Sun seekers heading to Hawaii can not only enjoy the island’s sun, surf and sand but also the array of exotic foods. From gorgeous tropical fruits and fresh seafood, to sugary doughnuts and mounds of flavoured ice, you will have no problems satisfying your hunger here. Embrace some of the more unusual dishes and experience life as a local. Here are our favourite foods to try in Hawaii.
Those with a raging sweet tooth will fall in love with one of Hawaii’s favourite treats, Malasadas. These popular deep fried doughnuts are rolled in sugar or cinnamon sugar and served piping hot. Forgoing the traditional hole in the middle, these rounded doughnuts can even be stuffed with your favourite filling, from custard or chocolate to coconut and guava. Don’t miss a visit to Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu, famous for their delicious fresh Malasadas, always made to order.
It won’t be long until you discover the local’s love for the tinned meat, Spam. Extremely popular with Hawaiians, Spam is featured in a variety of dishes and even appears on the menu at many restaurants. One of the local’s favourite ways to enjoy the canned ham is Spam Musubi. Picture a thick slice of fried spam on a bed of rice, wrapped in seaweed. Craving more of this canned pork product? Try Spam fried rice or Spam and eggs.
The perfect snack on a warm Hawaiian afternoon, shave ice is a refreshing treat. Unlike the traditional snow cone, Hawaii’s ice is finely shaved, not crushed. Drizzled with syrup, you will find many tropical flavours to choose from, including pineapple, guava, passionfruit or coconut. For a little extra, you can try add unusual mix-ins like sweetened red beans, sweetened condensed milk or even mochi balls.
Considered the Hawaiian version of sashimi, poke is a popular seafood dish usually comprised of raw fish served in hearty bite sized pieces. There are many different versions of poke, including salmon and octopus, but it is more often than not served with ahi (tuna), and seasoned with sea salt, soy sauce and seaweed. You’ll find poke is a fixture on the menu of many restaurants around town.
Refresh the palate with Hawaii’s huge selection of tropical fruits. Widely available, you can grab yourself a colourful piece of fruit from the local grocery stores, fruit stands or farmer’s markets around town. You’ll find coconuts, pineapples, bananas and guavas in abundance, plus many more exotic fruits like rambutan, dragon fruit and jackfruit.
Embrace the quintessential Hawaiian lunch, consisting of two scoops of rice, macaroni salad and your choice of a main entree, commonly known as the plate lunch. You’ll often spy local’s enjoying beef teriyaki or chicken katsu, while pork and salmon are also popular. Grab your own takeaway plate lunch and enjoy feasting on the shores of Hawaii’s beautiful beaches.