Things To Eat In Hawaii

April 14th, 2020 Dining

Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines – offering a variety of food types unique to the island for locals and tourists. Eating you way through Hawaii is much easier when you’re in a tropical paradise, filled with cocktails, breezy ocean air in a picturesque landscape.

Here are a few highlights of traditional favorites of things to eat while you’re in Hawaii, that can be found throughout the island!

Acai Bowls – a fresh treat to cool you down and satisfy your sweet tooth on a warm, Hawaiian sunny day. These superfood acai bowls can be found throughout the island and are usually topped with fresh fruit, granola and honey.

Hawaiian Plate Lunches – a Hawaii visit is not complete without a hawaiian plate lunch! It typically consists of two scoops rice, one scoop macaroni salad and three kinds of meat (barbecue beef, mahimahi and boneless chicken). This dish dates back to the 1880s, where it represents the islands’ melting pot of cultures. Check out Highway Inn or Rainbow Drive-In!

Garlic Shrimp – a popular dish on the islands, flock to the North Shore and find the shrimp trucks full of locals and tourists to get a plate of fresh shrimp sauteed in butter and oil with a lot of garlic. Top it off with a scoop of white rice + greens and make it a combo!

Kālua Pork – a staple dish at every luau, potluck, Kālua Pork is one of the oldest and most traditional delicacies served on the island. This smoked, shredded meat, usually slowly cooked in an underground oven with hardwood, is a delicious and popular Hawaiian fall off the bone meat (covered with banana leaves while cooking) seasoned with sea salt and smoked spices that is an essential part of a hawaiian plate. 

Loco Moco – Call this the ultimate comfort food dish for breakfast (or whenever, really). A loco moco usually consists of a bed of white rice topped with hamburger patties and fried eggs, smothered in rich, brown gravy.

Japanese food – so much to choose from and wish we could eat it all. From udon, tempura, ramen, sushi, bento bowls, takoyaki, gyoza, pastries to curry, yakitori, soba and katsu, the island offers a big selection of restaurants, izakayas and shops of delicious Japanese food (and beer)! Places worth checking out: Shirokiya Japan Village Walk and Waikiki Yokocho (just steps away from our hotel).

Poi – Made from taro root, Poi is a superfood full of high-fiber, low-sodium, gluten-free source of vitamin B, calcium and phosphorus and best of all, it’s fat free! This traditional hawaiian staple food is made by mashing baked or steamed taro with a stone pestle, gradually adding in water until it’s thick, smooth and sticky. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste that complements fresh fish, and can be used as a dipping sauce for pork lau lau.

Poke – Cubes of various fresh raw fish marinated with sauces such as ponzu, soy and various oils and other toppings, like furikake, garlic/onions and sesame seeds. The most common fish used in poke are ahi, salmon and octopus. We’ve round-up a list of “Best Poké Places On Our Island” in our blog post!

Shave Ice – Synonymous with Hawaii, this cold treat is made by shaving a block of ice – giving it a fluffy, snow-like texture as the base of the “shaved ice.” Top it off with various fruits, toppings such as mochi, condensed milk, sugary syrup flavors and adzuki or mung beans! Check out our “Ice Ice Baby – Shave Ice, A Local Hawaiian Treat” blog post!

SPAM – A popular meat in Hawaii and oftentimes dubbed the “Hawaiian steak” – the non perishable meat product is great for breakfast/lunch plates with rice and eggs as well as spam musubis, a popular snack found throughout the island. SPAM is also sold at McDonald’s and Jack in the Box on the island and draws about 25K people to the annual Waikiki Spam Jam. Check out our SPAM blog post

Ube – a delicious bright purple yam popular on the islands. Find them in various forms of pastries, ice cream (yummy Magnolia Ice Cream), cakes and cheesecakes!