Best of Honolulu 2011: Food

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Onopops won editor's pick for best popsicles.

Photo: Rae Huo


Readers' Picks


The buffet service at the Prince Court at the Hawaii Prince Hotel is most definitely more than you can eat. The menus change, but poke, sushi, ribs, and fresh seafood are always favorites, along with a waffle and omelet station for Sunday brunch. 100 Holomoana St., 944-4494,


A Hawaii original, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers was born out of “a craving in our belly and a deep, passionate, primitive desire to satiate that craving with a burger,” says co-CEO Ted Tsakiris. Premium meat and diverse range of toppings from pineapple to peanut butter makes the retro 50s-style burger joint a hit. Multiple locations, 949-0050,

Grocery Store

Once again, our readers love Safeway. The Kapahulu location is the chain’s latest “lifestyle store” location; customers can find a sushi and sandwich counter, soup bar, grab-and-go areas and a plentiful organic, local, and specialty-item selection. All the locations maintain as much variety as possible, giving readers more reasons to return to their favorite grocer. Multiple locations,

Health Food Store

Whole Foods takes an educational approach to food. Classes are offered almost daily and Natalie Aczon, marketing supervisor, says the most popular are “The Mechanics of Organics,” “Eat More Foods for Your Moods” and “Keiki in the Kitchen” (sometimes taught by Duke Kenney, son of Ed Kenney, who owns Town). Families and schools frequently arrange tours of the grocery store to learn about local food, organics or how to shop Whole Foods on a budget. A new location in Kailua is slated to open later this year. 4211 Waialae Ave., 738-0820,

Local Food or Beverage

3-way tie

Hawaiian Sun has a long heritage of making drinks and snacks infused with local flavors. Its roots can be traced to the 1950s, when the business sold papayas. Its modern day offerings include jams, macadamia nut chocolates and tropical drinks that can be purchased at grocery stores and retail outlets.

A little more than 15 years ago, a father and son team out of Oregon decided to bring craft beer to the Big Island. What resulted was Kona Brewing Co., which produces 12 beers (six of which are bottled and sold in grocery stores), two pubs (one on Oahu at Koko Marina) and a brewery that produces 20,000 kegs a year. 75-5629 Kuakini Highway, Kailua Kona, 808-334-2734,

Karen and Jason Campbell of Waialua Soda Works set out on a mission, in 2003, to “bring back the experience of drinking soda.” Flavors range from classic—root beer and vanilla cream—to classically Hawaiian—pineapple, mango, and lilikoi. All are made with pure cane sugar and natural flavors. Purchase at grocery stores or online.


Liliha Bakery has been making its famous coco puff for 20 years, at a rate of up to 7,200 a day. Add other sweet delights—butter horns, turnovers and custom made cakes (with flavors like dobash and haupia)—to your tab for total pastry bliss. Closed Mondays. 515 North Kuakini St., 531-1651,

Place for Local Produce

Seven years ago, Dean Okimoto, of Nalo Farms, and Joan Namkoong, a well-known food writer, helped create a small Diamond Head farmers’ market. What started with 14 vendors in the Kapiolani Community College parking lot evolved into a 65-booth Saturday morning market with an average of 6,000 customers. Lisa Asagi, one of the market’s managers, says the market could expand even further if it wasn’t for the venue’s space constraints. The wait list to get a booth is a mile long. The No. 1 rule? Everything must be grown locally. 4303 Diamond Head Road, 848-2074,

Place to Buy Fresh Fish

Talk with Cyrus Tamashiro, one of the brothers who runs Tamashiro Market, and it doesn’t take long to learn his business focus. “We always try to get fresh fish and sell it fast,” he says. The market stocks 75 varieties of fish and more than 30 types of poke. While some of the selection comes from the Mainland, the Tamashiro brothers get as much as they can from the Honolulu Fish Auction and local fishermen. The market has been a Kalihi mainstay since the ’50s. “We’ve found our niche and I think we do it well,” says Cyrus, “The people of Hawaii consistently come back and we hope to do this for many more years.” 802 N. King St., 841-8047,

Wine Shop

Not only can you get diverse range of wine, beer and liquor from Tamura’s, but shoppers can also load up on poke, crackers and cheese. The flagship Waialae location features a special wine room with boutique and tough to find labels. 3496 Waialae Ave., 735-7100,