Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and the Azores brought the malasada — a pillowy, typically square doughnut (without a hole) dusted with sugar — to Hawai’i in the 1870s, when they joined multi-ethnic plantation workforce. Now found on the dessert menu of gourmet restaurants as well as at roadside stands and bakeries, the malasada has taken on various local flavors, from fillings such as guava jelly and haupia (coconut pudding) to toppings like li hing mui sugar (a sweet, salty, tangy mix made from dried plums). It’s hard to eat just one. Here’s a list of our favorite places to indulge.
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 Photo: Kauai Bakery Facebook
Malasadas on Kauai's South Shore
Aloha Sweet Delites
If you find yourself on your way to or back from Waimea Canyon, this is a great place to stop on your journey, for a little sugary fuel up. Aloha Sweet Delites is serving up malasadas and other sweet baked delights with Aloha. It’s a great place for a stop and a snack! Open Monday to Friday 5am to 8pm. Saturday 5am to 5:30pm. Closed on Sunday.
Malasadas in Central Kauai
If you’re in the mood for a quick bite before you hit the beach or take a hike, Hanalima Baking is a good place to stop. They’re baking up some delicious warm malasadas for you to enjoy. They have some fun flavors, like their ube malasada! Open Monday to Friday 6am to 1pm. Closed Saturday & Sunday.
Kauai Bakery & Coffee
Voted Kauai’s best bakery & best malasadas. Stop in and try some of their delicious and freshly baked malasadas. If you’re trying to stay close to home, not to worry! They’ve got a delivery service available, minimum order of $20. Breakfast in bed, anyone?! Kauai Bakery and Coffee is open Monday to Saturday 6am to 2pm. Closed Sunday.
VIP Treats and Sweets
Here they want to feed you sweets and treat you like a Very Important Person. Here everything is baked from scratch and handcrafted with love. Come enjoy some deliciously made, warm malasadas. VIP Treats and Sweets is open Monday through Friday 7am to 3pm, and Saturday 8am to 3pm. Closed Sunday.