4 Best Mexican Restaurants in Honolulu

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Honolulu is the place to be if you’re craving authentic Mexican food or looking for a cantina to kick back with some drinks and excellent entrees. Honolulu has many Mexican restaurants, from taquerias to family restaurants to classy cantinas with live music.

The best Mexican restaurants in Honolulu are Los Chaparros, Mayita’s Grill, Buho Cocina y Cantina, and Taco Kabana. Go to Los Chaparros for a sit-down meal, or head to Mayita’s for authentic street food. Buho is great for drinks and a unique atmosphere, while Taco Kabana is best for a quick lunch. 

In this article, I’ll tell you more about these fantastic, top-rated Mexican restaurants in Honolulu and give you all the details you need to know to find the right spot for you. So, let’s get into it!

1. Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant

Hours of OperationOpen Thursday to Sunday and on Tuesdays.
From 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, then again from 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM

** Closed on Mondays and Wednesdays
Price Rating3/5
Reservation Recommended (in most cases)
Service OptionsDine-in available | Takeaway available | Delivery available
Address2140 S Beretania St Honolulu, HI 96826
Phone Number(808) 951-6399
MenuLos Chaparros’ Menu
SocialLos Chaparros on Facebook.

Los Chaparros is a favorite restaurant among Honolulu’s locals, and they are often cited as the best place to get Mexican food in the city. It’s a small restaurant with a casual, run-of-the-mill Mexican eatery atmosphere, but the food is stellar, and the prices aren’t too shabby. 

It’s in McCully, just 1.5 miles north of Fort DeRussy Park and Beach. It’s also just a short walk from the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, a complex with a vast museum detailing the history of the Japanese population in Hawaii. They also have shops, events, and music, so it’s a great place to visit before or after sitting down for a meal at Los Chaparros. 

Los Chaparros has an enormous menu, with their most popular items being the combo plates. If you get one of these, you can try a little bit of everything. 

They are also famous for their Huevos Con Chorizo – a Mexican breakfast classic. Fortunately, the restaurant offers it all day long, so you can also order it on one of your evening visits. And once you have that, I recommend finishing your meal with their banana flautas, so you know exactly why everyone raves about this place!

Los Chaparros also offers drink specials on their drink menu daily, with discount sangria, margaritas, and Mexican beer. They also have tequila, rum, and brandy cocktails. 

I recommend making a reservation if you plan to stop by for dinner since the restaurant gets packed at around 6:00 PM every night. 

However, on some nights, especially on weekends and holidays, Los Chaparros does not offer reservations. That’s because they occasionally get so many reservations that the wait times extend to closing time, so call ahead to assess table availability early!

Although getting a table may be challenging on some nights, planning ahead is worth it here. Still, if you don’t want to wait, show up before 6:00 PM or plan to eat here for brunch. 

2. Mayita’s Grill

Hours of OperationOpen 2 days a week – on Tuesdays and Saturdays, from 5:45 PM to 10:00 PM
Price Rating2/5
Reservation Walk-in Only
Address433 439 Atkinson Dr, Honolulu, HI 96814
Service optionsDine-in available | Takeaway available | No delivery option
Phone Number(808) 358-9481
Websitehttps://mayitasgrill.godaddysites.com/ 
MenuMayita’s Grill’s Menu
SocialMayita’s Grill on Facebook.

Mayita’s Grill is a food truck serving authentic tacos, burritos, tostadas, and quesadillas just 0.6 miles (1 km) from Ala Moana Beach, near all of the Ala Moana Hotels. 

Despite its humble appearance, this little truck has earned an almost flawless 4.5+ star rating. Locals and tourists alike flock to Mayita’s Grill for an inexpensive, filling, and delicious late-night snack or a meal to enjoy at the beach. 

It’s a fantastic small business to support, as well, since it’s a family-run truck that once operated in Acapulco, Mexico, but found its way to Hawaii with the owner. All the food here follows the owner’s traditional family recipes, served with fresh and delicious salsa fresca and guacamole made in-house

One fantastic menu item is their jackfruit tacos, which are perfect for vegans or vegetarians, and they are incredible! 

