13 Soups, Stews and Bisques to Combat Honolulu’s Rainy Season Blues
A list of the best places to stay dry and get warm with the ideal cold-weather comfort food.
With another set of April showers blowing through the state this week, we rounded up 13 of our favorite soups and stews to keep you warm.
1. Oxtail Soup, Asahi Grill
Photos: James Charisma
Tender oxtail, a rich, hearty broth, garnishes of Chinese parsley and green onion—what’s not to love? Add fresh ginger to taste and enjoy with white rice in this classic soup done just right at Asahi Grill.
$16.71 regular, $13.95 small, 515 Ward Ave., (808) 593-2800
2. Jook, Mei Sum
If you’ve yet to try jook, a traditional Chinese rice and chicken porridge, then all this rain is certainly telling you to start now. A fermented thousand-year-old egg and chopped pork (or fish) fill out this comforting soup at Mei Sum in downtown Honolulu.
$7.95, 1170 Nu‘uanu Ave., #1102, (808) 531-3268
3. Sundubu Jjigae, So Gong Dong
Choose from the standard sundubu (tofu) or 10 other options for your bowl of Korean jjigae (stew) and warm up with spice that’s satisfying, not overwhelming. Add a raw egg to cook in the soup and sides such as classic bean sprouts, kim chee and all your other favorites.
$8.99, 627 Ke‘eaumoku St., (808) 946-8206
4. Portuguese Bean Soup, Zippy’s
Zippy’s Portugese bean soup is full of Portuguese sausage, cabbage, potato, onion, ham, carrots and kidney beans. Eat it alongside your other favorite dishes or make it a meal with rice and mac salad for an extra $1.20.
$3.45 regular, $4.25 large, various locations, zippys.com
5. Tomato Bisque, Aloha Salads
Simple, classic, heart-and-belly-warming tomato bisque from Aloha Salads comes topped with fresh Parmesan and basil. A cream and chicken base combined with bright, fresh tomato makes this broth essential for dipping your sandwich or pita bread (or enjoying all on its own).
$4.50 for 6 ounces and $5.50 for 8 ounces, various locations, alohasalads.com
6. Fisherman’s Stew, Nico’s Pier 38
The Mainland has us beat for chilly weather, but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on chowder à la Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Nico’s at Pier 38 puts white fish and clams into a warm and toasty sourdough bowl, so you can taste all the comfort of the sea without the Mainland chill.
$9, 1129 N. Nimitz Highway, (808) 540-1377, nicospier38.com
7. Pozole Rojo, Los Chaparros
The satisfaction of stew without the heaviness comes together in the combination of red chilies, pork and hominy (corn used for grits) in Los Chaparros’ Pozole Rojo, served with corn or flour tortillas (go for the corn), lettuce and tomato, sliced radish and lime.
$7.50 for 8 ounces and $9.50 for 12 ounces, 2140 S. Beretania St., (808) 951-6399, loschaparros.com
8. Saimin, Palace Saimin
PHOTOs: STEVE CZERNIAK
Palace Saimin opened in 1946 and hasn’t lost its charm. Choose from eight soups, add a barbecue stick or two and warm up with this old-school saimin staple beloved by chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi and many others.
Prices range from $4.75 for a small saimin to $8.25 for extra large wonton udon. 1256 N. King St., (808) 841-9983, palacesaimin.com
9. Roma Tomato Basil Soup, Ruscello at Nordstrom
Order a cup to complement your meal or get the full bowl of this classic childhood soup to satisfy your soup cravings. Roma tomatoes take center stage, with crispy crostini for crunch.
$6.50 for a bowl, $4.50 for a cup, Ala Moana Center, (808) 953-6110
10. Corn Chowder, Monkeypod
Photo: Enjy El-Kadi
It’s all about showcasing the flavor of fresh and sweet Maui corn in this chowder. Add local coconut milk, local celery, kale, tomato and lemongrass for a new-school chowder that’s both hearty and fresh.
$9.95, 92-1048 Olani St., Suite 4-107, Kapolei, (808) 380-4086, monkeypodkitchen.com
11. Oxtail Ramen, The Alley Restaurant at ‘Aiea Bowl
Not only does ‘Aiea Bowl offer a great rainy-day activity, it also offers a great rainy-day meal. The oxtail ramen serves tender fall-off-the-bone oxtail combined with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, peanuts and green onion. A vinegar sauce made with daikon, shoyu, lemon and sesame seeds rounds out the bowl without compromising the broth—a flavorful concoction infused with dried dates, star anise, ginger and a splash of whiskey.
$19.85 (including tax), 99-115 ‘Aiea Heights Drive, third floor, ‘Aiea, (808) 488-6854
12. Kim Chee Portuguese Soup, MW Restaurant
Kim chee made in-house elevates the Portuguese bean soup at MW by adding heat and tanginess to contrast the rich Portuguese sausage and soft potatoes.
$8 (lunch only), 1538 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 955-6505, mwrestaurant.com
13. Innovative Hot Mess, Agu Ramen
Agu ramen combines char siu, four kinds of garlic and menma with the classic gooey egg in its Innovative Hot Mess bowl. Warm, comforting, rich, this bowl checks all the necessary boxes for remedying a dreary day.
$20, multiple locations, aguramen.com