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Hawaii Grindz Omiyage Gift Guide

“Omiyage” is a japanese term for gifts or souvenirs — usually edible — brought back from travels to be shared with family, friends and coworkers, being a considerable part of the overall travel experience in proper Japanese social etiquette. And that tradition has made its way into the local culture of Hawaii, where everyone pretty much practices this.

With that, following is a complete guide, organized in alphabetical order on what and where to get the most popular, unique made in Hawaii grindz not only as omiyage to take with you to share back home, but also to try for yourself while visiting each of the Hawaiian islands.

Like the Oahu Eateries Memorialized, Oahu Bars & Nightsclubs Memorialized and Oahu Eateries 50+ Club lists, this list is intended to be interactively dynamic like Wikipedia, contributed by you folks, the readers! Note, once this list has matured to its full extent, it may be used by Yours Truly in a future article at AroundHawaii.com, the community voice of Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

Hawaii Grindz Omiyage Gift Guide

HAWAII (The Big Island)
Captain Cook
Belcastro’s Kona Coffee Outlet at Cherry Hill Estate in Captain Cook, you will find 100% Kona Coffee Syrup *contributed by Ken
Atebara Potato, Sweet Potato, and Taro Chips (available at KTA Super Stores)
Big Island Candies Dipped Original Assortment Shortbread Macadamia Nut Cookies, Fuji Apple Pies, Lilikoi Mika (lilikoi filling surrounded with dark chocolate) and Kona Coffee cookies (also available at  select retailers statewide) *contributed by Layne Luna & Anela
George’s Meat Market ono (da’ best!) Beef Jerky *contributed by Layne Luna
Hilo Bake Co. Maple Bacon Donuts *contributed by Layne Luna
• Low International Food’s Rainbow Sweetbread
Maebo One-Ton Chips (also available at retailers islandwide)
Nori’s Chocolate Mochi Cookies *contributed by K I
• Portuguese Sausage, Blood Sausage & Smoked Pork: Kulana and Frank’s Sausage brands
Two Ladies Kitchen Strawberry Mochi & walnut mochi and grape mochi (in season) *contributed by anela
Tex Drive In Malasadas
Kailua Candy Company chocolates (mac nut honus, coffee swirls), cheesecakes, etc. *contributed by K I
Kona Mountain Coffee for coffee, chocolate covered/dipped treats (arare, mac nuts, coffee beans, etc.).
Kona Chips “Kitch ‘n Cook’d” Potato Chips (available at select retailers statewide)
Mrs. Barry’s Kona Cookies
• 100% Kona Coffee – list recommended brands
Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory® for their Hawaii grown cacao from over 15 cacao farms make up their chocolate *contributed by Ken
• Holy’s Bakery Buttered Apple Pie (other flavors available; also available at supermarkets islandwide)
Punalu’u Bake Shop Sweet Bread (also available at retailers statewide)
Mountain View
Mt. View Bakery Stone Cookies (shop at bakery; also available at KTA Super Stores islandwide)
Volcano Winery wines (tasting menu at winery; bottles available at retailers statewide) *contributed by Dean Masutomi
Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company SPAM Macadamia Nuts and other varieties of snacks and coffee (available at retailers statewide)
• Tropical flavored lavosh–guava, lilikoi, coconut, ginger, mango, etc. Flavors vary from batch to batch. Small operation (available at KTA, Longs Drugs and hotel shops) *contributed by anela
• Mika Portuguese Sausage (available island-wide) *contributed by anela
• Pu’eo Poi (available island-wide) *contributed by anela
Places to shop
Costco & Sam’s Club for made in Hawaii products in bulk gift pack sizes
KTA Super Stores (islandwide) for unique local foods sold exclusively there
• Nori’s Saimin & Snacks Gift Shop *contributed by Layne Luna

