Get a taste for traditional Hawaiian dishes at Highway Inn at Salt: classics including kalua pig, coconut pudding and lomi salmon are all on offer to give you an authentic taste of island cuisine. For a more modern menu, soon-to-open French restaurant La Vie is offering a delicious degustation, while the fine-dining dishes made with local produce and paired with matching wines at Chef Mavro is a food memory you must make on your tropical holiday. But don’t just stick to Honolulu for your culinary adventures on Oahu; there’s plenty to entice you on every corner of the isle. On the North Shore, Coffee Gallery is the place to go for a caffeine hit; on the western side, head to the simple-sounding but surprisingly gourmet Tamura Super Market for poke pupu platters; and Zippy’s, with several locations across the island, serves up an omelette laced with that Hawaiian favourite: spam.
There are two sides to Maui; on the western coast you’ll find the sprawling resorts and condos best positioned to take in the sunset, while the eastern coast is a little more laid-back, with its collection of small towns dotted along the Road to Hana.. Whichever you choose to explore, there are plenty of great spots to eat and drink. If you’re taking the aforementioned famed coastal drive, start with breakfast in Paia before you depart – Paia Bay Coffee and Bar serves up a selection of delicious croissants and healthful options, too – or detour to Maui Coffee Roasters for a brew of authentic island beans. Banana bread stalls are a dime a dozen along the highway and you really can’t go wrong but for a more substantial lunch option, seek out the Maui Fresh Streatery food truck, where the cook douses local produce in aromatic Indian spices (follow its social media accounts for an update on its location). The best family-friendly restaurants and beachside bars for taking in the sunset are found in Kaanapli, on the western coast. A plethora of shorefront establishments compete to draw in crowds with good-value happy hour food and drinks deals. Kids score plenty of space to run around at Leilani’s On the Beach, while Hula Grill and Barefoot Bar provides killer end-of-day views.
SEE ALSO: Where to Fill Up on Fresh Food in Maui
Fresh, healthy produce takes centre stage on the Garden Isle – though that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of opportunities to overindulge. Living Foods Market & Café serves up all the good stuff for breakfast – a brekkie burrito, a stack of pancakes – but everything is organic so you can clean the plate. Even the cheeseburgers at North Shore General Store are made with beef and veggies grown on the island; and the decadent cheesecake at Trilogy Coffee is gluten-free and vegan. There’s plenty of opportunity for elegance, too, with a tempting fusion menu on offer on Red Salt at Poipu and to-die-for views to appreciate over sunset drinks at the soon-to-be-renovated Princeville Resort.
On the Big Island, casual dining is king but don’t let the flip-flops fool you – the food here is top-notch, especially the fresh-as-it-gets seafood. There’s no shortage of sushi in the district of Kona but for the best Japanese in town, you want Sushi Shiono; for a low-key seafood feast head to Da Poke Shack, which serves 14 kinds of poke until the day’s catch runs out. When you’ve had your fill of from-the-sea bites, look to the cluster of food trucks at the Waimea Midweek Farmers Market or, for a post-dinner treat that will satisfy the sweet teeth of parents and kids alike, make a beeline to Scandinavian Shave Ice to cool off with a colourful scoop of the quintessential Hawaiian treat.
SEE ALSO: Where to Eat in Kona
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