After an epic surf sesh or hiking adventure in the mountains, there’s no doubt you’ve worked up an appetite. A burger? A plate lunch? One popular Hawaii restaurant seems to always come to mind with its catch phrase: “Next Stop, Zippy’s!” The Honolulu-based eatery has become a 46-year-old mainstay in the islands as the go-to place for local favorites. However, Zippy’s recently announced its “Next Stop,” a first-ever location on the Big Island this summer.
Hilo will finally enjoy Zip Pacs and chili when it gets its first restaurant this summer.
For the local community, this is a BIG deal! I remember visiting Maui several years ago. On the way from the airport, the family hosting us pointed out some island landmarks; one in particular got them bouncing at the edge of their seats – the spot of the island’s future Zippy’s. Needless to say, for the remainder of the car ride, we drooled over the thought of Zip Pacs (a bento lunch with fried chicken teriyaki beef, battered fish and some Spam with rice)and Napples (a flaky turnover with fruit and chocolate filling).
Currently, the restaurant has 24 locations on Oahu and one on Maui. Kauai residents also had a short-live opportunity to enjoy Zippy’s foods until Hurricane Iniki showed up in 1992, causing the first neighbor island location to shut down. That’s how Napples, a flaky turnover made with fruit and chocolate filling, became one of those foods Oahu visitors carried back with them on the plane.
“Chili” has also become synonymous with Zippy’s, which makes about 110 tons of it every month. They sell tubs of it as fundraiser items or incorporate it with other dishes. My favorite? The chili burrito, which doesn’t take much explanation, really. It’s a bean-filled burrito smothered with chili and cheese. And to finish off the meal, I always get a chocolate-filled Napple for dessert. You’d be amazed at how many dishes Zippy’s has on its menu, including loco moco, saimin and fried rice.