KAUAI (the Garden Isle)
Anahola Granola (now available in Costco)
Kauai Chocolate Company for the popular Chocolate Opihi,  a shortbread cookie, caramel and a whole macadamia nut covered in chocolate
• Hanalei Poi
Kauai Kulolo (fresh-made, available at grocery stores islandwide)
Taro Ko taro chips (if you’re lucky that they still ’em in stock!) *contributed by K I
Pono Market‘s fresh Azuki bean, coconut, Okinawan sweet potato and apple manju; also serving fresh bento lunches, poke, sashimi, musubi and other local favorites
Kilauea (north east shore of Kauai)
Garden Island Chocolate, aka Nanea Chocolate gives chocolate farm tours on Mondays and Thursdays with chocolate tasting at their store *contributed by Ken
Lawai Apple & Azuki Bean Manju from Menehune Food Mart
Bread Sticks by Kauai Bread Stick Company from Tip Top Cafe
Hamura Saimin Stand for the box of noodles, Manapua and lilikoi Chiffon Pie (plus don’t forget to try their saimin while there… if you can get a seat!)
Hanalima Market meat pastries (they sell Kauai’s own “Flying Saucer”!) *contributed by pat
Aunty Lilikoi offers a variety of passion fruit mustards, tropical jellies, butters, syrups, dressings, and sauces (store in Waimea, plus available at retailers islandwide)
Places to shop
Anahola Farmers Market (run by the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead community)
Costco for made in Hawaii products in bulk gift pack sizes
Kukui Grove Shopping Center
Pono Market for fresh bento lunches, poke, sashimi, musubi and other local favorites, including their popular manju

LANAI (the Private Isle; previously the Pineapple Isle)
Lanai City
Blue Ginger Cafe‘s Fresh-baked breads, turnovers, chocolate chip cookies and other baked goods are popular omiyage (and pretty much all there uniquely is on this small island!)
Oracle shares
• Discount vouchers for chartered joy rides on Larry Ellison‘s Yacht

MAUI (the Valley Isle)
Home Maid Bakery Manju (also available at retailers statewide)
Maui Potato Chip Factory Kitch ‘n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips (available at their warehouse outlet and at retailers islandwide)
Maui Specialty Chocolates: peanut butter and chocolate mochi, dark chocolate truffle mochi *contributed by David
Tasaka Guri Guri (you’ll need a cooler with dry ice in order to take this on a long flight)
Ali’i Kula Lavender (tours available)
Upcountry Farm Specialties, makers of Maui Coffee Syrup (the only other place coffee syrup is made in U.S.A. is in Rhode Island). Maui Coffee Syrup can be found at Waialua Estate Coffee store on North Shore. *contributed by Ken
T. Komoda Store & Bakery for the BEST butter rolls, Long Johns, Stick doughnuts, Chocolate Dobash cake, Anpan and Malasadas
Ulupalakua (“Upcountry”)
Maui Winery wines (vineyard tours & tasting; also available at retailers statewide)
Sam Sato’s Manju (Lima Bean flavor a hit), Turnovers (plus don’t forget to dine-in and try their signature “Dry Noodles”!) *contributed by David
• Stillwell’s Bakery for their cream horns *contributed by K I
Places to shop
Ah Fook’s Supermarket for a wide selection of unique locally made products not available at the big boxes; Paia Natto Factory Saimin noodles and Natto highly recommended!
Costco & Sam’s Club for made in Hawaii products in bulk gift pack sizes
Takamiya Market for a wide selection of fresh made hot bento, poke, meats and other unique house-made local kine grindz (the ultimate stop before you drive from the airport to Wailea or Kaanapali to your hotel), as well as before you leave for your flight back home)

