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Call it the midnight munchies or just plain hunger, but sometimes that pang in your stomach hits when most everyone is asleep – including the cooks!
So where do you go when you’re up late in Hawaii in search of some food to fix your hunger funk? I’d start with your hotel first. Most have room service or a signature restaurant that can whip up a good meal in-house. Some hotels, on the other hand, have dropped the luxury of room service all together, instead resorting to outsourced companies. And even those don’t stay open very late.
Many make their next stop Zippy’s when they’re looking for some late night eats.
You (and your tummy) are in luck if you’re vacationing on Oahu and find yourself in a similar pickle. From cheeseburgers and fries to a sake and sushi, there are tons of places that open late; some open 24 hours, like Likelike Drive-Inn and select Zippy’s. Sanoya’s has been long known as the go-to spot for a sobering bowl of steamy saimin; you know, after you stumble out of the clubs, tired from all that late-night dancing?
Our favorite 24-hour food joint has always been Liliha Bakery. Why? Because not only will you find the experience of “old-school dining,” but you’ll also find breakfast. As in, sweet bread French toast and omelets. Coffee, too! Just be warned, everyone tends to have the same idea ‘round 11, 12 o’clock at night, so be prepared to wait in line for a seat at the bar.
Other islands might be limited in their late-night dining selection. On Maui, you’ll find 24-hour restaurants that include Denny’s (Kahului and Kihei), McDonalds (Kahului) and Zippy’s (Kahului). Not sure about 24-hour restaurants on Kauai; 11 p.m. at Duke’s Canoe Club seems to be the latest. There are also bars, like Tomkats Grille and Keoki’s Paradise, that close at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively. Mind you, they’re bars, so if you’ve got hungry little tykes, then I wouldn’t recommend going there.
Surprisingly, with how non-existent the Big Island’s nightlife is, they actually have a 24-hour eatery. Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo offers more breakfast at midnight options that make you wish you could go to sleep, just to do it all over again in the morning!