Many of my clients are visiting Hawaii for their wedding or honeymoon or family vacation.  I often get asked about good places to shop, eat, visit, see, do.  I will start putting up posts with some of these ideas for clients.  I may have a few tips for the north shore, but my wife is the one with tips for Chinatown.  I asked her to guest post about places she might recommend for people to visit.  She’s worked in Chinatown for coming on 4 years and has been known to come home with tasty food and other finds.  I snapped some photos of just a few of her favorite spots, sorry no photos for all the food places she lists.  Her post continues below the photos.

Hi there!  When Mark asked me once to fill in one of his clients on a place to shop for a great dress and then to fill in another client about good eats in Chinatown, we figured that doing some “best of” posts might be useful for people.  Here are some of my very favorites.

Owens and Company.  Delightful shop owner, Missy, stocks her charming shop with terrific stationary, soaps and lotions, candles, jewelry, bags, home decor and more.  Many items are from local artists and other well regarded lines from around the world.  It’s the first place I go when I want to pick up a gift for someone.  I haven’t subscribed to Anthology magazine yet because I look forward to visiting the shop to get the latest issue in person.  She has a fun blog you can find at: Located at: 1152 Nu`uanu St.














Fighting Eel.  Clothing and accessories – much of it made in Hawaii.  The Fighting Eel brand is all locally designed and made.  They also stock other great clothing lines.  They have fabulous dresses and one of a kind pieces and terrific jewelry.  This shop is wonderful down to the way the clothes smell (I don’t know what it is, but it’s a really good scent in there).   Very nice and stylish staff!  Website here:





Best shoe cobbler is Brown Shoe Repair at 7 N. Hotel St.  One time I brought one of my favorite shoes in that our puppy dog had chewed on.  The kindly cobbler did some simple mending right on the spot and wouldn’t charge me for it.  I bring my shoes in to get re-heeled or fixed up and I’ve always been happy with the results.


FOOD!  There is, of course, good Chinese food, but also great Vietnamese food and even Italian!  I can only highlight a handful in this first post.

Best manapua is definitely Royal Kitchen.  I love their Okinawan sweet potato and kalua pork buns the best.  They are a hole in the wall kitchen, take a number, it get’s busy.  They have a variety of dim sum options to go.  Even my kids love the rice cake, jin dui and manapua.  Total comfort food; all of the aunties work fast in that space, baking those fresh, warm buns daily- even if you don’t typically like manapua, this place will make you a fan.   100 N. Beretania St. they have parking off of Kukui St. behind the shops.

For a good dim sum sit down lunch at a very decent price, Legends Seafood Restaurant is great.  Their fried crab is really good.  They have a full vegetarian menu as well.   Their lunchtime dim sum carts are full of tastiness like the chives/shrimp dumplings, buns, various dumplings, custard pies and more.   100 N. Beretania St.

Chinese food at Little Village Noodle House is scrumptious.  Favorite menu items are the lettuce wraps, honey walnut shrimp, dried green beans, pan fried beef, garlic eggplant dish, spinach salad with pecans and I love all their appetizers.  Sit down lunch or dinner.  1113 Smith St.

Vietnamese Pho and spring or summer rolls are awesome at Pho Huong Lan in the Chinese Cultural Plaza at 100 N. Beretania St.  Pho 97 has good Pho, chicken sandwiches and tons of other good menu options at 1120 Maunakea St.

Brunos Forno is a wonderful little Italian spot to sit down for lunch (everyday but Sunday) or dinner (Thursday-Saturday).  The whole menu is good but I particularly love their veggie sandwich, tuna salad, veggie lasagna, or country sandwich.- seriously great stuff.   The woman who runs it and makes the food, Kim, is lovely.  1120 Maunakea St.

Grand Café and Bakery at 31 N. Pauahi St. is a quaint and comfortable little café, popular spot for a business breakfast or lunch.  They’ve been in business since the early 1920s!   I love their lemon cake and daily lunch specials.

Otto Cake -Homemade cheesecake, rotating unique and classic flavors.  The other simple baked goods on hand are also lovely.  1160 Smith St.

Bubble drinks can be found in the Maunakea Marketplace or on Pauahi or Maunakea street front shops.  I think they’re all good.

Next ‘Best of Chinatown’ post will include more terrific spots to shop and eat!