MOLOKAI (the Friendly Isle)
Kanemitsu Bakery & Restaurant Okole Bread

OAHU (the Gathering Place)
Aloha Stadium Swap Meet for Limey’s Smoked Marlin (amongst many more goodies ‘n stuff to shop for!) *contributed by Traci J
• Ani’s Bakery for their signature Okinawan Sweet Potato Haupia Pie and Butter Cream Rolls, plus lots more! (Ani’s Pies, excluding the pie mentioned above are also available at Costco and Sam’s Club) *contributed by anela
• Aloha Tofu Factory Tofu, Tofu Mousse, Aburage, Okara and FANTASTIC Tofu Cook Book! (Tofu and aburage also available at most grocery stores)
Beef Jerky Chips from Kaimuki Grill *contributed by Amy
Betty’s Cookies from Wholesale Unlimited *contributed by Ann
Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts: manufactured by numerous brands now; Hawaiian Host being the orginal and most acclaimed for superior chocolate (available at retailers statewide)
• “Croissadas” from Pacific Beach Hotel’s Aloha Center Cafe (next to Dollar Rent-a-Car on Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki); small $2.36 each, large $3.93 each *contributed by Amy
Diamond Head Market & Grill Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones + other various flavors (Monsarrat Ave)
Honolulu Cookie Company Pineapple-shaped dipped shortbread cookie assortment (multiple retail outlets statewide)
Kamehameha Bakery Poi Donuts & Haupia Malasadas (School Street, Kalihi)
• La Tour Cafe Macarons, Begnets & Furikake Puffs (Nimitz Hwy.)
Liliha Bakery Coco Puffs & Green Tea Puffs (Liliha)
Made in Hawaii Foods: Gourmet flavored butters, cream cheeses, jellies, spreads, snacks and sauces (Mo’ili’ili & Pearl City factory outlets and KCC Farmers Market)
• Malasadas: Leonard’s Bakery or Champion most popular; also try Agnes Portuguese Bake Shop in Kailua
• Manapua, Pork Hash & Half Moon from either: Char Hung Sut (Chinatown), Chun Wah Kam (Kalihi), Libby Manapua Shop (Kalihi) and/or Royal Kitchen (Chinatown)
Mikey’s Favorites Golden Flakes Shortbread Cornflake Cookies, and other varieties (Kalihi)
Mitsuba Delicatessen’s Sweet Potato Crumble (Kalihi)
Monarch Seafoods Homemade Salad Dressing — the “crack” of locally-made salad dressings! (Kalihi)
Nanding’s Bakery Spanish Butter Rolls
• Portuguese Sausage: Gouvea, Kukui, Redondo’s, Rego’s Purity brands (requires refrigeration; available at retailers statewide)
• Nisshodo Mochi for the best chi chi dango (sweet milk mochi). Other mochi varieties available (available island-wide but best to go to the factory on Dillingham) *contributed by anela
Primo Popcorn offers an outrageously extensive list of popcorn flavors that are either savory, sweet or chocolate-based *contributed by Amy
• Saimin: Okahara & S&S brand (fresh noodles requires refrigeration; available at retailers statewide)
SPAM® Brand Teriyaki flavor (this is a new flavor currently only available in Hawaii at retailers statewide)
Tomoe Brand Arare… Hawaii’s favorite “Kakimochi” brand (available at retailers statewide)
Young’s Fish Market authentic Hawaiian food, available fresh and hot, or frozen for travel or storage (Kalihi)
Waialua Estate Chocolate at the Old Waialua Sugar Mill, ranked best single estate chocolate in the world (Dole Waialua chocolate and Malie Kai Chocolates, INC. are made from Waialua Estate Chocolate). *contributed by Ken
Places to shop
ABC Stores (all over Waikiki, convenient, yet pricey compared to outside retailers outside of Waikiki)
• Ala Moana Center (most convenient to Waikiki)
Alicia’s Market local style Chinese roast meats, smoked meats, dry fish, fresh Poke (to eat at the hotel room or on the plane!), pasteles, suman and other popular, freshly-made local kine grindz (Kalihi)
Costco & Sam’s Club for made in Hawaii products in bulk gift pack/box/carton quantities
Don Quijote for unique made in Hawaii and asian imported products now found at the big boxes
Down to Earth for a wide assortment of health-conscious made-in-Hawaii food products (Mo’ili’ili and Kapolei)
• Festival Market for a wide selection of Filipino specialties and fresh produce (Waipahu)
Hilo Hattie
Honolulu Farmers Market (Blaisdell Concert Hall lawn, 4pm to 7pm every Wednesday)
KCC Farmers Market for fresh as well as packaged unique made in Hawaii food products not found anywhere else, all under “one roof” (an open parking lot); open only on Saturdays from 7am to 11am (Diamond Head area, just minutes from Waikiki)
• Pacific Market for a HUGE selection of more asian imported groceries than you’ve ever seen under one roof! (Farrington Hwy., Waipahu)
Palama Market for unique Korean imported grocery products, kim chee bar and fresh-prepared Korean delicacies (Makaloa and Kalakaua Ave., just minutes from Waikiki, near Don Quijijote)
Rainbow Drive-In Rainbow Tiki Store for local snacks and logo wear, plus don’t forget to try an authentic Hawaii plate lunch! (near Honolulu Zoo at the Diamond Head edge of Waikiki)
Ward Center (convenient to Waikiki)
Whole Foods for a wide assortment of health-conscious made-in-Hawaii food products (Kahala and Kailua)
Wholesale Unlimited for a wide assortment of packaged local style snacks (Keeaumoku St. location closest to Waikiki)
Yataimura Food Court & Beer Garden at Shirokiya in Ala Moana Center

