First-Timer Hawaii Honolulu Vacation Review - Part 3 What to Eat: Our Honolulu/Oahu Itinerary

Beautiful Life
When I was on board of the Hawaii flight to Honolulu, I realized that this is our first vacation of 2014.  Isa who loves vacation has been waiting for almost 6 months.  Let's make this trip really fun and memorable.  Earlier, I wrote about "What to Prepare" and "What to Do".  This post is about what to eat and our Honolulu itinerary for your reference.

Our dining experience has been mostly above-average with a few times memorable.  The following itinerary including dining plan and beach plan is set by Isa and Margaret.

Day 1 (Wednesday) (To know around downtown Honolulu)
  • Arrived at Honolulu and checked-in at 1 pm at HGV at Lagoon Tower.
  • Lunch at Iyasume Musubi.
  • Shopped at nearby King's Village Farmers Market for fresh fruits (cash-only).
  • Spent the afternoon to settle down in HGV suite and planned what to do for the next 7 days.
  • Enjoyed early dinner at Ramen Nakamura to avoid peak time waiting line (cash-only), $15 per person. (We had a craving for authentic Japanese ramen soup).
  • Shopped at Safeway to purchase grocery for next few days breakfast.
  • Went to bed early; it had been a long day...

Iyasume Musubi
Ramen Nakamura - Ox Tail Soup

Day 2 (Thursday) (1st shrimp day and hiking)
  • Cooked our breakfast as our HGV suite has a kitchen.
  • Enjoyed lunch at Blue Water Shrimp inside Makai Market Food Court, with free parking available at the Walmart parking lot two blocks away, $15 per person.
  • Bought snorkeling set and masks at Walmart store, about $25 each set.
  • Enjoyed two cooked farmed abalone for $6 in the food court
  • 2-hour hiking at Diamond Head Summit Trail to the top to have a panoramic view from the south-west corner of Oahu Island, and to burn off those extra calories intake from delicious food.
  • Tested snorkeling set and masks at the Waikiki Beach next to HGV.
  • We were not hungry, so had a very late light dinner from a nearby sushi-to-go.

Waikiki Bay view from the top of Diamond Head

Blue Water Shrimp - shrimp & steak
Blue Water Shrimp - clams

Day 3 (Friday) (1st snorkeling day)
  • Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay for 3 hours from 10am - 1pm, first green turtle encounter.
  • Late lunch at Zippy, which is near Hanauma Bay. (I would not recommend Zippy)
  • Afternoon napping because first-time snorkeling was quite exhausting.
  • Dinner at Kyoto Ramen (Yotteko-Ya).  We wanted to eat authentic Japanese Ramen again, something simple, filling and delicious, $13 per bowl.

Our favorite, Yotteko-Ya Pork with "hard" ramen soup

Day 4 (Saturday) (Farmer's market, Snorkeling and Sushi Day)
  • There are several Farmer's Market in Honolulu.  Saturday Farmer's Market at Kapiolani Community College (KCC) is a must-visit.  We spent our Saturday morning hours KCC, completely overwhelmed with choices of all sorts of fusion of Hawaii, American and Japanese food (cash-only).  Just imagine.
  • Drove to Lanikai Beach and snorkeling during the afternoon; we were stunned by the beauty.
  • Honolulu is like little Tokyo to us.  Isa and Margaret decided to try to a Japanese facial massage. I don't recommend t it as the facial massage was done poorly.
  • Dinner at Tokkuri-Tei Japanese sushi.  $90 for 3 of us.  Make reservation first.
  • Watched movie inside our HGV suite which came with unlimited free movie rental.

First-time at the famous Lanika Beach, prettier than Hanauma Bay

Isa at KCC
Tokkuri-Tei sushi

Chef special

Day 5 (Sunday) (Korean BBQ and Udon Day)
  • Sunday morning service at Waikiki Beach within walking distance of HGV.
  • Enjoyed lunch at 678 Hawaii Korean BBQ.  $100 for 3 of us.  Expensive but the beef was real fresh. The best Korean BBQ I have had so far.
  • Dinner at the inexpensive and hugely popular Marukame Udon, because of the hand-made and freshly-made udon.  Be prepared to wait in line for at least 30 minutes.  No reservation available.
  • Downtown shopping (mostly window shopping) for Isa and Margaret.  I simply accompanied them, and my iPhone accompanied me.

Korean BBQ at 678 Hawaii
678 has best seafood pancake

Front door at Marukame Udon
One humble bowl of udon for $8

Day 6 (Monday) (Shrimp Truck Day at Haleiwa)

  • We drove to Haleiwa or Waimea Bay to look for more turtles, the north side of Oahu island
  • Along the way, stopped by Dole Pineapple Plantation to have pineapple ice-cream.  The wild hen and rooster fascinated me more.
  • Lunch at Fumi's Kahuku Shrimp Truck (cash-only).  We did not look for Giovanni's Aloha Shrimp.
  • We attempted to go snorkeling at Sunset Beach, but it started raining.  We left after waiting for 30 minutes.
  • On the way back along Waimea Bay, we looked for turtles, but nothing showed up on the bay.  We were informed that it is not the turtle season ...
  • Dinner at Mackys' Shrimp Truck.
  • Watched various food channels after dinner inside our HGV suite with Hawaii papaya and pineapple as deserts

Fumi's spicy shrimp
Macky's garlic shrimp

Day 7 (Tuesday) (Lanika Beach and Polynesian Cultural Center Day)

  • Isa and I decided to go Lanika Beach again in the morning, and target Polynesian Cultural Center  (PCC) in the late afternoon.  Margaret stayed at HGV suite to relax.
  • Drove to Lanikai Beach (30 minutes from HGV) and snorkeled in the morning, 2nd turtle encounter.
  • Drove to PCC and toured until late afternoon, $40 per person admission.
  • Rewarded Isa and myself to dine at our favorite Yotteko-Ya ramen noodle soup, as Isa was super-satisfied with the 2nd turtle encounter.

Day 8 (Wednesday)
  • Checked out at 10am.  Adios HGV and Honolulu!
Hilton Grand Vacation Lagoon
Bye, Honolulu

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