Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering: A Hawaii Food Institution

A visit to Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering is like taking a crash course in Local Hawaiian Grinds 101. Founded in 1978 by Mel and Lynn Tanioka, this contemporary delicatessen has been serving local delicacies for nearly 30 years. Tanioka’s is as close as you can get to an IRL cheat sheet of local foods.

Located in the old plantation town of Waipahu, Tanioka’s popularity stems from their successful catering business, however, that doesn’t stop locals from standing in line (out the door and often in the hot sun) for some local comfort food. If Hawaii’s okazuya and crack seed shops of yesteryear were to have a baby, Tanioka’s would be it. And trust me, that baby is oh so delicious.

Security keeps things orderly.


The line inside. And yes, there is a line outside the door, too. You won’t be able to escape either line, but trust me, it’s worth the wait.


Local snacks, like li hing mui, nori komaki, and iso peanuts line the wall.


Yes, they have Li Hing Mui freeze. Haven’t heard of it? Locals love their li hing mui.


Caution: Cone Sushi.


Many people come just for the assortment of poke.


As you can tell…the poke was almost sold out by the time that we reached that part of the line.


Do you even musubi, bro?



The fried stuff…my favorite! The fried chicken is greasy finger good. Oh, the fresh ahi patties. Can’t forget those ahi patties.



Ready to enjoy some Tanioka’s? Make the drive to Waipahu.

Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering
94-903 Farrington Hwy
Waipahu, HI 96797
Phone: (808) 671-3779

About Coty

Founder of Exploration: Hawaii. Adventure, Minimalism, Vinyl, Typography, and Coffee + Matcha. A single space after a period, please.