Let’s be honest for a minute: the Hawaiian Islands are insanely expensive, whether you are living paycheck-to-paycheck to reside in paradise or have been saving your spare change for decades to afford a Hawaiian vacation. Fortunately, for those of us who aren’t celebrities with second homes on Maui, not all restaurants in Hawaii are expensive. In fact, Hawaii’s assortment of incredible food trucks serve up some of the most mouthwatering and affordable eats around. Because not all food trucks are created equal – and it’s impossible to judge a book by its cover in this case – we’ve compiled a list of 15 unassuming yet amazing mobile eateries throughout Hawaii, from iconic bakeries to those famous Hawaii shrimp trucks.
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. Nana’s Snack Shack, Kapaa
2. Nana’s Snack Shack, Kapaa #2
This Kapaa food truck has an unpredictable schedule, but the savory sandwiches, scrumptious frozen bananas, ice cream sandwiches and acai bowls are well worth the extra effort.
3. South Maui Fish Company, Kihei
Serving the Kihei area is this phenomenal seafood joint that serves up only the freshest poke and grilled fish plate lunches. You can even purchase fresh fillets to prepare at home!
4. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Kahuku
Kahuku is known for a plethora of shrimp trucks, but Giovanni's is by far the most famous - and the perfect spot for a casual lunch while traveling between the north shore's most famous beaches.
5. Da Fish House Lunch Wagon, Kawaihae
A popular lunch spot for Kawaihae locals, this unassuming joint serves up some killer seafood options. Be sure to check out their photos onliine, or use your GPS, as you can easily pass by this seafood joint without realizing it.
6. Manuela Malasada Company, Waimea
Who would have thought that malasadas and sweet corn go together, or that they were best served from a small truck? Be sure to order a variety of flavors, including lilikoi, guava, cream, and chocolate.
7. Banan, Honolulu
This vegan food truck specializes in non-dairy soft serve made with bananas and locally-sourced produce. How delicious and fresh does this bowl look?
8. Rainbeau Joe’s, Lihue
An organic coffee and food truck located on Kauai, Rainbeau Jo’s is dedicated to sourcing organic, fair-trade coffee, local ingredients and produce to support Hawaii farmers and small businesses. Their signature espresso blend is top-knotch, they make a killer smoothie, and this salmon infused cream cheese bagel sounds heavenly.
9. Braddah Hutts BBQ Grill, Hana
This hole-in-the-wall eatery is - quite literally - a food truck in the middle of nowhere, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the journey. The atmosphere is that of a neighborhood cookout rather than a high-class restaurant, with prices ranging from $8 to $13 for generous portions served on a paper plate with a plastic fork. Favorite dishes include their famous barbecue chicken, shrimp pasta, and killer fish tacos.
10. Dat Cajun Guy, Haleiwa
For New Orleans-inspired cajun and creole cuisine served in a casual atmosphere, be sure to stop at this Haleiwa favorite.
11. Wishing Well Shave Ice, Hanalei
Some of the best food in Hawaii comes from unassuming food trucks on the side of the road, and nowhere is that more true than Wishing Well Shave Ice, a Hanalei favorite.
12. Geste Shrimp Truck, Kahului
For shrimp just like your momma makes, head to Geste Shrimp Truck in Kahului.
13. The Green Pig, Kealia
For mouthwatering plate lunches and the best pulled pork sandwiches and friend chicken you'll ever taste, head to this Kauai beachside eatery.
14. Kamitoku Ramen Lunch Wagon, Honolulu
Ramen isn't the sort of food you would expect to find at a food truck, but this Honolulu lunch wagon can't be beat for a quick bite to eat on your lunch break.
15. Ono Tacos, Lahaina
Hawaii is certainly home to some killer food trucks, including this Mexican joint in Lahaina that serves up the burritos, torta, and tacos for miles.