Going hungry in Honolulu? Here are some of the top eateries we found in the Hawaiian capital through word of mouth and by simply following our noses:

The Highway Inn, in the Kaka'ako district south of downtown Honolulu, is where to go for traditional Hawaiian food such as poi (mashed taro root), poke (sashimi salad) and pipikaula (salted dried beef), all of which it has been serving up since 1947. The friendly staff will help you choose what to order but if you get stuck, the Highway prints its own handy guide to Hawaiian food, complete with pictures, a glossary, and descriptions.

Traditional Hawaiian food at the Highway Inn Kaka'ako, Oahu, Hawaii. Photo / Supplied
Traditional Hawaiian food at the Highway Inn Kaka'ako, Oahu, Hawaii. Photo / Supplied

In Chinatown there's a great strip around North Hotel St featuring Lucky Belly (Asian fusion — go for the oxtail dumplings), Manifest (a super cool hipster bar and cafe), the Livestock Tavern (a slick bar which serves up "seasonally inspired American plates") and The Pig and the Lady (modern Vietnamese in a lively setting.

In Waikiki, a jewel among the chain restaurants is Heavenly, a super cute and friendly all-day eatery serving local organic meats and vegetables, Hawaiian seafood and fresh juices and smoothies. Try the mahi-mahi fish tacos with pineapple salsa, the divine prawn summer rolls and the sea asparagus and poke. Great local beers and Californian wines too.

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Further information: See discoveramerica.com
The writer travelled courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines and Hawaii Tourism.