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Food & Drinks that Make you Feel like a Local in Hawaii

I feel like all I do now days is write about food and drinks. Somehow it’s always at the forefront of every conversation, it’s ALWAYS on my mind. This post isn’t a ploy to take you around Hawaii and tell you when and where to eat. NOPE, just strictly to inform you that to get the local Hawaiian feel, you might want to try a few of these. Just a suggestion!

All I can say is after you try these items, you’ll definitely be considered a local in Hawaii.

Here is the local’s guide to food and drinks in Hawaii!

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Dole Whip


If you could soft serve an orgasm in a cup, this is what it would taste like. WHY on Earth have I never tried this heaven-sent concoction of ice cream, pineapple goodness is beyond me.

Supposedly it has been around for a while and they serve it in other places of the world but to Hawaii, it’s special. Since Hawaii is home to the Pineapple Dole Plantation, this dessert is sure to make you feel one with the island. If you haven’t tried it then you honestly haven’t lived.

To be exxxtra local: You can add pineapple chunks that are locally grown to the dole whip so it doesn’t get much fresher than that!!

The best place to taste: Pineapple Dole Plantation

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Soju


Although the native Korean drink of Soju is not Hawaiian tradition, I soon found out that it’s part of the culture in Hawaii. With the plethora of fresh fruits, you can just about mix anything with Soju.

Known for being rice wine, this shit will get you fuckeddd up. This ain’t no walk in the park, more like a social ballet you dance and then BOOM all of a sudden you are gone. A flavor I had that stuck with my taste buds was Taro Soju…milky sweet boboa tea(esk)…

To be exxxtra local: A HUGE local flavor here is li hing mui and that’s a great way to introduce yourself to Soju. Add this to any Soju for the ultimate local experience!

The best place to taste: D & B Grill

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Shaved Ice


Since it seems to be summertime year-round in Hawaii, what better way to cool down than with some sugary ice? Serious nostalgia here…do you remember getting snow cones during field day in elementary school? That’s when times were easy.

You NEED THIS rainbow treat. Trust ya girl.

To be exxxtra local: To make it even sweeter try adding condensed milk or like the locals like to call it a ‘snow cap’

 The best place to taste: Matsumoto

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Ahi Poke


 Poke is pronounced (poh-KAY) okayyyyy? Did you know that the word poke actually means “chunk” in Hawaiian? That’s exactly what it is, chunks of raw fish! Poke bars are popping up all over the world, but Hawaii is known for it’s freshly caught fish and this extra delicious appetizer!

I am disgustingly obsessed with it. Doesn’t matter if I’m on the other side of the world, if it’s on the menu, I’m ordering it. Sucks for you if you hate raw tuna. You are missing out big time.

 The best place to taste: Foodland (it’s like a Subway for Poke!)

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Spam Musubi


Listen up bitches, this is where we weed out the sissies. Spam Musubi sounds as weird as it is, well maybe just weird to me? This legendary Hawaiian food is made with a slice of Spam grilled in a sweet soy sauce mixture and placed on top of rice packed into rectangular blocks. It’s like fucking meat sushi or something.

I won’t go into any more detail, give it a try and see whatcha think. The Hawaiians will be flocking to your door if you do.

To be exxxtra local: Try all the different flavors like spicy, katsu, teriyaki etc. 

The best place to taste: Surprisingly any convenience store or 7/11

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Shrimp


Pretty generic huh? What makes shrimp so special in Hawaii? Well, it’s definitely not native to Hawaiian waters and it’s sold all around the world. The real answer is, there isn’t an answer. What makes it so special though is eating it from a local food truck!

The best place to taste is definitely the world famous Giovanni’s. Smothered in garlic, butter, and other seasonings, no trip is quite the same without a stop here. I can vouch for its goodness.

Best place to taste: Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

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Kona Beer


Can you really be considered a local unless you drown yourself in beer? Let me just tell you that the Hawaiian people know how to party…hard!

With that being said, Kona and their beer have an amazing story. They call their beverages “liquid Aloha” which encompasses the aloha way of life. Not just a term for hello and goodbye. Pretty cool right? With flavors called Big Wave Golden Ale and Castaway IPA, you are sure to feel right at home on the island. Okay now let’s drink!

Best place to taste: Kona Brewing Company

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Do you feel like a true Hawaiian local yet? Well, you damn near should. Hawaii holds a special place in my heart. It’s where I took my senior trip before jetting off to college. My first REAL vacation without the supervision of my parents. The second time around made me remember just how amazing it was. I wanted to immerse myself in the Hawaiian culture and this was a great start!

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I’d love to know if you’ve been to Hawaii (or live there even); what food and/or drinks make you feel more like a local?? Shoutout to Kiki from @prettygirlprettyworld for editing my local’s guide! As a native to the islands, she let me in on all the resident flavors of Hawaii! Check her out!! But until next vacay…

xo Aloha Babes


  1. Nathan says:

    Looks like you have covered all the joints that cater to street food in the area. Some lovely pictures and good depiction of the place . Giovannis beer truck is something I would be interested in trying

  2. Shaved ice is the one that caught my eye. We have that here in India too, during summers, when we are sweltering under 45 degrees of heat, its fun to grab one from a street vendor. Some things are universal.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      I had no idea it was a universal thing! Suprised honestly that it’s popular in other cultures too. I love how the world works like that!! Wow 45 degrees C?? Thats hot!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Loved all the food images specialy the Ahi-Poke. This looks very similar to “Gola” in India. Basically “Gola” is ice posicle dipped in delicious syrups. Thanks for sharing this amazing food images with us!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      That’s so awesome I never knew it was similar. Love learning something new every day!! Thanks so much.

  4. Sidhu Jetha says:

    That’s some helpful guidance. It is essential to eat like a local wherever you go and I guess everyone is going to love these delicious foods. I would really like to taste the pineapple whip.

  5. Blair Villanueva says:

    I am intrigue about that spam musubi! Can you make your it at home? They all look delicious and fun to eat especially pineapples.

  6. Yes yes, done. I am willing to go there just by seeing the food they offer. Nice food photography, things look really tasty.

  7. Nish says:

    Wow! It looks like you know all the best places to eat there. That shaved ice has me drooling at my desk!

  8. This post made me extremely hungry, great photos btw 🙂

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