Where to eat the best burgers in Honolulu

America is known for its epic fast food culture. If you’re on the hunt for a familiar dish with an exotic twist on your next trip, then look no further—here are our top five picks for the best burgers in Honolulu.

Burger with pineapple and fries on a table
  • Jetstar
  • December 2017

America is known for its epic fast food culture, and Hawaii offers it up on a platter, tropical style. If you’re on the hunt for a familiar dish with an exotic twist on your next trip, then look no further—here are our top five picks for the best burgers in Honolulu.

The humble hamburger, Hawaiian style

The quintessential all-American meal, burgers have been a staple in Hawaii for decades, with the island’s chefs putting their own unique spin on the classic formula. Whether it’s a quick bite to eat on the run or a sit-down dinner with a laid-back ambience, the humble burger personifies the Aloha Spirit—relaxed and unpretentious.

Honolulu’s best burgers combine contemporary trends with traditional island and Asian flavours to create taste sensations you’ll be raving about for years to come.

Burgers and Things: with a side of imagination

Eating at Burgers and Things is a real sensory experience. For a start, the quirky store is comic-book themed, transporting you into the realm of vintage superheroes. You’ll smile at the wittily named speciality burgers—‘Lamb Bam Thank Ewe Ma’am’ (braised lamb with bacon, apple and maple) and ‘Un-foie-gettable’ (grass-fed beef braised in a foie gras demi-glace). The chef, Ernesto, was born in the Philippines, and has worked in restaurants all over the world, so he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this fun, no-frills establishment.

Location: 1991 Pauoa Road

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Honolulu Burger Co.: local produce with a gourmet twist

At Honolulu Burger Co., their top seller is the amazing Blue Hawaiian Burger, topped with crumbled blue cheese and bacon. They offer online ordering and delivery, and all their burgers are made from 100% local range-fed beef. They even have a rewards program, so you can earn points towards free stuff each time you dine there.

For those with big appetites, why not take the King Kamehameha Challenge? You have one hour to polish off a tower of eight speciality burgers, two large fries and a shake. Those who succeed score a $40 voucher and a free t-shirt. (Your hospital bill will not be covered, unfortunately.)

Location: 1295 South Beretania Street

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Fete: funky fare in Chinatown

From the trendy exposed brick interior to the range of quirky cocktails, Fete is not your average burger bar. This New American-style restaurant opened just last year in Honolulu’s Chinatown district, with a thoroughly modern menu and casual-chic atmosphere.

Order yourself a Chaz Burger (or a Quinoa Burger if you’re feeling virtuous), some Charleston Grits and a ‘You Should Date Doug’ cocktail, then share a Caramel Popcorn Sundae for dessert, all beneath one of the gorgeous chandeliers. It’s small, so call or visit their website to secure your spot.

Location: 2 North Hotel Street

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W & M Bar-B-Q Burger: a taste of Hawaiian history

It’s one of the longest-running burger joints on the island, and serves up delicious flame-grilled beef patties, topped with teriyaki marinade and a secret sauce. This killer burger was created by Wilfred and Mary Kawamura more than 75 years ago, so it’s had a long time to establish its credentials as a crowd favourite.

You can still order from the original menu—they haven’t changed it to keep up with the onslaught of big burger chains. There’s only a small selection of items, but they are all bursting with flavour. Note that parking can be tough and they get busy around peak times.

Location: 3104 Waialae Avenue

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Square Barrels: the classic burger and beer, upgraded

With over 20 craft beers on tap and house speciality sandwiches made to order, Square Barrels is an upmarket take on the classic burger joint. For something a little different, why not try the Venison Burger—the Maui venison is freshly ground in-house, topped with bacon, gorgonzola cheese and all the salad trimmings. Add some garlic fries or sweet potato chips and a craft beer, and you’ve got the ultimate burger experience. Head down during happy hour to score some awesome discounts—check the website for the current specials.

Location: 1001 Bishop Street

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