#250 of 0 The Big Island Restaurants

Manuela Malasadas Co

Manuela Malasadas Co: Authentic Confections Served Fresh
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Donut connoisseurs will want to make a beeline for the Manuela Malasadas Co stand, which serves a uniquely Hawaiian confection with distinctly local fillings such as ube cheesecake and haupia. Stop by the side of the road to sample your fill of freshly-made confections before washing it all down with a lilikoi mango lemonade. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Many of Hawaii’s best culinary experiences involve food trucks and carts. These gems often serve the most authentic and most deliciously prepared treats. This is abundantly clear when ordering from Manuela Malasadas Co, which is distinctly Hawaiian. This beloved Big Island stand serves the amazing Portuguese confection known as malasadas, which are made to order with several types of fillings and sugars. 

Because this food truck’s confections are made fresh, you may need to wait up to ten minutes before they’re ready to eat. You will quickly find, however, that this wait is more than worthwhile, as it ends with a pile of hot, freshly filled malasadas that are fluffy on the inside and crispy at the edges.

The ordering process has been streamlined by a simple sign that instructs you to select the number of malasadas, the type of sugar, and the filling. Be sure to glance at the specials, as each day delivers unique malasadas that you might otherwise never get the opportunity to sample.

If you crave a sweet beverage to accompany your malasada, you’re in luck: the food truck provides multiple options, such as refreshing lilikoi mango lemonade and iced Kona coffee. Water is also available.

Once you receive your order, be prepared to eat it right away. The side-of-the-road location is part of the charm so, if you’re like most visitors, you’ll scarf down your malasadas while standing or hanging out in your car. Either way, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how fresh and flavorful these confections are.

A few of our favorite fillings from Manuela Malasadas Co include:

Ube Cheesecake
Spend any time exploring the Hawaii food scene, and you will notice that ube has a strong presence. This is certainly the case at Manuela Malasadas Co, where a cheesecake-inspired version makes for a distinct and uniquely flavorful filling. 

Lillikoi
Nothing makes a treat feel more Hawaiian quite like the presence of lilikoi, which is a much-appreciated addition to this donut. It takes even better when accompanied by Li-Hing — sweet and sour plum — sugar. 

Chocolate Haupia
Haupia is a popular Hawaiian coconut pudding that, while less familiar to tourists than the aforementioned lilikoi, is definitely a must for your local flavor bucket list. Better yet, try the chocolate version, which is wonderfully rich. 

Bavarian Cream
Bavarian cream has long been a donut favorite, and for good reason: it is incredibly indulgent. This is certainly true of the Bavarian cream take on the humble malasada, which, if possible, is even better than your average Bavarian cream donut. 

Banana Bread
If you’re typically not a fan of filled donuts, you may prefer the banana bread, which while certainly not the signature confection at this stand, is sure to please. Some visitors actually believe that the banana bread is even tastier than the malasadas.

No trip to Hawaii is truly complete unless you’ve sampled a variety of malasadas. As you complete your confectionary tour, head to Manuela Malasadas Co for the sweetest treats near Waimea. It might not be fancy, but this cart’s made-to-order donuts are absolutely delectable and should quickly put a smile on your face.

Insider Tips:
-Bring cash, as credit cards are not accepted at this location. You’ll almost certainly need more cash than you expect, as these malasadas are on the pricey side.
-Build your malasada adventure into a day trip to the gorgeous Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, which is only a few minutes away. 
-Arrive right when Manuela Malasadas opens if possible. as the wait can be a lot less uncomfortable midday when the sun is beating down. Shade can be difficult to come by, so you and your companions may end up hanging out in your car with the A/C cranked up.