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Kalihi Eats: Megs Drive-In

Classic 70’s style signage

When in Kalihi, do as the “Kalihiians” do. And that we’ve done again with our trusty expert and former “hanabaddah days” resident of the area, Diner “E”.

This time we visited another of his old school favorites over at Megs Drive-In on Waikamilo Road. Megs is certainly old school, and local all the way, with all the ambiance of, if for lack of a better description, what a truck driver’s lunch stop should be.

Megs plate lunch menu has all the standards, and then some: Chicken Katsu, Teri’ Chicken, BBQ Hamburger Steak, Hamburger Steak, Loco Moco, Beef or Pork Cutlet, Teri Beef or Pork, Mahimahi plate, Pork Chops, Zing or Wing Dings, Spaghetti, Chili Spaghetti, Chili Frank Beef or Curry Stew and Bento.

There’s also burgers in every form, or hot dog, chili dog, chili with rice, and a stew, curry or burger bowl, Saimin, Won Ton Mein, Won Ton Soup and fries.

Sandwich selections include Mahimahi, fried egg, egg and ham, grilled cheese, BLT, Tuna, Tuna Melt, Teri Chicken, Teri Beef or Pork, Cold ham, turkey, club or hot turkey, beef or pork.

The breakfast menu includes everything from your standard eggs, meat (various selections) and rice, fried rice, pancakes, french toast to a breakfast beef or curry stew (which I’m guessing has an egg or two on it).

The daily specials on our particular visit featured shrimp curry, Kalua Pig and cabbage, roast turkey with stuffing, Hawaiian plate, steamed Opakapaka, grilled ahi or saba, NY steak, Steak & Shrimp and grilled Pork Chops.

Prices for all these items were on par in today’s market, with most plates in the mid-5 to 7 dollar range. The burgers were actually a bargain, with most running about $2, and burger with fries and drink combos about $4. Nice.

Well that’s quite a selection. So what to choose?

Diner “E” recommended I try their Beef Stew, which he says is what they’re known for, so I went with that…

Megs Drive-In Beef Stew plate, $6.15

Diner “E” ordered a hamburger steak & teriyaki beef mixed plate…

Megs Drive-In Hamburger Steak and Teri Beef plate, $7.00

Diner “A” went with the Bar-B-Q Hamburger Steak plate…

Megs Drive-In Bar-B-Q Hamburger Steak plate, $5.75

The first thing we all dug into was the macaroni “mac” salad. Winner! Simple, with just tender macaroni, grated carrots and fresh, cool and creamy (Best Foods?) mayo’.

The beef stew was ono. The beef flavorful, fatty and tender, while the carrots and potato were tender, yet not mushy. The tomato-based broth had a good thickness to it, and not too salty or bland. Seasoned just right. Thumbs up.

Diner “E” gave his hamburger steak and teri beef plate a thumbs up, noting the great taste of the house-made patty, gravy, and moist tenderness of the nicely seared Teri beef.

Diner “A” also enjoyed his Bar-B-Q burger, which is differentiated from the Hamburger Steak by using a simple teriyaki glaze instead of brown gravy. He also enjoyed the flavor of the house-made grilled burger patty. His only complaint was that they only gave him one regular-sized patty, where as most places give either TWO regular patties or one LARGE patty for standard plates. For $5.75, I agree, that’s being short-handed. Also, he doesn’t eat onions, which were grilled and generously topped the dish (I happily obliged and put them on my plate!), so that made his portion seem even less. Aside of that, he enjoyed the dish.

I’d really like to go back and try one of those daily specials, such as that steamed Opakapaka. I love steamed fish! I also want to go back and try those Zing or Wing Dings. Sounds interesting. Next time.

There’s a moderate amount of seating both inside and outside on the street-side of the establishment, and also a moderate amount of parking, which would depend when you go as to what’s available. I’m guessing most folks order their food to go.

If someone from the Food Network, Travel Channel or anywhere else ever calls me and says, “Take me where the locals go”, Megs Drive-In will be high on my list. The establishment and its surroundings, the menu, the work staff and patrons are as local as it gets. Most importantly, the food is really ono!

Megs Drive-In
743 Waikamilo Rd.
Honolulu, HI

The Tasty Island Rating:

(3 out of 5) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase. (Supah’ Ono!)

8 thoughts on “Kalihi Eats: Megs Drive-In

  • January 6, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Looks great! Adding to my list of places to go to when I visit!

  • January 6, 2008 at 10:09 am


    I grew up in Kalihi and have been eating here for a while. The food is average to better-than-average and is reasonably priced. In fact, I was just here a couple of weeks ago.

  • January 6, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    lol–I grew up in Kalihi too. My grandma worked at Valley drive-in. I miss that place. Anyone know what that yellow sauce-stuff on the burgers was?

  • January 6, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Ho da ono-looking!! Would be worth a trip back home just for that!!

  • January 8, 2008 at 7:02 am

    I can’t believe this place is still there! On one of my “many jobs” I worked for a food production company near by, when things were busy, and we had to work weekends, the bosses always fed us from Megs.

  • January 9, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Kirk, then it shouldn’t surprise you that Bob’s Bar-B-Que just down the street on the corner of Dillingham and Waikamilo is still going strong.

    Reid over at Ono Kine Grindz already covered Bob’s, but I may do an update on them in the near future.

    Reid, have you ever tried Meg’s “Wing/Zing Dings”? Reggie over at his Kaukau blog mentioned them, but I think we need some pictures and full report of this most interesting-sounding item. I hear they’re similar to Buffalo Wings.

    Jodi, my friend Diner “E” also remembers Valley Drive-In and their “yellow sauce” (mayo’ and mustard?). He said Valley Drive-In was located on Kam IV road (across the housing) in the same lot as “Shopping Basket”, which is now a church.

    Mahalo everyone for stopping by “Da’ Island”.


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