With Dean's Drive-In Gone, Guy Fieri's 14 Top Hawaii Picks

Guy Fieri Top Hawaii Picks: Open and Shuttered

In Hawaii, it still isn’t unusual to find that businesses, especially restaurants, still have reduced hours or close entirely, either temporarily or permanently, including the two below.

First, a much-loved restaurant featured on “Diners, Drive-In and Dives” was among the earlier victims. Dean’s Drive Inn in Kaneohe just went out of business after many successful years. They said that both soaring prices and staffing issues were at fault. “The rising cost of food and supplies has made it impossible to stay in business,” said the owner. Guy Fieri previously featured their ahi fish cakes as one of his all-time Hawaii favorites.

Thai Hot Wings at Opal Thai Food in Honolulu appears to have closed recently. Google says that they are permanently closed, although others have said it is temporary. Their phone doesn’t appear to be working and we don’t know what that means or if they’ll be back or not. That’s how it seems to go nowadays. Guy said of the hot wings, “That’s the most garlic I’ve had on anything.”

The remaining 14 top Guy Fieri Hawaii pics are open and ready to receive guests.

Fried Boneless Pork Ribs at Thai Mee Up Maui. Not far from Kahului Airport, you’ll find one of Guy’s top Hawaii picks. He said, “On a scale of 1 to 100 that’s a 101.” We plan to try the pad thai, Panang curry, and green papaya salad.

Kalbi Short Ribs at Da Kitchen, Kihei Maui. Reopened at a new location. The favorite local dishes are ribs (they do 2k pounds a week), and loco moco. But we also plan to try the Mahi Mahi, among other things.

Lilikoi Pork Pizza at The Outrigger Pizza Company, Kihei Maui. Guy called it “terrific pizza in a parking lot.” He recommends lilikoi pork pizza and said, “You can’t get pizza that good in most restaurants.” We’re headed for the white cheddar mushroom, and the Maui onion varieties ourselves.

Oxtail Soup at The Alley Restaurant, Aiea Oahu. Also not far from an airport, this time HNL, with this top pick found in a bowling alley of all places. The chef hails from NYC and a specialty is oxtail soup based on his mother’s recipe. Guy told him “You win the best oxtail soup in the world award.” We plan to try the garlic shrimp among other things.

Mochiko Chicken at Boots & Kimo’s at Kailua, Oahu. Popular for everything from Hawaii-style pancakes to seafood omelets and loco moco to eggs benedict.

Ahi Tuna Poke at Fresh Catch, Oahu. Three locations. Poke is the specialty here and Guy said, I could sit here and eat this by the bucketful.” We’re also looking at the ahu katsu, furikake salmon, and the seared ahi salad.

Marlin Burger at Nico’s Pier 38, Oahu. Located at the pier, on the way to Waikiki from HNL. Whether for the fish burger, or any number of fabulous items on the ever-changing menu, we’ve been a fan since Nico first opened at his old and more quaint location on the same pier. We never get tired of Nico’s.

Crunchy Shrimp at Big Wave Shrimp Truck at Haleiwa Oahu. Guy mentioned their crunchy shrimp with rice and dipping sauce. Other favorites of ours include the garlic shrimp plate and the shrimp fried rice.

Chicago Dog at Hank’s Haute Dogs, Honolulu. We remember when Hank’s opened and the line went around the block. The chef hails from a lineage of hot dog stand owners. The Chicago Dog is said to be the top seller. It’s a place for meat eaters, although there are some limited veggie and seafood options.

Authentic Hawaiian Luau at Germaine’s Luau in Kapolei. Luaus tend to be cheesy, and we aren’t sure this is an exception. Guy liked it because it felt authentic to him. We’ll leave it to you to decide and let us know.

Rotisserie Chicken at Mike’s Huli Chicken in Kahuku, Oahu. Mike’s is a favorite of Guy Fieri, who says it’s “The crispiest chicken that anybody will every try that’s not been fried.” If you’re not in the mood for chicken, their Kalua pork and garlic shrimp are also very popular. We’ve not been there yet, have you?

Fried Poke at Like Poke, Kahului Maui. Fresh poke on a food truck from a pro-surfer turned chef. Some mention this as their first stop on arrival at Kahului Airport. Favorites include the ahi katsu sampler, furikake fries, and fried poke. This will be a new find for us.

