Hawaiian food has a lot of roots! With a bit of traditional islander cuisine and fare from places like Japan being adopted into their usual meals, Hawai’i has seen its fair share of culinary fusion over the centuries. However, there are some options that have taken on the mantle of being authentic Hawaiian food — whether they started out somewhere else or not. These dishes can be found in the Valley if you look. Luckily, we did the looking for you. Eat up!
219 E Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283
With beef short ribs, chicken katsu, and spicy dishes to boot, Maui is a choice destination for anyone who’s hungry. It’s even better for anyone who’s specifically looking for an authentic Hawaiian meal. In true Hawaiian fashion, there are recipes like the traditional Hawaiian BBQ Chicken as well as Kalua Pork with Cabbage or Curry Katsu — a fried cutlet with curry sauce. Everything here is known for its juicy and tender mouthfeel, so make your pick and sit down to some mouthwatering chicken, pork, or beef!
18 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
This no-frills grill features various island favorites, like loco moco — gravy-smothered hamburger patties and fried eggs — and kalua pig, the Hawaiian answer to pulled pork. There are a few TVs for your enjoyment as you devour your plate lunch served with things like rice, tossed greens, and mac salad. This is a great spot to get that straightforward Hawaiian grill experience, whether you get some fried tofu or just grab a couple of Spam musubi to go!
8015 E Roosevelt St, Scottsdale, AZ 85257
Seafood and island fare go together like… well, you can’t think of a better pair, can you? We didn’t think so, either. Chula Seafood is a great place for things like poke, which despite its mainstream popularity, is most definitely an authentic Hawaiian dish. So grab yourself some sashimi, a Whitefish BLT, or even a Hawaiian Style Poke bowl to fill up on, and know that you’re having the freshest and most delicious local produce and market-ready fish!
4302 E Ray Rd #114, Phoenix, AZ 85044
Looking at the fried or grilled meats at this hotspot for Hawaiian fare will get your mouth watering. What’s better is that you can get your Mochiko Chicken, the Kalua Pork, any other meat with green salads, garlic edamame, sweet corn, or even Moku Grill’s famous and much-loved macaroni salad!
7213 E 1st Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Offering classics like Loco Moco as well as fusion fare like the Ahi Eggs Benedict, this restaurant treats Hawaiian cuisine seekers to a delicious brunch if you come each weekend morning. The rest of the week, you can expect to see some tiki-style drinks, authentic fare, and Polynesian-inspired food alongside other meal options!