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Culinary Hawai’i

With a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, fertile soil for cattle, waters teeming with fish, the cuisine of Hawai’i is a wonderful mix of ancient traditional flavors and modern, international influences.  From sunrise to sunset one can find an astonishing array of culinary delights that include enviable regional delicacies.  Whether it be ‘street’ food or ‘fine’ dining, Hawaiians do food right, offering wonderful gastronomic experiences to locals and visitors alike.  If you are a foodie like me, why not plan your next Hawaiian trip to coincide with one of the many food-themed festivals held annually throughout the islands?  There are many offerings to choose from, but here are just a few to get you started on your Hawaiian ‘ono (delicious) food adventure. Enjoy!

1)  Hawai’i 
Big Island Chocolate Festival – April
Enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations at this yummy indoor-outdoor festival that benefits local non-profits.  A chocolate party with a purpose, oh yeah!

Queen Lili’uokalani Festival - September
Celebrate the life of the Kingdom of Hawai’i’s first queen and last monarch with food, art, culture, and more for the entire family.  Indulge in ‘ono foods, buy locally made crafts, and participate in living history walks and traditional cultural activities.

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival – November
This is the oldest food fest in the state, and it honors Kona’s cultural heritage and accomplishments in the world-wide coffee industry. Parades, art strolls, food tasting, coffee picking contests and other competitions, music and dance, and hands-on cultural events await visitors to this popular 10-day event.

2) Maui
Taste of Wailea – June
Set your taste buds on sumptuous dishes prepared by top chefs and sip on the best wines at this annual fete that occurs during the Maui Film Festival.
Kapalua Wine and Food Festival - June
Situated at the beautiful Kapalua Resort, this 4-day event features wine tasting and seminars, cooking demonstrations, and scrumptious food preparations by local and international top chefs.

3)  Oahu
Waikiki Spam Jam – April
A street festival celebrating Hawaiians’ love for that crazy canned meat product.  I don’t get it but, hey, what do I know?

The Parade of Farms – May
Get behind-the-scenes tours to local farms and agribusinesses to learn about locally grown food. Then, you get to feast on some of the best food in the islands.  This is a great experience for persons interested in farm-to-table dining.

Mango Jam Honolulu – June
​Food, beer, craft booths, live entertainment, and a fabulous farmer’s market all highlighting the island’s beloved mango!

Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival – October
Delicious fare from more than 100 international chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers.  This event may very well be the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific.

4)  Kaua’i
Kaua’i Brewers Festival – March
Promotes the microbrewery revolution in Hawai’i with plenty of beer, food, music and more.

Kapaa Coconut Festival – October
Something for everyone can be found on the Royal Coconut Coast.  This annual event  highlights the cultural, social, and historical importance of the coconut with entertainment, cultural displays, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of food featuring unique coconut concoctions.

5) Moloka’i
Ka Hula Piko Hula Festival - June
Dancers and others will love this celebration of the birth of hula, which tradition says began on Moloka’i.  Join in the fun-filled day of ‘ono food, authentic local crafts, music, and lots and lots of hula.

Christmas Light Parade and Ho’olaule’a - December
This annual Christmas parade features only-on-Moloka’i floats and more.  The parade is followed by one great big ho’olaule’a (celebration) with music, entertainment, competitions, food, and fun for all.  What a great Christmas present for the entire family.

6)  Lana’i 
True Hawaiian Spirit Celebration – September
Live entertainment, cultural, demonstrations, keiki activities, crafters and artisans, and, of course, plenty of ‘ono food can be found at this Festivals of Aloha event.  Festival goers can embrace the true Hawaiian spirit.


~The Travel Diva loves helping others experience the world through travel that engages, empowers, enlightens, and entertains.  Contact her at (313) 808-8018 or Traveldiva@star1vacations.com.

About the Author



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