There are some great websites about child friendly restaurants on Oahu. No matter if you are a resident or even more so when you take a family vacation, it’s always good to get suggestions on where to enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner. I would like to add our own experiences and factor in another aspect, the parent friendliness.
Child (and parent) friendly restaurants on Oahu - waterfront
Honolulu has lots of excellent restaurants located waterfront, close to harbors. Here are a few, which belong to my personal favorites and just add to a feelgood factor.
When is the food gonna come.....
We avoided restaurants until our youngest one was about 2 years old. Some people have mellow kids that eat almost anything and with delight, some – hand raised here – have active children, who are not that interested in food per se. And I think only the first group should go to a restaurant so that the other guests can enjoy a well deserved peaceful meal. What makes a restaurant child and parent friendly (and I am not necessarily talking about ‘family restaurants’) for us? Well, most important ingredient to an enjoyable meal is keeping kids from getting bored. The four color crayon package with connect the dots games and color in pictures are a nice try, but for how long can you occupy a 2, 3, 4 year old with it? It helps a lot if they have something interesting to observe. Usually outside areas offer a perfect surrounding and they make it possible for kids to move around a little bit without being too much of a disturbance for the staff and guests.
Items to shorten the wait
|My First Washable Triangular Crayons, Wax, 8/Pk|
Triangular shaped crayons guide child's fingers into the tripod position. Ideal for children learning how to write and draw. Washes off with warm water and a sponge. Color(s): A...Only $1.62
|Crayola Color Wonder Travel Tote (colors & styles may vary)|
The Color Wonder Travel Tote provides fun with mess-free creative activities that fit your on-the-go lifestyle. It gives hours of mess-free fun with its portable writing surface...Only $13.99
Cruise Ships and Tug Boats
Here in Honolulu, we have great restaurants close to harbors, so the boats and ongoing dock activities always offer some great distraction. My absolute top of the list is the newly renovated Nico’s Restaurant and Fish Market at Pier 38. Nico’s has fresh catch and great food and selection overall, my kids love their Fish and Chips, their Furikake Ahi is one of a kind. Right next to their restaurant they sell fresh sea food and a variety of poke. It can get pretty crowded well before noon already, since word has spread fast.
Right next comes Gordon Biersch at Aloha Tower Market Place. Besides its nice location, it has great food and not to mention their great selection of brews, like their Maerzen beer. It is located waterfront at Aloha Tower Market Place. You can watch the small tugboat working hard on the big freighters and the noisy departure of popular cruise ships like Star of Honolulu or Navatek is always good for excitement.
Sail Boats and Motor Boats
Chachacha is a salsaria in the Hawaii Kai Shopping Center, which also offers waterfront seating on their lanai and ‘boat watching’. You can see more “da small kine” like kayaks, fishing boats, sometimes banana boats being towed by motorboats, which is always fun to watch. The menu has a nice selection of Caribbean food, and small stage for live music. And speaking of crayons, they have buckets of crayons, which are being used all over again rather than those individually packed 4 color pieces that are going to be left on the table anyway and – assumingly – end up in the trash. The only restaurant I know that does that kind of thing.
La Mariana Sailing Club is a legendary Tiki Bar on Sand Island Access Road, overlooking Keehi Lagoon. It has that enchanting atmosphere of ancient Hawaii that can hardly be described and is even fascinating for little kids. Especially all those colorful marine items, fish tanks, and the little waterfall in the back are always good for distraction. Right before entering the restaurant you are greeted by Tiki statues, and a beautiful view of the sailboat marina.
|Dave's Crazy Caribbean Hot Sauce with Rican Red Habanero Peppers|
The fresh flavors of Rican Red Habaneros, cane vinegar, sweet carrots and zesty garlic are combined to make this a memorable hot sauce. Add a dash to any dish for remarkable fla...Only $10.49
|Japanese Glass Fishing Floats Fish Net Buoys Tiki Decor|
Japanese Glass Fishing Fish Net Floats Buoy Tiki Decor
Great also for "bigger" kids
Those are just some examples in the Honolulu area, which are located waterfront, and that I would recommend especially, but by no means only, for family with kids. I will add some in the course of time as we discover new eat outs.