Best Cheap Eats to Enjoy in Honolulu

Best Cheap Eats to Enjoy in Honolulu

Food costs in Honolulu are notoriously high. Grabbing a basic lunch in the business district can easily set you back $20. When you purchase a fast-food combo meal, expect to pay an average of $9 for an entry-level item. Specialty products can be close to $15.

The average meal cost to plan for when staying in Honolulu is $17 per person. Breakfast is a little cheaper, although the expense adds up quickly. Bringing a family of four to the city for a week means budgeting almost $500 for food alone.

Making a meal in your rental’s kitchen from groceries purchased at local stores can save you a significant amount of money. It also helps to know where the best cheap eats in Honolulu are.

Best Places to Stretch Your Food Budget in Honolulu

1. Musubi Café Iyasume

This popular spot is the perfect place for some grab-and-go items when you’re planning an adventure. Almost three-dozen musubi types are available to choose, with affordable Bento boxes, fried tempura, and rice bowls with miso soup on the menu. With three different locations in the city, you’ll be full before your wallet is empty.

2. Marukame Udo

This Japanese chain gives you a veritable feast of noodles with sides like sliced fish cakes or tempura shrimp for about $10. It follows a cafeteria set up so that you get to choose the noodle base and soup. Chefs prepare your dish as you move down the line, selecting the various additions you want. The affordable nature and intense flavors create a combination that draws locals here every day.

3. Maguro Brothers

Make your way into the city’s Chinatown to enjoy this humble fish stall. The quality of the food is incredible, especially since you are getting fresh seafood at an astonishing price. The salmon and tuna are literally fresh from the boat, plus you gain access to whatever is on special. Everything served comes from the market that morning, prepared that day, and glistening for your approval.

4. Helena’s Hawaiian Food

This option is a little out of the way, but worth the effort of finding it. You’ll find several local specialties on the menu, including Pipikaula short ribs, poi, Lomi salmon, and Kalua pig. When you choose something from the side menu, the prices are almost all under $5. The best way to enjoy a meal is to choose a side with 2-3 types of meat and a couple of rice scoops. It is a cash-only environment without any frills, but that is also why the establishment is a local treasure.

5. Koko Head Café

This charming spot is just down the road, where Chef Lee Anne Wong offers a brunch stop that offers congee, udo, and several other pan-Asian dishes. It closes early in the afternoon, so plan ahead to enjoy some delectable treats! Sesame yuzu muffins, bacon cheddar scones, and the egg “handwich” are all favorites to try.

Dining in Honolulu doesn’t need to be an expensive experience when you know how to find the best cheap eats. What option do you plan to try first?

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