6 Foods You Can’t Leave Hawaii Without Trying

As many of you know, I am a major foodie. Some of the best parts of travelling is indulging and enjoying some of the best foods you can’t get from home. The islands of Hawaii are no different and I am here to give you the checklist you need to make sure you are getting the basics in while exploring the absolute paradise of Hawaii.

Note: while these experiences are mainly from the island of Oahu and can mostly be found in Honolulu, I tried to make sure that these are the more common items that you can attribute to other islands such as Maui or The Big Island when traveling and eating!

Disclaimer: Please note that these are my honest reviews. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the developing companies, and/or its affiliates in any way.


If you follow my Instagram @emalawls (if you don’t, you should) you will notice quickly how much of a fan I am of this delectable snack. Made with a piece of marinated spam on top of warm rice and held together with a piece of nori, this is a not to be missed and NOT to be overlooked food!

For many, Spam might seem like an unlikely staple for themselves at home but in Hawaii, it’s different. Maybe its the warm trade winds blowing through your hair that has you believing that this snack is the best snack there possibly is. You can find them at the local ABC stores, just look for the heaters with warm food! You can also find them at Musubi cafes.

2. Leonard’s Malasadas

Don’t make the same mistake we did, and over order as these are HUGE and cheap!! The perfect treat, a Portuguese style doughnut you can get either filled or not. We ended up opting for filled and got chocolate and custard. These are sooo good and made fresh in front of you. The pink exterior is also out of a complete dream. Do not miss this and don’t get overwhelmed by any line. It moves fast!

Leonard’s Malasadas in Waikiki

3. Shrimp Trucks

Shrimp scampi is just different here. It could be due to the fact that they are just so extremely fresh and cooked perfectly. Nothing makes me happier than an afternoon of sunshine bathing to work up a hunger for the simplistic delicacy of garlic shrimp and rice. Perfect.

You can find some of these shrimp trucks right on Waikiki Beach (by the Hilton Lagoon) or you can find the DOGs on a drive up to the North Shore.

4. Mcdonald’s Breakfast

Mcdonald’s is known for having a couple items of local flavour, I personally love trying new items I can’t get anywhere else from them. Their breakfast is a great cheap option as well should you be feeling the effects of expensive Waikiki! For only $8.95 you can get a large amount of rice, two slices of Portuguese sausage, 2 slices of spam, and 2 eggs! A huge meal for how cheap it is. We split this and were able to save money on breakfast for extra happy hours 😉

5. Shave Ice

Sugary and sweet, this dessert makes me the happiest on super hot afternoons. There is nothing I crave more when it is blistering hot out adventuring. I would suggest going to a place that has a soft and fluffy shaver (if that makes sense). We tried out a Swap Meet stand and it did not marvel as well as some of the food truck options. There is a great one that sets up right beside the Giovanni Shrimp trucks!

6. Dole Whip

You know I couldn’t skip this! The pineapple delicious-ness of this soft serve fruity dessert is everything. Do. not. leave. without. trying!! Others who have been to Disney Parks may be familiar with it as the popularity of it has travelled.

Top Tip: While the lineups can be crazy at the Dole Plantation, we suggest not waiting in line for it there as there are a lot of place you can go to! We suggest going to the Polynesian Cultural Centre for a dole whip excursion. There are also a lot of pop ups of it elsewhere on the island, so don’t worry and relax. You’re on island time anyways!

We were too excited and ate our dole whip too fast to take a pic this trip, so please take this old Disneyland dole whip photo instead!

Well, there you have it! Make sure to tag me in your adventures and foodie options- I love to see it!!

Have questions? Let me know at questions@emalow.com and have a chance to be featured in the blog! 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram as well for the top updates and a lot of silliness, @emalawls

Mahalo for reading!

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