Duke’s Waikiki stands as an iconic culinary gem on the shores of Waikiki Beach. Named after Duke Kahanamoku, a legendary figure in the realm of surfing who grew up in the very place the restaurant now resides, Duke’s pays homage to his legacy with an ambiance that echoes the aloha spirit. The allure of Duke’s extends beyond its delectable Pacific Rim cuisine. It’s an immersive experience that captures the heart and soul of Hawaii, making a visit to Duke’s Waikiki an essential journey for anyone seeking a taste of paradise.


  • Indulge in a culinary journey at Duke’s Waikiki, renowned for its oceanfront dining experience.
  • Explore the restaurant’s interior adorned with memorabilia and tributes to Duke, creating a unique ambiance that pays homage to Hawaiian watersports heritage.
  • Learn to ride the waves with surf lessons right on Waikiki Beach, where Duke Kahanamoku himself made history.
  • Enjoy a laid-back atmosphere with talented local musicians performing a mix of traditional Hawaiian tunes and contemporary favorites.
  • Plan a memorable gathering on the beachfront lanai, complete with personalized catering and impeccable service.


Duke's Waikiki

Situated in the heart of Honolulu, Duke’s Waikiki transcends the definition of a mere restaurant; it stands as a cultural landmark embodying the quintessence of aloha. Its profound narrative, intricately woven with the legacy of Duke Kahanamoku, the iconic Hawaiian surfer and Olympic champion, positions it as a must-visit for travelers in pursuit of an authentic Hawaiian encounter. In 1961, music promoter Kimo Wilder McVay paid homage to Kahanamoku by establishing Duke’s Canoe Club in Waikiki, swiftly evolving into a favored hub for locals and tourists alike, drawing in luminaries, musicians, and dignitaries. By 1964, the legendary entertainer Don Ho had chosen Duke’s as his base, enchanting audiences with nightly performances that solidified the restaurant’s status as a Waikiki institution.

Transitioning into Duke’s Waikiki over the years, the establishment has expanded its menu while staying rooted in its origins. Duke’s Waikiki opened in 1992 established by TS Restaurants. Presently, Duke’s Waikiki is a dynamic culinary destination, serving about 1900 meals a day. The restaurant’s walls are adorned with photographs and memorabilia of Duke, silently narrating the tales of his extraordinary life and the legacy he left behind. From serving traditional Hawaiian dishes that Duke loved to the welcoming and embracing “Aloha” spirit, Duke’s Waikiki continues to be a testament to the enduring legacy of the man it’s named after.

Duke Kahanamoku: The Legend Behind the Legacy

Duke Kahanamoku Statue
© Backyard Productions

Duke Kahanamoku was a visionary who put Hawaii on the world map for surfing. His love for the ocean and mastery of the waves led him to innovate in the realm of water sports. He introduced the world to the joy of surfing, demonstrating his prowess on a surfboard both at home in Hawaii and during international exhibitions. His influence extended beyond surfing to include other water sports as well, earning him the well-deserved title of “The Father of Modern Surfing.”

Duke’s influence also permeated the fabric of Hawaiian culture and hospitality. He embodied the true Hawaiian spirit, standing as a symbol of the island’s warmth and friendliness. This philosophy is mirrored in the ethos of Duke’s Waikiki, which strives to offer guests a taste of genuine Hawaiian hospitality, just as Duke would have wanted.

Learn More: Duke Kahanamoku

Duke’s Waikiki: A Culinary Haven

Menu Highlights and Signature Dishes

At Duke’s Waikiki, every dish is a tribute to the rich culinary landscape of Hawaii. Amongst the menu highlights is the iconic macadamia nut chicken katsu, a delightful twist on a local favorite, where the chicken is coated in crunchy macadamia nuts before frying. For seafood enthusiasts, the Duke’s Seafood Platter is a dream come true, featuring a medley of fresh seafood including jumbo shrimp, scallops, mahi mahi, and calamari, lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection.

Vegetarians are not left out, with the grilled veggie stack offering an exquisite array of char-grilled vegetables topped with a tangy balsamic reduction. And of course, no visit to Duke’s would be complete without sampling their legendary hula pie. This dessert, big enough to share, features a chocolate cookie crust, macadamia nut ice cream, hot fudge, toasted macadamia nuts, and whipped cream. Each item on the menu is prepared with Aloha, creating an unforgettable dining experience at Duke’s Waikiki.

Unique Fusion of Hawaiian and International Cuisines

The menu at Duke’s is a testament to the melting pot of cultures that is Hawaii. Traditional Hawaiian fare is harmoniously fused with elements of Japanese, Filipino, and American cuisines, resulting in a unique, vibrant flavor profile that is distinctly Duke’s.

Oceanfront Ambiance: The Duke’s Experience

Duke's Waikiki

Stunning beachfront location and panoramic views

Positioned directly on the sands of Waikiki Beach, Duke’s offers unrivaled views of the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Diners can relish the breathtaking sights of the endless horizon, and the lush green of Diamond Head, and witness stunning sunsets as they enjoy their meals, making every dining experience a visual feast.

Authentic Hawaiian décor and ambiance

Duke’s channels the spirit of old Hawaii with its distinctive décor. The interior features traditional Hawaiian art, surf memorabilia, and photographs of the Duke himself, providing a unique and authentic island ambiance. The tropical furnishings, alongside the warm, inviting atmosphere, make dining at Duke’s feel like a step back in time to a gentler, dreamier era of Hawaiian history.

