“Better of Hawaii” 2009: Our favourite Hawaiian snacks

Do you have the nibbles? Do you need a snack?

For the past few weeks we’ve shared excerpts from the annual “Best of Hawaii” issue of HAWAII Magazine, which is available now in bookstores and kiosks across the country. Get a copy and you’ll find it full of tips and suggestions for getting the best of almost everything on the islands – all of this advice courtesy of our always-informed HAWAII magazine reader ohana and our own Inselhüpfer editorial team.

Here at HawaiiMagazine.com we shared our tips straight from September / October. 2009 “Best of Hawaii” edition of our favorite shopping spots in Hawaii and the most popular Hawaii road trips. After a lot of driving and excessive consumption, it was high time for a snack.

So here are a few tips from one of the categories that our editors had the most fun writing and researching (with a selection from HAWAII readers as a supplement): HAWAII magazine’s favorite Hawaiian snacks and our favorite spots you can get them:

Editor’s Choice:



You wouldn’t have a party or even a beer without poke in Hawaii. Traditionally, bite-sized raw fish was mixed with salt, seaweed and kukui nuts, but these days there is no end to the delicious variations. Some of our favorite pokes come from a Honolulu poke restaurant called Fresh Catch: teriyaki salmon poke, ahi poke with limu kohu (a type of seaweed), tako (octopus) poke, and fireball ahi poke.

Fresh Catch, 3109 Waialae Ave., Kaimuki, Oahu, (808) 735-7653

Editor’s Choice:


Hawaii chips

The best Hawaiian chips aren’t potatoes. They are crispy, cauldron-cooked slices of kalo (taro), ulu (breadfruit), and yellow and purple sweet potatoes. Aaron and Vinel Sumida’s Blue Kalo bakery in the former plantation town of Hakalau on the Big Island of Hawaii makes the best (and perhaps only) bag of all four chips we’ve ever seen. The Sumidas buy their produce from local farmers, hand cut and fry their chips in vegetable oil, then add a pinch of salt and garlic to each batch. I bet you can’t just eat one.

Blue Kalo, 29-2110 Mamalahoa Highway, Hakalau, Big Island of Hawaii, (808) 963-6929

Editor’s Choice:



If you love musubi, don’t stop with spam, white rice, and crispy, dried seaweed. There are endless possibilities to prepare our favorite snack in between. Fried rice musubi – with Spam, Portuguese sausage, bacon, spring onions and egg – is a favorite breakfast of the employees. It’s easy to find chicken teriyaki or beef musubi, even tempura musubi. A popular takeaway in Honolulu, Mana Bu, makes musubi and just musubi – more than 30 different varieties daily. Choices include shiso and wakame, vegetarian curry pilaf, hijiki seaweed, teriyaki, and more.

Mana Bu, 1618 S. King St., Honolulu, Oahu, (808) 358-0287

Readers choice:


To scrape ice

Our readers love shaving ice. For the third time in a row, you’ve recognized it as your favorite Hawaiian snack worthy of a presidential palette. When Barack Obama – not yet elected president – was vacationing on Oahu last August, he went to Kailuas Island Snow Hawaii for the icy treat. What did he get? Obama passed on the simple rainbow cone and opted for such exotic flavors as “Choo-Choo-Cherry”, “Da Kine Lemon-Lime” and “Stangy Guava Orange”.

Island Snow Hawaii, 130 Kailua Road, Kailua, Oahu, (808) 263-6339

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