From bánh mì sandwiches to Korean classics like tteokbokki, the Hawaiian Islands are brimming with delicious Asian-inspired food.
The culinary scene in America’s most ethnically diverse state is a multifaceted amalgamation of food traditions from Native Hawaiians and early Asian settlers who came to work on sugarcane and pineapple plantations. In the 19th century, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Portuguese laborers would gather together during lunchtime, bring out their aluminum kau kau tins, and share their home-cooked meals. Over the decades, dishes like Korean Kalbi short ribs, Japanese-style chicken katsu, and Chinese pork buns started to take on a distinctive Hawaii flair. Today, diners are spoilt with choice with the wide array of Asian-inspired restaurants, offering everything from savory seafood pancakes to meaty bánh mì sandwiches. Here are 15 delectable restaurants in Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Island that celebrate the diversity of the Aloha State.