Foods You Must Try When Visiting Hawaii

Hawaii is not all about the clear blue water beaches, the beautiful white sand, and the refreshing greens you see around you. You might not know, but Hawaii serves the bomb dishes that will give you real joy. When you taste their fine traditional foods and delicacies, you would completely understand why there are so many people lining up in the food restaurants in Hawaii. So, if you are about to go on a trip to Hawaii and want to know all your food options, we can help you. Here is the list of some foods you must try when visiting Hawaii. 


Poi is a starch dish and is Hawaii’s traditional and also staple food. It is in the form of a thick and sticky paste that you can make using taro root (which you can bake, steam, or pounded.) Poi has a very distinct flavor. It is starchy and a little bit sour since it undergoes light fermentation while they prepare it. For first-time eaters, you might need to get used to the texture and flavor of Poi, but when you come to get the hang of it, you surely cannot get enough of the exquisite traditional dish from Hawaii. 


Visiting Hawaii would not be complete without having a taste of this traditional food known as Laulau. To make Laulau, you must use the layers of taro leaves to wrap the pork and then cook it in an underground sizzling hot rock oven for many hours. When you eat this dish, you will feel soft and tender meat, filled with juiciness and a distinct smoky flavor. After cooking, the taro leaves will have that spinach-like consistency. You can also see Laulau made with fish and chicken. 

All Natural Shaved Ice

All Natural Shaved Ice perfectly goes well with the fine beaches in Hawaii. This iconic frozen treat is something you should try when visiting Hawaii. You will enjoy this shaved ice because of the natural and locally sourced syrups that are poured all over the shaved ice. 

Kalua Pig

Kalua pig is a pork dish that is well-known in Hawaii. This dish is also cooked in an underground oven. So you will enjoy exceptionally tender meat with a remarkable wood smoky flavor. Eat this traditional dish with a nice cup of rice, and you will surely enjoy it. 


Saimin is like a Chinese egg-noodle soup and is one of Hawaii’s traditional foods. This dish is a mix of green onions, kimchi, sausage, kamaboko, and spam. A taste of Hawaii’s classic bowl of Saimin probably is what you need after exploring all the beautiful beaches in the state. 


Poke is like a Japanese Sashimi, but Hawaiian style. This traditional dish is a raw fish that is served in small-sized cubes. People usually used ahi or tuna in making this dish. However, you can also use other types of fresh saltwater fishes. When making Poke, people use soy sauce, sweet and tasty Maui onions, and Hawaiian sea salt to season the raw fish cut into tiny cubes. You can also add some extra limu or seaweed if you want. When you are in Hawaii, Poke is a must-try. 

Chicken Long Rice

This dish is not a traditional recipe in Hawaii. However, locals dig it in, and it eventually became a norm in the state. Chicken Long Rice is a Chinese-inspired food. It is a mixture of clear mung bean noodles bathed in chicken soup. This Hawaiian food with clear noodles, a perfect amount of chicken chunks, and has a gingery flavor is probably a dish you must eat before leaving Hawaii. 

Lomi Salmon

Lomi Salmon is originally not part of the traditional dishes in Hawaii but eventually became one of Hawaii’s local native meals. This dish is consists of diced raw salmon that is cured with salt and is served along with onions, tomatoes, and chilly peppers. The salty flavor of this dish goes well together with Poi. 


Manapua is a staple food in Hawaii. It is a fluffy bun that can be steamed or baked. Manapuas can sometimes have chicken, beans, and char siu on the inside. These buns are a must-try when visiting Hawaii- you will not regret it! 


Pasteles is a mouthwatering Hawaiian food with a savory filling made of either chicken, currant, pork, chicken, and seafood. This food is served on a banana leaf and partnered with gandule rice (dish consists of pigeon peas and sofrito) 


Hawaiin fruits are a must-try when visiting the state. Hawaii was known for its freshly grown fruits like passion fruits and pineapple. After eating these great and delectable meals, it will be nice to top them off with the fresh tropical Hawaiian fruits they serve.