8 Downtown Lunches Under $8

Get a good-size lunch that keeps you fueled for the rest of the work day—and doesn’t cut into your weekend cash.
Most dishes at Lam’s Kitchen range from as low as $4.25 for a plain rice soup to this fish fillet look fun for $7.50.
Photo: Diane Lee


It’s not as tough as you may think finding a cheap meal in downtown Honolulu. Ask us. We’re always looking for a deal. And we’re always hungry.


Fish Fillet Look Fun

Lam’s Kitchen


This tiny hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant is always packed during lunchtime. There’s a reason why and it’s well worth the wait. Most of the dishes range from as low as $4.25 for a plain rice soup to a reasonable $8 for a side order of pork blood clot with ginger and green onion (yum, right?). You can’t go wrong with the fish fillet look fun, since the noodles are made fresh daily. 

1152 Maunakea St., 536-6222

—Diane Lee


Summer Roll and Tuna Roll Combination Pack

Fort Street Café


This double-the-roll-double-the-fun mix of chilled shrimp summer rolls and Vietnamese tuna (as in canned, not ‘ahi) rolls comes with basil and fish sauce for the latter and peanut sauce for the former. It’s a quick-stop, hits-the-spot treat, but the best part? These parcels are pre-packed, so just march to the front of the line for a no-wait lunch pickup. 

1152 Fort St. Mall, 536-0455

—Natalie Schack


The döner rice plate ($7.50) from the döner shack is loaded with flavor and best when mixed all together. add feta cheese for an even $8 meal.
Photo: Katrina Valcourt


Döner Rice Plate

Döner Shack

$7.50 (cash only)

We’ve been looking for a decent kebab in Honolulu for years and finally realized this: If you can’t get it from a legit Turkish café, you might as well get it plate-lunch style. The döner rice plate at Döner Shack comes with either chicken or lamb (we get it mixed) shaved off a vertical rotisserie, rice, yogurt sauce, and salad with onion, cucumber, tomato and vinaigrette. Pour hot sauce on top, add feta for 50 cents (trust us—it makes the dish), and mix it all together.

79 Pauahi St., 286-0110

—Katrina Valcourt


Everything about this bowl—the freshness, the taste and the price—makes this a great choice for a cheap lunch.
Photo: Diane Lee


Chicken Bowl

Aloha Sushi


Skip the cold bentos and get the made-to-order chicken bowl from Aloha Sushi. This location’s chicken bowl never disappoints. The teriyaki chicken, ginger and green vegetables always taste fresh.

Topa Financial Center lobby, 745 Fort St., 585-7374

—Diane Lee


You get a lot of food with this curry udon set at Sushi Kahuna.
Photo: Diane Lee


Curry Udon Set

Sushi Kahuna


If you’re craving curry, stop by Sushi Kahuna to order the curry udon set (only available on Mondays and Fridays). The small curry set, which is reasonably priced and filling, comes with curry and rice, udon in soup and eight pieces of California roll.

212 Merchant St., 545-7848

—Diane Lee


Tacos at Taco Kabana on Union Street Mall are just $2.55. Even if you order three, lunch will still be under $8.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox


Chicken Tacos

Taco Kabana

$2.55 per taco

Taco Kabana, a former food truck, opened up a permanent location in downtown Honolulu last month and always offers $2.55 street-style chicken or steak tacos served on 4-inch tortillas. 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. They’re small, so you might want to order three (still under $8!). 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, 585-8186

—Bianca Sewake


The Field of Dreams features almond butter, strawberries, oats and honey, all for $7.
Photo: Katrina Valcourt


Field of Dreams

Extract Juice Bar


Whether Extract’s healthy, vegetarian pita pizzas can really be considered pizzas becomes irrelevant when you bite into the warm and toasty Field of Dreams: a scrumptious pita topped with almond butter, chunks of strawberries, oats and honey. Throw in a fresh juice or smoothie for $5 more, but the pizzas are filling enough on their own. Try the Fire Alarm (marinara, bell pepper, cilantro, cucumber, red pepper flakes) for slightly more traditional pizza flavors.

1001 Bishop St., Suite 103, 312-3263, extractjuicebar.net

—Katrina Valcourt


Pesto Pesto Crêpe

Le Crêpe Café


This fast-casual crêperie serves freshly made, traditional French crêpes that will satisfy your savory and sweet cravings. Most crêpes here are under $8. Try the Pesto Pesto ($7.50), which is packed with chicken, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and house-made pesto, all warm and gooey. There’s seating both in and outside the café, or take it back to the office and make your co-workers jealous.

1160 Fort St. Mall, 599-8400, lecrepecafe.com

—Catherine Toth Fox