Reader Poll: What’s Your Favorite Okazuya on O‘ahu?
Tell us your fave spot for Hawai‘i’s OG build-your-own plate lunch.
Pretty much everyone can name a favorite okazuya. Whether you grew up near one, stop by one on your commute to work or drive out of your way for the one with the best hash patty or cone sushi, okazuya have a way of hard-wiring into our foodie DNA. And they should.
SEE ALSO: Best Okazuyas on O‘ahu: Our Top 5
Okazuya are a Hawai’i thing, born on the sugar and cane plantations when industrious women cooked and sold all kinds of side dishes for hungry bachelors heading to work in the fields. Today they serve affordable, humble comfort food by the piece or portion. Dishes range from very old-school (Fukuya’s shiraae, blanched vegetables mixed with mashed tofu, miso and sesame) to contemporary stuff like furikake fried chicken and Mitsuba’s sweet potato crumbles. It goes without saying that okazuya food now is more than just Japanese—chorizo at Kabuki, guisantes sometimes at Gulick’s, collard greens at Nu‘uanu, and chow fun everywhere, always. Maybe the best part? We’re so used to seeing them as holdovers from the past, mourning as one after another closes, that we almost couldn’t believe it when two actually opened in recent years.
So here’s an informal poll to find O‘ahu’s favorites. We’re looking for those whose selections are lined up in mouthwatering displays, waiting for you to point and choose; and not bento or plate lunch counters. Vote for your top pick below, then check back next week for the results. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. HST on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021.