13 Best Street Foods in Hawaii

Best Street Foods In Hawaii
Image credit: ohpoke.se

Hawaii is home to some of the world’s most delicious and unique street foods.

From the traditional Hawaiian plate lunch to the more modern poke bowls, the options for street foods in Hawaii are endless.

Whether in Honolulu, Maui, or Kauai, you’ll find an abundance of street food stalls and restaurants offering a wide variety of local favorites. 

This blog post will explore some of the best street foods in Hawaii that you can’t miss!

From savory dishes to sweet treats, these mouth-watering snacks will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

1. Malasadas

Malasadas are a classic Hawaiian street food that you won’t want to miss!

A malasada is a Portuguese-style donut, deep-fried and coated in sugar. It’s a popular snack found all over the island, especially in the morning. 

They come in many flavors, from traditional cinnamon sugar to unique creations such as guava, coconut, and mochi.

Try one of these delicious treats on our list of street foods in Hawaii for a delightful start to your day!

When it comes to finding malasadas, there are plenty of spots around Hawaii that you can check out. 

There are specialty bakeries dedicated to these treats and local convenience stores and markets that have them readily available.

Prices vary depending on where you get them, but they’re usually fairly affordable. Malasadas are also a great gift for friends and family back home, so stock up while you’re here!

2. Poi Mochi

Poi mochi is a popular street food in Hawaii, made of a light and airy mochi (rice cake) battered and deep-fried until golden.

It is often served as an appetizer or side dish with a sweet and savory dipping sauce. The outside of the mochi is crispy, while the inside is light and chewy, giving it a unique texture. 

It can be filled with sweet fillings like red beans, coconut, pineapple, or even chocolate. Poi mochi is a tasty and unique snack everyone should try when visiting Hawaii.

The popularity of poi mochi has been steadily growing, with street vendors all over the islands. 

The mochi, one of the several street foods in Hawaii, is usually sold in pieces or larger portions.

Some vendors offer flavors such as matcha, sesame, and sweet potato. Poi mochi is a must-have snack in Hawaii, so try it out when you visit!

3. Acai Bowl

Hawaii is known for its amazing food culture and the delicious street food on every corner. One of Hawaii’s most popular street food items is the acai bowl.

This dish consists of a thick smoothie made with acai berries, topped with fruits, nuts, and granola. 

Acai bowls are a great way to get your daily dose of antioxidants and healthy fats while enjoying the taste of Hawaii.

The best part about eating acai bowls as street foods in Hawaii is that they can be easily customized.

They are customized with toppings like bananas, honey, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, strawberries, and blueberries. 

The fresh ingredients make these bowls so delicious that you won’t resist them! So if you’re looking for a tasty and healthy treat in Hawaii, try an acai bowl!

4. Andagi

Andagi is a type of doughnut originating from Okinawa, Japan. It is a popular street food in Hawaii and can be found at many food trucks and markets around the islands.

Andagi is typically made with mashed sweet potato, which gives them its unique flavor. 

They are street foods in Hawaii that can be eaten plain or filled with various fillings like jam or cream.

The outside is fried until golden brown, making them crispy and delicious. Andagi is a great snack on the go and can be found in many stores across Hawaii. 

No matter where you go in Hawaii, you’re sure to find a great selection of Andagi to enjoy!

Whether you’re looking for something sweet or savory, there’s an Andagi for everyone.

From traditional Okinawan-style donuts to new and innovative flavors, you can find something to satisfy your cravings in no time.

Andagi is a great way to experience Hawaiian culture in a delicious way. Try some today and see why they’re so popular!

5. Mai Tai

Mai Tai is one of the most popular drinks in Hawaii and is also an integral part of its street food culture.

While some people opt for a Mai Tai from a bar or restaurant, nothing beats the flavor of a homemade Mai Tai from a street vendor.

You can find vendors selling Mai Tais in almost every corner of Hawaii, and the prices are usually very affordable. 

The classic recipe for a Mai Tai involves rum, lime juice, orange curaçao, orgeat syrup, and a bit of pineapple juice for sweetness.

This mix creates an amazing sweet-and-sour cocktail that refreshes you on hot days.

The great thing about Mai Tais from street vendors is that they can be customized to your preference. 

If you don’t want too much sweetness, you can ask for less syrup, or if you’re looking for a more tropical experience, you can add some other juices like guava or passion fruit.

No matter how you customize it, a Mai Tai from a street vendor in Hawaii is a delicious and refreshing treat.

6. Shave Ice

Shave ice is not left out of this list of popular street foods in Hawaii and is usually served with various flavored syrups.

Shave ice is made with finely shaved ice soaked in flavored syrup. Shave ice stands can be found throughout the Hawaiian Islands; many serve multiple flavors. 

It’s a great way to cool off and enjoy a sweet treat on a hot day. The most popular flavors are mango, strawberry, pineapple, and li hing mui, but plenty of other unique flavor combinations are available. Some shaved ice stands offer toppings such as ice cream or azuki beans. 

Shave ice is a great way to experience the unique flavors of Hawaii while enjoying a sweet and refreshing treat.

Whether you buy your shave ice at a local stand or make your own at home, it will be an enjoyable experience! With so many flavors to choose from, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

7. Spam Musubi

Although Spam Musubi is not a traditional Hawaiian dish, Hawaiians gave it a crucial twist that makes it representative of the state’s entire cuisine.

