Say Aloha to the Best of NYC's Hawaiian Food

Those who aren’t lucky enough to jet-set off to Hawaii to soak in the sun and catch the island vibe can still enjoy the taste of Hawaii at one of these New York City restaurants. The menus offer traditional Hawaiian fare from taro chips to fresh poke, pork belly, and haupia desserts made from delicious coconut milk.


Chikarashi Ponzu Salmon

The casual, minimalist style eatery Chikarashi offers a contemporary take on Hawaiian poke. Its dishes are influenced by Japanese chirachi (sushi ingredients are artistically arranged on top of vinegared rice), as well as the flavors of Korea and China. Dishes include wasabi mayo tuna, ponzu salmon, Sichuan chili salmon, and more. Chikarashi boasts two locations: 227 Canal St., 646-649-5965, and 1158 Broadway, 917-262-0623,

Makana Hawaiian BBQ

This Hawaiian/Japanese destination offers Hawaiian-inspired poke bowls and Asian-style barbecue right here in New York City. Tap into the island vibe with the island girl roll—eight pieces of spicy tuna, spicy salmon, and tempura flakes topped with spicy yellowtail scallion—or opt for the BBQ pork belly bowl lunch special, which features tender pork belly marinated with a homemade BBQ sauce.There are plenty of other dishes to sample at the Upper West Side, 161 W. 106th St., 212-678-4569, and East Harlem 2245 First Ave., 212-966-3534,



This mod East Village restaurant offers artistically crafted Hawaiian cuisine in a sleek space. Snack on truffle taro chips or pork bowl musubi, or sample the starters, which include spicy salmon poke and Hawaiian garlic shrimp. Main dishes include kalua pork cavatelli, spam agnolotti, and beyond. Finish off your meal with an aloha-inspired dessert such as the bruleed Hawaiian pineapple or chocolate haupia sundae. 128 First Ave., 646-892-3050,

The Poke Spot

Hawaiian-style poke bowls and signature seafood dishes are on the menu at The Poke Spot—a counter-service spot with locations in Union Square and SoHo. The signature bowls, which come with green onions and sesame seeds, include the miso surf and turf bowl (chicken, shrimp, fresno chili, cucumber, mango, kani salad, togarashi (a Japanese spice) and spicy miso) and the PokeSpot Special Bowl (snow crab, salmon, cucumber, seaweed salad, sweet furikake, onion crisps, spicy eel). Locations include Union Square (120 Fourth Ave., 212-933-0971) and SoHo (25 Cleveland Pl., 212-966-5014),

Young Street Poke

Young Street Poke

Midtown’s One Penn Plaza recently unveiled Young Street Poke, which ushers a healthy lunch option into the area. Young Street’s authentic poke bowls are served in a casual, Hawaii-inspired environment. The enticing menu offers six signature bowls, which range from classic to modern. Guests can even create their own dishes. Acclaimed Japanese chef Takanori Akiyama of SakaMai and Bar Moga fame utilizes quality ingredients and uncommon toppings such as chili bamboo shoots, slow-cooked eggs, and wasabi octopus. Bowls include the Big Island Classicahi tuna, onions, scallions, cucumber, and seaweed marinated in sesame soy sauce, as well as a host of others. 1 Penn Plaza, 33rd Street Entrance, 929-262-1956,

About the Author

Regina Molaro is a freelancer writer whose work spans from luxury to fashion, art, lifestyle, and beauty. Her work has appeared in Modern Luxury Hawai‘i, as well as Bespoke Magazine and In Season—the in-house magazines at the St. Regis and Mandarin Oriental New York.

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