President Obama's Favorite Restaurants in Hawaii


President Obama has visited this restaurant annually since 2008. According to local chef Alan Wong, President Obama has "adventurous tastes" and always orders the multicourse chef's menu featuring his favorite dish: Twice cooked soy braised short ribs topped with gingered shrimps. Other items on the menu include lobster lasagna and ginger-crusted onaga. The President's favorite dessert is "The Coconut": coconut ice cream covered with dark chocolate served with tropical fruits.

Alan Wong's restaurant short ribs
Pictured above: Soy braised short ribs;   "The Coconut";   President Obama leaving Alan Wong's Restaurant in 2010

Read more about Alan Wong's: Cooking for the President: Obama Dines at Alan Wong's




President Obama kicked off his 2011 vacation with a three-hour dinner here shortly after arriving in Hawaii. He returned again in December 2012, December 2013, and January 2014. This chic sushi restaurant is owned by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and features Japanese/western fusion cuisine. The Chef's Choice menu includes oh-toro, anago, unago, and maguro.   Website:

Morimoto Waikiki

Read more about Morimoto: President Obama Visits Morimoto Restaurant in Waikiki




President Obama's first dinner in 2012 was at NOBU Waikiki on New Year's Day. The three-hour meal included butter-poached lobster, roasted duck, and seared foie gras. He returned again in January 2013 and December 2013.  Website:

Nobu Waikiki

Read more about Nobu Waikiki: President Obama Visits Nobu Waikiki Restaurant




The First Family had dinner at this popular laid-back restaurant in Kailua on their last night of their vacation in January 2013 and 2014. Buzz's is located across the street from the Kailua Beach park and features Kiawe broiled steak, burgers, and fish.

Buzz's Lanikai - Obama dinner

Read more about Buzz's: President Obama, First Family Dine at Buzz's Original Steakhouse



LUCY'S GRILL 'N BAR  (now closed)

President Obama dined at this local Kailua restaurant during his 2009 and 2010 Christmas vacations. The casual tiki-torch island-themed restaurant served "Euro-local" food. Rumor had it the owner/chef of this restaurant also prepared the barbeque dinners the President enjoyed at the North Shore home of his Punahou friend Bobby Titcomb. The restaurant closed in 2011. Here is Lucy's menu.

Pictured above: Lucy's Grill 'n Bar;  President Obama leaving Lucy's in 2010.

Read more about Lucy's: At Lucy's Grill, it's the portion sizes that impress




Then-Senator Obama had dinner at Mariposa, which is located at the Neiman Marcus in the Ala Moana shopping mall in August 2008. Website:



INDIGO  (now closed)

The Obamas were part of a party of 14 at Indigo in August 2008. They started the meal off with the dim sum plate which included goat cheese won tons, lumpia-wrapped shrimp, and duck mu shu rolls. For dinner, they had toasted black mustard and pepper crusted ahi served rare with wasabi soy, sun dried tomato and olive tapenade.


Read more about Indigo: Eat at Obama's favorite Hawaii restaurants




Then-Senator Obama stopped by Kua 'Aina to pick up an order of eight 1/3-pound cheeseburgers, six 1/2 pound cheeseburgers, 10 Kiddie Burgers and 20 orders of fries for a picnic lunch at Ala Moana park in August 2008.  

Obama at Kua Aina burger place for picnic in Ala Moana park




President Obama's favorite place for shave ice is Island Snow, located in Kailua just down the street from his vacation rentals. When he went there the first time in August 2008, he ordered what became known as the Snowbama: Guava Orange, Lanikai Lime, and Choo Choo Cherry.   Website:

Obama at Island Snow shave ice in Kailua

Read more about Island Snow: President Obama Visits Island Snow in Kailua




More information about President Obama's Hawaii Vacations