10 Things to Taste in Hawaii

10 Things to Taste in Hawaii

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Things to eat in Hawaii.  Boy there are a lot of them.

It’s no surprise that our trip to Hawaii consisted of eating.  And lots of it!  By no means do I consider myself a foodie (I survived on pasta and cheese pizza when I was growing up, with the occasional bagel), but when I travel, I try as much of the local flavor as I can.  Just like the beignets and fried alligator in New Orleans, there are just some things you NEED to taste during your time in Hawaii.  And don’t say I didn’t warn you- you’ll be hungry while reading!  There are just so many remarkable things to eat in Hawaii!

1) Kalua Pig

No matter how it’s prepared, it sure is tasty.  Traditionally, the meat is cooked in an underground oven, and it most commonly served at hawaiian luaus.  I had it in a variety of ways (here, here, and here), and loved every bite!
kalua pig

2) Plate lunches

The comfort food of Hawaii.  An abundance of options to pick from, but go for the super simple- white rice with kalua pork, served with macaroni salad.  My absolute favorite- I would fed-ex it all the way to New York if I could.  (No joke!)

My suggestions if you’re in the area:

  • Harley’s Tropical BBQ: Kapaa Kauai– You would totally miss this little hot spot without hearing about it beforehand.  Located in a outdoor shopping centre, we took a chance.  And boy are we glad we did.
  • Aloha Mixed Plate: Lahaina, Maui – The BEST mixed plates you can get in all of Hawaii.  My most honest opinion.  With gorgeous seaside views, impeccable service, and over-flowing plates of food, there is nothing wrong with eating here a few times a week…

3) Passion Orange Guava juice

Or better known in on the islands as “POG”.  It is exactly what it sounds like- a blend of passionfruit, orange, and guava fruits and is absolutely amazing.  Even Hawaiian airlines sends it passengers off with some of this tropical juice.  I may attempt to recreate this at home!  Can’t be too hard! :p


4) Papaya Seed Salad Dressing

Nothing too dramatic, but surely a taste you will want to bring back to the states.  Made with fresh papaya seeds, it definitely dresses up any salad!


5) Spam Musabi

Something you will only find in Hawaii.  It’s a popular snack and lunch food over in the islands, made of a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, all wrapped together with dried seaweed.  You can easily find some near the cash registers in convenient stores.  Sounds gross, but it is surprisingly pretty tasty.


6) Coconut Candy

You can find this delectable candy at fruit stands on the Road to Hana, which is where we picked up a few bags.  Made from fresh coconut and pure Hawaiian-style cane sugar, it is the perfect amount of sweetness.


7) Calamari from Mamas Fish House

If you’re there already, just do it.  Best calamari I’ve ever had (and I’m not a fish eater).  Tastes extremely different than the traditional Italian fried calamari, being much lighter and fresher.


8) Shave Ice

The most obvious and what you’re bound to see on almost every corner.  No need to worry about finding a flavor- the problem is always choosing which ones to pick!  My suggestion- try some of the local flavors, including guava, pineapple, coconut cream, passion fruit, li hing mui, lychee, kiwi fruit, and mango.  Make sure you say “Shave Ice” when ordering; it is by no means shaved ice.  Say it that way and you’ll get some pretty weird looks, and definitely differentiate yourself as a tourist (not that being a tourist is a bad thing!)  We got this massive one during the Road to Hana.


9) Hula Pie

OMG I am drooling over my computer just reminiscing about this pie (gross, right?)  I can honestly say this overly-glorified ice cream cake was one of the best things I have ever put into my mouth.  We even stopped for some hula pie right before heading to the airport back to NY.  The last thing I ate in Hawaii.


10) Lava Flow

My drink of choice in Hawaii.  A delicious blend of light rum, coconut rum, strawberries, banana, pineapple juice, and coconut cream.  I probably had a few too many during my stay there…


Haven’t gotten enough of this delicious Hawaiian food just yet?
Check out some recommended restaurants in Maui – 10 be exact!

photo credits: musabi | POG | dressing


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