Eating Economically in Hawaii

Old Jul 15th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Eating Economically in Hawaii

I'm traveling to Hawaii with my wife and two daughters, ages 20 and 16, at the beginning of August. Over a two and a half week period, we plan on visiting 4 islands: Oahu, Big Island, Kauai, and Maui. We will be staying on Maui for the last week of the vacation. We are looking for any advice you may have regarding restaurants. We are trying to keep food costs down somewhat, but don't necessarily want to skimp on quality. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks !
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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You might get an Entertainment Book. We used one in Oahu and saved much $$$ and had some great meals from it as well.
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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Pick up the travel magazines from the hotels or on teh street corners..lots of 2 for 1 deals.
Lots of locals eat at Zippys or L&L..local plate lunches are great too.
On Oahu there is a great food court in Ala Moana shopping center with lots of local food.
Also On Oahu in the little town near Pearl AHrbor called Aiea is a great little family style chinese restaurant called Aiea Chop Suey.
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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Where are you staying on each island?
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 08:46 PM
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if you're visiting the Chinatown area in Oahu, which i would highly suggest you did, there are quite a few good and reasonably prices eating places there:

Legend Seafood - their Chinese dimsum is really good and well priced

Mauna Kea Food Court - there's many food booths there - Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, etc that serve very good food. the ambience is food court style but you'll be treated to some authentic Asian regional cuisine at very good prices, to boot. there's an eating area in the middle of the food court.

the Chinatown area is also a good place to pick up some snacks like fresh fruit, chinese rice cakes and snacks back to your hotel ( or condo ).

Sam Choy on Nimitz Highway is also a good stop. this is in an industrial area of hawaii-close to the pier. ss their prices can be reasonable because the portions are huge so 2 people can easily share 1 order on the menu.that is, if they can agree on what they both want to eat.

in kauai, hamura saimin is very good and is somewhat of a permanent fixture there. a big bowl of hot, filling saimin is about $5. if they're not too busy, you might even be able to get some shave ice there. it's in lihue, Kress St.

lastly, i also enjoyed McDonald's breakfast because they sell a breakfast plate that consists of Spam (i love Spam) or portuguese sausage, eggs and rice and coffee for under $5. i get a kick that only in Hawaii McDonald's can you find this in their menu. they also have saimin in their menu but i did not get to try it here.
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Old Jul 15th, 2007, 09:46 PM
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Condo, Costco, and plate lunches.
 
Old Jul 16th, 2007, 01:30 AM
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Agree with the Entertainment Book idea. We did it and saved quite a bit just on the island of Maui.

http://hawaii.entertainment.com/discount/browse.shtml

Also, try to have your big meal of the day at lunchtime when prices are cheaper or look for the early bird or sunset specials menu at many restaurants which is usually served between 5 and 6 PM.

Check out these websites for additional info:

http://www.alternative-hawaii.com/restaug.htm

http://www.hawaiidiner.com/

http://www.restauranteur.com/hi/

http://www.sanseihawaii.com/locations.html
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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Try some of the local style places with "plate lunches" or the shrimp shack trucks you'll find at some beaches. Ono Hawaiian Foods in Waikiki/Oahu and Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina/Maui are two popular spots.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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Depends on where you are staying on Oahu, but if you frequent the Ala Moana/Kakaako Area, you can find some places here:
http://blogs.myadvertiser.com/index.php?blog=10

Here's another blog (not related to me!):
http://onokinegrindz.typepad.com/

Plate lunches are always the cheapest. come shop at my mall with some coupons:
http://www.alohatower.com/promotions.html
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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I second the "Aloha Mixed Plate" in Lahaina. Really good food...great location and view. We had a "dirty banana" drink that was awesome!
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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Make picnic meals and take with you. Buy a cheap styrofoam cooler and buy food from Safeway for lunch, include fruit and veggies and drinks. Way cheaper than buy food and less sodium!

[I thought shrimp trucks were good but no bargain.]

