Best Foods to Try in Hawaii

Best Foods to Try in Hawaii

It’s been said that eating your way across Honolulu is fun, but it is always better to do it with some company. Whether that means you take an adventurous friend or your family along for the ride is up to you!

When you stay on the islands for a few days, these dishes are the ones that you’ll want to try. It’s the best way to get a taste of Hawaiian life!

Top Items to Sample in Honolulu

1. Saimin

This traditional dish is somewhat like an egg-noodle soup that developed during the plantation era on the islands. You have some chow mein inspirations, some dashi broth, and touches of kamaboko, kimchi, green onions, Spam, and Portuguese sausage. Many restaurants have dozens of different recipes and ingredient options from which to choose.

2. The Coconut

This dish doesn’t involve climbing a tree to get the fruit. You can find it at Alan Wong’s on King Street. He uses a chocolate shell to act as a bowl that contains toasted coconut shavings, creamy sorbet, and colorful fruit slices to enjoy. Every part of the dish is edible.

3. Luau Stew

Nothing speaks of comfort food more than this dish in Honolulu. The traditional recipe uses taro leaves that cook until they are melt-in-your-mouth tender. Add a little sea salt to the mix, and that’s all you need for a fulfilling meal. Some recipes add coconut milk, onions, ginger, and limu to create incredible flavor combinations. Tourist versions sometimes add uala or pork shoulder.

4. Strawberry Mochi

The sweet Japanese rice cakes are all over Hawaii right now. You can find them with ice cream, shaved ice, or with butter. A perennial favorite in Honolulu is a strawberry version, providing the pillowy cake with a covering of red bean paste before surrounding it with the dough. Several other flavors are worth trying, including a fantastic purple sweet potato option.

5. The Mix Plate

The Rainbow Drive-In over on Kanaina in Honolulu provides a mixed plate that gives you a sample of everything Hawaiian in one bite. You get fresh seafood, a chunk of beef, and juicy chicken that offers the spicy flavors enjoyed here for generations. It is the go-to comfort food that you can bring back to your Airbnb with some macaroni salad and a bit of rice.

6. Coco Puffs

The Liliha Bakery on Kuakini or Nimitz offers this much-loved Hawaiian pastry for you to enjoy. It’s like a cream puff, but better because it includes chocolate pudding and a Chantilly frosting. The Choux pastry is flaky and light, creating perfection in each bite. Good luck eating only one of these!

As a final option, don’t leave Honolulu without trying the mac-and-cheese pancakes offered at Morning Class. Topped with some crispy bacon and maple syrup, it might be the best culinary invention yet. You could visit resort restaurants and enjoy expensive fine dining experiences. Still, with these options available, you can get a taste of the islands without breaking your budget.

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