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Best Italian Restaurants on Oahu

Updated on June 23, 2012

If you're hungry for an Italian meal for lunch or dinner on Oahu, these venues offer a variety of hearty and flavorful pasta, seafood, meat, and vegetable dishes to satisfy your craving.

Ricado's Italian Restaurant: Chicken Saltimbocca
Ricado's Italian Restaurant: Chicken Saltimbocca | Source

Ricado's Italian Restaurant

Parking can be a pain to find for Ricado's Italian Restaurant, which is located in the Pearl Kai Shopping Center, but that doesn't stop customers from visiting Ricado's to dine on their specialties.

Start off with Fried Mozarella Cheese, Pan Fried Eggplant, or Calamari Fritti.

For your main course, choose from a variety of delectable dishes, such as the Shrimp and Scallop Scampi, Veal Picatta, or one of Ricado's most popular dishes - the Chicken Saltimbocca - chicken breast topped with eggplant, cheese, prosciutto, and mushrooms, and covered in a marsala-wine butter sauce.

Most entrees come with your choice of linguine, roasted potatoes, or steamed vegetables.

After such a satisfying meal, finish off with something light, such as the Spumoni or Lychee Sorbet.

Ricado's Italian Restaurant: 98-199 Kamehameha Highway, Aiea, HI, 96701-4820; 808-484-0215

La Cucina Ristorante Italiana: Frutti di Mare
La Cucina Ristorante Italiana: Frutti di Mare | Source

La Cucina Ristorante Italiana

A newcomer to the Honolulu dining scene, and a hidden gem in Honolulu (located in the Imperial Plaza building), La Cucina Risorante Italiana's dishes please from start to finish.

Warm, fresh bread - soft on the inside and crusty on the outside, is served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and signifies the start of a wonderful Italian meal.

Appetizer options include Bruschetta, Crostine Al Porcini, or Melanzane Parmigiana. If a Salad is more to your liking, try the Insalata de Casa (House Salad), Insalata de Vitello (Veal), or Insalata de Mare (Seafood).

For your main entree, choose from a great variety of mouth-watering selections such as the Vitello Piccata, Osso Bucco, Pollo Erbe, or Florence Steak.

Risotto, handmade Gnocchi, Ravioli, and a variety of other Pastas are also available.

If you still have room for dessert, opt for the Tiramisu or Creme Brulee Cheese Cake, and you won't be disappointed.

La Cucina Ristorante Italiana: Imperial Plaza Building; 725 Kapiolani Blvd C112; Honolulu, HI 96813; 808-593-2626

Bernini Honolulu - Boscaiora
Bernini Honolulu - Boscaiora | Source

Bernini Honolulu

After much success in the restaurant business in Japan, Chef Kengo Matsumoto brought his culinary magic to Honolulu with the opening of Bernini Honolulu.

Appetizers include Tuna Carpaccio with Sicilian Lemon Sauce, Grilled Scallops with Eggplant in a Balsamic Reduction Sauce, and Gorgonzola Cheese Gratin with Mushroom and Seasonal Vegetables.

Entrees include a variety of pizzas, pastas, and proteins.

If pizza is what you seek, there are several to choose from, such as the Pescatore (Mozzarella, Scallop, Squid, and Shrimp), and the Caprese (Mozzarella, Tomato, Basil).

If pastas are more to your liking, choose from the Chicken Carbonara Spaghetti, King Crab Linguine, or the Gorgonzola Penne.

Half Chicken Al Forno (Crispy Roasted Chicken), Tagliata (Grilled Angus Beef Steak), and Bistecca (Toscana Style Sauteed Angus Beef Steak) can also be found on the menu.

Prices at Bernini are on the higher end, but the excellent food, service, and ambiance make it worth the price.

Bernini Honolulu: 1218 Waimanu St; Honolulu, HI 96814; 808-591-8400

Cafe 8 1/2
Cafe 8 1/2 | Source

Cafe 8 1/2

A long line and hard-to-find parking won't deter regular and newcomers alike to Cafe 8 1/2. Located in Downtown Honolulu, Cafe 8 1/2 (the name is an ode to the classic Italian movie by Federico Fellini) serves excellent Italian cuisine in a small, eclectic setting.

The menu is limited, however the flavors in the dishes are not. Stufato di Manzo (Italian Beef Stew), Bolognese, Pollo in Pottachio (Chicken in Wine, Tomato Sauce, and Herbs), and Radiator Verde (Kiawe-Grilled Steak Strips on Zucchini Pesto Pasta) are just a few of the popular items offered at Cafe 8 1/2.

Reservations are accepted for dinner only. For lunch - stand in line early or try your luck.

Cafe 8 1/2: 1067 Alakea St, Honolulu, HI 96813; 808-524-4064

Paesano: Osso Bucco
Paesano: Osso Bucco | Source

Paesano Ristorante Italiano

With two locations on Oahu, Paesano Ristorante Italiano draws diners from both the East and West sides of the island.

A fairly extensive menu offers guests a nice variety of appetizers, salads, soups, pastas, and specialties to choose from.

House specialities include the Rigatoni Alla Ricotta, Vegetable Lasagna, Sicilian Chicken, and Shrimp Portabella.

Veal, Chicken, Seafood, and Vegetable dishes are also plentiful.

If you're not overstuffed from your meal, select from a number of desserts, such as the Homemade Cheesecake, Homemade Tiramisu, Zabaglione with Imported Marsala, or the Cannoli Alla Siciliana.

Paesano Ristorante Italiano: Click here for locations.

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    • HawaiiHeart profile image
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      HawaiiHeart 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Redberry Sky - I hope you do get to try them one day =)

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 5 years ago

      I *love* your photos and descriptions of these utterly irresistible dishes, HawaiiHeart; reading your Hubs always makes me hungry! One of these days I am *determined* to visit some of these wonderful restaurants :)

    • HawaiiHeart profile image
      Author

      HawaiiHeart 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Derdriu - fortunately most of them do carryouts. LOL!

    • profile image

      Derdriu 5 years ago

      HawaiiHeart, Cucina's gnocchi and insalata di mare, 8-1/2's stufato, Paesano's zabaglione, and Ricardo's saltimbocca get my attention. Do they do carryouts? ;-]

      Respectfully, and with many thanks for sharing and with a big Welcome to HubPages, Derdriu

    • greeneryday profile image

      greeneryday 5 years ago from Some tropical country

      Wow talking about informative, I will make sure to visit these restaurants when in Oahu, thank you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Oooohh, all wonderful places that leave me wanting to hop on the next plane out.