You don't mention if you are staying in condo or hotel, but even if it is hotel you can still do breakfast in room: buy milk [in container just large enough for a day or 2] and keep in foam cooler filled with ice; buy a box of cereal that everyone will eat [I know, that could be tough], fruit, yougurt, maybe some muffins or granola bars. Also, you can get harboiled eggs at some salad bars and that could be a breakfast item too.

Buy the deli for sandwiches, or salads and take fruit, cookies, chips, salsa and have a picnic for lunch and maybe a couple of dinners too.

Most supermarkets have deli section that hat fried chicken or roast, or other types of pre cooked food.

There is a Safeway on Maui just on the way into Kaanapli area. There is a market just south of Hilo on the way to VNP called "KTA" that we used to buy 2 scoop plate lunches. They had lots of ready cooked food.

Hope this helps..
Debi
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 02:16 PM
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I agree with the Sam Choy recommendation. You can ride the Hilo Hattie's trolley out to their big store, shop, walk down the block to Sam Choy's for lunch, and ride the trolley back to Waikiki for free.

We really enjoyed the food.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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On Oahu I always recommend Boots & Kimo's in the town of Kailua for breakfast despite all of the tourists you will find there. The small family-run place serves spectacular banana/macadamia nut pancakes, omelettes, etc. in an Islander-influenced diner-style atmosphere. Get there early because they don't take reservations and a line quickly develops outside each day. Afterwards head over to Kailua Beach Park to enjoy one of the best white sand beaches in the country. Kailua is a half-hour drive over the Koolau mountains from Waikiki. For a more leisurly return trip take the coastal highway around the southeastern corner of the island on your way back to your hotel.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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we went to the grocery store and bought pre marinated teriyaki steaks/ salads etc and had a picnic on the beach

There are many beaches have grills to use
Inexpensive and fun
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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The ET book has lots of great savings and only costs $9.99 right now. Also can save on car rentals and activities.

On Maui, get take out at Honokawai Okazuya. It's a very small, but popular place in a small strip mall. The food is top quality , not exactly cheap but enough for leftovers for the next day's lunch!
http://tinyurl.com/3a5jyk

Also, there is a Farmer's Market at the Star Market in Honokawai:
http://tinyurl.com/33grbu

This Farmer's Market is fabulous! There's enough to snack on (free samples) to provide a light breakfast. The day we were there, we also ended up with 2 complimentary smoothies (full sized)!

Also, Leonard's Masalada's on Oahu are to die for!

...and I second a trip to China Town, If PakePorkchop is still doing the culinary/history tours, I'd highly recommend it!
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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Depending upon where you are on Kaua'i, I would suggest Pono Market in Kapa'a and I second the suggestion for Hamura's. There is a pretty good local plate lunch place in the back of Ching Young Center in Hanalei. I thought lunch or dinner at the Dolphin in Hanalei, while not exactly cheap was a good value for the money, and you could always go around back and visit the fish market for fresh goodies to go for a pic-a-nic on the pier. Hanalei Gourmet is a reasonable place to have dinner while in Hanalei too. Polynesia Cafe in both Hanalei and Kapa'a is good eats and not a lot of $$. Tropical Taco has pretty good fish Tacos. For breakfast, try the Tip Top Inn in Lihue.

In Kihei on Maui, try Alexander's fish place. It is cheap, not fancy and they have a variety of fish and chips dishes made with fresh local fish like Ono or Mahi! Take it across the street to the beach park and have a seat on the seawall and enjoy a sunset. If you are in Hana, believe it or not, the bar menu at the Hotel Hana Maui is very good and not too pricey, not like in the dining room. Great atmosphere and a nice place to walk around and stretch the legs after being in the car for three hours.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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Yes, iamq's advice is good, Pono Market in Kapaa'a is great, but you must go early or you'll miss out on the plate lunches! These guys are in high demand!
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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All...Thanks for all of the great suggestions !
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 09:31 PM
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If your going to Hilo there's a natural food store near the Border's Book store that has a great little salad bar and hot dishes sold by the pound. You won't skimp on quality there.
AS others have said, look out for the little take out places.
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Old Jul 18th, 2007, 04:46 AM
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Eat economically at home - f'gidaoudit in Hawai'i
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