Helena’s Hawaiian Food: Must Visit in Hawaii

Diana Chan May 11, 2018 BBQ, Four Beakers, Hawaii, lunch

Helena’s Hawaiian Foods in Honolulu is a must for locals and visitors since 1946. In 2000, the James Beard Foundation awarded Helena’s Hawaiian Food the Regional Classic Award, which is awesome. Everyone told me to come here, so we made it a mission to visit when we were here. They aren’t open Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, so you have to be aware of that before visiting.

We visited on a Friday morning and there were no line ups. We were seated promptly and given menus and water. The atmosphere is very casual and has the Hawaiian hospitality.


Kalua Pig

The kalua pig was shredded and it was deliciously smoked and had a lot of moisture as it is served with the drippings.


Poi is the stem of taro and a Polynesian staple. It is crushed and then left to ferment. We heard that most people don’t like the taste, but we had to try it for ourselves. The initial taste was good and earthy but then the sour taste from the fermentation lingered for a little bit. It was like eating kombucha.

Short Ribs Pipikaula Style

At first we didn’t order, but they insisted we order it as its one of the most popular items on the menu and we were glad we did. it was deliciously marinated and tender. So much flavour.

Fried Butterfish Collar

This was another must! Moist in the centre and super crisp. So damn addictive. I would highly recommend this too.


Haupia is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert made, essentially a coconut pudding. It came served with raw onions. I tried it together but was a weird combination for myself. If you stick with just the haupia, you’ll be ok.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed Helena’s as the prices are good, food is tasty, and I liked the casual friendly vibe. My favourite items were the fried butterfish collar, short ribs, and kalua pig. If you’re in Honolulu, you need to make a stop here. Just remember to bring cash as it’s cash only.

We Rate Helena’s Hawaiian Cuisine

1240 N School St, Honolulu, HI


About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.

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