For the more adventurous travelers…

CHINAMAN’S HAT (Mokoli’i Island)
A 1.5 square acre uninhabited islet located 1/3 miles off Kualoa Point on the north shore of Oahu.
• Charsiu Gecko Jerky (Mokoli’i means “little lizard”)*

a 28-acre island in Kāne’ohe Bay off the island of O’ahu in the state of Hawai’i, USA. It is a marine research facility of the Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) of the University of Hawai`i. Coconut Island was used for the opening sequence of the TV series Gilligan’s Island.
• Gilligan’s Stew (canned)*
• Skipper’s 3-Hour Tour Soup Du Jour (canned)*
• The Millionaire & His Wife’s Mai Tai Mix*
• Ginger’s Hot ‘n Spicy Sauce*
• The Professor’s Experiment (a surprise treat in every box!)*
• Mary Ann’s Guava Chiffon Cake Mix*

FORD ISLAND (Moku ʻumeʻume, “The Isle of Attraction”)
It was named after Dr. Seth Porter Ford (1818–1866), a Boston physician who practiced medicine at the Hawaiian Insane Asylum and the US Seamen’s Hospital from 1861–1866 after Charles Guillou.
• Hangar 37’s “World Famous” Steak Sauce*

KAHOOLAWE (the Target Isle)
Uninhabitable and inaccessible due to hazardous remnants of military ordnance still being cleaned up (it was formerly training grounds and a target range for the US military).
• Maui Blaster B-52 Shots Gift Pack*

NIIHAU (the Forbidden Isle)
Privately owned island by the Robinson family, Niihau is not open to the public except by invitation only; has the highest population of 100% native Hawaiians (Kanaka Maole) in the state
• 100% Pure Hawaiian Luau-to-Go Kit*

RABBIT ISLAND (Manana Island)
Rabbit island was named after the rabbit colony that inhabited the island from the 1880s until 1994. John Adams Cummins, who owned a plantation in Waimanalo, raised the rabbits on Manana Island.
Waimanalo Blues ‘n Red Li Hing Gummy Bunnies*

SAND ISLAND (Quarantine Island)
It was known as Quarantine Island during the nineteenth century, when it was used to quarantine ships believed to carry contagious passengers.
• Matson’s Mai Tai Mix*

*These are make-believe items that do not exist.

# # #

Again, this is another “work in progress” list, where we’re looking for contributions from YOU FOLKS, the readers! It would also be appreciated if you provide tips from an insider’s experience and perspective, such as who has the best price on a given product, what’s the best flavor to choose, what’s the best way to pack it for air travel, etc..

