Honolulu food trucks give “to go” a whole other meaning.

Everything from a basic sandwich to a complicated coffee drink to a chef-prepared meal comes from a truck in Hawaii. Not delivered in boxes by a huge semi, these food trucks are cafes on wheels. Some are quite elaborate while others are…. basic. The photo above is from a recent community rally – there was a line of food trucks instead of the traditional food booths selling snacks and drinks. These trucks are a fun alternative for families coming to Hawaii on vacations.

The first time I saw a food truck was on campus. That truck fell in the “basic” category, although I’ve come to depend on its cheap sandwiches, bentos and plate lunches. It caters to students and professors with limited funds and undiscerning palates. There are several other food trucks that also serve campus with slightly upgraded menus (and pricing).

HOWEVER, I have since encountered the much fancier food trucks of Honolulu. Some specialize in a particular cuisine and some are off-shoots of established restaurants. At the community rally, I got a marvelous pear and gouda sandwich from a truck that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches (Melt).

Most importantly, some trucks have a fixed location (like the one on campus) while others roam around town. To find them, you can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, or ask around each day to see if anyone knows where they are.

I know where many of them will be this evening

Eat the Street Honolulu

A first-ever food truck rally is from 6-9 pm this evening on Kapiolani Boulevard. I don’t usually like lists, but the names of the trucks attending gives you an idea of the variety of offerings:

Gogi Korean Tacos – Gourmet Asian-Mexican Fusion
Cafe Truck – Coffee, Blended Beverages, Tea
Jawaiian Irie Jerk – Bringing Jamaican Food To Hawaii
Taco Vicente – Tacos Al Pastor… Yum!
Shogunai Tacos – A culinary taco journey
Xtreme Tacos – Tacos With Attitude
Dixie Grill – Southern BBQ in the middle of the Pacific!
Melt – Not you’re ordinary Grilled Cheese Sandwich!
Soul Patrol – Southern Pacific Fusion
Malias Pasteles and Poke – Hawaii’s favorite Pastele and PokeBookmark
Lickity Split – mobile ice cream and frozen desserts
Let Them Eat Cupcakes: They Make Killer Cupcakes!
Le Crepe Cafe – home of the traditional French Crepe

This list is from the Streetgrindz website, which is organizing the rally. The website lists the various trucks, their offerings and locations. If you are trying to find a particular truck, it’s a handy resource. For visitors, tho, it’s probably easier to just stop when you see one. The first sign of a food truck is often the line of locals waiting to be served.

I don’t know if food trucks have arrived on any of the islands other than Oahu; feel free to weigh in if you live on or visit the neighbor islands.


  1. The only one I know of on Kauai is in Hanalei, serves taro and plate lunches and is excellent. Would love to have that many food trucks here! 

  2. Well i have heard that Paiva's Lunchwagon has became very popular and is known for the crab cakes, panadillas, and pasteles and pastele stew… they should be on here too 

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