Over the past week I have been sharing my expert Hawaii planning tips with you. Like any form of travel I truly believe that an educated traveler is a happy traveler. Obviously a huge draw when traveling is food. Foodie or not, people need to eat and they always want to know what they need to try when they travel. Hawaii is no different, they have things on their list of must-eat items too.
While Wikipedia is good, it really can’t experience Hawaii like an actual expert. :0) So I am here to tell you what food you need to have in your little black book for your next Hawaii adventure!
- Malasadas-Fried, fluffy and rolled in sugar. It’s no wonder these Portuguese-style donuts are a tasty hit across the Islands. Try it plain or with delicious fillings like haupia (coconut) or lilikoi (passion fruit) at shops dedicated to the treat, like Leonard’s Bakery on Oahu.
- Saimin – Some may call it ramen, but saimin, developed by different immigrant groups during the plantation era, is very much unique to Hawaii. Warm broth and chewy noodles make it the ultimate comfort food in the Islands, enough to be one of the few items offered at no-frills mom and pop shops like Hamura Saimin on Kauai.
- Loco Moco – Delicious in any form, many have taken creative liberties with this popular dish consisting of a hamburger patty served over rice, topped with brown gravy and eggs (most opt for over easy). In fact, Da Kitchen in Maui has a whole section of its menu dedicated to inventive versions of the loco moco. Just be sure to come hungry.
- Shave Ice – Perfect for Hawaii’s year-round tropical days, this cool Japanese treat has evolved into a local staple with many shops, like Wailua Shave Ice on Kauai, now offering 100% natural syrups. To help your clients navigate a seemingly overwhelming menu of options, point them to a complete guide to Hawaii’s unique shave ice toppings, found here.
- Poke – With tender cubes of fresh raw tuna perfectly marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil and other seasonings, it’s no wonder this Hawaii staple is quickly gaining popularity in major cities across the United States. Poke can be found everywhere from grocery stores and food trucks to favorites like Da Poke Shack on the island of Hawaii and Ohana Poke Market on Lanai.
- Spam Musubi-Yes it is SPAM like you are used to hearing of. This is hot food item in Hawaii. Spam Musubi is the combination of rice, fried spam and seaweed. This is a Hawaiian go-to snack that you must not leave without trying.
- Manapua-These are flyffy buns filled with chicken, beans and many other fillings. These are a Hawaiian local’s snack delight!
Do you have a staple food item that you have to have when you travel to the Hawaiian Island? Be sure to let us know, we will add your suggestions to our list!
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