Honolulu Super Cheap Eats Under $6
It’s not easy to find meals for $6 or less in Honolulu, and the quest is even more challenging when you narrow the search to those that are memorable.
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Hummus sandwich, Shaloha, $5.74
Photos: Steve Czerniak
The counter guy grabs a freshly baked pita, trims off the top, swipes the scrap through a pan of hummus and hands it to you. Wafting notes of garlic with a slight tang, it’s just right. You chew while you watch your sandwich being made in the open pita pocket: Israeli-style veggies of your choice, hummus, more salads, tahini. It’s massive, juicy, crunchy from the red cabbage slaw, so good. With tax, it’s an even $6.
3133 Waialae Ave., 744-4222, shalohapita.com
Hulihuli chicken plate, Times Supermarket, $5.99
Times’ website calls it BBQ chicken; the menu board calls it huli huli. Just get the chicken plate (it comes with three sides). Since the tantalizing scents of chicken grilling in the parking lot and basting juicily in a light teriyaki led us to the happy discovery of chicken Tuesdays at Times Beretania, we’ve become addicted.
Schedule and locations vary; check the website. timessupermarkets.com
Mini plate, Gina's B-B-Q, $5.25
You may already know that a regular plate at Gina’s, mounded into groaning Styrofoam, can feed a family. So you won’t be surprised that what passes for a regular plate elsewhere is a mini here: two scoops rice, two sides of your choice, plus barbecued chicken and barbecued beef served up hot from the griddle. The chicken alone, slightly charred and juicy, will have you coming back.
Market City Shopping Center, 2919 Kapiolani Blvd., 735-7964, ginasbbq.com
Shanghai wonton, Shanghai Cafe, $5.75
“Cafe” is a generous term for a place that looks more like a crack seed and Chinese furniture shop, with a few food photos stuck in the window and a closet that serves as a “kitchen.” But it turns out some good, homey snacks, like these oversize dumplings packed with bok choy and pork. It also has the best sheng jian bao around, pan-fried buns made to order (best to call ahead half an hour for these).
1047 Bethel St., 599-3767
HankBurger, Hank’s Haute Dogs, $5.50
The secret’s in the char, in a clever coating of secret seasonings that not only flavors the HankBurger, it gives it a crust to contrast with the juicy beef. Since the 1/3-pound patty is cooked to medium, the juices do run. Add an old-fashioned sauce of ketchup, mayo and mustard, and you’ve got gourmet eats at food-truck prices. Hank Adaniya may be known for his haute dogs, but the HankBurger proves success comes in many shapes.
324 Coral St., 532-4265, and Hank's Burger Truck, University of Hawaii at Manoa on Tuesdays and Fridays*
*Update March 11, 2014: As of this writing, Hank's Burger Truck no longer serves University of Hawaii at Manoa on Tuesdays and Fridays.