For hearty comfort food served with endless aloha, jet on over to the Hana Hou Restaurant & Bakery in Naalehu. As the southernmost eatery in the US since the 1940s, this mom and pop restaurant is quite off the beaten path. But it’s well worth the long scenic drive to get there. Whether you want a huge meal or just need sweet treats in your life, put a visit on your itinerary whenever you end up on the Big Island.
Upon arriving, you’ll be treated just like family and get to enjoy the finest Hawaiian dishes plus tons of American classics. From plate lunches to pizza, they have a little bit of everything available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On top of that, they go all out in creating luscious baked goods bursting with tropical flavor, including the island favorite, lilikoi.
Every day starts with breakfast bright and early at 8am, featuring Breakfast Moco, The Scrambler, and even Chilaquiles. Their Pancakes are where it’s at, however, especially if you swing by with a big appetite. Always made as big as the plate, their super fluffy yet lightly sweet pancakes come with their delightful coconut syrup that’ll leave you singing its praises far and wide.
Right at 11am sharp, the breakfast fare ends its run for the day, making room for the lunch rush to start in earnest. Throughout the rest of the day, the chef focuses on creating sub sandwiches, pizzas, tacos, and so much more. Their plate lunches easily steal the limelight, however, with their classic Hawaiian flavors and stick to the ribs deliciousness.
As for the baked goods, they mainly focus on desserts, although they do keep cinnamon rolls in the regular rotation. Their desserts change often, too, so you never truly know what you’re going to see when you arrive. You’ll definitely smell the heavenly scent of dessert in the air, however, from the very second you walk through the doors.
Come by to try the:
If you want to keep your meal light to save room for their baked fare, treat yourself to the Stuffed Papaya. This dish starts with the preparation of their macadamia nut chicken salad. Once that’s done, they cut a fresh papaya in half, remove the seeds, and put the chicken salad right in the middle. After that, they put it all on a bed of greens before drizzling on the lilikoi vinaigrette.
For a unique take on a true classic, get the Italian Dip, for sure. This sub sandwich starts with an island-made hoagie roll cut in half. In the middle, they add thinly sliced roast beef, mozzarella cheese, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. A cup of au jus goes alongside for dipping.
When you’re craving rich, beefy flavors in every last bite, the Meatloaf Plate is the way to go. They create this dish by batch, mixing up their meatloaf using a secret recipe passed down through the generations. Then, they bake it until perfectly done, and then put a couple of slices on the plate. A scoop of rice goes alongside before the gravy gets poured on top. As if that’s not enough, you also get a side of your choice, like potato salad, mac salad, or coleslaw.
Their desserts change out often, but they’re all well worth trying to save room in your belly. Wonderful concoctions, like Almond Joy Pie, Carrot Cake, and Lemon Bars, all come out of the oven on the regular, after all. If you want to keep it simple, consider going with their Horchata instead. Made using rice and almond milk plus vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon, this drink will never fail to tantalize your tastebuds.
-If you’d like to take your meal to go, just call in your order ahead of time. They’ll have it packed up and ready to go when you get there.
-Need to keep wheat out of the equation? Ask about their gluten-free pizza crusts.
-Check their blackboard behind the counter to see the specials before ordering.