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Where to eat in Hawaii – a guide to restaurants and cuisine

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Modern Hawaiian cuisine was officially established in 1991.  The modern cuisine is a blend of diverse ethnic flavors of the world that were present in Hawaii such as Asian and Polynesian due to the states location. While the native Hawaiian traditional diet is made up of crops, dried fruits and seafood with a main ingredient of poi – a paste mad from taro plant. Expect a variety of grilled meat and fish. Hawaiian food will get you saying aloha to your hearts’ content.

Brandon Hughes

My Destination local expert on

Hawaii

Try lomi lomi salmon which is tomatoes, sweet onions, salted salmon served chilled. Kalua pork is a favourite with the locals, cooked underground, wrapped in banana leaves for several hours. Hli huli chicken is marinated with sweet teriyaki sauce and pure brown Hawaiian sugar, soy sauce and ginger. Of if that isn’t enough, try Hawaiian fish – found everywhere in Hawaii, but under different names of Ono, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Ahi, Aku and Opah.

 

Big Island (Hawaii Island)

 

Don’t miss out on the world famous and award winning Kona coffee on the island. The best place to experience the best cup of coffee in Hawaii is in the sea side village of Kailua-Kona or in the main town of Hilo. In the north of the island, Waimea Coffee Company has notoriously been voted the best premium coffee and has great food, with a healthy dose of aloha spirit.

 

Waimea Coffee Co., Parker Square, 65-1279 Kawaihea Road, Waikoloa, 96743. Tel: +18088858951

 

O’ahu

 

Honolulu and Waikiki are the best places for restaurants on the island. Both places offer an array of dining options. The North Shore is the best place for shrimp trucks which are cheap too. Honolulu, in the south of the island has many very good restaurants in this busy area. Visit The Chart House Honolulu for a special occasion dinner. With a view of the harbor, indulge in a wide selection of steaks and of course seafood, which the owner daily hand picks in the downstairs restaurant.

 

The Chart House Honolulu, 1765 Al Moana Boulevard, Suite 2, Waikiki, 96815. Tel: +1 808 941 6669

 

Lana’i

 

Visit the American come Fillipino Café 565 on Lana’i Island for the real deal in pizzas. Head here for flavoursome pizza with and calzone that the locals love too. There are also Filipino lunch specials. Try the pork adobo and chicken tonkatsu with kagome sauce. Experience local style cooking mixed with great service here for a very reasonable price on this luxurious island.

 

Café 565, 408, 8th Street, Lanai, HI 96763. Tel: +1 808 565 6622

 

Kaua’i

 

Considering how sparsely populated this island is, there is still an impressive selection of places to eat. Visit Papalani Gelato for one of Hawaii’s classics; ice-cream to cool you down. Innovative ice creams are combined with some of Hawaii’s home grown produce mixed with true American style over the top deserts. Try pineapple ice-cream with waffles in Hawaiian macadamia nuts; perfect for a real sweet tooth. Other tantalising adventurous flavors include salt pond caramel, lilikoi and mango.

 

Papalani Gelato, 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Road, Poipu, Kauai, HI 96756. Tel: +1 808 742 2663

 

Maui

 

On Maui, American and Japanese restaurants are popular. On the west coast of the island in Lahaina is David Paul’s Island Grill. Customers can watch Chef David Paul create items from his modern Hawaii cuisine menu from the dining area. Expect a lot of seafood here. There is also an extensive wine menu to compliment many dishes.

 

David Pauls Island Grill, Lahaina Centre, 900 Front Street, Lahaina, 96761. Tel: +1 808 662 3000