A Honolulu hotspot, Waikiki’s Marukame Udon Japanese Noodles & Tempura serves up heaping portions of handcrafted udon, rice bowls, tempura, and salads at prices you’ll love almost as much as the flavorful cuisine. And did we happen to mention it’s all made in front of you by udon masters in the theater-style kitchen?
Located at the Waikiki Marketplace right next to Donut King and just outside the Kuhio Banyan Club, this cult favorite adheres to the centuries-old tradition of noodle-making, which originated in southern Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture. Today, locals and visitors happily wait in a line that often winds all the way around the block to get a taste of Marukame Udon Waikiki’s fresh and authentic udon, rice bowls, tempura, and more.
And take our word for it—after you enjoy a tasty, filling, and wholesome lunch or dinner at Marukame Udon, you’ll understand why the lines are so long!
We’re not exaggerating when we say the line can be long. The good news? It moves quickly. The even better news? It’s worth the wait. However, if you don’t feel like standing in line, you do have a couple of options. The first is to get there early to beat the crowd. Or, you can take advantage of easy and conveniently online to get your food to go. (Because seating is limited inside the restaurant, takeout orders are exclusively to go.)
The food at Marugame Udon is exceptional on its own. In fact, its housemade noodles—served hot or cold—just might just be the best udon you’ve ever had thanks to a uniquely springy and slurpable texture. But the theater kitchen turns an excellent meal into a truly unforgettable experience. Not only is everything made to order as you progress through the cafeteria-style line, but you get to watch as your food is prepared fresh right in front of you by an udon master.
While udon may get top billing at Marugame Udon, the tempura deserves equal acclaim. Choose from an extensive selection of meat, seafood, and veggie options, including chicken, shrimp, squid, sweet potatoes, zucchini, mushroom, chicken katsu, tamagoyaki, and potato croquette.
While everything we sampled at Marugame Udon was absolutely packed with flavor, here’s a look at a few of our favorites:
Marugame Udon’s best-selling udon, these luscious noodles are served with succulent seasoned sweet beef and a soft egg in a phenomenal curry sauce.
Thick, juicy, bouncy, and rich udon in a full-bodied broth, you’d never guess this was vegan.
While all the tempura is fried to perfection, a couple of standouts from our meal were the tamagoyaki and potato croquette.
Another outstanding thing about Marukame Udon Waikiki? Not only are the portions generous, but the prices are very reasonable, too. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t agree that a meal at Marukame Udon is more than worth the wait.
-There are no restrooms at Marukame Udon Waikiki so plan accordingly.
-It can get pretty hot inside—especially on warmer days when you’re eating hot soup.
-While you can’t eat your takeout order in the restaurant, the beach is just a short stroll away, and it’s the perfect spot for enjoying your meal.
-Parking in Waikiki can be extremely difficult…and expensive. To save yourself trouble and money, plan on walking or taking the bus to Marukame Udon Waikiki.