Oahu Travel Tips from Courtney Chun, Hawaiian Blogger of Fork to Belly

Conversations with Locals

Hawaiian by birth, Courtney Chun blogs about cakes and Japanese recipes on her blog, Fork to Belly. While she calls LA home now, the Hawaiian spirit has never left her. Courtney discusses Hawaiian poke bowls, the snorkelling spot to watch in Oahu, and removing your shoes when going into a friend’s house. 


Photo: Fork to Belly

What’s Hawaiian culture? 

A mixing pot!

What do you feel defines Hawaiian cuisine?

Local dishes in Hawaii reflect the mixing-pot culture of the island. Hawaii’s most popular dishes are unique combinations of all kinds of food cultures. For example, spam musubi comes from the popularity of canned meats in the islands after World War II and also combines Japanese cuisine to become classic Hawaiian food.

Name one Hawaiian dining etiquette most travellers miss

If you’re going over to someone’s home for a dinner party, you’ll probably notice a bunch of shoes and slippers at the front door. Please remember to remove your shoes, people in Hawaii do not wear shoes in the house!

What is the one local dish you feel travellers can’t leave Oahu without trying?

Poke. Hands down. It’s different on the mainland, where you see trendy shops that let you make your own poke bowl. Poke isn’t like that in Hawaii. It’s much simpler and truthfully, I think it’s way better.


Shoyu ahi poke bowls. Photo: Fork to Belly

Where are your favourite restaurants or cafés in Oahu?

Imanas Tei, Shirokiya, The Pig and the Lady, Yama’s Fish Market. I could go on and on.

What would you recommend travellers do to experience Oahu as a local?

Just getting out and exploring, leaving the tourist hub of Waikiki and checking out hikes and beaches. Let the adventure happen!


Photo: Fork to Belly


Photo: Fork to Belly

Where can we go to see your favourite view in Hawaii?

My favorite view is actually from my home on Tantalus, one of the mountains close to the city. It’s a beautiful and windy drive to get to the top of the mountain, but the views at the look-outs along the way are wonderful. You can see from the mountain, down into the valley, and all the way out to the ocean.

Name your favourite snorkelling spot 

Though a popular place for tourists, if you’re looking to see lots of fish up close, and ones that aren’t afraid of you, check out Hanauma Bay.

When it comes to food, where in the world is your favourite destination?

Japan! I’ve been eating all kinds of Japanese foods growing up in Hawaii, and Japan is such a mecca for amazing meals. Sushi, bentos, yakiniku, adorable baked goods. They have it all!



Imanas Tei
Where: 2626 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96826, United States
For: Sushi

Shirokiya Japan Village Walk
Where: Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd #1360, Honolulu, HI 96814, United States
For: Variety

The Pig and the Lady
Where: 83 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817, United States
For: Vietnamese food

Yama’s Fish Market
Where: 2332 Young St, Honolulu, HI 96826, United States
For: Hawaiian food and poke


Hanauma Bay
Where: Hanauma Bay, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA
For: Snorkelling

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