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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Windward Shoppers: At the Kailua Whole Foods, you can get a pint and pizza for just $5 during happy hour.

Photos: Steve Czerniak

Taco Tuesday tacos, Whole Foods Market Kahala, $1.00

Almost as shocking as finding a $1 taco at pricey Whole Foods is the sheer volume of toppings on it. Choose from the chain’s famously hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken, pork or veggies, pico de gallo or raw onions and cilantro, plus hot sauce, all made to order by the pizza counter from lunch until closing every Tuesday. The small corn tortillas are thick and ungrilled and the fillings could use some salt, but the tacos, so loaded they’re almost impossible to fold over, will leave you stuffed.

Kahala Mall, 4211 Waialae Ave., 738-0820 (at Kahala store only)



Kimukatsutei bento, Kimukatsutei, $6.00

Leave it to the katsu-crazy Japanese to coat a hamburger in panko crumbs and deep-fry it. The resulting menchi (mince) katsu is the centerpiece of the bento at Kimukatsutei in Shirokiya’s Yataimura: It comes with rice, a side of fruity curry, a small salad, ham, crinkle-cut fries, soybeans and grapes—unusual unless you’ve seen other Japanese-style bentos, and a serious deal considering the kid’s meal costs $6.50. Drizzle the packet of tonkatsu sauce over your menchi, pour the curry on top or do both.

1450 Ala Moana Blvd., kimukatsu.com/kimukatsu_eng/ (at Shirokiya location only)

Soft tofu chige or meat jun, Chodang, $5.75.

Soft tofu chige or meat jun, Chodang, $5.75

Chodang is known for full-size Korean spreads at mini prices. If you’re hungry, neither of these will disappoint: A bubbling iron pot of fiery broth filled with soft tofu and a few slices of mushroom, or a heaping plate of paper-thin beef fried in a generous egg coating, both served with rice and a half-dozen banchan side dishes. Not gourmet, but neither is the price (which includes tax). Plus, Chodang is open late—until 1 a.m.

Monday through Saturday. 451 Piikoi St., 591-0530


Tuna avocado sandwich, Andy's Sandwiches & Smoothies, $4.75

If you’re like most people, you’ll get the top-selling, fresh-roasted turkey sandwiches. If you’re like us, you’ll get the tuna avocado: tuna salad and a creamy avocado puree topped with seasonings, mayo, veggies and a hefty handful of sprouts on housemade whole wheat bread. We thought Andy’s, a Manoa icon for 37 years, was in the Starbucks building. “No, no, no,” owner Andy Rodrigues corrects us. “Starbucks is in my building.”

2904 E. Manoa Road, 988-6161, andyssandwiches.com


Wonton bowl, Palace Saimin, $5

Cold days are made for hot, soupy bowls—or is that vice versa? You won’t go wrong with the saimin at Palace, which makes its broth the same way it did when it opened in 1946. For $5 you can get nine meaty, handmade wontons bathed in a steaming broth topped with green onions and char siu. A dollar more gets you a bowl of 14 wontons. Go easy on the Chinese mustard that comes with it; it’ll burn a hole through your head.

1256 N. King St., 841-9983, palacesaimin.com


Crepe pocket with beef and veggies, Season's Ice and Eatery, $4.75

It’s like Taiwanese beef noodle soup in burrito form: The shao bing is sesame flatbread stuffed with braised beef, crunchy preserved vegetables, cilantro and bean sprouts. It comes with a peanut and sugar powder to sprinkle on. If you’re not a fan of the sweet-salty combination, use the housemade spicy garlic sauce, tangy and pungent, available in a jug on each table. Pretty much everything at this Taiwanese eatery costs less than $7, so you can go nuts.

100 N. Beretania St., 538-1978

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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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