Aloha Hawaii: Top 10 Hawaiian Foods To Try

Posted on November 1, 2013


Da Kitchen


Everything on the menu looks delicious here and having a plate lunch is a very local thing to do so make sure you add it to your list!

In Hawaii, having macaroni salad as a side is as typical as asking, “Do you want fries with that?”

Common entrées for plate lunches include loco moco, chicken katsu (breaded and fried chicken cutlet), lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaves), or shrimp. Lau lau is made with a meat (or multiple meats) wrapped in ti leaves and baked in an underground oven (imu).



Pronounced po-kay, this was my favourite new food in Hawaii! I had spicy soft-shelled crab, yummmm.

Typically, it comes in bite-sized pieces of raw tuna, salmon or octopus, and is marinated in shoyu with sesame oil, and mixed with some chili pepper flakes, scallions, or ground kukui nuts.


Spam Breakfast

McDonald’s breakfast in Hawaii has rice, egg, 2 slices of spam and 3 Portuguese sausages for $6.19, without a drink…  Not worth the price.

Go to Regal Bakery instead. They’re famous for amazing donut flavours so make sure you try those but their diner menu offers 2 egg sandwich with spam for only $3.95!


Shave Ice

An excellent way to cool down in Hawaii, shave ice – not shaved ice – has a finer, flakier texture than a typical snow cone, and the flavour options are amazing! The flavour is not poured on top but mixed in and it’s a magical, flakey consistency!

I got the mango and passion fruit flavour which was topped with sweet condensed milk with cream, mochi balls and mango jelly from Snow Factory, highly recommend it!


L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

As a staple to Hawaiian fast food restaurants, you have to try L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. The food is a fusion of Asian and American foods prepared Hawaiian style.

Get the BBQ Mix Plate – the short ribs were my favourite! Drool worthy. Additionally, the chicken katsu and deep fried shrimp were both very crispy and delicious.


Tropical Fruits

While you’re in Hawaii, eat as much mango, papaya, pineapple, coconut, guava, avocado and coconut as you can get your hands on!

Hawaii has the biggest avocados I’ve ever seen in my life! The taste is more subtle though. On the other hand, mangos were the best I’ve ever had. They taste completely different than what I’m used to and were extremely juicy!


Onion and Taro Chips

Known for their Maui onions, try some in your burger because they taste sweeter when eaten raw (they taste normal when cooked).

Pick up a bag of Maui onion chips or taro chips to try these cool flavours – although I heard they sell Maui onion flavoured chips across the US as well. Well, where ever you get them, make sure to try it because I love the flavour!


Liliha’s Bakery


Amazing little cream puffs filled with chocolate custard or green tea custard were dollops of heaven in my mouth. See how thin the outside pastry is? They’ve done an amazing job at filling the cream puff to the max!

Make sure you get yourself a box and go early because they might sell out at the end of the day.




Where have you been all my life, mochi ice cream?! When I bit into this cold mochi ball, I was in love! The soft doughy outside covering the cold ice cream hits you with soft and creamy flavours.

Bubbies makes their own ice cream in house and it’s extremely flavourful! I tried green tea, lychee, passion fruit and azuki (red) bean. They were all delicious.

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Pineapple Wine

Not exactly a food but I’d highly recommend you try both the Maui Splash and Maui Blanc wine! You can visit the winery where it’s made at Maui’s Winery but it’s easily accessible at local grocery stores for under $12. If you like sweet wines like me, this is a must try!

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