Dean's Drive Inn serves local food made by "local boy" Dean Mashima in a small storefront in Kaneohe. The atmosphere is very friendly and casual. For my first visit I explained that I had never been in before and the lady at the counter was extremely helpful in suggesting an order to satisfy our needs.
The menu is a variation of traditional Hawaiian plate lunch. Specialties include Ahi Cakes and Teri-beef. You get a choice of white or brown rice, and soup, green salad, or macaroni salad with each plate. My wife and I split a plate of Ahi with ginger dressing and a side-order of the Terri-beef. Wow, it was good. They also have burgers, chicken and other fish items on the menu, and they have desert items too. Specials change daily.
The deluxe teriyaki cheese burger at Deans Drive Inn is one the best I've had on the island so far. Its even better than a Teddy's Bigger Burger and not nearly as expensive. The patty is cooked to perfection (medium rare), and the whole thing is juicy and tasty. You'll need lots of napkins when eating one of these burgers.
This is hands-down the best food for the price in the area, maybe even on the whole island of Oahu! My wife calls it "Gourmet Plate Lunch"! Since I'm lucky enough to live about 15 minutes away, I will definitely be coming here on a regular basis.
NOTE: Business hours are highly variable. They operate Sunday through Friday from 11am to 6pm, but often close early on Friday and they are always closed on Saturday. Also, she explained that if they have a large catering job they'll close for the whole day so its always best to call ahead to check that they're open.
Favorite Dish: The Teri-beef is made with tender cuts of beef -- in chunks, not strips -- and the sauce is heavenly. Its the closest to beef that melts in your mouth that you'll ever find.
Haleiwa Joes is located at Haiku Gardens, in the small town Kaneohe. It is a great off the beaten path place to eat.
I am not going to tell you about how great the food is, or how good the service is. The reason i enjoy this place is because of its location.
Its tucked away near the Koolau mountains over looking the beautiful, breath taking, Haiku Gardens. Haiku Gardens is a small botanical gardens, located on the Windward side of Oahu which is very green because of all the rain.
Basicly, if you are looking for a different place to eat off the beaten path. Swing into Haleiwa Joes. I think you will enjoy it.
Visit their website for menus and more info HALEIWA JOES
Perhaps the best example of Hawai'i style "chop suey" Cantonese food is Kin Wah Chop Suey in Kaneohe (45-588 Kamehameha Hwy). A popular neighborhood restaurant, there’s nothing fancy about Kin Wah, but it’s always packed with family parties. Like the restaurant itself, there’s nothing frou frou about the food, it’s just great and inexpensive. In fact, Kin Wah is perenially recognized as one of the top four or five Chinese restaurants in Hawai'i.
Favorite Dish: You must try the Minute Chicken Cake Noodle. Cake noodle is the Hawai'i version of what is referred to pan fried or Hong Kong Style noodles in the San Francisco Bay Area. It consists of egg noodles that have been boiled, formed into a compressed "cake," then fried so that it's soft on the inside, and crisp on the outside. It's served with Minute Chicken, small morsels of marinated boneless chicken. Kin Wah also serves a good version of another Hawai'i staple, gau gee. Gau gee, is close relative to won ton. It can be soft, usually served in a soup or crispy, deep fried.