Looking for loco moco on Oahu? The classic version of Hawaii’s heftiest dish, the loco moco, starts with two scoops of white rice, piles on a hamburger patty, adds a fried egg and pours gravy on top. Hungry teenagers in Hilo are said to be behind its invention in 1949, but it quickly became popular across the islands with all ages. Now it can be found in many varieties, reflecting the personal taste of the chef. It’s a satisfying meal, meant for budget-friendly and hungry customers. Here are our favorite places for loco moco.
But wait, there’s more. We’re here to help demystify some of the unusual words you might see on menus like furikake, laulau and lilikoi — and explain which meat is being served and why. And possibly most importantly of all, provide the fun facts on the origins of local dishes.
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Feature Image: Hideout Waikiki
Oahu Loco Moco Map
Loco Moco in Waikiki and Honolulu
Diamond Head Market and Grill
Mixed plates (protein plus rice and salad) are the staple at this all-day dining room and bakery, but you can also get most of the proteins as a simple burger or sandwich. Save room for a slice of cake from the bakery, especially chocolate haupia (coconut cream). Diamond Head Market and Grill is open 8am to 8pm.
Heavenly Island Lifestyle
Hideout at the Laylow
Coolness overload at this urban oasis above Kuhio Avenue. Hideout at the Laylow has great reviews for the food as well as ambiance. Open daily for breakfast 6am to 11am, lunch 11am to 3:30pm, and dinner 5pm to 10pm. Extended hours Friday and Saturday 10 pm to 12 pm.
Super ono food at this place; these guys have it down. Pioneer Saloon has two locations, one just outside Waikiki on Monsarrat and a newer super hip location in the booming Kakaako neighborhood that has some great outdoor seating. Open Sunday through Thursday from 9am to 9pm. Friday and Saturday 8am to 12am. pioneer-saloon.net
Loco Moco in Waianae
Country Side Cafe
Bring your Ohana and enjoy some brunch beachside! This menu has all the favorites! The Country Side Cafes version is called the Local Moke-O which has all the ingredients of a regular moco but the added bonus of kimchi. Open daily 7am to 3pm.
Loco Moco in Laie
This classic greasy spoon had a cameo in “50 First Dates,” the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore rom-com, but it’s a star among budget breakfast joints on the island, with big portions and low prices. Load up on their loco moco with thick beef patties, they’ve also got some serious buttermilk pancakes and Hawaiʻian-style French toast. Hukilau is open Tuesday through Friday 7am to 3pm and Saturday 7am to 11:30am. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Loco Moco in West Oahu
Homemade ground beef or turkey patty or chicken katsu are your meat options for their style loco moco. Brown or white rice, topped with mushrooms, gravy, onions and your egg however you like it best. If you’re on the West Side of Oahu and need a loco moco fix, stop into this little joint, they’ve got you smothered in gravy! My Cafe is open Monday through Friday 6:30am to 2pm. Saturday & Sunday 7am to 2pm.