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Famous Hawaii Foods

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These Famous Hawaii Foods include shave ice, sushi, acai bowls, manapua, and Haupia pie. Traditional island foods are rich in fresh fruit, seafood, and refreshing cold desserts.

Try these dishes when you’re in the mood for some delicious Hawaiian fare. 

Check out our 50 states unit study for some fun states info!

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Check out our 50 states unit study for some fun states info!

Hawaii is a series of islands in the Pacific ocean that was annexed into the United States in 1898. Native Hawaiians were joined by other cultures over the last one hundred years which has influenced the food culture in various and delicious ways. 

Here is a list of 10 famous Hawaii foods with three recipes for each category. Whether you’re native to the islands or you want to keep a piece of paradise with you, these recipes will take you right there.

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Shave Ice

Shave ice is made by actually shaving a block of ice with a sharp knife which creates a fluffy snow-like texture. Fruity syrups are drizzled over the top to provide flavor.


Sushi is never as fresh or delicious as when it comes from the sea the same day. In Hawaii, you’ll experience sushi as you’ve never had before. These recipes require the freshest fish you can find!

Poke Bowls

Poke bowls are Hawaiian Buddha bowls and have diced fish, grains, legumes, avocados, sesame seeds, and sauces drizzled over the top.

 Mochi Balls

Mochi balls are little balls of ice cream wrapped in sweet rice flour dough and then frozen. The dough is soft and pillowy and a fun project to make with kids! 

Acai Bowls

 Acai is a fruit that is blended to make the base of this bowl. It’s then piled high with toppings like cacao nibs, coconut, bananas, peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, mango, nuts, and granola. 


Manapua are often called pork buns. They have a fluffy outer bun, are packed with chewy chopped pork on the inside, and served hot. 

 Loco Moco

Loco moco is traditional Hawaiian comfort food. It’s made with a bed of sticky rice, a ground beef patty on top, covered with brown gravy, then topped with a fried egg.

Haupia Pie

Haupia pie is a no-bake dessert made with coconut milk and a silky chocolate layer then topped with whipped cream. Sprinkle some coconut flakes on top for a fun and chewy finish.



Huli Huli Chicken

Huli Huli chicken is marinated in a teriyaki-style sauce overnight then roasted by turning them over a spit. You can also grill them if you don’t have a spit roaster. 


Malasadas are small fried balls of dough rolled in sugar and sometimes stuffed with haupia filling. These delicious little doughnuts are addicting!

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More Hawaii Resources

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