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Food Culture in Hawaii

With our bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, fertile upland cattle farms and Pacific Ocean waters teeming with sashimi-grade fish, Hawaiian cuisine is a colorful tapestry of traditions and flavors. Here, ancient customs meet international influences brought to Hawaii over hundreds of years, giving local food culture more layers than a Maui onion. From dawn until well past dusk, Hawaii offers visitors a dizzying menu of culinary wonders, including the islands’ own Hawaii Regional Cuisine, which blends the islands’ diverse flavors with the fruits of Hawaii’s farms and plantations.

In Hawaii, our palates have been influenced by generations of immigrants from around the globe, so it’s no surprise that our melting pot is filled with countless ethnic specialties. Local tastes are as varied as you’ll find anywhere in the world, but there are local delicacies that are more or less exclusive to Hawaii. Street food in the islands reaches its zenith in the plate lunch, served on a paper plate and featuring everything from teriyaki beef with two scoops rice to the Japanese hybrid, spam musubi. Locals are also drawn to loco moco breakfasts (white rice topped with a hamburger, fried egg and brown gravy), exotically flavored shave ice and custardy coconut haupia.

One more thing you need to know: the Hawaiian word for "delicious" is ono!

Video: Food in Hawaii

Take your taste buds off the beaten path with the flavors of Hawai‘i. Discover local comfort foods, island favorites, and authentic tastes from farm-to-table and gourmet, to hidden spots and must-trys.

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Hawaii Regional Cuisine

Created by 12 pioneering chefs, Hawaii Regional Cuisine leverages the freshest island ingredients including locally raised cattle, fish from local waters and fruits and vegetables grown in volcanic soil.


Farmers Markets

Sweet lilikoi (passion fruit). Succulent pineapples. Even fresh-baked banana bread and local macadamia nuts. Hawaii's farmers markets give new meaning to the word "fresh."


Farm and Agriculture Tours

Discover the agricultural cornucopia growing in Hawaii's rich, volcanic soil.


Hawaiian Luau

No trip to Hawaii is complete without attending one of these traditional celebrations of food and culture. Feast on kalua pork cooked in an imu (underground oven), laulau (beef, pork, chicken or fish wrapped in taro leaves) and poi (taro starch) while hula dancers tell stories through their graceful movements. 


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HO'OMAU RANCH home page
Ho'omau Ranch
89-1074 Old Mamalahoa Highway
Captain Cook, HI 96704-9998

HO'OMAU RANCH horseback riding, ATV UTV Tours. Ranch Stay and camping. Rare endemic, critically endangered tree species Loulu Palm Pritchardia schattaueri & Mehamehame. Hawaiian hoary bat, Mesic forest. Bird watch for endangered 'io, endemic 'apapane, 'elepaio and Pueo. Cattle pastures Agritourism!

Don the Beachcomber Restaurant View
Don The Beachcomber
75-5852 Alii Drive
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

The open-air Don the Beachcomber signature restaurant located at the Royal Kona Resort features a prime oceanfront setting with spectacular sunset views. Choose from succulent Pacific Fusion, Prime Rib and seafood specialties.

Kilauea Volcano
Kona Nature Tours
75-5737 Kuakini Highway #201
Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Kona Nature Tours provide unique and customized experiences for visitors to the Big Island of Hawaii. Our adventure guides will take you to where we go, to see what we see and to live like we live. Experience: History and Culture, SCUBA, Guitars, Designed-to-taste meals, Rappelling, Portage Services, Private Beaches, Private Coves, Overnight Camping, Your Imagination.

The Dining Room at Lahaina Grill
Lahaina Grill
127 Lahainaluna Rd.
Lahaina, HI 96761

Previously David Paul's Lahaina Grill (since 1990) the name changed in Dec 07, but owner, Jurg Munch and the exceptional food and service remain. 17-time HONOLULU Magazine’s "Best Maui Restaurant" (1994-2010).

Papaya Sorbet
Kahuku Farms
56-800 Kamehameha Hwy
Kahuku, HI 96831

Take a Fun Filled Wagon Ride through one of Oahu's most Beautiful Farms and learn about the history, people and crops of this special place! Visit our Farm Café for Fine Country Gifts, Fresh Island Fruit and Tasty Treats from our Fields!

Plantation View
Kona Lisa Coffee
83-5475 Painted Church Rd
Captain Cook, HI 96704

Kona Lisa is 100% Kona, Estate coffee. We hand pick, sun-dry, custom roast for a remarkably smooth cup. Stop by the farm, or visit us at the Kona Lisa Coffee & Tea Bar at neighboring Paleaku Gardens! Enjoy a cup of Kona Lisa while strolling through the scenic Peace Gardens in the heart of Kona!