​12 Places for Cheap Eats in Hawaii – The Local's Edge
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​12 Places for Cheap Eats in Hawaii – The Local's Edge

Hawaiian FoodOahu Cheap EatsKauai Cheap EatsMaui Cheap Eats

Hawaii's natural beauty and warm, inviting culture are famous worldwide. But Hawaii also offers a uniquely delicious and accessible culinary experience.

Of course, there are fine dining establishments on all of the islands that many visitors frequent. However, there are many relatively inexpensive local spots serving culinary treats that everyone can enjoy regardless of budget.

Here are the Exotic Estates Hawaii Team picks for cheap and delicious local eats!

Kauai Local Eats 

Kauai is famous for its rugged Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and lush green landscape. When in Kauai, keep an eye out for these favorite spots for local eats, picked by the Exotic Estates Team.

Hamura Saimin (Lihue)

Saimin is a Hawaiian noodle soup, essentially ramen. Saimin is famous all over the islands, is cheap and delicious, and can be eaten anytime. Hamura is a well-known local spot that serves amazing saimin.

Kintaro Sushi (Wailua)

A favorite local sushi spot that's very popular, they even offer a party room for groups.

Garden Island Chinese Food and BBQ (Lihue)

Some say they serve the best Chinese food on Kauai, but our local folks also go there for their BBQ or what they call "local food." No matter what your preference is, they offer simple and delicious cooking.

Maui Local Eats 

(Note that this list has been updated to reflect the availability after the August 2023 wildfires)

Maui is known for its incredible golf courses, Haleakala Crater, and, of course, its stunning beaches and lush tropical inland forests. Here are some local dining spots, picked by our Guest Services team, which you can savor when spending time at an Exotic Estates' vacation home in Maui.

Aloha Mixed Plate (Lahaina)

This restaurant was a much-needed sign of rebirth after the devastating Lahaina wildfires. It's reopened in its old location on the water along Front Street, next to the Old Lahaina Luau. The menu is classic plate lunch with some of the best mac salad to be had anywhere in The Islands!

808 Deli (Kihei)

A small "hole in the wall" located behind Fred's Mexican Cafe - this spot has some of the best sandwiches on the island (also great salads for those who are diet conscious!). Stop by to grab "sammies" on your way to the beach in Makena!

S&Q's Shave Ice Shack (Kihei)

A small shave ice shack located right off of S. Kihei Road. A stop here is a must for the best shave ice on the island. Tip: Get ice cream on the bottom and sweet cream on top for an unforgettable sweet treat!

Oahu Local Eats

Oahu, home to the city of Honolulu, has perhaps the most diverse culinary landscape in the islands. The island boasts world-class hotel and restaurant dining but also retains small-Hawaii dining experiences that locals and visitors cherish. Here are some favorite spots for tasty local eats frequented by Exotic Estates' Oahu specialists.

Keneke's Plate Lunch and BBQ (Waimanalo)

Keneke's is a favorite place to stop for a plate lunch or a shave ice if you're spending a day on the Windward side of Oahu. You order at a window and then either take it with you, or sit in the little covered area and eat onsite. Very local and very ono (delicious)!

KIRIN Restaurant (Honolulu)

This place sounds Japanese but is, in fact, a fantastic and somewhat upscale Chinese restaurant that has relocated to the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki.  So not exactly cheap eats, but the menu is incredible, so look around at what others are enjoying, and don't be afraid to ask questions!

Waiahole Poi Factory (Kaneohe)

Located on the beautiful Windward Side of Oahu, the Waiahole Poi Factory is one of those country-store-type places you pass on rural roads that lure you in with signs advertising home-cooked eats. Per its name, they serve poi, as well as all the other Hawaiian favorites, including Kalua Pig. Note that the food is take-away.

Wasabi Bistro (Waikiki)

We love this little restaurant because it feels like a secret find. Located inside the pool area of the Breakers Hotel on Beachwalk in Waikiki, you have to go out of your way to find this little Japanese restaurant. The vibe is relaxed and a little funky, and its location inside the Breakers Hotel, which has a retro-Japanese design vibe, adds to the ambiance. The quality of the sushi is excellent, and the prices are reasonable.

Zippy's (multiple locations)

This is a Hawaiian fast-food chain that we included because it offers something for everyone at a very reasonable price. You can order everything from a chili omelet to Portuguese Bean Soup and a loco-moco (a hamburger over rice, covered with gravy and a fried egg). There is also an impressive assortment of baked goods at any given time. There are several locations, so check out this local fast-food chain for a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a local flair! There's a location on Kapahulu Avenue just outside of Waikiki that's a quick breakfast stop if you're driving out to the Windward side.

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