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Every great destination lays claim to one signature cuisine. Oahu, however, delivers a world of cooking styles, all on one island.
Oahu’s culinary scene is inspired by its cultural makeup and the people who have contributed their flavors and ingredients to Hawaii,” said Noelani Schilling-Wheeler, executive director for the Oahu Visitors Bureau (OVB).
This delicious diversity thrives around the island, Schilling-Wheeler says, from Honolulu to the more rural west, north and east.
Oahu is keeping pace with foodie fads from the first meal of the day and onward. In Waikiki, clients can check out trending breakfast spots such as Heavenly Island Lifestyle, which serves a healthy take on the traditional “loco moco”: Hawaii beef, eggs, veggies and black beans. Egghead Cafe, with soon-to-open locations in Kailua and Kalihi, draws fans with pork belly Benedict and s’mores pancakes.
Poke is popular around the world, but marinated raw seafood doesn’t get much fresher than on Oahu. Mouthwatering options await at landmarks such as Alicia’s Market, home of smoked octopus and spicy scallops. And Tanioka’s Seafoods, just west of Pearl Harbor, turns heads with its poke bowls.
The farm-to-table movement has deep roots on the island. During tours of west Oahu’s Kahumana Organic Farm and Cafe Community, clients see how different types of produce and livestock grow, then sample dishes made from them. North Shore food trucks serve shrimp cultivated in adjacent aquaculture farms. The buffet at Diamond Head Luau celebrates local products, with items like taro hummus and salad with Hawaiian ferns.
New concepts are turning Waikiki’s once-overlooked Kuhio Avenue into a dining mecca. Consider Hideout, which is redefining Pacific Rim fare with recipes such as coconut-curry seafood stew; and Mahina and Sun’s, where smoked opah (moonfish) corn chowder is a specialty. Enhancing Kuhio’s allure are three trendy food courts: Michael Mina’s The Street, Duke’s Lane and Waikiki Yokocho.
Travel agents can pitch Oahu’s vibrant food scene to clients in their community through emails, social media and promotions. Schilling-Wheeler suggests that agents also work with chefs and restaurants in their area to host events highlighting food and travel. As always, the OVB stands ready with tools to help.
Our ongoing webinar series includes tips for selling culinary travel, and our August 2018 e-newsletter will focus on that topic,” Schilling-Wheeler said. “It’s an important part of the Oahu travel experience.”
The DetailsOahu Visitors Bureauwww.visit-oahu.com