14 Foods That Will Make You Wish You Lived on Oahu


If you live north of about Arizona, the weather this time of year is probably already tempting you to move to Hawaii. Well, now so is the food.

Every part of the country has those foods that make you dream about moving: "If I lived here, I could eat that every day." In the South it's shrimp and grits; the Northeast, lobster rolls; in California, avocados. On the Hawaiian island of Oahu, you've got fresh seafood, the perfect Mai Tai, and let's not forget the widespread use of Spam.

The varied heritage of Hawaiians and the unique DNA of Honolulu (half city, half tourist destination) is a huge part of what makes Oahu a great place to eat. Japanese heritage is prominent in the top-notch sushi of Honolulu, but the native islander is not forgotten, with the widespread use of Spam [speaking of Spam]. It's the mullet of dining destinations: buttoned-up and business-like in the city-centric south end and party in the north end, where the surfer culture supports a sea of shrimp trucks.

Spam Musubi

There are plenty of fancy joints dotting Waikiki, serving everything a tourist could want (including the most coveted of all: the perfect Mai Tai), but just a short cab ride (or long walk) away, you'll find even more interesting food, and of course the other side of the island holds another side of the cuisine.

Foremost, the wealth of nature is lurking under every wave, hanging from every tree, and in the dedicated hands of every chef working hard to put out amazing food on this island.

See all 14 foods in the slideshow >>

About the author: Naomi Bishop is a Seattle based food writer and marketer. Find more of her musings on her food blog, TheGastroGnome, where she claims that being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. You can also follow her explorations of cooking and culture around the world at @GastroGnome.

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