7 Popular Places to Get Your Taco Tuesday Fix in Honolulu
Try these tacos ranging from cheap to street to nontraditional.
It’s Taco Tuesday every day at Taco Kabana in Downtown.
Photo: Bianca Sewake
Located in the urban neighborhood of Kaka‘ako is Cocina Hawai‘i, a small eatery with indoor and sidewalk seating, serving up street-style tacos on small corn tortillas. While it offers tacos on its everyday menu, on Taco Tuesday you can try a rotating menu of new flavors. These tacos range from shrimp to vegetarian to pork to carne asada—whatever the chef decides to make. There are always three different types of tacos on Taco Tuesdays for $3 each. Cocina Hawai‘i makes for a fun and laid-back pau hana spot—just don’t forget to BYOB. And while there’s street parking, you can also use the new-ish parking structure at Salt, right around the corner on Keawe Street, that Cocina validates for up to one hour.
667 Auahi St., 5:30 to 8 p.m., 537-6585, cocinahawaii.com
Smith & King’s
Working in downtown Honolulu? Check out Smith and King’s, a casual bar with friendly staffers. The inside space is covered in wood-paneled walls, black tables and seats and a large chalkboard menu above the bar. The tables are round high-tops that seat about three to four people, so it might not be good to travel in large packs here. On Tuesdays, Smith & King’s serves up $4 baja fish tacos (grilled or fried) all day until sold out. The tacos come with its house-made tartar sauce and salsa. And you can order drinks such as the popular Lychee Refresher during happy hour from 2:30 to 6 p.m.
69 N. King St., opens at 11 a.m., 537-2222, smithandkings.com
South Shore Grill
South Shore Grill’s tacos are not strictly Mexican. In fact, this isn’t even a Mexican restaurant. (Its specialty is local-style plate lunches.) But this family-run restaurant on the outskirts of Waikīkī serves a non-traditional version of tacos that has people lining up out the door. Regularly, South Shore Grill offers fish, chicken, steak and shrimp tacos, and on Taco Tuesdays, the fish and chicken tacos are discounted to $2.25 each. They’re topped with an aioli sauce and coleslaw for a unique taste that’s light, fresh and tangy.
3114 Monsarrat Ave., 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., 734-0229, southshoregrillhawaii.com
Búho Cocina y Cantina
Enjoy $2 specialty tacos out in the fresh air at this rooftop restaurant, Búho Cocina y Cantina, known for its elevated Mexican cuisine and lively outdoor ambiance. Three tacos are offered each Taco Tuesday. The first is an al pastor pork taco, rubbed with seasoning and slowly cooked on a Lebanese grill. The Jidori chicken is made with free-range chicken breast, stewed with onions, chipotle peppers and tomatoes and served with lettuce and sour cream. The veggie taco comes with a bell pepper medley, three kinds of mushrooms and squash. All tacos are served on house-made tortillas.
2250 Kalākaua Ave., #525, 5 to 10 p.m., 922-2846, buhocantina.com
Mexico Cantina serves $2 tacos on Tuesdays.
Photo: Courtesy of Mexico Cantina
On Taco Tuesdays at Mexico Cantina, located on the third floor at Ward Village Shops, you can build your own taco at its taco cart station. For only $2 a taco, you can choose the meat you want—chicken, carnitas or pork—and then help yourself to a variety of toppings and salsas (including a cactus salsa with carrots and tomatillos or a guacamole salsa). It also offer specials on drinks such as $4 Coronas, $2 off lime margarita ($22 for a pitcher of the house lime margarita) and $2 off draft beer.
1200 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 320, 3 to 8 p.m. (last call is at 7:45 p.m.), 596-4964, mexicocantina.com
Don’t want to wait till Tuesday for taco deals? Now you don’t have to. Taco Kabana, a former food truck, opened up a permanent location in downtown Honolulu earlier this month and always offers $2 chicken or steak tacos served on 4-inch tortilla. Why so cheap, you ask? It models itself after the popular taco trucks in Mexico that are known for serving cheap and simple fare. It serves simple, flavorful tacos that are made fresh with local ingredients. Try the house-made salsa, which has a nice smoky flavor. Taco Kabana has limited seating, so if you want a table, come early.
1121 Union St. Mall, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 585-8186
Serg’s Mexican Kitchen
This takeout window on Mānoa Road decorated with red and green paper cutout garlands is known for its authentic Mexican food that’s cooked fresh daily. Although it’s not a dine-in place, there are tables and chairs outside to enjoy your meal. On Taco Tuesday, it offers a wide variety of tacos on a doubled-up soft tortilla—grilled or breaded fish, chicken, carne asada, pork carnitas, al pastor, chorizo, chili verde, veggie. They’re only $2 each.