By using dried seaweed (Nori) and flavored cooked rice, Spam Musubi retains several characteristics of its origins as the Japanese Rice Balls (Onigiri).

The shape and the ingredients are the two main distinctions between them. 

Spam Musubi resembles a “bed of rice” with a rectangular slice of grilled Spam on top, as opposed to Onigiri’s ball or triangular shapes.

Now, Nori is in charge of fusing these two components to improve the food’s mobility. All in all, it is one of the best street foods in Hawaii!

8. loco moco

Of the street foods in Hawaii, a common traditional dish served for breakfast or lunch is loco moco.

The Spanish gave this meal its name, which in their language means “crazy,” when the first Loco Moco plate was made in the 1940s on the Hawaiian islands.

There are numerous ways to make this dish, but the popular Loco Moco typically consists of steamed rice with a layer of hamburger patties and an egg, sunny side up.

The vendors or sellers will always serve your entrée with a generous amount of rich, black gravy on top.

In different Loco Moco versions, you can get various additional ingredients, such as fried chicken, spam, or Spanish sausages.

There are numerous Loco Moco iterations, so you can opt for this food almost daily during your trip without feeling bored.

9. Garlic Shrimp

This Garlic Shrimp, which comes from the North Shore of Oahu, is now a standard in many Hawaiian food trucks.

These traditional Hawaiian side dishes are widely available. Although the dish may appear straightforward, its flavor will undoubtedly be alluring.

The shrimp quality in this region is unquestionably flavorful because the Hawaiian beach is an excellent location for shrimp farming.

The chef will mix the main protein with the appropriate oil, garlic, and seasonings. The cooked shrimp will then be served with coconut rice in a dish.

There is no need to pass up on such a joy because the light, salty, creamy, buttery shrimp will never go wrong when served with rice.

10. Manapua

In Hawaii, manapua vehicles are typically offered at little sidewalk shops or on food trucks that move about.

The original inspiration for Manapua came from the well-known Baozi recipe in China. As a result, it is obvious that they resemble one another.

Manapua is a delicacy with a pillowy sweet shell and juicy fillings made of grilled pork, chicken curry, sweet potatoes, and Kalua pork (a traditional Hawaiian pork dish).

Manapua is one of the most popular street foods in Hawaii and is best served hot.

On the other hand, if it is more convenient, you can go to a Chinese dine-in or takeaway restaurant. Just remember to indulge in these delectable delights if you visit Hawaii.

11. Poke

Poke is a popular meal among locals and visitors, loaded with healthy, mouthwatering ingredients.

Ahi tuna, onions, sesame seeds, limu seaweed (local seaweed), and soy sauce are the main ingredients in most Poke variations. It is necessary to preserve the dish’s mouthwatering flavor.

In other forms, freshwater fish or octopus can be used instead of tuna. Poke, one of the street foods in Hawaii, does not contain salmon, which is one fact about it.

When Japanese fishermen arrived in Hawaii in the 1800s, they developed their fishing method offshore to the islands, where this cuisine started.

Poke, a dish made with a ton of fresh fish, eventually became a standard in every store in Hawaii in the 1970s.

12. Huli Huli Chicken

This delicious Huli Huli Chicken meal was created in 1955 by local Hawaiian businessman Ernest Morgado, who also gave the recipe to several other farms in Hawaii.

Ernest used the Hawaiian word “Huli,” which means “turn,” for his chicken meal because it calls for grilling the marinated chicken till it is finished. He got his grandmother’s secret recipe for the sauce from her.

Before cooking, the special sauce for this dish contains soy sauce, pineapple juice, brown sugar, and ginger.

The chicken may need some time to absorb the unique sauce’s flavors fully, but the wait will be worthwhile.

I assure you that you won’t want to pass up a delicious meal like this one on this list of street foods in Hawaii.

13. Waffle Dog

Hot dog buns and sausage are no longer a common pairing; instead, I’d like to share Hawaii’s specialty, the Waffle Dog, with you.

As its name suggests, the dish has a large sausage inside a layer of baked waffles.

When you begin to gnaw, the subtle sweetness of the fragrant waffle and the sausage flavor mingle. 

Hawaiians today adore eating this dish at every special event or holiday, even though it has been thought to have existed in Hawaii for over 90 years.

You should serve it with some tasty condiments, such as mustard, and maple syrup, for the greatest flavor.

These toppings will enhance the cuisine effectively. We’ll draw the curtains on our list of the different street foods in Hawaii here.


As the “Pearl of the Pacific Ocean,” Hawaii has long been a favorite vacation spot thanks to its alluring blue water, fine white sand, warm sunshine, and unique culture.

The list of dishes I’ve given you today is not an exhaustive description of the local cuisine’s gastronomy.

Have you chosen the dish you want to sample first? The sweets are outstanding here. 

In short, there are many sumptuous street foods in Hawaii that even the pickiest eaters may easily swallow because it is light and flavorful.

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, you’re in for a real treat. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world and boasts some of the best street food. 

Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full-blown meal, there are plenty of delicious and unique options.

In the article above, we shared our top picks for the best street foods in Hawaii that you absolutely can’t miss. All the best!

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