The Hawaiian Islands aren’t necessarily known for killer Mexican food; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Hawaii has a bad reputation as having notoriously sub-par Mexican food. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to find some mean tacos – as long as you know where to look, that is. Without further ado, in no particular order, here are 13 eateries that serve some of the best tacos in Hawaii.
1. Ono Tacos, Lahaina
Hawaii is home to some killer food trucks, including this Mexican joint that serves up the best burritos, torta, and tacos for miles.
2. Tiki Tacos, Kapaa
This casual taqueria serves up some incredible organic + vegan Mexican cuisine, with a Hawaiian flare, of course.
3. Kohala Burger & Taco, Kawaihae
This casual Mexican-American Grill serves up local fish, grass-fed beef, 1950s milkshakes - and tacos. An unlikely pairing perfect for those couples who are constantly arguing about where to go for dinner.
4. Surf N Salsa, Haleiwa
This food truck cruises around Oahu's North Shore, and serves up some of the best tacos on the island - with fresh, handmade tortillas - until 7:30 p.m., later than most food trucks are open!
5. Island Taco, Waimea
For Mexican fare with a Hawaiian twist, look no further than this Waimea favorite. Where else can you get blackened mahi mahi, wasabi seared tuna, and kalua pork tacos?
6. Lucy’s Taqueria, Hilo
This casual taqueria serves breakfast all day, traditional taqueria options made using fresh ingredients, as well as a bar with beers on tap.
7. Alejandros Mexican Food, Honolulu
This casual eatery brought authentic Mexican cuisine to Kalihi when it opened last year, and it has quickly become a local favorite.
8. Cuatro, Kihei
This BYOB restaurant serves up an unlikely assortment of dishes ranging from Mexican to Asian, and while Cuatro made this list for their tacos, you absolutely have to try their spicy tuna nachos.
9. Da Crack, Koloa
This Mexican eatery specializing in tacos, burritos and sides may be tiny, but the portions are anything but.
10. Paniolos Hawaii, Kailua
If you're a mainland transplant like me, you'll love Paniolos, a Kailua hotspot that serves up burritos, bowls, and tacos similar to Chipotle.
11. Pat’s Taqueria, Hanalei
They say to never judge a book by cover, and the same goes for restaurants in Hawaii, as some of the best tacos around are served out of unassuming food trucks, like Pat's Taqueria.
12. Killer Tacos, Kailua-Kona
For fast food tacos and other Mexican fare in a no-frills atmosphere, head to Kailua-Kona's Killer Tacos, a casual eatery in a former industrial area.
13. Taco Kabana, Honolulu
Taco Kabana started as a humble food truck serving up street tacos, burritos, quesadillas - and nothing else. After being closed for a while, the local favorite has made its way back to Honolulu - this time in a more permanent location.
Did you notice that most of these taco joints are stereotypical hole in the wall eateries? So did we, and in case you’re craving some ono grindz in a less-than-ideal setting, here are
some of the greatest no-frills restaurants in Hawaii.