As the most isolated population center on earth and a true melting pot of cultures, the Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the world’s greatest cuisine. But in order to taste some of most mouthwatering food Hawaii has to offer, you must be willing to leave the resort areas and check out local hole in the wall joints. From food trucks and run-down buildings to strip mall restaurants and bowling alley eateries, these 11 unassuming restaurants certainly won’t disappoint – and should be added to your Hawaii dining bucket list immediately.
1. Ted’s Bakery, Haleiwa
Located on Oahu’s north shore is Ted’s Bakery, made famous for an impressive selection of pies, cakes, pastries and bread. But that’s not all Ted’s Bakery does – they also serve breakfast, lunch and dinner food. Some of the most popular dishes include garlic shrimp, loco moco, and the fried rice special.
2. Hamura’s Saimin, Lihue
This no-frills counter-service eatery serves up some of the best saimin in Hawaii. Don't forget to order a slice of their mouthwatering lilikoi chiffon pie.
3. Cousins Seafood & Bento, Hilo
There's little better than family-run restaurants, and this Hilo lunch spot famous for their garlic chicken and purple sweet potato salad is no exception.
4. Ono Tacos, Lahaina
Hawaii is home to some killer food trucks, including this Mexican joint in Lahaina that serves up the burritos, torta, and tacos for miles.
5. Side Street Inn, Honolulu
This hidden hot spot in the heart of Honolulu is famously known as the "gathering place," and serves up some incredible fried rice.
6. Kojima’s Sushi & Japanese Cuisine, Pukalani
This BYOB sushi joint is a Maui favorite, and for good reason. Take a risk and order the chef's chose sushi plate - you will not be disappointed.
7. Tex Drive In, Honoka’a
This local pit-stop in Honoka'a is known for their delectable malasadas in addition to burgers and Hawaiian favorites.
8. Morio’s Sushi Bistro, Honolulu
For delicious sushi in a casual environment away from the tourist traps of Waikiki, Morio's Sushi Bistro is a local favorite.
9. Chicken In A Barrel, Kapaa
Most people would drive right by this unassuming barbeque joint, but those with insider information know that it is one of Kauai's greatest eateries.
10. The Fish Market Maui, Lahaina
This Maui fish market may be known for their fresh, local seafood catches, but also sells prepared dishes and platters for dine-in and takeout, including some mouthwatering poke.
11. 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.