Pork Lechon Special at Elena’s at Waipahu, Oahu. Filipino food that’s been going strong for 40 years.  Specialties include Pork Adobo fried rice omelet, Sari-Sari, and their Lechon special. We’ve not been there, so please us know.

Glazed Mandrian Duck Confit at Uahi Island Grill. Guy’s favorite here at the restaurant that’s still going strong after 15 years, is the glazed Mandarin Duck Confit. From salads and appetizers to sandwiches and entrees.

If you tried any of these, which ones are your Hawaii favorites?

Leave a Comment

Comment policy:
* No profanity, rudeness, personal attacks, or bullying.
* Hawaii focused only. General comments won't be published.
* No links or UPPER CASE text. English please.
* No duplicate posts or using multiple names.
* Use a real first name, last initial.
* Comments edited/published/responded to at our discretion.
* Beat of Hawaii has no relationship with our commentors.
* 1,000 character limit.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

22 thoughts on “Guy Fieri Top Hawaii Picks: Open and Shuttered”

  1. We were just at Nico’s in late June. It was busy around noon, but the line moves quickly. Plenty of parking, your order comes quickly (you get paged), and the food is always fresh at a reasonable price. My favorite is the grilled ahi salad, and don’t forget about dessert – the cookies are decadent!

  2. We are leaving to Hawaii tomorrow. We are going to visit both Oahu and Maui. We Love watching Guy and plan on trying out some of the restaurants you have listed. We are very excited since it is our first trip to Hawaii.

  3. I was stationed on Oahu for almost 5 years & I loved the Slavonic Steak from the Crouching Lion. I know they are closed now but would love to find Any restaurant on Oahu that serves Slavonic Steak. If anyone has the answer, Pleaser let me know who & where.

  4. Is the Big Wave food truck better than Giovannis Shrimp truck? I thought Giovannis was an institution on the North shore. I’ve never even heard of Big Wave.

  5. I live on Maui so make frequent visits to Thai Mee Up and love the pork ribs, but you forgot Three’s Bar and Grill which has been featured on DDD and it is fabulous!

  6. Next time Guy should try the pork cutlet gravy all over at Mililani Restaurant and the NY steak and mochiko chicken combo at the Liliha Ave. L&L. That L&L is the best.

  7. It would be interesting to learn of the favorites of the Beat of Hawaii writers. We’ve been disappointed with some of Guy Fieri’s past recommendations.

  8. Everything at Nico’s is the best – sandwiches, salads, entrees and dessert! The Alley Restaurant was our big to-go spot during the pandemic and super close to the stadium if you’re hungry after that walk around. Mike’s Huli Chicken must be great because every time we stopped there (afternoons), they have been “sold out!” Big Wave Shrimp is fresh and their homemade sweet chili sauce is awesome. Thanks for the list BOH, now we have have to try the others!

  9. Aloha BOH Bros

    Today one of my customers brought by friends of their’s who were visiting from Maui. Needless to say we had a great conversation.

    On subject they said recently several restaurants have either closed or plan on closing due to staffing. Many pre-pandemic workers relocated to the mainland found work here. Soaring cost of living on Maui was number one reason for workers not returning to islands.

  10. I’ve been to several restaurants that have been featured on “triple D” and have always been disappointed. The food and service has generally been mediocre at best and the dish created for Guy is never on the menu, it’s always something special done just for him so I dont put too much stock in his recommendations.

  11. Not sure if it was a Guy Fieri pick or not, but Jimbo’s in Honolulu is gone and they had the best noodles and broth. When the homemade brith was done for the day, you ordered something else…Thanks guys for the updates and checking on favorites,

    Another spot we liked was either location of Poke’ Stop, one in Mililkani and the other in Waipahu.

  12. Aloha guys! Don’t forget Kenji Burger in Old Koloa Town (and I THINK their food truck is in Kapaa). Amazing Sushi “Burritos” & burgers too! Nice and outdoors-y. Great staff. Was just there in August so I can confirm they’re still open!

    1. From the north shore food trucks and killer tacos to Honolulu
      everywhere we eat is amazing and never disappointing and so much flavor you never go hungry love Oahu. Mahalo

  13. We have been to Da Kitchen when it was at the original location!! Great food👍 We are coming back to Maui next month with friends who’ve never been to Maui. We can’t wait to take them there for a real treat. Thank you for this updated list of restaurants that are still open We can’t wait to give them a try 🌺

Scroll to Top