Ultimate Guide to O‘ahu Bon Dance Food 2023
Newly updated with food lineups for bon dances through the rest of the season.
Though originally from Japan, bon odori or bon dances have been celebrated in Hawai‘i for over a century, and this summer is no exception. A bon dance traditionally involves putting on a yukata or happi coat and dancing to honor your ancestors, but in the last decade, it has also become a must-attend festival for fans of simple, old-fashioned local grinds. From andagi to shave ice, hot dogs to flying saucers, many temples enlist elders and Scout troops to do the cooking, so bon dance food satisfies the way only traditional homemade meals can.
Whether you and your friends go all out at the 10th Mōʻiliʻili Summer Fest—easily Honolulu’s largest bon dance—or check out a smaller neighborhood bon dance with your family, do not pass up the chance to sample some bites between dance numbers around the yagura musicians’ tower. Most temples only accept cash, so come prepared.
SEE ALSO: O‘ahu Bon Dance Schedule 2023
June 23–24: Honpa Hongwanji Hawai‘i Betsuin
Where: 1727 Pali Highway
Time: 6 p.m. short service, taiko, dance from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Contact: (808) 536-7044
Parking: Hongwanji Mission School, Kawānanakoa Middle School and Soto Mission of Hawaii
Grinds: Friday and Saturday: BBQ Plate, BBQ Bowl, Chili Bowl, Teri Hamburger, Saimin, Soybeans, Baked Goods, Spam Musubi, Shave Ice, Water, Juice, Soda
Additional on Friday night: Hot Dog
Additional on Saturday night: Fried Noodles, Limited Baked Goods, Andagi
June 23–24: Wahiawā Hongwanji
Where: 1067 California Ave.
When: 6 p.m.
Contact: (808) 622-4320
Parking: Street parking
Grinds: Four Mini-Bentos from Marian’s Catering: Teri Chicken and Rice, Fish and Rice, Grilled Tofu and Rice, Pancit
Made by temple volunteers: Spam Musubi, Shave Ice, Mochi with Toppings, Taiyaki
July 1: Mō‘ili‘ili Summer Fest*
Where: 1100 University Ave.
When: 5 to 10 p.m., dance begins at 6 p.m.
Contact: (808) 949-1659
Parking: Free parking will be available on Saturday, July 1, at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus from 4 to 11 p.m., with complimentary shuttle services to and from the festival.
Grinds by food vendors: 808 Island Cravingz, Blue Truck Teppanyaki, Chibi Confectionary, Da Lemonade Squad, Da Mochi Guys, El Gallo Food Truck, Evisuya, Kona Ice, Reecieb’s Onolicious Local Food, Sama Sama, Sweet Revenge Honolulu, Waialua BBQ, Celine’s Best, Corn Onoz Hawai‘i, JJ’s Treats, Olay Thai-Lao Express, TK World, My Sweet World 808, Sala Thai, Asato Family Sherbet—and if space permits, there will be more!
Mō‘ili‘ili Hongwanji Concession Stand: Shoyu Pork, Yakisoba, Natto Pasta, Teri Burger, Saimin, Spam Musubi, Mochi
Clothing vendors: Eden in Love and Sumofish on Friday and Saturday, other vendors TBD
*While the one-night bon dance and street festival happens on July 1, volunteers from Mō‘ili‘ili Hongwanji Buddhist Temple will be at 1100 University Ave. on Friday evening, June 30, selling takeout andagi, Kaua‘i-style flying saucers from Saucer King 808 and sherbet by Asato Family Sherbet. Also on offer will be collab merchandise—Mō‘ili‘ili Summer Fest logo tote bags by Eden in Love and Mō‘ili‘ili Summer Fest logo T-shirts by Sumofish—as well as newly designed Mō‘ili‘ili Hongwanji bon dance towels.
July 8: Windward Buddhist Temple
Where: 268A Ku‘ulei Road
When: Food from 6 p.m. until sold out, dances from 7 to 10 p.m.
Contact: (808) 262-4560
Parking: Kailua Elementary School
Grinds: Andagi, BBQ, Hot Dog, Homemade Chili, Spam Musubi (food lineup subject to change)
July 7–8: Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Church of Hawai‘i
Where: 2280 Auhuhu St.
When: 6 to 9 p.m.
Contact: (808) 455-3212
Parking: Palisades Elementary School, Palisades Baptist Church, Pacific Palisades Community Park and street parking
Grinds: Oden, Beef Bento, Beef Sticks, Hot Dog, Teri Burger, Grilled Corn, Chow Fun, Chow Mein, Lumpia, Warabi Mochi, Hot Saimin, Spam Musubi, Shave Ice with Mochi Balls and Condensed Milk
Drinks: Bubble Tea, Blended Hot/Cold Coffee, Soda, Juice
Performance by Young Okinawans of Hawai‘i and Tavita
July 7–8: Koboji Shingon Mission
Where: 1223 N. School St.
