Southern Maui’s La Perouse Bay (Keoneoio Bay)

Located about 30-minutes from Kihei, Keoneoio, better known as La Perouse Bay, makes for a perfect half-day adventure for those looking to enjoy a coastal trail covered in lava rock. The waves (like the drive to get to this beach) can be a bit rough and the shore is rocky, so swimming isn’t recommended. But, bring a large towel and a picnic basket, find a spot, and enjoy the views.

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Wailua Shave Ice: Kapaa’s Sweet Delight

When it comes to Hawaiian shave ice, move over Oahu, because Kauai is king. The Fresh Shave and Wailua Shave Ice are the top Kauai shave ice spots that you want to visit if flavor profiles beyond the generic “rainbow” shave ice is what you’re after. At Wailua Shave Ice, only fresh local fruits are used and forget about artificial flavors, dyes, or high fructose corn syrup…they don’t roll like that…they only use fresh ingredients that are locally sourced.

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Musubi & Bento Iyasume

Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods fame might wince at the sight of SPAM, but Hawaii residents love the canned meat concoction. The SPAM musubi is a local favorite and a popular snack to take along on a hike or to curb midday munchies. I always take one when I hit the trails. For a crash course on all things musubi, swing by Musubi & Bento Iyasume on Seaside Avenue. They have a wide selection to choose from, including ones stuffed with egg, bacon, avocado, fish roe, and even spicy tuna. My favorite? the classic SPAM Musubi of course. A slice of SPAM, over a block of rice, and wrapped in nori (seaweed). That’s all you need.

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Agu Ramen: A Harmony of Aroma and Complex Flavors

We showed up at Agu Ramen, the original location on Isenberg at the Saint Louis Alumni Association, about an hour after they opened on a random Tuesday. They already had a 30 minute wait going. Not picky, we told the hostess that we would sit anywhere…table, bar…just get us that ramen. That thirty minute wait actually turned out to be just 10 minutes, and we were shuttled to the bar, bypassing those who had requested a table. Score.

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Ono Hawaiian Foods: A Legendary Local Hole-In-The-Wall

UPDATE: The original Ono Hawaiian Foods closed mid 2017. The current occupants (no relation to the original owners) of the space decided to name their new restaurant “Da Ono Hawaiian Foods” but this is NOT the same restaurant/owners as the original. RIP Ono Hawaiian Foods. 

Forget about that burger. You’re in Hawaii, so have a taste of the local cuisine. When the laulau cravings strike, there’s one place to go: Ono Hawaiian Foods. This legendary hole-in-the-wall on Kapahulu Avenue is known for making some of the most mouthwatering laulau in the islands.

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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.

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