Hawaii Feasting: Lunch Edition

It's been just over two years since I moved home to Hawaii. I was fortunate to find a job early last year, just before things shut down due to the pandemic. I am grateful for this blessing every day. I work with a wonderful group of people and they introduce me to many delicious places that I never knew existed. Here are a few of the “new to me” places where we grab lunch:

Butcher & Bird

Both an artisan butcher and a deli, Butcher & Bird was a great find. There aren't many dedicated butcher shops in Hawaii and this is one of them. You can find house made sausages and fresh cuts of meat. The folks there are friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to help. But if you're looking for a really great, juicy, messy burger, try their double cheeseburger (and get lots of napkins). It's well worth the post-meal food coma.

Butcher & Bird - Double Cheeseburger
Butcher & Bird - Double Cheeseburger

Butcher & Bird - hand cut steaks
Pick up some hand cut steaks for dinner while you're there

Butcher & Bird

324 Coral St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 762-8095
Instagram: @butcherandbird

E.A.R.L.

If you're looking for a good, hearty sandwich, chances are you'll find something you like (or love) at E.A.R.L. The original location is in Kaimuki but the shop in Kakaako is closest to the office (and they have fries!). Their sandwiches are creative and the portions are generous. I always get two meals out of any sandwich I ordered (although some of my co-workers can easily devour a full sandwich).

E.A.R.L. - Fatboy Corned Beef Reuben
E.A.R.L. - Fatboy Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich

400 Keawe Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 744-3370
Instagram: @earlkakaako

Fat Cheeks Hawaii

As someone who spent a good part of her life in New England, it surprises me that I've eaten as many lobster rolls in Hawaii as I have. In Boston I almost always had a classic mayonnaise-based lobster roll but at Fat Cheeks, I have only had the garlic butter lobster roll. I've considered trying their classic version but the buttered lobster is just too good.

Fat Cheeks - Garlic Butter Lobster Roll
Fat Cheeks - Garlic Butter Lobster Roll

1200 Ala Moana Boulevard (in Ward Center)
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 773-4129
Instagram: @fatcheekshawaii

Hamada General Store

Hamada General Store is a place that pays homage to the plate lunch but also adds its own spin. It's both familiar and exciting to see their creative take on loco moco, poke, and lechon. They also have breakfast options and lighter fare (like the tofu watercress salad below).

Hamada General Store - Tofu & Watercress Salad
Hamada General Store - Tofu & Watercress Salad with Taegu

Hamada General Store - HGS Steak "Poke"
Hamada General Store - HGS Steak "Poke"

885 Queen St
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 379-1992

Left Wing Chicken

This popular South Korea fried chicken chain is located in the second floor food court at H-Mart in Kakaako. Their boneless chicken tenders are crispy, saucy, and spicy, but not too spicy. You can have them on their own, in a sandwich, or in a rice bowl. Just don't forget the pickles.

Left Wing Chicken - Korean Fried Chicken
Left Wing Chicken - Korean Fried Chicken

458 Keawe Street, H Mart Market Eatery
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 201-6386

O'Kim's Korean Kitchen

O'Kim's is an easy walk from the office and we're always looking at what may tempt us on the monthly menu specials. They prepare tasty, modern Korean dishes and offer a balance of meat and vegetarian options.

O'Kim's Korean Kitchen - Kal Bi Steak
O'Kim's Korean Kitchen - Kal Bi Steak

1028 Nuuanu Ave
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 537-3787
Instagram: @okims_honolulu

'Ōlena by Chef Ron Simon

Like Hamada General Store, 'Ōlena offers a chefier version of the plate lunch like prime rib katsu and adobo fried rice. They also offer other comfort classics like chicken pot pie and cheesesteaks. And I can't resist the oh-so-Instagrammable Royal Filipino Lemonade.

Ōlena by Chef Ron Simon - Royal Filipino Lemonade
Ōlena by Chef Ron Simon - Royal Filipino Lemonade

1933 Republican St.
Honolulu, HI 96819
(808)-745-7777
Instagram: @olenahi

Pongo's Kitchen

Pongo's is one of those old school local places with very little parking and super yummy food. It's a place I would have never known about if it wasn't for my co-workers. My favorite is the guava chicken - yes, more fried chicken. It's a little sweet, a little spicy, with generous portions to take you straight to a delicious food coma.

Pongo's Kitchen - Guava Chicken
Pongo's Kitchen - Guava Chicken

414 Mokauea Street, Suite D.
Honolulu, HI  96819
(808) 847-2291
Instagram: @pongoskitchen

Scratch Kitchen

To be honest, I only went to Scratch once and I don't remember much. What I do remember is deep fried deviled eggs. Yes, that's right, deep fried deviled eggs. Go get 'em!

Scratch Kitchen - Deep Fried Deviled Eggs
Scratch Kitchen - Deep Fried Deviled Eggs

1170 Auahi St Suite 175
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 589-1669

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