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Five Must-Try Foods When Visiting Oahu, Hawaii

Updated on April 29, 2012

A Foodie's Paradise

Hawaii is often times called a melting pot, as people from all different cultures and backgrounds call Hawaii home.

It's no wonder that many dining establishments will offer food with elements from various ethnic groups, making Oahu a haven for unique dishes that are synonymous with Hawaii dining.

Here are just a few of the many, many foods that are a must-try for any visitor to Oahu.

Zippy's Chili

Ask people from Hawaii what word immediately pops into mind when they hear the word "Zippy's," and almost all of them will answer "chili."

Buckets of Zippy's Chili are brought to potlucks, parties, and other social gatherings.

Students and sports teams sell Zippy's Chili tickets to raise funds.

And when locals return to the islands from college or even a short vacation, many will make Zippy's their first stop to pick up a Chili and Chicken Mixed Plate, Chili Spaghetti, or Chili Burrito.

Available in Original, Vegetarian, and No Bean varieties, Zippy's Chili is comfort food for many who call Hawaii home.

Various locations around Oahu.

Grace's Chicken Katsu

Grace's offers diners a variety of plate lunches to choose from, but one of their most popular dishes is Chicken Katsu.

Breaded chicken is deep-fried and cut into strips, and served atop a bed of chow fun noodles. To complete the plate lunch, you'll also get two scoops of rice, macaroni salad, kim chee, and katsu sauce.

You can also request for the Chicken Katsu to be topped with brown gravy or curry sauce.

Various locations around Oahu.

Shiro's Saimin Haven's Wun Tun Min
Shiro's Saimin Haven's Wun Tun Min | Source

Shiro's Saimin Haven Saimin

Arguably home to some of the best saimin on Oahu, Shiro's Saimin Haven boasts over 50 varieties of saimin dishes on their menu.

You can order a saimin plain with garnishes (eggs, char-siu, green onions, luncheon meat) and/or vegetables.

You can order kim chee, hot dog, mahi mahi, lumpia, or sushi in the saimin or on the side.

You can even order the saimin fried!

When dining at one of the several locations throughout the island, you may even see Mr. Shiro Matsuo himself, who founded the company in 1969!

Various locations around Oahu.

Mililani Restaurant Fried Saimin

Mililani Restaurant has an enormous, and sometimes overwhelming, menu, but most people who enter the restaurant don't bother perusing the menu. They know exactly what to get - Fried Saimin.

Pans of fried saimin are popular at parties and potlucks, and a regular plate of Fried Saimin can easily feed a family of four.

The Fried Saimin, which uses restaurant-made saimin noodles, is topped with slices of egg and ham, and chopped green onions, and served with hot mustard sauce.

Mililani Restaurant: 95-221 Kipapa Dr Mililani, HI 96789;(808) 625-2000

Rocky's Coffee Shop Loco Moco

Ask ten locals "Who has the best Loco Moco?" and you'll probably get ten different answers, one of which may very well be Rocky's Coffee Shop, a "hole-in-the-wall" restaurant in Waipahu.

White rice is topped with a hamburger patty, brown gravy, and an easy-over egg.

Many restaurants offer substitutions for the hamburger patty, such as spam, chicken, etc., but for a true taste of Hawaii, try the original version.

Rocky's Coffee Shop: 94-314 Waipahu Depot Street, Waipahu, HI 96797; 808-677-3842

There's So Much More...

The above-mentioned foods are just a few of the many, many items that are a must-try for any visitor to Oahu.

Although everyone has an opinion as to what foods are must-try and where you can get them from, one thing is for sure - Hawaii has so much to offer when it comes to ono (delicious) food!


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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for all of these tips as to finding good foods when visiting Oahu. We have only been to the Big Island of Hawaii...but will remember this if we go back and visit Oahu, in particular. Voted useful.