By Sarah Hendrix | Staff Writer
The city of Honolulu is a place filled with many cultures and ethnicities. One of the greatest perks in having so many cultures in a city is the different kinds of food that can be found. Cuisines found in Asia, Latin America, Europe and even the Middle East are available right in the heart of Honolulu. Below are some of the most sought after international cuisines located in the city. So if you’re feeling adventurous without wanting to buy a plane ticket, you can check out any of these places that excites your palate.
Mexico loves to fiesta and that’s not just because of the mariachi bands and sombreros. Food plays a huge role in Latin American celebratory culture. From burritos to tacos, and quesadillas to nachos, Mexican food has a variety of well-known dishes served with sour cream, salsa and guacamole. Serg’s Mexican Kitchen found in the heart of Mānoa Valley offers a wide variety of zesty dishes and has a BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer) policy.
Greece is not only known for ancient architecture and history of the Greek gods. This culture has also provided some of the most sought after cuisine in the world. The meat is cooked on a vertical rotisserie perfectly combining all the juices. Tzatziki sauce is a homemade creamy cucumber sauce that is a zesty addition to many Greek meals. If you’re feeling like exploring a new kind of cuisine give the Greek Corner on University Avenue a try. This Mediterranean style cuisine will leave your tastebuds wanting more.
Italy has a standard most countries find hard to keep up with providing food and drinks such as: pizza, pasta, bread, and wine. The Italians pride themselves in the quality of their food. Italy is a place where meals take hours to get through, because eating is just as much about the social aspect as it is about the quality of the food. If you’re feeling like trying some authentic Italian cuisine La Cucina found on Kapiʻolani Boulevard is the place to try. The homemade pasta dishes will make you feel like you’ve traveled all the way to Tuscany.
The small island of Jamaica has brought its flavors all the way to Honolulu. A country that has given the world the musical styles of Bob Marley and cuisine flavors that will make you feel like you’re on a beach in the Caribbean. Located on Wai‘alae Avenue Jawaiian Irie Jerk has brought dishes such as Jamaican jerk chicken and Caribbean curry chicken all the way to the Pacific. Many of the meals are served with white rice and a corn fritter. If you’re looking to explore out of your normal cuisine comfort zone give some Caribbean food a try.
An option most commonly known as Mediterranean cuisine is hard to come by all the way out in the Pacific. Found on Wai‘alae Avenue Shaloha Pita combines Shalom (which means “peace” in Hebrew) and Aloha to blend together a unique cuisine. One of the popular dishes is called the shawarma sandwich. It is pita bread filled with seasoned meat, red cabbage, hummus, cilantro and a mix of other veggies.
India is known as the land of spices. Many spices grown in this region are shipped worldwide and used in dishes all over the globe. Indian food is known for its authentic flavors and spices that can take food to the next level. Located on King Street Café Maharani serves delicious Indian butter chicken. Pair that with some mouth-watering butter naan and you’ll feel like you have traveled to New Delhi.
Nothing says fresh like some Vietnamese summer rolls and a bowl of pho. Pho is a noodle soup filled with vegetables and the meat of your choice and makes for the perfect meal to satisfy the hungriest stomach. A popular choice in Honolulu is called Pho Bistro 2 located right on Kalākaua Avenue. The ingredients are fresh and the flavors vibrant making for the perfect meal to enjoy with family or friends.
The French have always loved their fresh bread and delectable pastries. This kind of cuisine you wouldn’t expect to find so easily on the opposite side of the world. On Waiʻalae, J.J’s Bistro & French Pastry provides the delicacies of France without the price of the plane ticket. Even if you’re not in the mood for a full meal there are an assortment of pastries that will catch your eye. Whether you are a chocolate lover or prefer the sweetness of fresh fruit, these French pastries will satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you are a meat lover then Korean BBQ is the route you want to go. Sura Hawai‘i located on Kapiʻolani Boulevard is one of the many options of Korean BBQ that Honolulu has to offer. The grill is centered in the middle of the table and bite size pieces of meat and vegetables with seasonings and sauces are served ready to be cooked. All the meat and vegetables are cooked in front of you and grilled to your preference. The food not only tastes incredible but the entire meal makes for a memorable experience.
Thailand has one of the most internationally well-known cuisines on the planet. Each Thai dish is made to combine the perfect harmony of flavors by balancing sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and bitter. Thai Issan Cuisine is one of the many Thai restaurants found in Honolulu located on Kapiʻolani Boulevard. The national dish of Thailand that they serve is called pad Thai. It is a stir fry noodle dish filled with vegetables, tofu and the meat of your choice.