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Comfort Food Restos in Oahu

A stack of pancakes on a plate

The areas around the affordable housing in Kapolei are known for many things — their beauty, their calm and collected pace of life, and, of course, the fabulous cuisine. Whatever style of cooking you want to sample in Oahu, chances are you can find it, and that maxim holds especially true if you’re looking for some hearty comfort food that will stick to your ribs. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a few examples of these fine eateries, as we bring you our list of comfort food spots you’ll definitely want to check out in the near future.

Comfort Food: Defined

Before we dive into our restaurant list, we’ll need to make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to “comfort food,” as the definition can vary slightly depending on who you ask. For our purposes, we’ll be going by how The Atlantic has come to define comfort food, which, at its most basic, is “[any food] that a person uses to feel better.” What should come to mind are the exemplars of this group: ice cream, cake, french fries, fried chicken — anything that’s indulgent and might make you think about putting in some extra work at the gym to work it off the next day.

Going further, comfort food does more than simply offer “calories or warmth or a sense of well-being,” there’s a social aspect to comfort food as well, something that beckons us to share a meal with friends and have a great time while doing it. That might be the reason the comfort food label is so often associated with southern-style cuisine in the US — with its high-calorie portions and home cooked flavor that evokes the feelings of childhood, friendship, and family.

This is all to say that the best comfort foods aren’t just about the food itself. Sure, the meal should be high-calorie, high-sugar, and dense with carbohydrates, but the setting should also compliment the meal, and a welcoming atmosphere is part and parcel of the whole comfort food experience. We’ll be taking all that into account in our list, looking not only at these fine Oahu establishments and their food selection, but also their ambience to determine if they’ve got that true comfort food vibe.

Finding the Best Comfort Food in Oahu

Around Oahu, there are tons of great places to score some comfort food. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t possibly list them all here today! What we can do, though, is break down a few of our favorites so you know what to look for when you’re on the prowl for some good eats. Just take a look at these options to get an idea of what we mean...

MAC 24/7

Over on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki Beach, you’ll find MAC (Modern American Cuisine) 24/7. As the name suggests, they’ve got the menu stuffed with all the kinds of food you’d associate with the comfort variety, including options like their Hawaiian Stuffed French Toast, Fully Loaded Cheeseburgers, and delectable Fried Chicken & Waffles.

Perhaps most “comforting” on their menu, though, is the MAC Daddy Pancake Challenge. Once featured on Man V. Food, this option brings you three 14” pancakes to enjoy, with a signature topping to boot. Finish by yourself in under 90 minutes, and these pancakes are on the house. As for the atmosphere at MAC 24/7, there’s no mistaking how welcoming it is — they’ve even got a lobby bar, where you can bond with some new friends over one of your favorite dishes.

Side Street Inn

Side Street Inn has been a hallmark of Honolulu since opening all the way back in 1992. Since then, they’ve built a solid reputation for their comfort food offerings, having been “featured nationally on the Travel Channel in Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations, on the Food Network, and publications such as Saveur Magazine, L.A.Times and Travel and Leisure Magazine.” Those options include plenty of meat and bread heavy dishes with generous portions, and in both of their locations (they opened a second in Waikiki) you’ll find the camaraderie makes meals a must to experience here.

Scratch Kitchen & Meatery

With a name like Scratch Kitchen & Meatery, you might already be expecting some chill vibes and chic decor upon your entry to this establishment, and you’d be correct. They’ve got a simple, laidback approach that makes every meal here seem almost like a family affair. To top it off, the selection of comfort food is quite vast, taking favorites from far and wide, including chicken & waffles, chimichangas, and even delicious chilaquiles.

Max & Lucy’s

For friendly and home-cooked, few can deliver like Max & Lucy’s. This is the spot to hit when you want authentic American options with influences from around the globe thrown in to enhance the flavor. The “Breakfast Bento” is a particularly popular (and appealing option), and when you combine all that with the stellar customer service, you’ve got a recipe for a comfort food experience you’ll want to try again and again.

A Place to Eat

Don’t let the name fool you — A Place to Eat is anything but generic. When you head over to University Avenue to check them out, you’ll soon get a feel for what they’re all about — delicious food served in a great environment. You’ll feel like family here, and when you scan their menu, tracking down what you want to eat, you’ll instantly know you’ve made the right choice on where to come for that comforting meal.

More to Explore Around the Affordable Housing in Kapolei

When you’re here at Kapilina, the fun doesn’t end with delicious comfort food. There’s more great stuff to check out all around the neighborhood, from the comfort of the beaches to the streets of the city in nearby Honolulu. Shopping, catching a show, or even just hanging out and having a great time on the town — it’s all yours to experience. Ready to enjoy island life at its finest? Check out everything Kapilina has to offer, and prepare to enter a world where style and luxury are second to none.