Influenced by the flavours of Asia, the Americas, Polynesia and Europe, Hawaii food and drink serves up a stunning array of dining options across the islands. From beachside shacks to high-end restaurants, the choices are varied and enticing.
This culture extends to a bustling street food scene in Honolulu that culminates in the monthly Eat the Street rally, as well as the various farmers’ markets that offer up local delights.
For first-time visitors, an authentic Hawaiian luau (feast) is a must, featuring fresh seafood, traditional delights like poke (raw tuna salad) and poi (fermented root of taro), accompanied by music and dancing.
Hawaii food markets are your chance to embrace the authentic flavours and fresh produce of a region that remains true to its farming roots. Across the islands, food markets are common and boast a bounty of delights for the senses to enjoy. Big names include Honolulu’s KCC Farmers Market, Hilo Farmers Market on the Big Island, Kauai Culinary Market on Kauai, and Maui’s Upcountry Farmers Market.
Whether you’re looking to eat like a local or enjoy some holiday luxury, Hawaii restaurant precincts serve up a smorgasbord of tasty delights. On Oahu, Waikiki services the top end, with a host of eateries and five-star options, while nearby Kapahulu is the popular option for locals. Lahaina on Maui features farm-to-table cuisine, while Kona on the Big Island also has a wide variety of choices.
Waikiki springs to mind when you mention Hawaii bars and nightlife, but the after-dark entertainment and enjoyment extends far beyond this single precinct. Chinatown has an array of funky wine and jazz bars to choose from. Meanwhile, farther afield, Maui features everything from upscale lounges to tiki bars. Head to the Big Island for a wider selection of restaurants and plenty of live music.
As the only American state to grow this crop, coffee in Hawaii is definitely a must-do. While you can find coffee hotspots and hubs on Oahu, the place to try authentic Hawaiian coffee is the Big Island. Here, world-renowned Kona Coffee is grown and you can sample it direct from the farmer at a number of coffee plantations, including award-winning Kona Coffee Living History Farm.