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Hawaii, United States: Best cheap eats in Oahu

By Rosamond Chung 24 November 2020

When looking for the perfect place to eat, most always consider price and quality, but it might be hard to find a city that offers high quality options at an affordable price. Oahu’s eateries are the perfect combination of delicious food for an even yummier price. Here are the 10 best cheap eats in Oahu that are worth the visit.

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Photo Credit: Marugame Udon

Marugame Udon

Marugame is one of those places to visit whenever you want a cheap meal early in the day (since the lines become extremely long closer to lunchtime). Witj multiple restaurants around the United States, this chain is known for providing an authentic Japanese experience with its made-to-order udon. Not only can you watch as the chefs use a Japanese imported machine to create these amazing noodles, you can also add complementary toppings like tempura flakes, green onion, etc. If you aren’t satisfied with just udon, order some delicious tempura on the side.

Marugame, M2310 Kūhiō Avenue. #124, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States | (+1) 808 931 6000

Photo Credit: @helenashawaiianfood (via Instagram)

Helena’s Hawaiian Food

Helena’s has been serving authentic local Hawaiian food since 1946, making it a local staple. Over the past 64 years, this local eatery has stayed simple and classic with the founder Helen Chock teaching her children and grandchildren the art of cooking, which has helped the restaurant establish a firm foothold within the community. Check out their pipikaula short rubs, which are absolutely mouth-watering.

Helena’s, 1240 N School Street, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States | (+1) 808 845 8044

Photo Credit: Rainbow Drive-In (via Facebook)

Rainbow Drive-In

Located less than a mile away from the famous Waikiki Beach, the original Rainbow Drive-in has been serving affordable grub for more than half a century. The original and still-ongoing philosophy of the drive-in is to serve plates with two scoops of rice and a side of salad with every meal. This is still a family-owned and operated business, but it also has three other locations besides the original. So come through this drive-in and try some authentic Hawaiian-style plate lunch.

Rainbow Drive-In, 3308 Kanaina Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States | (+1) 808-737-0177

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list👇

By Rosamond Chung 20 November 2020
Photo Credit: Nico’s Pier 38 (via Facebook)

Nico’s Pier 38

Come to Nico’s Pier 38 restaurant if you want a taste of delicious seafood and amazing views of the ocean. The restaurant located right next to the Honolulu Fish Auction, and the fish served is purchased there the same day. The restaurant offers both plate lunches and also fresh poke to go, which is perfect for any occasion.

Nico’s Pier 38, 1129 N Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States | (+1) 808 540 1377

Photo Credit: Melissa Chang (via Facebook)

Mei Sum Dim Sum

This popular Chinatown cafe serves food from 7am to 9pm at extraordinary prices. This spot is great if you are looking for a quick snack or if you are missing the business of authentic Chinese restaurants.

Mei Sum Dim Sum, 1170 Nuuanu Avenue #102, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States | (+1) 808 531 3268

Photo Credit: Clauds P (via Pinterest)

Nakamura Ramen

Nakamura is one of our personal favourites because of its amazing value-for-money meals. With ramen costing between US$10-US$20, you can feel full and content with just a bowl. This small restaurant is famous for its oxtail ramen and also their spicy ramen. So grab a seat in this narrow ramen bar and enjoy

Ramen Nakamura, 2141 Kalakaua Avenue #1, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States | (+1) 808-922-7960

Keep scrolling for the rest of the list👇


Ono Seafood

Whenever in Oahu, it is vital to stop by Ono Seafood for some of the best poke on the island. The poke made to order, and the eatery is just a five-minute drive from Waikiki. Ono’s famous poke bowls come in two bowl sizes (regular and large), with eight different flavours and three seafood options (ahi, octopus, and salmon). If you want a quick snack, head to their refrigerated section that has great goodies like seaweed salad, edamame, and boiled peanuts.

Ono Seafood, 747 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816, United States | (+1) 808 732 4806

Photo Credit: Zippy’s (via Facebook)


With its humble beginnings as a small restaurant on King Street in Honolulu, Zippy’s has turned into a staple diner in Hawaii with over 23 locations. Zippy’s is most locals’ go-to place to have some hearty local comfort food. Go visit any of these locations and enjoy some local grub.

Zippy’s, multiple locations

Photo Credit: @lemonsupply1975 (via Instagram)


Shirokiya Japan Village Walk is like a theme park but instead of rides and mediocre food, it is a hodgepodge of restaurants that serve some of the best Japanese food on the island. Not only do they have amazing food, they also have cooking performances and events celebrating Japanese festivals. So if you are ever in Ala Moana Shopping Mall, walk past the Mcdonald’s and head to Shirokiya for a variety of amazing Japanese food.

Shirokiya, 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard #1360, Honolulu, HI 96814, United States

Photo Credit: Ahi Assassins Fish Co. (via Facebook)

Ahi Assassins Fish Co.

Ahi Assassins started on the side of the road before eventually becoming one of Hawaii’s elite local fish suppliers. They now have three locations where you can buy both fresh-caught fish or their amazing already made poke. Definitely come here for some of the freshest fish you can find in Oahu.

Ahi Assassins, 3111 Castle Street, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States | (+1) 808 439 4045

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Growing up in Hong Kong, Rosamond is a recent high school graduate who is in the middle of her gap year. She has always been interested in capturing little moments and stories in the places she goes to. Whether it’s her love for film photography or her obsession with making playlists, you will always see Roz with a camera around her neck and lo-fi bops playing on her headphones. Follow her adventures on Instagram.