If you are visiting Oahu on a budget and looking for ways to eat around the island inexpensively then check out how to eat cheap in Oahu below. This short guide shares some of the best tips from locals and visitors to the island to eat cheap and well when you visit the island. Although cheap is relative to what the prices are for dining but you can find delicious venues and ways to keep your budget intact. Check out these cheap eats in Oahu below for delicious and affordable prices eating out on the island now.
How to eat cheap in Honolulu and around Oahu
Sam’s Club or Costco
If you have a condo, Air bnb unit or place with a kitchen then you can definitely stock up on food supplies from these two warehouse box retailers and make most of your meals, snacks and drinks. This will save on your budget if you prepare breakfast, lunch and occasional dinners for meals you can prepare your way and shopping prices that are almost comparable to mainland prices from these big box retailers. There are three Costco locations around Oahu and two Sam’s Club locations on the island to choose from.
Shop local grocery stores
Just like the big warehouse, you can also shop local grocery stores for fresh local food items, deli and take out foods, snacks and drinks and other food essentials. Popular and larger grocery venues include Palama, Times, Foodland, Whole Foods and Ohana Hale Marketplace. Foodland also is known for the best local poke that compares to local poke shops and at good prices. You’ll find fantastic deli, take out and cheap eats in Oahu here for prepared foods or food ingredients you can make at your convenience.
Cheap local chain food eateries in Oahu
Hawaii does have their own local chain food eateries that are affordable for most meals served or for take-out service. Consider popular favorite dining venues like L&L Barbeque, Zippys, Rainbow Drive In or even bento meals that are sold at 7-11 stores. These local chain food venues are popular, easy dining or you can do take out services. The food is good, cheap and delicious local style food that you can experience from a variety of foods typically eaten on the islands.
Happy Hour Specials in Oahu
If you want to go out for drinks, pupus and dining out, plan on going early during Happy Hour and getting a discount on meals and drinks ranging in various time frames from 3pm to 6pm from their food and bar menus that offer early bird discounts. Many establishments have some great Happy Hour deals before the dinner hour and you can consider some of these places in Waikiki like the Monkeypod, Lulus, Basalt and Bevy.
Check out this list of popular and local happy hour venues in Oahu to enjoy now for good drinks and prices at more affordable prices.
Farmers markets in Oahu
Not only will you eat healthier but also support local businesses. Farmers markets offer easy take-out foods, snacks and other prepared specialty foods. Popular farmers markets to visit in Oahu include: Kaka’oko farmers market, Honolulu farmers market and Hyatt’s farmers market in Waikiki. Check out this list of farmers markets in Oahu here to plan your next visit and trying some of the take-out, specialty foods and farm fresh produce and other products sold at these markets.
Food Courts in Oahu
There are plenty of food courts offering cheaper and delicious local eats along with many chain food favorites. Popular places to go find food courts include the Ala Moana Center (huge food court), the Royal Hawaiian, International Marketplace and many other local shopping malls will have a variety of food courts.
Places like the Ala Moana Center below offer every imaginable type of food you can eat from around the globe and is clean, fast and affordable.
Oahu Food truck venues
Food trucks around Oahu are very popular for delicious and affordable meals to go or dine in mostly at picnic type tables. You’ll find every kind of local food to international flavors sold at these food trucks from Haleiwa to Honolulu area. Check out popular food trucks like Bluewater Seafood with their $5 Shrimp bentos, Ray’s Kiawe Broiled Chicken for their huli huli chicken, Giovanni’s for their local style shrimp bentos, Leonards Malasada trucks, Sweet Revenge and Simply Ono.
Check out these popular food truck venues all around Oahu here for more food inspiration at affordable prices and delicious food to eat.
Oahu Bakeries for breakfast or local style foods
Local bakeries in Oahu offer more than just sweets, but also local foods, breakfast and other specialty dishes. Consider visiting Lilia Bakery, Wailua Bakery and Léonard’s.
For breakfast venues try Sweet E’s. Eggs N things and Koa Pancake for breakfast along with other delicious local dishes along served all day long.
Ethnic Asian style restaurants
Yes ethnic restaurants tend to be cheaper especially noodle shops like Marugame Udon in Waikiki, Musubi Café, Irifune, Mama Kim’s offers cheap Japanese and cheap stir fry and poke combinations.
For Chinese check out Chinatown restaurants and try some dim sum specialties. For Thai food try Bangkok Chef in Honolulu for their savory and delicious dishes on the menu.
Go where the locals eat in Oahu
There’s lots of popular mom and pop shops and diners in Oahu that all the locals love to eat regularly. There’s plenty of local diners and cheap eats around Oahu and mostly in the Honolulu area outside of the touristy Waikiki tourist zone. Places to consider include: Betty’s Burgers, Mama Kim’s, One Plus Drive In, Koa Pancakes, Gina’s Barbeque, Itchy Butt, Growler Hawaii, 808 Island Katsu Burger and Steak Shack, just to name a few. You’ll love all these local restos, they are affordable and good.
Affordable Hawaiian food
If you are looking for authentic Hawaiian food, then there are some local food favorite venues that are affordable for Oahu prices. Consider visiting Helena’s Hawaiian food, Highway Inn, Ono Seafood and Da Ono Hawaiian food or Kono’s NorthShore for traditional Hawaiian and local style foods like Kailua pork, Lau Lau, Squid Luau and Poi.
Check out these other food and Oahu topics
Conclusion to cheap eats in Oahu
Oahu is expensive especially when it comes to dining out, but it doesn’t have to be if you shop around and find the right places. Hope that these delicious ideas and food venues will help you keep on budget and have a great meal at the same time in Oahu when you visit.
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