When: Food will be available after prayer service at 6 p.m., dances from 7 to 10 p.m., mini bazaar from 6 to 10 p.m.
Contact: (808) 841-7033
Parking: Overflow parking at Damien Memorial School
Grinds: Chili, Hamburger, Shave Ice, Andagi (food lineup subject to change)
Taiko from Wahiawa Ryugen Taiko
July 8: Waipahu Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
Where: 94-821 Kuhaulua St.
When: Services and food will start at 5 p.m., dances from 7 to 10 p.m.
Contact: (808) 677-4221
Parking: Street parking
Grinds: Andagi, Bento, Fried Noodles, Filipino Food (food lineup subject to change)
July 14–15: Wahiawā Ryusenji-Soto Mission
Where: 162 California Ave.
When: No set start time yet for food, taiko performance Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., additional performance on Friday 8 p.m., Okinawan dance on Saturday night at 8:15 p.m.
Contact: (808) 622-1429
Parking: Overflow parking at Ka‘ala Elementary School
Grinds: Hot Dog, Saimin, BBQ Stick, Teriyaki Hamburger, Mini Plate Lunches (Chicken Hekka, Chili and Rice, Hamburger and Rice, Curry and Rice)
July 21–22: Haleiwa Jodo Mission
Where: 66-279 Haleiwa Road
When: 7 to 10 p.m., floating lantern ceremony on Saturday at 9 p.m.
Contact: (808) 637-4382
Parking: Ali‘i Beach Park
Grinds: Bento, Hot Dog, Maki Sushi, Teri Burger (food lineup subject to change)
July 22: Jikoen Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
Where: 1731 N. School St.
When: 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Contact: (808) 845-3422
Parking: Kapalama Elementary School
Grinds: Fresh andagi, BBQ Chicken Plate, Okinawan Sweet Potato Pie, KC Waffle Dogs, Spam Musubi, Teri Burgers, Saimin, Fried Noodles, Maki Sushi, Soybeans, Shave Ice, Soft Drinks, Assorted Baked Goods, Furikake Goteburg Musubi, Kandabajushi (Okinawan rice porridge with sweet potato leaves), Uchinaa Soba, Rafute Bowl (food lineup subject to change)
Aug. 4: Pālolo Hongwanji hosted by My Treehouse Club
Where: 1641 Pālolo Ave.
When: 5 to 8 p.m.
Parking: Jarrett Middle School, 1903 Pālolo Ave., (with shuttle service) and street parking; no parking at temple
Grinds: From Asato Family Sherbet, Da Bald Guy, Krazy Dogs, Morning Catch, Nabeya Maido, The Rice Factory, Teruya’s Andagi
Aug. 5–6: Waipahu Soto Zen Temple Taiyoji
Where: 94-413 Waipahu St.
When: Food stands open at 5 p.m., Friday 6:30 p.m. opening ceremony and Waipahu Taiyoji taiko performance, bon dance runs from 7 to 10 p.m. both nights
Contact: (808) 671-3103
Parking: Waipahu Elementary School
Grinds: Beef Stew with rice, Grilled Chicken with rice, Potato and Beef Croquettes, French Fries, Fried Chicken Wings, Fried Noodles, Spam Musubi, Teri Burger
Also: Andagi and Andadogs (Hawai‘i Eisa Shinyuu Kai), Homemade Cookies, Ice Cream, Shave Ice, Canned Soft Drinks, Bottled Water
Aug. 11–12: Soto Mission of ‘Aiea — Taiheiji
Where: 99-045 Kauhale St.
When: 6 to 10 p.m. with performances by Somei Taiko at 7:30 p.m. and Hawai‘i Eisa Shinyuu Kai at 8:30 p.m. both nights
Contact: (808) 488-6794
Parking: ‘Aiea Methodist Church and Alvah Scott Elementary School
Grinds: Chili Rice Bowl, Chili Frank Plate, Chili Dog, Teriyaki Chicken Plate, Kalua Pig Plate, Chili Cheese Nachos, Hot Dog, Teri Burger, Saimin, Fried Noodles, Shave Ice, Baked Goods
Aug. 12: Pearl City Hongwanji
Where: 858 2nd St.
When: Food booths open at 5:30 p.m., bon dance starts at 7 p.m.
