Island Taco

Island Taco - The Ocean in a Hand-Made Tortilla
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Fish tacos are almost a food group in themselves. Some of the best fish tacos in Hawaii (and the mainland) are at Island Taco. Scratch ingredients, including hand-made tortillas, help make these tacos shine. 

- The Local Expert Team

When listing food groups, you might pick things like dairy, grains, and meats. However, we would argue that tacos are a unique and stellar food group worthy of a spot on the illustrious (but antiquated) food pyramid. Within this category, one style of taco stands out above the rest – the fish taco. While we love carne asada, al pastor, and other land-based meat tacos, a great fish taco is truly a divine experience. 

So, imagine our delight when we discovered Island Taco, which is a cornucopia of locally sourced fish tacos, each with impeccable seasoning and garnishes. No matter which one you get, you feel like you just fished it out of the ocean. If you’re coming here after a long day of snorkeling nearby, you’ll really understand what we mean. 

As with most places on Hawaii, Island Taco isn’t very glitzy or glamorous. Instead, the chefs put all their heart and soul into the food, and it shows. There’s a reason why this restaurant can have a line out the door on most days. 

The selection of tacos here is expansive yet deeply Hawaiian. Even though the taco wasn’t born here, it feels right at home, particularly with fresh, hand-made tortillas wrapped around fresh ingredients. 

Some highlights from the menu include: 

Seared Wasabi Ahi
If you read online reviews, you’ll notice that everyone raves about this taco. For a more complete experience, you can get it as a burrito instead. The secret is the wasabi aioli, which gives just the right amount of kick without knocking your teeth out. 

Kalua Pork
You can’t throw a stick in Hawaii without hitting two restaurants that serve kalua pork. This traditional dish finds its way onto most local menus, but the quality can vary greatly. Here, the meat is succulent and packed with flavor. Even with so many high-class fish tacos, the pork holds its own. 

Vegetarians and vegans will appreciate that they’re left out at Island Taco. Tofu is a challenging ingredient, but the chefs handle it with style and grace. You can get the tofu in one of three ways: cajun, ranchero, or cilantro lime. 

All of the tacos are available as burritos, and you can add most of the meats to an enchilada or quesadilla. Island Taco also has a pretty bomb breakfast, so it’s a win no matter when you come. 

Insider Tips:
-While this place would make an excellent stop after a night of drinks, Island Taco is closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Having such busy days off doesn’t deter the crowds, which can snake out of the small building pretty quickly. Sometimes the place is packed, and other times it’s pretty open, so plan accordingly. 
-Also, keep in mind that there are always new specials daily, so every time you come, you can sample something different without trying anything from the standard menu. It pays to be adventurous here.