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31 Hawaiian-Style Foods You Should Try In This Lifetime

Poke bowls all day every day.

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Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

Being born and raised in Hawai'i was amazing not just for the tropical weather, beautiful views, and wonderful people, but also because of the amazing food — what we like to call ~ono kine grindz~.

Here I've listed a few of my favorites. Unfortunately, I couldn't include them all, so if there's any that I missed and you feel strongly about it, please include them in the comments!

1. Hawaiian Acai Bowls

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Acai bowls became really popular on the mainland a few years ago, but Hawaiian versions include coconut flakes, poi (pounded taro), pitaya (dragonfruit), guava, bee pollen, and always EXTRA honey. Yum.

2. Shave Ice

Places like Matsumoto's and Shimazu's have awesome flavors and allow you to get it with mochi, ice cream, li hing mui, and of course condensed milk topping.
instagram.com / Via Instagram: @808plate

Places like Matsumoto's and Shimazu's have awesome flavors and allow you to get it with mochi, ice cream, li hing mui, and of course condensed milk topping.

3. Poke Bowls

Spicy ahi poke, shoyu poke, wasabi poke, Hawaiian style poke, the options are deliciously endless.
Shannon Rosenberg / BuzzFeed

Spicy ahi poke, shoyu poke, wasabi poke, Hawaiian style poke, the options are deliciously endless.

4. Tako Poke

Everyone knows about ahi poke. But people don't know tako (octopus) tastes just as good, especially kim chee style.
instagram.com / Via Instagram: @haaheo_kitchen

Everyone knows about ahi poke. But people don't know tako (octopus) tastes just as good, especially kim chee style.

5. Li Hing Mui on EVERYTHING

We Hawaiians like to sprinkle li hing mui (dry plum seed powder) on almost everything — fresh fruit, desserts, popcorn, cocktails, you name it.

6. Kalua Pig

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This is our version of pulled pork — it's simple, easy to make, and tastes best with cabbage and two scoops of rice.

7. Lomi Lomi Salmon

Ceviche: Island edition.
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Ceviche: Island edition.

8. Haupia

Haupia — coconut milk-based dessert — is THE Hawaiian dessert and is absolutely to-die-for. Fun fact: You can buy Haupia pie from some McDonald's in Hawai'i.

9. POG (Passion Orange Guava) Juice

This drink combines the best flavored juices and it tastes just as good as you'd expect.
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This drink combines the best flavored juices and it tastes just as good as you'd expect.

10. Loco Mocos

A mound of rice + beef patty + overeasy egg + brown gravy = Incredibly messy and tasty heaven.
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A mound of rice + beef patty + overeasy egg + brown gravy = Incredibly messy and tasty heaven.

11. Liliko'i Butter

Liliko'i — meaning passion fruit in Hawaiian — butter is great to spread on everything from bread, to desserts, to oatmeal, and tastes best when it's bought from a truck on the side of the road 👍🏾.
instagram.com / Via Instagram: @kasia_anouk

Liliko'i — meaning passion fruit in Hawaiian — butter is great to spread on everything from bread, to desserts, to oatmeal, and tastes best when it's bought from a truck on the side of the road 👍🏾.

12. Guava Jelly

Hawaiians LOVE their guava jelly, so much that the Ka'au Crater Boys had to write a song about it.
instagram.com / Via Instagram: @kasia_anouk

Hawaiians LOVE their guava jelly, so much that the Ka'au Crater Boys had to write a song about it.

13. Poi Malasadas

A Hawaiian take on the Portugese malasada, which is made of yeast dough, deep-fried in oil, and coated with granulated sugar. You can find some of the best at Kamehameha Bakery.
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A Hawaiian take on the Portugese malasada, which is made of yeast dough, deep-fried in oil, and coated with granulated sugar. You can find some of the best at Kamehameha Bakery.

14. Taro Sweet Bread Rolls

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I love to pull them apart, cut them in half, butter them — sometimes with liliko'i or mango butter, stick them in the microwave, and eat them warm and gooey. Hell yes.

15. Bubbie's Mochi Ice Cream

Mochi is a sweet Japanese rice paste dessert and these ones come in different flavors and are stuffed with ice cream! You can buy boxes of them in Whole Foods around the U.S.!
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Mochi is a sweet Japanese rice paste dessert and these ones come in different flavors and are stuffed with ice cream! You can buy boxes of them in Whole Foods around the U.S.!

