A beef patty nestled into a bed of rice with a fried over-easy egg balanced on top, with a smothering of brown gravy bringing everything together. This is the loco moco, and it is absolutely to die for. Said to have originated in the 1940s, the dish is the epitome of Hawaiian plate-lunch cuisine. It can satisfy the raging appetite of a surfer or hiker, or even cure the occasional hangover. Because the loco moco may not be something you want to eat on a regular basis, you’ve really got to make the best choice possible – and you can’t go wrong with the local favorite from any of these 15 restaurants.
1) Café 100, Hilo
While many people have claimed to have invented the loco moco, local legend says that it is either Lincoln Grill or Café 100 that created the perfect dish. Though Lincoln grill is no longer around, Café 100 is still serving up their signature dish, with chicken, fish, vegetables, sausage, or the traditional hamburger patty.
2) Hukilau Café, Laie
With two hamburger patties and mushroom gravy, it’s no wonder this remote eatery has found a spot in the hearts of people from across the islands – and the country. It was once recognized by Food Network as serving one of the best in the state.
3) Kountry Kitchen, Kapaa
If you’re looking for local comfort food at affordable prices in Kapaa, look no further than Kountry Kitchen, where the loco moco is rich in flavor and served with two sunny side up eggs and two huge scoops of rice.
4) Local Food, Lahaina
Substitute fried rice for the white rice in your loco moco for a more unique flavor experience at this small mom and pop style eatery.
5) Liliha Bakery, Honolulu
While the loco moco isn’t the most popular choice at Liliha Bakery, the dish comes in two different sizes and with one of their infamous butter rolls, perfect for soaking up that extra gravy.
6) Broke Da Mouth Grindz, Kailua-Kona
Tucked away into a nondescript strip mall, this local joint may be known for their excellent chicken plate lunches, but their loco moco is pretty phenomenal as well.
7) Canoe’s Lanai Restaurant, Lanai City
With a creamy sunny side up egg, large hamburger patty and perhaps the best fried rice in the city, Canoe’s does not disappoint.
8) Mark’s Place, Lihue
Serving up standard local Hawaiian fare at affordable prices, Mark’s Place is unfortunately closed on weekends – so don’t get your hopes up for a Mark’s loco moco after a night of drinking.
9) The Pineapple Room, Honolulu
Alan Wong’s Ala Moana Center eatery serves up a version of the favorite dish with a kiawe wood-grilled Maui Cattle Company beef patty, two farm-fresh sunny-side-up eggs, fried rice, and a rich veal jus.
10) Da Kitchen Café, Kahului
If you’re craving local food after arriving at the Kahului airport, look no further than ordering one of the several varieties of loco moco from Da Kitchen Café.
11) Hawaiian Style Café, Waimea
Is anyone really surprised that a classic Hawaiian diner serves up perhaps the best comfort food in the area, including the epitomized loco moco?
12) Ted’s Bakery, Haleiwa
Smothered with gravy and served with a side of mac salad, the loco moco at Ted’s Bakery is ono. Don’t forget to pick up a slice of pie as well! You may not want to eat it right away, but if you skip it you will regret it later.
13) Ono Family Restaurant, Kapaa
For a delicious alternative to this Hawaiian favorite, try the Portuguese Pork Loco Moco, served with a perfectly cooked egg and a bed of fried rice.
14) Nalu’s South Shore Grill, Kihei
With an open air concept and flavor infused water, Nalu’s is a great spot for any meal of the day – as long as you have a hefty appetite.
15) The Alley Restaurant Bar + Grill, Aiea
Now, if you’re anything like me, any eatery featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is worth a shot – and this restaurant, located above a bowling alley, does not disappoint.
Aren’t you totally craving a loco moco now? Because I sure am! Did I miss your favorite restaurant? Share your opinions with us in the comments below!