4 Must Try Hawaiian Dishes

For some, the main draw of Hawaii is the fact that it is a tropical paradise. For others, the primary thing that keeps them coming back to Hawaii is the fact that it is home to some absolutely delicious cuisine. Whether you're going to a Hawaiian restaurant, trying your own hand at one of these dishes, or find yourself at a luau catering table, you must sample at least one of the following Hawaiian dishes.

Shaved Ice

Shaved ice is one of the many Hawaiian delicacies that has found a life outside of the state itself. You can find shaved ice throughout the entire country these days. It must be said, however, that nothing beats the original. Shaved ice is, as it sounds, ice shaved to resemble a mound of snow. The tasty kicker, however, are the syrup and toppings that are then poured onto the ice. The syrup is traditionally used to emulate one or more of the tropical flavors you will find local to the state, including pineapple, li hing mui, papaya, guava, coconut, lilikoi, lychee, and mango. Often, shaved ice is often coupled with real bits of fruit.


Street food culture is quite popular in Hawaii, and one of the most important and delicious street foods you will find is manapua. Manapua is essentially a chewy bun that is filled with one of numerous different types of savory food stuffs, including pork hash, curry chicken, BBQ pork, sweet potato, or kalua pig. This dish is incredibly savory and hearty to boot. Just one of these inexpensive and piping hot buns should fill you up for hours to come.


This is a Japanese treat that has taken on a life of its own in Hawaii. Andaga is a dough ball that has been flavored with vanilla and then sent to be deep fried. It's a crunchy, sweet confection and, like manapua, is a popular street food.

Spam Musubi

This is a true meeting of East and West. Hawaii is a state that is just as influenced by Japanese culture as it is American culture. As such, you will find dishes like Spam musubi. Created by pan frying the Western canned alternative to ham – Spam – and then wrapping it in both rice and nori, this dish is both rich and satisfying. Spam musubi is often served much like sushi, although after a quick pan fry, the dish is usually quite hot. It pairs well with a bit of soy sauce, and if eaten with any other rice and nori wrapped delights, can be served with ginger as a palate cleanser.

To serve these and other great local dishes at your next luau, contact a company like Marians Island Wide Catering.