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Best Takeout in Honolulu and Oahu
For lunch at the beach, or a movie night in your hotel room, do as Islanders do: get takeout. (And in the Islands, incidentally, the proper term is always takeout or to-go, never take-away.)
The universality of takeout here stems from traditions imported by plantation workers from Asia. The Chinese had their bakeries, the Japanese okazu-ya, Asian-style delis. Honolulu is awash in Western-style fast-food joints, Islands-style plate-lunch places, and Asian drive-ins offering Japanese sushi, Korean barbecue, Thai noodles, and Vietnamese spring rolls.
But locals particularly cherish the old-style businesses, now into the third and fourth generation, usually inconveniently located, with no parking and ridiculously quirky hours—and each with a specialty or two that no one else can quite match.
Buy a cheap Styrofoam cooler, pack it with ice to keep the goodies cool, and stop by one of these places. And remember: you'll need cash.
Fukuya Delicatessen. This family operation on the main thoroughfare in charming Moiliili, a mile or so mauka out of Waikiki, offers take-out breakfasts and lunches, Japanese snacks, noodle dishes, even confections. Try mochi (sweet rice-flour cakes), chow fun (thick, flat noodles flecked with vegetables and barbecue pork), hash patties, garlic chicken, and Asian-style salads. The folks here are particularly patient and helpful to visitors. Open 6 am to 2 pm. 2710 S. King St.,
Mitsu-Ken. Trust us: Ignore the downscale neighborhood just north of the city and the unpromising, battered exterior. Just line up and order the garlic chicken (either as a plate lunch, with rice and salad, or chicken only). Crispy, profoundly garlicky, and drizzled with some sweetish glaze that sets the whole thing off, Mitsu-Ken chicken will haunt your dreams. But go early; they open at 4 am, and by 1 pm they're washing down the sidewalks. It's in Kahili, not far from the Bishop Museum. 1223 N. School St., Kapalama 808/848-5573 No credit cards Closed Sun. and Mon. No dinner.Updated: 04-2013
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