Eh, tanks eh, gang!


36 thoughts on “Hawaii Grindz Omiyage Gift Guide

  • October 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm


    Wailuku – Sam Sato’s – manju (I prefer the lima bean), turnovers
    Kahului – Maui Specialty Chocolates – peanut butter and chocolate mochi, dark chocolate truffle mochi

    • October 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm


      Added. “Maui-halo”!!! ;-)

      • October 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

        Pomai, Maui Specialty Chocolates should be under Kahului. Don’t want visitors driving all the way up to Kula!

  • October 14, 2013 at 4:42 am

    From our last 2 visits to the islands, we’ve gotten Betty’s Best Shortbread Arare Cookies, intending to bring them home as gifts. Must admit to some of the packages being consumed on the island, yum! We bought them at Wholesale Unlimited in Waipahu, but I think they ave several stores aroun Honolulu.

  • October 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Volcano Winery on Hawaii Island has awesome wine.

  • October 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Primo Popcorn 120 Sand Island Road 808 7297322 Try their prime rib flavor popcorn and see good along with kim chee popcorm.. I also go to Kaimuki Grill 1108 12th Ave for their beef jerky chips. It for my cousins in San Francisco and they love it.

  • October 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Great list. This covers most of the items I bring back with me as omiyage from the neighbor islands. Just a few to add to the list.
    Don’t forget Stillwell’s Bakery in Wailuku for their cream horns.
    Also, besides their portuguese sausage, when on the Big Island I pick up Frank’s smoked pork as well.
    In Hilo, Nori’s chocolate mochi cookies.
    In Kona, chocolates (mac nut honus, coffee swirls), cheesecakes, etc. from Kailua Candy Co.
    Also in Kona, Kona Mountain Coffee for coffee, chocolate covered/dipped treats (arare, mac nuts, coffee beans, etc.).
    On Kauai in Hanapepe, Taro Ko taro chips if you are lucky and they have them available.

  • October 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm


    On Oahu you missed Waialua Estate Chocolate at the Old Sugar Mill in Waialua ranked best single estate chocolate in the world. Dole Waialua chocolate and Malie Kai Chocolates, INC. are made from Waialua Estate Chocolate.

    Also they are growing Waialua Estate Coffee on the North Shore.

    On Maui you missed Upcountry Farm Specialties, Kula, HI which makes Maui Coffee Syrup (the only other place coffee syrup is made in U.S.A. is in Rhode Island). Maui Coffee Syrup can be found at Waialua Estate Coffee store on North Shore.

    On the Big Island of Hawaii Belcastro’s Kona Coffee Outlet at Cherry Hill Estate in Captain Cook, HI you will find 100% Kona Coffee Syrup.

    Also the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory® in downtown Kailua-Kona. They use Hawaii grown cacao from over 15 cacao farms make up their chocolate.

    Kauai has the Garden Island Chocolate aka Nanea Chocolate located in Kilauea, HI which gives chocolate farm tours on Mondays and Thursdays with chocolate tasting at their store.

  • October 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Limeys smoked marlin from swap meet or anything from Lin’s crack seed place!

  • October 15, 2013 at 5:35 am

    I little tip from Hilo about Maebo’s One Ton Chips….if you buy it from the factory or from Kai store next door to the factory, it is about $2.00 to $3.00 cheaper from the other stores.

    • October 15, 2013 at 5:54 am


      EXCELLENT TIP! It’s about 50 cents to $2 cheaper for the Kitch ‘n Cook’d Maui Potato Chips at the factory in Kahului, vs. island retailers (depending where you’re comparing to). Mark’s wife told me they recently started shipping them to the Longs on Oahu in Mo’ili’ili (where Star Market was), however I haven’t gone there to confirm it being in stock, or at what price.

