1. Loco Moco – This traditional Hawaiian dish consists of rice, a hamburger patty, a fried egg and gravy and can be found at many quick service restaurants. Rainbow Drive-In, featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, is located in Honolulu and serves delicious loco moco.
2. Poke – Marinated seaweed with raw seafood make up this tasty appetizer (or in large quantity a main dish). For sushi and ceviche lovers, this dish is sure to please your taste buds!
3. Saimin – This is Hawaii’s take on ramen noodles but it is spiced up with seafood. Like loco moco, it is a fantastic comfort food and a local favorite. It can be found just about anywhere (even McDonald’s serves it) at just about anytime!
4. Malasada – These Portuguese doughnuts (without a hole) are light and fluffy on the inside and fried golden brown on the outside. I mean, who needs an excuse to indulge in doughnuts?!
5. Pineapple – Iconic to the state of Hawaii is the sweet pineapple production. Be sure to try pineapples at the historic Dole Plantation on O’ahu and also the Maui Gold pineapple on Maui. The Maui Gold pineapple tends to be sweeter, so you will want to buy more pineapple while in Maui.
6. Shave Ice – You mustn’t leave Hawaii without eating lots of shave ice – after all there are so many flavors to try outside of the classic rainbow combination.
7. Kona Coffee – Coffee lovers rejoice – this famous coffee has gained popularity for good reason due to its robust flavor. This is attributed to the unique environment to grow the coffee. Beware of falsely marketed Kona coffee and only purchase if the packaging says 100% Kona and contains coffee farmed in the Kona Belt. Coffee from other areas of Hawaii are not as suitable for coffee farming.
8. Macadamia Nuts – In addition to Kona coffee, macadamia nuts are another signature crop in Hawaii. Enjoy sampling the nuts and be sure to bring back to share with friends and family!
9. Traditional Luau – Another ‘must’ while visiting Hawaii is of course a luau! At a luau feast you will enjoy kalua pig (a pig roast cooked in an underground oven). Consider Old Lahaina Luau for a Hawaiian dinner and show while on Maui.
10. Mai Tai – This gorgeous cocktail is one of the most popular for visitors to Hawaii. Made with rum, fresh juices, Curacao, almond syrup and a fresh fruit garnish, this drink is perfect for vacation (and maybe a great Instagram shot too)!