Parking: 858 2nd St. under freeway overpass, follow instructions from parking attendants; and Lehua Elementary School
Grinds: Hamburger Bowl with gravy and corn, PCH Special Chili, Teri Burger, Chinese Chicken Salad, Fried Noodles, Lumpia, Spam Musubi, Extra Special Wakayama Apple Ume Musubi (limited quantity), Shave Ice, Fancy Dessert Bar with coffee or Japanese tea
Also: Poke Bowl (Pearl City Judo Club), Andagi (Da Andagi Guy), Kettle Corn, Baked Goods
Aug. 18–19: Mililani Hongwanji
Where: 95-257 Kaloapau St.
When: Food booth, country store, craft fair and silent auction open at 5:30 p.m., bon dance starts at 7 p.m.
Parking: Street parking
Grinds: Friday: Bento from Marian’s Catering, regular and vegetarian; Mini Bento of nishime and rice, Kona Ice, Roselani Ice Cream, Birria or Chicken Tacos, Quesadillas, Mexican Grilled Corn, Nachos, Hawaiian and local food; Clubhouse Mililani BBQ chicken, Dry Mein, and Temaki Sushi Rolls made to order; Andagi by Da Andagi Guy
Saturday will feature Friday’s vendors plus Reecie B’s Poke Nachos and Kalbi Fries, Waialua BBQ Barbecue Skewers, Marinated Pork Belly, Banana Lumpia, Kalua Pig and Cabbage, Chili and Rice, Hot Dogs
Aug. 19: Jodo Mission of Hawai‘i
Where: 1429 Makiki St.
When: Jizo Bon prayer at 4:15 p.m., food booths open at 4:30 p.m., Dragon Beat taiko performance at 4:30 p.m., opening prayer at 5 p.m., bon dance starts at 5:05 p.m., bon dance ends at 9:30 p.m.
Contact: (808) 949-3996
Parking: Hawai‘i Mission Academy Ka Lama Iki School, Shriners Children’s Hawai‘i; temple parking lot will close at 4 with no exiting until after bon dance ends; handicap drop-off available
Grinds: Makizushi, Garlic Chicken Bento, Spam Musubi, Hamburger, Saimin, Ramen, Chili Bowl, Curry Bowl, Andagi, Shave Ice, Canned Drinks, Water
Note: The temple requests (but won’t require) that attendees wear face masks.
Also: Bon dance practice on the front lawn on Aug. 15 and 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. is open to the public.
Aug. 26: Megabon by Todaiji Hawai‘i and JCI
Where: Aloha Stadium, Lower Halawa Lot
When: 5 to 9 p.m.
Parking: Self-parking onsite $9. There will also be an Uber drop-off area and Honolulu Skyline (the rail) will run until 10 p.m. specially for Megabon
Grinds: Food, drinks and snacks by Bakudan Poke, Noma No Kome, Linaka’s, “Da Hub Truck” Kealoha Seafoods, Fujiyama Texas, Pitch Sports Bar, Sushi King x Makanai, Donnie’s Barbeque Smoke House, Aloha Scoops, RMD Hawai‘i Andagi, Ilea’s Kitchen, Wrap and Roll Lunch Wagon, Happy Belly Eatery, Celine’s Best, Island Sausage, Corn Onoz Hawai‘i, Island Patty, Reecie B’s Onolicious Local Food, Str’Eats of Aloha, Hawaiian Honey Cones; Dragon Tea Girls, Da Lemonade Squad, Sugah Daddeh’s Kane Juice, The Alley, Tropicold Wai; My Sweet World 808, Yo Mama’s Mochi & Snacks, Tiny Crab Apples, Any Kine Snax, Mocheeks, Ooohmami
Also: Beer Garden sponsored by Aloha Beer Co., JCI Honolulu Somen, Ramune, & Merchandise Booths; plus games, retail booths, special performances
Note: Bring your own chairs and blankets so you can sit in the picnic areas.
Sept. 2: Okinawan Festival Bon Dance
Where: Hawai‘i Convention Center (free admission)
When: 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Parking: Hawai‘i Convention Center ($15); Ala Moana Center designated parking section on Waikīkī side, any level between Bloomingdale’s and Target. Use promo code HCC22 for 50% off parking rates. Shuttle to HCC ($3) from alternate parking sites, locations to be announced.
Grinds: Andagi, Andadog, Okinawa Soba, Yakitori, Bentos
Sept. 16: Autumn Okinawa Dance Matsuri
Where: Hawai‘i Okinawa Center, 94-587 Uke‘e St., Waipahu
When: 5 p.m.
Parking: Hawai‘i Okinawa Center and street parking; no parking at Hawai‘i Okinawa Plaza
Grinds: Okinawa Soba*, Tofu Salad*, Bentos, Walking Taco, Musubi, Fresh Andagi & Andadog, Pastries, Shave Ice, Boba Tea*