Delectable Dishes You Must Try When Visiting Hawaii

Every country has a unique food culture. The tourism scene helped its food culture propel to great heights with delectable dishes you must try when visiting Hawaii. Tourists visiting the islands just can’t get enough of the local cuisine, a byproduct of the state’s diverse ethnic groups and their respective cuisines.  If you’ve ever been to a local food establishment, you know that food and drink are an integral part of life in Hawaii.

Despite this, the cuisine of Hawaii remains relatively unknown to the rest of the world. In Hawaii, local recipes use ground pork and sausages as a protein source instead of ground beef.  You will also find many seafood and a lot of sweet and sour flavors. The tropical climate in Hawaii lends itself to fruit in favor of vegetables. Because of its seemingly exotic style of food, Hawaiian cuisine is something worth trying.

In this article, we list down some of the best dishes that you simply can’t pass up when you visit. Read on below to learn more.

#1 – Hawaiian Plate

The Hawaiian Plate is a traditional dish that has been around for years. It is a meal cooked in a pan filled with hot coals and cooked to perfection. It is usually served with meat, white rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a slice of spam.

The meat of choice is usually kalua pork or lau lau (Hawaiian rolls of pork). The process of cooking Hawaiian Plate is pretty simple. Hot embers are placed in a pan, and the ingredients are placed on top. As the ingredients cook, the pan is gradually covered by hot embers, making the food more flavorful.

#2 – The Coconut

It sounds simple, but make no mistake: it’s not the fruit. Made with haupia sorbet, lilikoi (passionfruit) sauce from Hawaii Island, and fresh, seasonal fruits, it’s the ideal combination of sweet and tangy.

#3 – Saimin

This dish came from the Japanese settlers in Hawaii, and it has a lot of history. Saimin is a noodle soup with a variety of ingredients. Its broth is made from a combination of chicken and beef. The noodle of choice is a thin, flat egg noodle.

It has a lot of variations, such as saimin Fukien, saimin chi-pon, and saimin miso. Saimin is sold in various spots, such as local grocery stores, supermarkets, and even food trucks.

#4 – Poke

This dish is also popular in other parts of the islands. According to Hawaiian legend, this dish was used in traditional celebrations back in the day. There is even an island called O’ahu that is named after it.

Poke is usually served in small, square-pyramid pieces: yellowfin, bigeye tuna, albacore, or even octopus. This island delicacy is generally eaten with a flavored sauce, such as shoyu, chili pepper, or dried seaweed.

#5 – All-Natural Shaved Ice

Shaved ice is one of the most popular desserts in Hawaii. It is a snow-like dessert that was first introduced during the plantation days. It’s served with flavored syrup, such as cherry and lemon, along with a scoop of ice cream.

This dessert is so popular because of its various varieties. There are shaved ice shops dedicated to selling the dessert, and the best part is that it is usually fresh and all-natural. If you ever have the chance to visit Hawaii, you should try it out because the experience is one for the books.

#6 – Strawberry Mochi

Strawberry mochi is a dessert dish consisting of a cake made from sticky rice, combined with red bean paste and fresh strawberries. It’s flavored with a combination of strawberry and red bean paste. If you’re in Hawaii, you’ll probably see this dish being sold in many food trucks and food establishments.

This dessert is usually sold in Hawaii with huge chunks of fresh strawberries. If you’re ever in the islands, you should try this dish out.


The cuisine of Hawaii is a product of the various immigrants that came to the state. All of their respective cuisines were fused to create a cuisine unlike any other. The last thing you want to do is miss out on the delectable dishes you must try when visiting Hawaii.

Food Fire + Knives will have Honolulu private chefs that specialize in various Hawaiian dishes, coming in 2022. If you can’t afford to go to Hawaii, we’ll bring Hawaii to you. Contact us today to learn more!

Published By Kim Gandhi Kim Gandhi began cooking at 8 years old with a love of food driving her to experiment with her Hispanic and German heritage. She gained a BBA in Marketing and turned to the business world for much of her career. Her strong customer service background and her passion for great events that involve chefs, customers, and amazing food allows her to indulge in her love of cooking and enjoying what FFK chefs bring to the table.