      For the longest time, Kitch ‘n Cook’d kettle style Maui Potato Chips were sold exclusively on Maui, and nowhere else. I’d say you need to make that a top priority omiyage item for the shear fact you can’t get it anywhere else, not even online (try search, you won’t find it). Same for Tasaka Guri Guri, however the latter poses a lot more air travel challenges being it’s frozen ice cream/sherbert.

      Most locals shy away from standard-sized bagged chips that are priced anywhere around $5, when you can get a ginormous bag at Costco (or Sam’s) for the same price. A jar of Maebo One Ton Chips in costco is $14, which is a lot to ask for snack chips for most folks.

      I’m definitely going to try Maebo One Ton Chips dipped in Biscoff, thanks to Keith-San’s tip!

      • October 17, 2013 at 10:18 am

        Pomai: You gotta tell me how that combo tastes… I am having dreams of that salty-sweet mix! LOL I also have an order for Won Ton chips in to my family for the annual Xmas CARE Package! I have been grinding the spread on Ritz crackers at my desk…sooo ono!

        • October 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm


          I’m ready for the great “Biscoff Spread Love Fest”! I’ve now got several local and mainland snacks lined up in my pantry that I’m gonna’ pair them with…

          Biscoff Spread creamy & crunchy style with:

          • Maebo’s One-Ton Chips (local)
          • Diamond Bakery Cinnamon Graham Animal Crackers (local)
          • Hamakua Plantations SPAM Macadamia Nuts (local)
          • Enjoy brand Shinagawa Premium Maki Arare (da’ kine get da nori wrapped around it)
          • Ritz Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crackerfulls
          • Almond Joy Chocolate-covered Coconut and Almond Candy Bar

          …plus I may throw in a couple extra surprise guests.

          I’m a tellin’ ya’ it’s gonna’ to be EPIC!


  • October 15, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Before the airlines started to gouge us and charge bag fee I used to bring up a cooler of goodies from Youngs fishmarket. Laulau and turkey tail. Also included in the cooler was Purity sausage.

  • October 15, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Pomai, do you know anyone every ship food in dry ice? I always want to ship it to San Francisco some special food like laulaus, manapua and lomi salmons. Other no problems since they are dried type of foods.

  • October 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

    This list is perfect for my upcoming trip! Will have to check out the Kitch n’ cooked chips and the coffee syrup! Thanks for putting this together!

  • October 15, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Can’t wait for our’s. You forgot the ‘salt pond’s’ of Hanapepe on Kauai.
    Our realatives have a farm there and all the salt you need.
    Salt great for BBQ steak and chicken.

  • October 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    @ DCOhana – I used the Hanapepe salt ponds salt you gave me to do a prime rib for mom them, and it turned out AWESOME! Can’t beat totally naturally dried Hawaiian salt!

    @ Su-Lynn – even I’m curious about this Maui Upcountry Farms coffee syrup Ken-san recommends. Sounds interesting!

    @ Traci J – I couldn’t find much details on Limey’s Smoked Marlin, except what you provided. Any more details?

    @ Ken-San – all your recommendations have been added to the list. You’re obviously into gourmet chocolate and coffee. Good stuff! Mahalo!

    @ K I – Your suggestions have been added to the list as well. Great stuff, too! Any chance you work for HAL?

    @ Amy – Primo Popcorn’s been added. I SO need to hit that place up soon and try those CRAZY flavors they’re offering. Gosh, they’re like the Jelly Belly of popcorn!

    • October 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Haha, nope don’t work for HAL. Just travel to each of the neighbor islands for work usually a couple of times a year.

      Lymey’s Smoked Fish can be found at the FarmLovers run farmer’s markets. I know I have seen them at the Kailua & Kaka’ako markets.

      Since Ken brought up Hawaii grown chocolate, he forgot to mention Madre Chocolate, Manoa Chocolate, & Lonohana Chocolate all which do bean to bar here on Oahu. Waialua Estate chocolate is shipped off to be processed into bars by Guittard in SF where I have also seen it sold in the Guittard store.

