7 Party Platters Your Guests Won’t Pūpū

Don’t try to be a potluck hero. Here are some tasty party platters you can order and pick up for the big holiday parties.

’Tis the season for lots of family and friend gatherings. And that’s great until they end up scheduled one after another or right after work and the same day as your kid’s holiday concert. And that’s why we’ve put together a go-to list of some party platter options that will keep your party happy and well-fed. Yay, sanity!


Garlic Goodness

Sugoi's Garlic Chicken
A whole tray of garlic chicken? We're in.
Photo: Robbie Dingeman


Mention Sugoi and people tend to groan, because they’re trying to decide what they want: garlic chicken or spicy garlic chicken, or maybe mochiko chicken or the chicken katsu. You can go big with pūpū platters that mix in teri beef or mahi mahi. But most people we know focus on the various forms of fried chicken from the Kalihi eatery. Order platters three days in advance. Prices start at $45 for single protein platters and start at $77 for the mix pūpū platters. Delivery is available in some areas.

City Square Building, 1286 Kalani St., Suite B106, (808) 841-7984, sugoihawaii.com


SEE ALSO: How to Transform from Professional to Pau Hana (Hawai‘i Business Magazine)


Not Too Sweet

Nisshodo Mochi Party Platter
Chi chi dango is packaged in the classic white box with red or green ribbon.
Photo: Robbie Dingeman


There’s something about mochi: soft, comforting, nostalgic. The Hirao family of Nisshodo Candy Store in Kalihi has been perfecting the art of mochi for more than 90 years. We’re addicted to the pink-and-white original chi chi dango; they’ve also come up with blueberry and other twists. Order the milky chi chi dango in small, medium or large boxes, or by the pound. Or order your own favorites on a platter, and include mochi stuffed with your favorites. Ours include peanut butter, azuki bean, coconut and the tsumami filled with white lima bean. Call ahead to have trays ready, especially during the holiday season.

1095 Dillingham Blvd., Building I-5, (808) 847-1244, nisshodomochicandy.com


More Than Scones

Diamond Head Market Quesadilla Party Platter
Photo: Diamond Head market & Grill


For a mix of platters from savory to sweet, check out the selection at Diamond Head Market & Grill. The meal-sized munchies include wraps, quesadillas, poached salmon and shrimp cocktail, You need to give a day or two notice and pay in advance. The Monsarrat Avenue market can prep a wide variety of platters starting at $40. Of course, you could just order a box of blueberry cream cheese scones and call that a party. Or maybe just buy one for yourself as a reward for picking up the party food.

3158 Monsarrat Ave., (808) 732-0077,  diamondheadmarket.com


Fancy Food for a Fair Price

Even though Whole Foods Market caters to some high-end shoppers, it also offers reasonably priced platters that still feel like a splurge. You can custom order, from simple to sumptuous. But we have been pleasantly surprised by what’s available to walk-in customers Friday through Sunday. You’ll often find fruit, cheese and something on the sweeter side, plated on greens that you could slide onto your own platters at home or serve straight from the plate at under $20. If you don’t want to take a chance, you can order online and find fruit-and-cheese platters, crudités and dip, and fresh fruit options, too.

Three locations: Kāhala Mall, 4211 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 738-0820; Kailua, 629 Kailua Road, Suite 100, (808) 263-6800; Ward Village, 388 Kamake‘e St., (808) 379-1800, wholefoodsmarket.com.


Next Stop, Noodles and Katsu

You know how good a platter is when someone can pick any takeout food within a 10-mile radius yet requests a favorite from familiar local chain Zippy’s. When one of our colleagues left to take a government job, we were all set to scour the island for gourmet goodies for his farewell. Then we realized he’d be happiest with some local favorites from Zippy’s. What better way to say we’ll miss you than a tray of chicken katsu and noodles? You can add teri beef and Portuguese sausage in a pūpū assortment, too. Get someone else to buy the beer.

Various locations, zippys.com


Poke Power

Tanioka's Poke Platter
photo: Tanioka's seafoods and catering


As festive as it is to just pry the tops off plastic containers from the store and plop them in the middle of the buffet, Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering platters will up your poke game. Pick your favorite poke from this Best of Honolulu and Hale ʻAina award-winning family business and you can pick up the fresh fish on a platter, garnished and party ready. Prices start at $55 and go up to $130 for the bigger portions. While you’re there, add on sashimi, vegetable or sushi platters featuring our Best of Honolulu pick for best inari sushi. Order by Dec. 18 for Christmas Eve pickup and Dec. 27 for New Year’s Eve plates. Tanioka’s will be closed Christmas Day and the day after, then Jan. 1 through 4. 

94-903 Farrington Highway, Waipahu, (808) 671-3779, taniokas.com


Musubi Champs

7-Eleven Hawaii Party Platters
7-Eleven's spam musubi and local fried saimin party platters.
photos: Courtesy of 7-eleven Hawai‘i


7-Eleven Hawai‘i may be your go-to place when you realize it’s 2 p.m. and you still don’t have enough time for a lunch break before your next meeting. Its party platters take its popular pick-up bites to the next level. Who wouldn’t be happy to have a platter of Spam musubi show up next to the crudités on the table? Especially the pūpū-size ones. You can also order sushi, veggies or other party platters and take pleasure in school-kine comfort food.

Various locations, 7elevenhawaii.com