When you’re visiting the Hawaiian islands be ready for some spectacular local dishes. When I think of Hawaiian I think pineapple and pork. In reality, Hawaiian dishes do include those, but they are also much, much more.
Hawaiians eat a ton of seafood, which makes sense considering how plentiful it is. The beauty of this is that no matter where you go on the islands it is never difficult to find a fresh catch of the day.
For me, it does not get better than Ahi Poke. This is sashimi style tuna that is cut into cubes and then prepared in a variety of ways. It can have a spicy jalapeno dressing on it (which is incredible) or a much subtler mix of Maui onions and soy sauce or ginger. Some will make more creative combinations like ‘California Roll’ or add in avocados to the mix. For me, I prefer the simpler recipes (with the exception of the spicy variations which are addictive).
One of the most surprising things about Ahi Poke is that you can buy it at some seemingly random spots, and these are some of the best that I’ve tried, like a Shaved Ice joint or the local supermarket.
The Best Poke in Maui
In Paia, Maui you have to try the poke at Tobi’s Shave Ice North Shore ($16/lb) in the center of town. They have their own fishing boat and the quality is superb. Just down the road, at the Kuau Store ($15/lb) there are quite a few varieties as well.
If you prefer to sit down and have your poke with a drink, the best I’ve had in Maui is on Front Street at in Koa’s Seaside Grill in Lahaina. A great view, delicious drinks and Poke that is top-notch.
The Best Poke in Kauai
If you visit Kauai, the best spots for getting your Poke to-go are Foodland (yes, the supermarket) in Kapaa ($10/lb) or Konohiki Seafoods in Lihue ($16/lb). Both have a wide variety of options, serve fresh Ahi and will be sure to satisfy.