      Primo Popcorn is awesome! Some of those flavors are crazy. They let you sample everything if you want. They also have a new store downtown in the Davies Pacific Center.

      • October 15, 2013 at 10:19 pm

        K I,

        Between you and Ken-San, I’m now as much intrigued about Chocolate as I am about Cheese…. um, um, and wine.. um um.. and PRIMO POPCORN!

        With that, I have another blogging subject idea that would be titled “FlavorFULL”…

        ICE CREAM
        SHAVE ICE


      • October 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

        @K I, I checked Madre Chocolate and they import their cacao from South America. Manoa Chocolate does source some of its cacao from local cocoa farmers on Big Island and Oahu but they also source their cacao from South America.

        I did not know about Lonohana Chocolate as they are relatively new; just started selling chocolate 2013. Their Opaeula Estate is 14 acres on the North Shore Oahu and they also source cacao from Hawaiian Crown Estate, South Hilo, Hawaii Island. They market tree to bar Estate Chocolate.

        The chocolate companies I mentioned to Pomai are 100% Hawaiian tree to bar chocolate farms with Waialua Estate chocolate being a unique exception due to the fact they are 100% Single Estate Chocolate which is very rare in the world and with no roasting facilities which is why they send to Guittard in SF. Their cacao beans are unique, drying process unique and fermentation process is very unique. At the 2012 New York Chocolate Show all of the Waialua Estate chocolate sold out first day of the 4-day show with over 50 chocolate makers from around the world.

        Hawaii is the only state in the nation that grows chocolate, coffee and vanilla beans.

        • October 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm


          Yes, Madre and Manoa chocolate do make some of their bars out of beans from South America. However, they also do bars using 100% locally sourced chocolate. Madre Chocolate’s 70% Hawaiian dark bar is labeled as single estate and usually is sourced from Hawaiian Crown or one other Big Island grower (that I can’t remember off-hand). It always specifies the farm they source it from on the packaging for each batch. Most single estate bars from Madre are limited edition runs (since the farms can only provide enough for small batches). I know I have at least 7 different single estate bars from Madre sourced from chocolate farms on Oahu, Maui, & Hawaii Island.

          Both Madre & Manoa have their shops in Kailua so you can pay both of them a visit in one trip. At Manoa, the chocolate making process is viewable while at Madre the kitchen is open, but it’s in the back. They are both passionate about what they do and while not strictly focused on Hawaiian grown chocolate, they do enjoy using and promoting it.

          I do like Waialua Estate chocolate, but after discovering Madre they became my new favorite. I only buy their 100% local sourced bars though. They have also won all kinds of national and international awards for their chocolate.

    • October 16, 2013 at 2:20 am

      Pacific Beach Hotel sell Crossada. If you vacum seal it might do well on flight. My cousins like to try it very much but first me too.

  • October 16, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Kitch ‘n Cook’d Kona Chips…do they still make them?

    • October 16, 2013 at 6:34 am

      @ Dean-San – Yes, they’re in the list under Kona Chips, as that’s what they call themselves, with “Kitch ‘n Cook’d” as a sub-brand (now specified in listing).

      @ Amy – Next time I take a stroll down Waikiki I’ll definitely drop into PBH and pick up some Croissada to try. Sounds INSANELY ono! Good call! Added to the list!

      • October 16, 2013 at 9:45 am

        Croissada is worth a try, but I wasn’t all that impressed with it. Definitely don’t try the small sized ones, get the larger one. Because of their size, the small ones didn’t cook right and were really tough and chewy and not flaky at all. I say stick with malasadas instead. Much cheaper and tastier.

      • October 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        My uncle and aunt in Calif. like Kamehameha Bakery for their poi dounts and haupia donuts and sweet cornbread. In Calif. the cornbread is not sweet and made for savory food to eat with.

  • October 16, 2013 at 11:58 am

    — from Big Island Candies.
    Lilikoi Mika (lilikoi filling surrounded with dark chocolate) and Kona Coffee cookies.

