People have different opinions about what makes a good burger. Some are purists who feel a patty of ground beef and a bun with the basic fixings are the only ingredients necessary for a savory bite. Others prefer fancier toppings like blue cheese, avocado and pineapple. Still, others feel it’s okay to skip the beef in favor of something else, like tofu, fish or ground turkey. Whatever your preference, if you love a good burger, read on for suggestions on where to find some of the best on Oahu.
Our list begins with an island institution. Walt and Joy Kunimitsu created their secret barbecue sauce in 1940 when they opened W & M Bar-B-Q Burgers and named the business for Walt’s grandparents, Wilfred and Mary Kawamura. In 1980 they moved to their current location of 3104 Waialae Avenue. Simply put, customers rave about the barbecue burger with a sauce that has been passed on for generations to a chosen few.
South Shore Grill is well known for its fish tacos, but it also gets high marks for its burgers. The eatery has four-and-a-half out of five stars on Trip Advisor with very good and excellent ratings for the burgers. The overall Zomato.com burger review is good and customers suggest trying the macaroni salad and coleslaw.
One of the great things about chains is consistency across the board, with a little local flavor thrown in sometimes. The Yard House gets four-and-a-half stars on Trip Advisor; Foursquare Lists recently published The 15 Best Places for Burgers in Honolulu and gave the restaurant a score of 9.0 out of 10. Two of the three reviewers gave high marks to the gorgonzola burger, and the other went for the Hawaiian burger. Reviews on Zomato.com suggest that it is family friendly during the day, but takes on a loud sports bar feel in the evening.
Another chain that gets high marks for burgers in Honolulu is the Hard Rock Café. The 2017 Foursquare list gives this diner an 8.5 for its burgers, particularly the local burger with kalua pig and pineapple.
Morning Glass was the number one pick by Ed Morita for Frolic Hawaii in July of 2013. However, he cautions that their burger made from grass-fed, Kulana beef served with spicy mayo, baby arugula and a choice of cheese is only available on the weekends.
Number five on Morita’s list is Downbeat Diner and Lounge, which he says has a great teriyaki burger made with Big Island-raised beef. Pint + Jigger on King Street comes in as his number three for a good pub burger, and they rate 8.6 on The 15 Best Places for Burgers in Honolulu 2017 list.
Also rating high on the The 15 Best Places for Burgers in Honolulu 2017 list is Cheeseburger Waikiki at a solid 7.3 for the mushroom and Swiss with avocado. Zomato.com reviews note the fun atmosphere, live music and delicious onion rings. The list gives 9.1 to the Livestock Tavern for the classic American no-surprises Tavern burger. And the reviewers for the 2017 list really enjoyed the Blarney burger with Guinness cheese at Murphy’s Bar & Grill, giving it a score of 8.7. Teddy’s Bigger Burgers comes in with a score of 8.1 on the list, and gets four-and-a half out of five stars on Trip Advisor. In addition, the Zomato.com reviews praised the orange dreamsicle shake and onion rings, as well as the booths by the windows. Something else customers like is the affordable prices at Teddy’s of about $10 per person for a burger, drink and fries.
With so many wonderful choices, there wasn’t enough room to include every burger joint on the island, but give a few of these a try and let us know what you think.
Have a favorite spot for burgers that is not on this list? Share it in the comments below.