Will You be Eating Fast Food on your Hawaii Vacation?

Fast Food in Hawaii- Are You Planning to Indulge?

I think at one time or another, fast food has played some sort of role for everyone. Whether it’s what you were raised on as a kid, what you had to eat when you were on a budget, or what you currently still indulge with, fast food is undoubtedly a part of American culture. Which is why you will find fast food restaurants not only throughout the nation, but throughout the entire globe as well. Many travelers think that if they visit the Caribbean, Mexico, or even Hawaii, that they won’t spot the familiar golden “M” arches against the red background, the purple bell, or freckle faced Wendy. Fast food is everywhere though, so it’s up to you to choose whether or not you want to eat it while you’re on vacation.

We posed the question, “Do you plan on eating at fast food restaurants when you come to Hawaii? Be honest :) Customer just asked which ones we have” on our Facebook page and received over fifty comments from fans. Many folks said they looked forward to the local style fast food, such as lunch trucks, plate lunches, and uniquely local spots like Zippy’s, Puka Dogs, and Rainbow Drive Inn. What I find interesting is that many people are open to eating the familiar fast food from places like Jack in the Box and McDonald’s, but not from the Hawaiian style fast food places. If you’re vacationing to Hawaii and you plan to eat fast food, you might as well experience the Hawaiian style stuff instead of the fast food you can get anywhere- do as the locals do and kaukau!

The most popular fast food restaurant that was mentioned on the facebook conversation thread was Jack in the Box. I’m not surprised. I’ve noticed that people have some strange sort of allegiance to Jack in the Box, and many times it’s for their extremely cheap tacos. The second most mentioned place was McDonald’s, but what I found interesting is how the Hawaiian McDonald’s serve items with local flavors. Like the taro and haupia pies. Now that’s a great way to entice tourists to eat fast food! Make it Hawaiian!

One fan made the comment, “If you eat fast food at home, likely you’ll eat it anywhere … especially if you’ve got kids.” Very true statement. Just because you’re traveling or on vacation, doesn’t mean you’ll stray from your normal habits. In fact, if you’re accustomed to eating fast food at home, chances are you’ll eat it more than normal when traveling because it’s within your comfort zones and is what’s recognizable. Often times people don’t want to step outside of what’s familiar when traveling because of certain worries or concerns, also for budgeting reasons too. And everyone knows that when you’re traveling with kids, one meal for the whole family can end up being in the triple digits.

I think the best way to approach the situation is to stay open to trying foods that are different and part of the culture you’re currently in. If you were traveling to India, rotis would be a good fast food style meal. Gyros from Greece, pho from Vietnam, fried chicken from the south; there are different fast foods for different locations. And another thing, fast food doesn’t have to mean McDonald’s or Taco Bell. In Hawaii, it can be a delicious plate lunch from the local fish market, coconut shrimp from the Kahuku shrimp trucks, quick sushi rolls from the local grocery store, a healthy pita wrap from Pupukea Grill lunch truck, or a fresh bakery item from Leonard’s.

Remain open minded when traveling anywhere, because you’re only cutting yourself short by not trying the variety of flavors from around the world. And we may be biased when we say this, but Hawaii just may have some of the best dishes you’ll ever have the pleasure of sampling!

Getting Stuck in the Middle

Our other monologue topic today is the role that some tend to take on when planning a vacation. It’s common for one person to be the planner, therefore making the decisions on where to eat, the daytime activities, itinerary, and ultimately, keeping everyone happy. Often times this person gets put in the middle of arguments when others don’t agree on the decision, and it makes for a stressful situation for this “planner” person. With this job being as exhaustive at it is, it’s hard for the planner to make time for themselves and actually enjoy their vacation. It seems their happiness is forfeited for the happiness of others, and that’s simply not a good way to go about vacationing.

This is exactly why booking through a local travel company (ahem Hawaii Aloha Travel) is such a good idea. We completely eliminate the weight on the planner’s shoulders, allowing that person to relax and enjoy their trip to Hawaii. And, by planning in advance, we can compromise on various activities that everyone will like. Whether you’re planning a family vacation with wide age variations, a bachelorette or birthday party with different vacationing preferences, or a business trip with certain expectations, Hawaii Aloha Travel will be sure to cover everything.

If you find yourself falling into the role as “planner” while on your Hawaii vacation, do yourself a favor and give a Hawaii Aloha agent a call. We can help with the details and make sure every member of your travel party is happy. Just remember, you can’t always please everyone but with Hawaii Aloha Travel, you can get pretty darn close.

Local Biz Shout outs!

  • Honua Kai, Maui from James Neely
  • Duke’s Restaurant at the Outrigger in Waikiki (and their hula pie) from Carol Schovanec Silverstein
  • The Hawaiians who are trying to keep their traditions and culture alive by educating their youth from James Neely
  • Kainoa McGee Board Company From L.P. Neenz Faleafine
  • Wave Shoppe Hawaiian Shirts from Charles Stankovich
  • Pop-a-Lock of Honolulu from Catherine Mansfield Walker
  • Pro Dive Hawaii Greg Hense-Dorroh
  • Makani Catamaran in Honolulu from Tara D. Coomans
  • SoHo Computer Repair from Peggy Sucher
  • Grammy-winning HHS Jazz Band’s director Gary Washburn premiers his original music in concert 10/27 Earth Life: October Full Moon from Cathey Tarleton
  • Moose McGillycuddy’s from Bobbi Burgess
  • Tour Talk Oahu from Denise Moreland
  • Zippy’s from AlohaKarina Chapman
Since 2006 Bruce Fisher has been publishing the Hawaii Vacation Blog and the Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast which, create daily content about Hawaii Travel and Tourism. This Blog is the only online resource providing Hawaii-based information aimed at travelers seven days per week. Postings reflect the Hawaiian Islands, their culture and their lifestyle as accurately and thoroughly as possible.

5 COMMENTS

  1. HAWAII VACATIONS is the first thing I go to when I log into Facebook…this native NYer is instantly transported to the islands! At Hawaii-Aloha.com I find out everything about Hawaii that only locals know. Bruce, you and your company are invaluable, so a big “shout out” goes to YOU for all you do for us all! Mahalo!

  2. Aloha,
    Would not be a problem for me as I am a single woman, no kids and would be traveling by myself.

    When I get to Hawaii I plan on tasting everything I have seen on Food-network and on the TV series Hawaii 5 0 !!
    What I also plan on doing as well is to support local businesses as much as possible !

  3. It’s funny – I don’t eat typical fast food at home (except for In’n'Out – a big part of me is California to the core!) but I almost always hit McD’s when I’m traveling far from home. They’ve done a remarkable job of incorporating local flavors and specialties into their menus, and that’s something I can’t get at home. Maybe I’d go more often if I could!

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