    — Two Ladies Kitchen
    walnut mochi and grape mochi (in season)

    — tropical flavored lavosh–guava, lilikoi, coconut, ginger, mango, etc. Flavors vary from batch to batch. Small operation. Available KTA (?) Longs (?) and hotel shops.

    — Mika Portuguese Sausage. Available island-wide
    — Pu’eo Poi. Available island-wide

    — Ani’s Bakery. Why have I just now ‘discovered’ them? The buttercream rolls are the signature pastry. Have only tried the ‘plain’ one so far. All pastries available at their bakery only except for cinnamon bread and sweet bread which are also sold at O’ahu Sam’s Clubs.

    — Nisshodo Mochi.
    the best chi chi dango (sweet milk mochi). Other mochi varieties available. Available island-wide but best to go to the factory on Dillingham.

    • October 18, 2013 at 5:34 am


      All added to the list. Huge mahalo! Good stuff!

      I totally forgot about Ani’s Bakery! In that entry, I also added Ani’s Okinawan Sweet Potato Haupia Pie, which is another AWESOME baked good you can only get direct at the bakery. Otherwise Ani’s Pies and Creme Puffs (a total knock off of Liliha Bakery’s Coco Puffs) are also available at Oahu Costco and Sam’s Club locations.

  • October 18, 2013 at 5:03 am

    I went out of the way and called a hotel on Lanai to ask them what places visitors get their omiyage from, and he could only recommend one place: Blue Ginger Cafe (no relations to Ming Tsai). So I called Blue Ginger Cafe and spoke with one of the staff, confirming that person actually was a Lanai native, having grown up there. And she told me they are indeed pretty much the only game in town for unique omiyage, being their baked goods (particularly their breads and turnovers). She said everything else are mostly little markets that carry merchandise you can get right on Oahu… except less selection than Oahu, of course. Lanai is a VERY small island, population-wise, which is no wonder celebrities seeking absolute privacy choose that island to vacation most.

    So other than Blue Ginger Cafe’s baked goods, see if you can hit-up braddah Larry for some Oracle shares and vouchers for booze cruises on his awesome yacht. lol

    I must say, this Hawaii Grindz Omiyage list has grown to become AWESOME! Huge mahalos to all of you for the kokua!

    I wanted to note that I plan a follow-up to this list with another post on “Must Do Island Eats”, being restaurants and specific genre of cuisines a visitor MUST try when on any given island.

    For instance on any island, you MUST try an Okazuya!

    Also must try a plate lunch, and I mean a REAL plate lunch, calories and fat be damned! 2 scoops rice, 1 scoop mac’ salad, roast meat with gravy all ovah “erryding”! lol

    Gotta’ do shave ice.

    Gotta do upscale Hawaiian regional fusion cuisine, where my vote goes to Roy’s and Alan Wong’s on Oahu, being not only is their food INCREDIBLE, but they’re also pioneers of it. In other words, while Steel Pulse is a GREAT reggae band, if given the choice to see one of these two in live concert? I take Mr. Bob Marley, ja know it, mon. ;-)

    That, on top of what’s listed in the Omiyage guide.

  • October 18, 2013 at 6:27 am

    e Pomai,
    Ani’s Bakery goods no longer sold at O’ahu Costco or so say the bakery staff. Thought I had seen their items somewhere but couldn’t find it on my last visit which led to my going to the bakery. BTW, they are closed on Monday.

    Kathy YL Chan’s blog featured custom chocolatiers from Honolulu, Choco Le’a using the Nisshodo chi chi dango. Thought I’d share since Kathy is known for her excellent palate.
    http://www.kathyylchan.com/blog/2013/10/14/honolulu-choco-lea. The chocolate is only made for custom orders and I haven’t had the priviledge so can’t tell you how it tastes. Maybe you can? Take one for the team? Like you did with tofu mousse? Gambatte!


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