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“Great food, reasonable prices!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Helena's Hawaiian Food

Helena's Hawaiian Food
1240 N School St, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96817
(808) 845-8044
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Ranked #2 of 1,917 Restaurants in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Hawaiian, Barbecue, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Parking Available, Seating, Takeout, Waitstaff
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great food, reasonable prices!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Great local offering, polite and humble service. Ordered a whole slew of dishes for our family of 4, left full and highly satisfied, yet the bill did not burn a hole in my pocket. Highly recommend this over any touristy "luau" packages.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank James T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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374 reviews from our community

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Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing Hawaiian food. A True Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

While we lived in Hawaii, we would drive the hour from North Shore to the teeny tiny restaurant in Kaimuki just to see our "family." We were treated as such. When we walked in, they knew our name and our regular order. My son (5) grew up begging to come here.

It may look run down, but the food is amazing. Kalua pork, pipikaula short ribs (beef short ribs, marinated in soy, dried and fried) and rice was our go-to. I learned to love haupia from this place. I took every single visitor to experience Helena's.

Truly a gem and we miss it so much.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank ecallaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic Hawaii local food...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

On the last day of our Honolulu vacation, we found this nice place. We ordered Pipikaula Short Ribs, Boiled Butterfish Collar with Watercress, Kalua Pig, Haupie cake, all of them taste very very good, Pipikaula Short Ribs is our favorite. Other than the food, their service feels heart-warming. We didn't know what the "poi" is, so we asked waitress what it's made of, she first explained to us, Then to all our surprise, instead of pushing us to order more like many other restaurant, she offered us a bowl as sample so we could try it first then decide if we want to order more. What a great service! We will for sure come to here again next time we visit Honolulu.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank kjzh2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norcal
Level Contributor
323 reviews
222 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“Simple, unpretentious but tasty local food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Tasty local food served without presentation.... nothing fancy to distract you from the real star of this establishment: the food.
Located in a small strip mall away from the main tourist areas, Helena's Hawaiian Food continues to draw positive reviews from locals and the handful of tourists who venture away from the confines of the mainstream eateries of Waikiki. Open from Tuesday to Friday, 10AM to 7:30PM. (Closed weekends and Mondays)... avoid most of the crowd by avoiding the lunch and dinner hours.
There is a limited amount of parking in their parking lot.... plus some spots on the street.
Unimpressive on the outside, the restaurant is equally simple and worn on inside.... but the food is what most people come to experience.
We ordered the Pork Laulau. the Kalua Pig and cabbage, Long Rice Chicken, Pipikaula Short Ribs and the Ahi Poke with Opihi... all very good except, for me, the short ribs (very dry, tough and lacking flavor.... maybe it was a bad batch)
If you want to experience a romantic atmosphere, fancy decor and impressive presentation, this is NOT a place for you.....
BUT if you want to experience good local food then you should take a drive or take a taxi to 1240 N. School Street in Honolulu.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
Thank lwj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poway, CA
Level Contributor
80 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Don't read this book by its cover!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

As you've probably read, Helena's is rather run down in appearance, but the constant flow of great reviews and repeat patrons tells the real story. The food is LOCAL with a capital L, and prepared simply. The Ahi should not be missed, nor the Korean style ribs. You will spend less and leave more satisfied than from any other Hawaiian eatery, and the experience is better than most finer restaurants in Honolulu, to be truthful.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank craiginsd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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