However, if you’re into meat, be sure to get their carne asada tacos or burrito. The meat is incredibly well-seasoned and tastes as if you bought it from a street vendor in Mexico. 

After ordering, you can take your food to go or sit at the nearby picnic bench to enjoy your meal. 

Mayita’s Grill also offers Taco Tuesday specials, with $2 off every order on Tuesday nights. 

To learn more about this great spot and see how authentic it is, check out this news story about Mayita’s Grill from KHON2 News: 

3. Buho Cocina y Cantina

Hours of OperationOpen 7 days a week,
On Sun, Mon, Wed, & Thurs, from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM (midnight)
On Tue, Fri, & Sat, from 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM (Next day)
Price Rating3/5
Reservation Recommended
Service OptionsDine-in available | Takeaway available | No delivery option
Address2250 Kalākaua Ave #525, Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone Number(808) 922-2846
Websitehttps://www.buhocantina.com/ 
MenuBuho Cocina Y Cantina’s Menu
SocialBuho Cocina y Cantina on Facebook. Buho Cocina y Cantina on Instagram.

Buho Cocina y Cantina is a terrific Mexican rooftop eatery on floor 5 of the Waikiki Shopping Plaza, right next to Honolulu’s Luxury shopping district. It’s also only 0.3 miles (0.48 km) from Waikiki beach, so it’s a great place to enjoy the sunset on the sea after a long day on the sand. 

The atmosphere at Buho Cocina y Cantina is what makes it stand out. It’s a casual restaurant, but it’s hard to beat the views from its open-air rooftop venue, complete with awnings, so you can even enjoy the scenery on a rainy or windy day. 

As soon as it gets dark, the rooftop garden lights up with fairy lights, projections on the walls, and modern-art-style lighting for a unique experience. Plus, they have live salsa music on Saturdays and frequently feature other live music. 

However, even with all that ambiance – which makes it perfect for a date night – Buho also offers some extraordinary Mexican food and a full bar for a relaxing night. 

The Buho Burrito and fajitas are their most popular dishes, but if you can’t decide, I’d go for the fajitas. The serving size is enormous, so you could probably even share them. 

They also have you covered if you’re in the mood for drinks. I highly recommend their specialty cocktails served in fruit, like their La Pina Loca and Spiked Melon Bowl, which are truly unique and memorable. 

If you want to finish your meal with something spectacular, go for the Gordito Special, which includes ice cream churros, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, a cookie, and whipped cream in a fried tortilla. It’s well worth coming here just for this decadent dessert!

4. Taco Kabana

Hours of OperationOpen Monday to Friday, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Closed on Saturdays and Sundays
Price Rating2/5
Reservation Walk-in Only
Service OptionsDine-in available | Takeaway available | No-contact delivery available
Address1102 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone Number(808) 585-8186
Websitehttps://taco-kabana.business.site/ 
MenuTaco Kabana’s Menu
SocialTaco Kabana on Facebook. Taco Kaban on Instagram.

Taco Kabana is a chic, order-at-the-counter Mexican spot with unique dishes, perfect for a quick bite in a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. It’s in the heart of Honolulu’s downtown, right between Chinatown and the Bishop Arts District, where you’ll find some of the best places to wander, shop, and take in the city. 

The food at Taco Kabana tastes fresh, healthy, and light, even though it’s very filling. It’s the ideal spot to stop for lunch since their delicious food won’t bog you down, but it’ll keep you full for a long day of exploring. 

I highly recommend their fish tacos or burrito bowls, which are crisp, refreshing, and flavorful. They also have a fantastic breakfast menu, and their Chorizo burrito is the highlight. I know many locals eat one of these before starting their workday downtown, so it’s a great choice. 

The turnaround time at this spot is fast, but there’s always plenty of space to eat inside their clean, bright dining area. So, whether you need a break from the sun or want to start the day right, this is the place to go. 

Steve Rajeckas

Steve is an avid traveler who can't get enough of the wonder and curiosity that comes with visiting a new place. Some of his favorite destinations include Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, and Maui.

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