Can You Guess Hawaii’s Favorite Comfort Food?
Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes, and unique culture. But when it comes to food, Hawaii has a lot to offer as well. From traditional Hawaiian dishes to international cuisine, the island has something for everyone. However, there is one comfort food that stands out as a favorite among locals. Can you guess what it is?
The Comfort Food: Plate Lunch
That’s right, Hawaii’s favorite comfort food is the plate lunch. A plate lunch typically consists of a scoop of white rice, macaroni salad, and a main dish, usually some type of meat like chicken, pork, or beef. Plate lunches can be found at restaurants and food trucks all over the island, and are a staple in the local diet.
The Origins of Plate Lunch
The origins of the plate lunch can be traced back to the plantation days of Hawaii in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Immigrant workers from Japan, the Philippines, and Portugal brought their own unique cuisines to the islands, which eventually blended together to create the plate lunch.
During the plantation era, workers didn’t have a lot of time or money to spend on meals. They needed something quick, filling, and affordable to keep them going throughout the day. The plate lunch was the perfect solution. It provided a complete meal that was easy to eat on the go, and could be customized to fit individual tastes and dietary restrictions.
The Evolution of Plate Lunch
Over the years, the plate lunch has evolved and adapted to changing tastes and trends. Today, plate lunch options can include anything from Korean fried chicken to vegan tofu poke. However, the classic plate lunch with its white rice, macaroni salad, and meat dish still remains a favorite among locals.
Where to Find the Best Plate Lunch
If you’re looking to try Hawaii’s favorite comfort food, there are plenty of places to choose from. Here are a few of the best spots on the island:
- Rainbow Drive-In – Located in Kapahulu, Rainbow Drive-In has been serving up plate lunches since 1961. Their famous “mixed plate” includes a little bit of everything, including teriyaki beef, chicken, and mahi mahi.
- L&L Hawaiian Barbecue – With locations all over the island, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is a popular spot for plate lunches. Their “Hawaiian BBQ mix” includes chicken katsu, barbecue beef, and kalua pork.
- Yummy Korean BBQ – If you’re looking for a plate lunch with a Korean twist, Yummy Korean BBQ in Kalihi is the place to go. Their “Korean plate lunch” includes beef bulgogi, chicken teriyaki, and spicy pork.
- Highway Inn – With locations in Waipahu and Kaka’ako, Highway Inn has been serving up traditional Hawaiian plate lunches since 1947. Their kalua pig plate lunch is a must-try for any visitor to the island.
Hawaii’s favorite comfort food, the plate lunch, is a testament to the island’s rich history and diverse culture. Whether you prefer classic Hawaiian dishes or international cuisine, there is a plate lunch out there for everyone. So next time you’re on the island, be sure to try one of the many delicious plate lunch options available and experience the true taste of Hawaii.