How to Enjoy Local Food in Hawaii

    Travelling to Hawaii can be a culinary delight for those who dare to steer clear of the chain restaurants and fast food joints. Hawaii is known as the melting pot of the Pacific due to its large variety of ethnicities that live on or visit the island. The result of this mix is Hawaiian food that is blending with cuisines from other countries and gives the food a distinct taste of its own.

    Road to Hana, Maui
    Enjoy Local Food in Hawaiiszeke / / CC BY-SA


    One of the best ways to find some authentic and tasty Hawaiian restaurants is to simply ask the locals for their recommendations. You will most probably be directed to their favourite lunch plate place, and plate lunches are simply scoops of rice with a main entrée, usually made up of meat or a vegetarian alternative with a vegetable or pasta salad side dish.

    When you visit these places be sure to try things that you are not accustomed to, as while you may not like them in your home country, you may be surprised when they are prepared in ways traditional to Hawaiian custom.

    Another good way of finding the best local Hawaiian dishes is to avoid the national and international restaurant chains. Instead try to find local Hawaiian restaurants such as Zippy’s. The most popular of the local restaurants, Zip Packs and chilli plates are among the favourites for customers here, and you can also try L&L or Rainbow Drive Inn which are also fairly popular.

    Instead of going to Taco Bell you could try some locally made tacos from Tropical Taco, and instead of Starbucks go to the local coffee shops which will be cheaper and much more authentic. For breakfast, head over to Ken’s House of Pancakes or Kao Pancake for delicious treats rather than equivalent chain restaurants.

    Travel Around

    If you have the time then it is worth travelling to different towns, giving you the opportunity to explore the different local flavours. For example, by driving over to the North Shore/Haleiwa, you can sample some of the famous shaved ice which is delicious. Local treats are everywhere in Hawaii, even in the national chain stores such as 7/11 and are worth experiencing.

    Poi is one such treat and was eaten by the first people to settle in Hawaii around 400 AD, and is still a favourite among the locals to this day. Poi is made from the taro plant and while many visitors to the island don’t enjoy eating Poi alone, you can eat it with some salted fish or lomi salmon to help digest it. Be sure to check out cheapflights to Hawaii online and get a great deal before you delve into trying some of Hawaiians delicious dishes.


    Seafood is prepared in a unique way by the Hawaiians so don’t be afraid to experiment. The most popular of the party snacks is ahi or tako poke, while sashimi and sushi are more popular than cooked fish on the island. Even if you don’t like fish you can head over to any sushi bar and enjoy non fish sushi with your options of vegetables or meat prepared in a distinctive Hawaiian style.

    I have spent the past 15 years in the travel industry. Today focused on promoting different ways of traveling, I'm in the process of creating few travel websites, which will be launched shortly. I have a great passion for travel and the travel industry. My goal here atTtripOutlook is to connect to other proffessionals in the travel industry and to exchange experience.

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