Rise and shine, its a beach day

Beachside Eating in Hawaii

BeachThursday is about everything beach related, that includes food too, so I asked Mark from Migrationology for some advice on eating in Hawaii.

Hawaii Beach

There are few things in this world that are more enjoyable than eating a take-away lunch on the beach. Not only is the food delicious (or it should be), but the beauty of the natural scenery adds an extra wonderful dimension to the meal.

Hawaii, with its multicultural mixture and island lifestyle, has fine tuned the beach lunch into perfection.

The Plate Lunch

Plate lunch, Hawaii

The plate lunch is a term coined in Hawaii that translates to a scoop or two of steamed rice, a scoop of creamy macaroni salad, and a choice of whatever main dish you decide. The combination is then piled into a foam box (often stuffed to the brim) and handed to you along with a few napkins and a pair of disposable chopsticks – beach ready.

Teriyaki chicken, BBQ beef, chicken katsu, fried mahi mahi, and hamburger steak are all popular choices for a plate lunch. I can’t say I personally have a favorite, it’s really up to the way I feel that particular day – sometimes freshly grilled teriyaki chicken sounds great while other times I go for the crispy fried fish.


If there’s a single Hawaiian food I could choose to eat everyday for the rest of my life it would be poke – Hawaii’s own version of raw fish sashimi. Normally made with yellowfin tuna, the fish is cubed and seasoned with soy sauce, sea salt, chili flakes and sometimes limu seaweed.

Eaten like fish steak as is, or enjoyed as an addition to a plate lunch, poke is the ultimate flavor of beach side cuisine in Hawaii.

Shave Ice

Shave Ice, Hawaii

Finally, a trip to any beach in Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without ending the afternoon with shave ice. There’s a big debate about who makes the best and who has the tastiest flavors. My particular favorite is Waiola Shave Ice, but there are great shave ice stops all around the islands.

The basic make up of any shave ice is finely shaved ice that’s place in a cone or bowl and drenched in sugary, often fruity, flavored syrup. It’s not only refreshing at the end of a day on the beach, but it’s also just the right cultural thing to do.

As an island archipelago, Hawaii has evolved and discovered a unique feasting style that revolves around its beautiful beaches. So grab a plate lunch, hit the beach, and don’t forget to get shave ice in the late afternoon!


More on this guest writer

Mark Wiens grew up traveling the world with his family. He returned to the United States to attend university. After graduating, he decided to continue with what he loves: traveling the world, learning about other cultures, and eating local food. If you love traveling and have a weak spot for food, then follow Migration Mark on his food quests.

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