out Arancino. I found myself eating here almost daily during the four months I lived in Waikiki. Located at 255 Beachwalk Avenue (808-923-5557), Arancino is a small Italian cafÃ?Â©, where you can enjoy a leisurely meal indoors or outside. Their pizzas are delicious, and their pasta dishes are creative and equally tasty. The portions aren’t very large, but they are certainly enough. And the prices are incredibly reasonable, especially considering the quality of the food, the atmosphere, and above all, the location. You can find Arancino’s website at http://www.arancino.net/arancino_di_mare.htm
Also in Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is Sergio’s. Located at 2005 Kalia Road (808-951-6900), Sergio’s offers a generous selection of meats and pastas and a wondrous atmosphere. Entrees tend to be a bit pricey, but you are paying for location and the fact that Sergio’s is located within the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Visit Sergio’s website at http://www.restauranteur.com/sergios/ for more information. Casual resort attire is acceptable. Sergio’s is a fine Italian restaurant you will not mind splurging on if you are here on vacation from the mainland, but Honolulu residents will probably find it a tad expensive for simply another night on the town.
Aloha, and Bon Appetit!