The surfing legacy and memorabilia at Duke's Waikiki

As you walk through the establishment, you’ll encounter vintage surfboards, archival photographs, and even Duke’s original wooden surfboard. The restaurant also showcases Kahanamoku’s numerous medals and personal belongings, allowing visitors to delve into the life of this esteemed waterman. The surfing legacy at Duke’s serves as a fitting tribute to the sport’s influence on Hawaiian culture and lifestyle.

Live music and entertainment

To enhance the dining experience, Duke’s hosts live local music every night, reflecting Hawaii’s rich musical culture. This harmonious blend of food, scenery, and music creates a truly immersive Hawaiian experience, making Duke’s not just a restaurant, but a destination.

Activities and Events at Duke’s Waikiki

Colorful hawaiian surf boards parking rack in waikiki
© Shutterstock

Waterfront Events and Special Occasions

Duke’s Waikiki is notorious for hosting a series of exciting waterfront events that captivate both tourists and locals alike. From live music performances to themed beach parties, every gathering guarantees an immersion into Hawaii’s vibrant culture and eternally festive spirit.

Surf Lessons and Beachside Activities

Duke’s Waikiki offers surf lessons tailored to every skill level. Instructors with deep knowledge of the ocean and surfing techniques ensure a safe and fun experience. Additionally, the beachside is brimming with activities such as volleyball, canoeing, and beach yoga, ensuring endless fun in the sun.

A Venue for Weddings and Private Events

Duke’s Waikiki is also a dream venue for weddings and private events. With a breathtaking oceanside setting, the venue provides an idyllic backdrop for those special moments. The dedicated event staff at Duke’s ensures seamless planning and execution of every event, making it a memorable experience for all attendees.

Tips for Visiting

  • Plan your visit: Duke’s Waikiki can get quite busy, especially during peak hours. Consider making a reservation to ensure you get a table.
  • Dress code: The ambiance at Duke’s is casual and relaxed, much like the island itself. Casual attire is perfectly acceptable.
  • Try the buffet: If you’re unsure what to order, the buffet offers a wide variety of dishes that cater to different tastes. It’s also a great way to sample a bit of everything Duke’s has to offer.
  • Don’t miss the live music: One of the highlights of Duke’s is the live Hawaiian music. Make sure to plan your visit around the performance timings to enjoy this unique experience.
  • Visit the bar: Duke’s bar is famous for its tropical cocktails, particularly the Mai Tai. Don’t miss out on trying these exotic drinks while enjoying the ocean view.
  • Visit the gift shop: Before leaving, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs that commemorate your visit to Duke’s.

Best Time to Visit Duke’s Waikiki

The beauty of Duke’s Waikiki is that it can be enjoyed at any time of the year, thanks to Hawaii’s warm and tropical climate. However, if you’re seeking a slightly quieter experience, weekdays usually offer a more relaxed ambiance. Dinner hours are particularly magical, with the setting sun painting the sky in hues of orange and pink, making it a perfect time to savor the delectable offerings at Duke’s while soaking in the breathtaking ocean views. Nonetheless, to ensure a prime spot, reservations are highly recommended, especially on weekends and during the holiday season.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Duke’s Waikiki is famous for its iconic beachfront location, honoring the legendary Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku. It is renowned for its delectable culinary offerings, live music, and its embodiment of the authentic Aloha spirit, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists.

Duke’s Waikiki is located at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu. The restaurant’s beachfront setting at this renowned hotel provides diners with stunning ocean views, contributing to the overall enchanting experience.

The pricing for Duke’s Waikiki prime rib buffet is $24 for adults and $24 for keiki (the little one).

Wait times at Duke’s Waikiki can vary based on the time of day, day of the week, and the season. It’s common to encounter a queue at the entrance, with wait times ranging from 30 minutes to more than an hour. To minimize wait times, it is advisable to make a reservation in advance, especially during peak dining hours. Additionally, arriving earlier or later than traditional meal times may help reduce wait times.

Definitely! Duke’s Waikiki is a family-friendly restaurant. They offer a separate menu for children, making it an ideal dining location for families.

Duke’s Waikiki is open 7 days a week from 7 AM – 12 AM.

How to Get There

By Car

If you’re driving from downtown Honolulu, head southeast on I-1. Take exit 23 for Punahou Street toward Waikiki/Manoa. Continue on Punahou St. Take Ala Wai Blvd to Kalakaua Avenue Waikiki, and Duke’s Waikiki will be on your right. There is valet parking available for customers and several public parking lots nearby.

By Bus

For those opting for public transportation, several city bus lines serve the Waikiki area. The 2, 13, 19, 20, 23, and 42 lines all have stops near Duke’s Waikiki. Consider using the City and County of Honolulu’s online bus route locator for exact directions from your location. Remember to check the latest schedules as timings might vary.

Grab Your Board and Experience the Duke’s Magic!

We extend a warm invitation to our readers, beckoning you to bask in the unique charm of Duke’s Waikiki. As the tiki torches flicker, let’s sway to the closing hula! Duke’s Waikiki is a living, breathing testament to the enduring legacy of Duke Kahanamoku. So, as you bid aloha, remember the magic lives on in the sea, the sand, and the spirit of Duke’s Waikiki. Mahalo for the memories, and here’s to the next wave of adventures!