As the most isolated population center on earth — located more than 2,000 miles from the closest continent — the Hawaiian Islands are unique. Everything from our culture to the food we eat is a bit different than the mainland. And while there’s no doubt about it that rice is easily the most popular carb in Hawaii, you’ll also find a variety of scrumptious noodle dishes sure to satisfy your taste buds. From Japanese ramen and udon to Vietnamese pho and Hawaiian saimin, these 10 restaurants serve up some of the best noodles in the Aloha State.
1. Palace Saimin, Honolulu
Who doesn't love a good Japanese noodle dish with a Hawaiian twist? This Honolulu eatery may look inconspicuous, but their amazing food will have you hooked. The broth recipe has remained the same for more than 70 years, and this hole-in-the-wall eatery is often considered to be the gold standard for saimin purists. They’re often packed at lunchtime, but trust us, the saimin is worth it.
1256 N King St., Honolulu, HI 96817
2. Star Noodle, Lahaina
For noodle dishes, Asian shared plates, and sake cocktails in Lahaina, head to Star Noodle. The airy, light, wood-trimmed restaurant is as welcoming as can be, and their noodles? Let’s just say you’ll be in heaven! Since opening in 2010, Star Noodle has achieved explosive success, due in part to its eclectic menu with vast global influences.
286 Kupuohi St., Lahaina, HI 96761
3. Hamura Saimin, Lihue
Welcome to Humura Saimin, a timeless restaurant in Lihue that only gets better with age. Housed inside a humble bungalow that was once used as barracks for the United States Army and has since been declared a state historic site, tourists and locals alike come to Hamura’s to slurp saimin at a U-shaped counter. With a secret-recipe broth and noodles made daily at the family’s home-run-factory nearby, there's no better place to eat on a windy and rainy Kauai day — or any day, for that matter.
2956 Kress St., Lihue, HI 96766
4. Marukame Udon, Honolulu
This casual Japanese eatery specializes in delicious noodle soup, and there is almost always a line out of the door. Noodles are made using the Sanuki-style method, and you can watch cooks sheeting and cutting the fresh dough into noodles while you wait. Each step of the udon-making process is taken care of by a different person, by hand. And it shows — the udon is absolutely mouthwatering.
2310 Kūhiō Ave. #124, Honolulu, HI 96815
5. TK Noodle House, Kailua-Kona
Nowhere will you find a more extensive selection of noodles than TK Noodle House. From spinach and sun-dried tomato fettuccine to egg, wonton, udon, and ramen noodles, there’s something at this unique fusion eatery for everyone. If you’re not in the mood for noodles, we suggest trying their kimchee fried rice or crispy pork belly — yum!
75 Hanama Pl., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
6.. Pho Kauai, Lihue
Even if it doesn't get cold enough to fully enjoy a good bowl of Pho in Hawaii, we dare you to stay away from this no-frills Vietnamese eatery in Lihue. You’ll also find a variety of grilled and stir-fried dishes on the menu sure to satisfy everyone in your group.
Rice Shopping Center, 4303 Rice St., Lihue, HI 96766
7. Shige's Saimin Stand, Wahiawa
Nestled in the middle of Oahu in the small town of Wahiawa, Shige’s has it all: a variety of noodle soups, burgers, and other American classics are all served here. Their noodles are made fresh daily, and the prices are surprisingly affordable! No matter what you’re craving, you’ll find it at this unassuming saimin spot.
70 Kukui St., Wahiawa, HI 96786
8. Sam Soto's, Wailuku
This small counter-serve restaurant is not only the definition of a hole-in-the-wall but it might just be Maui’s favorite restaurant. Serving up a variety of scrumptious dishes including saimin, chow mein, dry noodles — their specialty — manju, and plate lunches, Sam Soto’s is a classic for a reason.
1750 Wili Pa Lp., Wailuku, HI 96793
9. Nori's Saimin and Snacks, Hilo
This unfussy hole-in-the-wall serving Asian and Hawaiian favorites is a Hilo favorite. Saimin, ginger pork, and loco moco are just a few of the scrumptious options on the menu. The restaurant moved from Honolulu to Hilo in the 1980s and serves some of the area’s best saimin.
688 Kinoole St., Hilo, HI 96720
10. Wagaya, Honolulu
This homey Japanese ramen restaurant in Honolulu serves up some amazing noodle soup created from scratch — with lots of love and aloha. A variety of appetizers and vegetarian options round out the menu at this welcoming restaurant.
2080 S King St., Honolulu, HI 96826
What’s your favorite noodle restaurant in Hawaii? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!