Shirokiya’s second-floor Yataimura is pure sensory overload, exactly as its planners wanted. Bustling crowds, the cries of hawkers, the beating of drums: Yataimura, or “food-stall village,” is the closest Hawaii gets to a Japanese festival atmosphere.
When to go? For maximum options, all freshly prepared on the spot, opt for an early lunch. For best atmosphere, try happy hour, when after-work crowds pack the beer garden around towers of Kirin.
The only problem? Too many choices. Faced with the dizzying array of street foods, there’s a good chance you’ll succumb to profusion confusion. Best to start with these.
A rainbow of maguro, hamachi, salmon, scallop, squid, ikura and other ultra-fresh seafood makes the chirashi sushi almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
For tonkotsu ramen purists, a concentrated broth simmered for dozens of hours using only the head bones of the pig.
Juicy, multi-layered tonkatsu, fanned out on slivered cabbage and slathered with Kimukatsu’s tangy, fruity sauce—this one’s a no-brainer.
Austere Japanese flavors and an array of rice steamed with red beans or vegetables fill these artful bento lunch boxes.
Live drumbeats from this corner tell you the latest batch of takoyaki—savory dough balls stuffed with chunks of soft octopus—is hot off the griddle.