You Voted: Here Are Your Top 5 Foods at This Week’s Punahou Carnival

You always knew malasadas would win by a landslide. But can you name the other four best-sellers?


Punahou Carnival Scrip Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen


Judging from how Your Ultimate Guide to the 2023 Punahou Carnival has been topping HONOLULU Magazine’s most-viewed list, a mega lot of us will converge on the Mānoa campus this Friday and Saturday for one of the most anticipated events of the year. Yes, there will be games, kiddie rides, a silent auction, art sale, variety show, et cetera, but for foodies THE question is what are you eating?


Because the Punahou Carnival is the event equivalent of Zippy’s by now. Gyros, taco salad, fried noodles—everyone can name their favorite food. Perhaps the biggest news in the food realm this year is the absence of the chicken plate, the top write-in vote-getter on our poll.


Thank you to all who cast their votes. Now read on to see how your favorite Punahou Carnival food fared.


SEE ALSO: Your Ultimate Guide to the 2023 Punahou Carnival


No. 5: Fried noodles

Punahou Carnival Fried Noodles Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen

No outdoor food fest in Hawai‘i is complete without some kind of noodles. Team Fried Noodles showed up this year, casting 6.9% of all votes.



No. 4: Gyros

It’s 14 scrip for the meaty version, 7 scrip for vegetarian. We’re betting the one filled with slices of lamb soaking up the tahini is what pushed it into fourth spot with 11.5% of votes.



No. 3: Teriburger

Punahou Carnival Teri Burger Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen

As a former carnival chairwoman told us, ”It’s a May’s patty from Costco, but there’s something about eating it at Carnival …” We even know people who buy multiple teriburgers and throw them in the freezer to preserve the magic. The allure is real: Teriburgers are the fave of 14.9% of voters.



No. 2: Portuguese bean soup

It’s Portuguese bean soup—ham hocks, kidney beans, cabbage, carrots—and on cool February nights, especially when it rains, this is what 19.3% of voters want in their bellies. Comes in three sizes (8, 16 and 32 ounces) so you can eat it on the spot, get some for later or both.



No. 1: Malasadas

Punahou Carnival Malasadas Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen

Face it, the main reason for doing this poll was to determine once and for all just how popular Punahou Carnival malasadas are. Because it’s not enough to know that carnival-goers eat 140,000 pounds of these every year. For those who’ve been wondering how dominant Team Malasadas is, this is the must-have food for 32.5% of voters. Got that? That’s roughly equal to Nos. 2 and 3, Team Portuguese Bean Soup and Team Teriburger, combined.


And you know what? These do freeze well, so go ahead, bite into the doughy, nutmeggy rounds this Friday and Saturday, then wipe the sugar off your chin and freeze the rest to relive the magic all over again.


For more information about the Feb. 3 and 4 event, check out the carnival website.



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