16. Squid Luau

It's a lot tastier than it looks, trust me. This traditional Hawaiian dish is made of squid, luau leaves, coconut milk, Hawaiian salt, and onions.
Instagram: @justherrera / Via Instagram: @justherrera

It's a lot tastier than it looks, trust me. This traditional Hawaiian dish is made of squid, luau leaves, coconut milk, Hawaiian salt, and onions.

17. Spam Musubis

Spam musubis — spam fried in shoyu and wrapped with rice in nori — are the easy snack we grew up taking everywhere, whether it was to the beach, soccer games, or to hang out with friends.
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Spam musubis — spam fried in shoyu and wrapped with rice in nori — are the easy snack we grew up taking everywhere, whether it was to the beach, soccer games, or to hang out with friends.

18. Hawaiian Sun Juice

Literally sunshine in a can. Fun fact: I made jungle juice in college using Hawaiian Sun. And it was bomb.
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Literally sunshine in a can. Fun fact: I made jungle juice in college using Hawaiian Sun. And it was bomb.

19. Taro Chips

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You can get taro chips everywhere. But I really love the taro chips from Hawaiian Chip Company, especially when they're paired with sizzling pipikaula dip the way it's served at Highway Inn.

20. Roselani's Ice Cream

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Creamy, heavenly, ice cream and sherbets that comes in a bunch of local flavors like Haupia, Classic Macadamia Nut, and Kona Coffee.

21. Ted's Bakery Pies

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Out-of-this-world pies, that are coated in whipped cream, come in delicious local flavors, and are made on the North Shore of O'ahu.

22. Zippy's Chili

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Zippy's is our equivalent of Denny's and their chili is amazing, especially with a scoop (or two) of rice. Selling Zippy's chili tickets was how we used to fundraise for my brothers' baseball teams — but a lot of times we would just end up using them ourselves.

23. Chicken Long Rice

This is our version of homey chicken noodle soup. It may look strange, but this is my favorite Hawaiian dish. A warm bowl of the long rice noodles, ginger, maui onion, green onion, Hawaiian sea salt, and chicken make for a happy Hawaiian.
instagram.com / Via Instagram: @c0oking_mama

This is our version of homey chicken noodle soup. It may look strange, but this is my favorite Hawaiian dish. A warm bowl of the long rice noodles, ginger, maui onion, green onion, Hawaiian sea salt, and chicken make for a happy Hawaiian.

24. Pipikaula

Pipikaula is salted, dried beef that's similar to beef jerky, except WAY better. 👍🏾
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Pipikaula is salted, dried beef that's similar to beef jerky, except WAY better. 👍🏾

25. North Shore Shrimp Trucks

The North Shore (on the island of O'ahu) is popular for it's shrimp farms and trucks like Giovanni's and Macky's that serve amazing peel-and-eat shrimp.
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The North Shore (on the island of O'ahu) is popular for it's shrimp farms and trucks like Giovanni's and Macky's that serve amazing peel-and-eat shrimp.

26. Kulolo

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This Hawaiian taro dessert is a pudding-like treat made of taro, coconut, coconut milk, and sugar.

27. Maui Onion Potato Chips

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https://www.instagram.com/creolevegan/

Maui onions are sweet and tart and these kettle-cooked style chips capture all that amazing flavor.

28. Lau Lau

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Another traditional Hawaiian dish, it's pork wrapped in luau leaves and steamed for hours until it's tender and falling apart. So ono with rice, lomi salmon, and squid luau.

29. Macadamia Nut Pancakes

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Whether you crave sweets for breakfast or not, you need to try these creamy delicious pancakes, most popularly served at places like Boots and Kimo's and Honolulu Coffee.

30. Lihing Pickled Mango

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It'll satisfy your sweet and salty cravings. All you need is green mango slices, white and apple cider vinegar, li hing mui seeds (salty dried plum seeds), Hawaiian salt, and sugar.

31. Macadamia Nut Candies

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You've probably seen these because they're Hawaiians' go-to party favors and thank you-gifts. You can even buy some of the chocolate macadamia nuts in select Costcos now.

Mahalos for reading and happy feasting!

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