Aloha Foodies: Inside Hawaii's Hottest Culinary News

Local Hawaiian cuisine // Photo courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (HVCB)

From a new food center featuring local Hawaii produce in Oahu to an interactive lesson on the history of Hawaii's coffee pioneers, Travel Agent breaks down the hottest offerings and news for foodies heading to the Aloha State.

Hawaii Visitors Bureau Names Five Local Foods Clients Should Try

The Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (HVCB) recently named five local eats your foodie clients heading to the Aloha State must try. In no particular order, here are five local Hawaiian eats that the HVCB thinks your clients cannot miss.


With tender cubes of fresh raw tuna perfectly marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil and other seasonings, it's no wonder this Hawaii staple is quickly gaining popularity in major cities across the United States. Poke can be found everywhere from grocery stores and food trucks to favorites like Da Poke Shack on Hawaii Island and Ohana Poke Market on Lanai.

Shave Ice

Perfect for Hawaii's year-round tropical days, this cool Japanese treat has evolved into a local staple with many shops, like Wailua Shave Ice on Kauai, now offering 100 percent natural syrups. 

Loco Moco

Delicious in any form, many have taken creative liberties with this popular dish consisting of a hamburger patty served over rice, topped with brown gravy and eggs (most opt for over easy). In fact, Da Kitchen in Maui has a whole section of its menu dedicated to inventive versions of the loco moco. Just be sure to come hungry.


Some may call it ramen, but saimin, developed by different immigrant groups during the plantation era, is very much unique to Hawaii. Warm broth and chewy noodles make it the ultimate comfort food in the islands, enough to be one of the few items offered at no-frills mom and pop shops like Hamura Saimin on Kauai.


Fried, fluffy and rolled in sugar. It's no wonder these Portuguese-style donuts are a tasty hit across the islands. Try it plain or with delicious fillings like haupia (coconut) or lilikoi (passion fruit) at shops dedicated to the treat, like Leonard's Bakery on Oahu. 

Visit and

New Foodland Farms Shopping Center to Open on Oahu August 31

Rendering of the new Foodland Farms on Oahu // Photo courtesy of Foodland Super Market 

Foodland Super Market recently announced its return to the Ala Moana Center with the opening of Foodland Farms on Oahu. The grand opening is scheduled for August 31.

The new market will welcome customers to a new food shopping and dining experience marked by a variety of the go-to foods and dishes Hawaii residents love.

The new store will offer a vast array of made-to-order, prepared and take-home-and-cook foods, plus everything shoppers expect from a full-service supermarket. 

An inspired floor plan combining multiple food and beverage stations and the well-stocked aisles of a modern market – all of it accented by contemporary Hawaii sense-of-place design elements – will aim to make the store’s massive retail space seem comfortably intimate to shoppers.

Foodland Farms’ culinary team is being led by a collaboration of local, Oahu chefs: in-store chef Bryan Nagai, in-store pastry chef Rick Chang, and overseeing the store’s prepared food offerings, is Foodland Corporate Chef Keoni Chang.


Learn the History of Hawaiian Coffee Pioneers

Photo by seb_ra/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Every Wednesday through December 28, the Kona Historical Society hosts “Hands on History,” allowing foodies to engage in activities important to the lives of Kona’s Japanese immigrants during the 1920s to 1940s. 

The 5.5 acre farm tells the story of coffee pioneers, emphasizing family values, resourcefulness, and sustainable living. Clients may walk through coffee and macadamia nut orchards, tour the farmhouse, talk story with costumed interpreters and visit the donkey and chickens. 

Visitors are invited to participate in rotating activities such as pan roasting coffee, sustainability in the kitchen garden, Japanese calligraphy, pickling, traditional medicinal herb gardening, lauhala weaving and mochi and tofu making. 

Visit and keep visiting for all your latest Hawaii travel news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.