Whether you’re a longtime fan, borderline addict, or a total poke (POH-kay) rookie, if you’re in Hawaii, you’ve got to eat some poke. The Hawaiian dish features fresh, usually raw, diced fish mixed with other ingredients. There are tons of different flavor combinations, so try a few, and discover your favorite.
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: @thefishexpress on Instagram
Poke near South Poipu and Waimea
Kauai Poke Co.
The Kauai Poke Co. food truck is serving up friendly, fast, and fresh poke for your culinary pleasure. Try the Plantation Bowl, with all the fresh raw fish you need scooped up into a bowl with sushi rice, seafood salad, fresh shave ginger and topped with fried onions. Open 7:30 am to 3pm daily. Check out their restaurant location at Poipu Bay.
Poke in Central Kauai
At Fish Express you can build your own poke bowl. The food is to go, but it’s always fresh and they’ve got lots of options. Check out the tasty daily specials, or if you’re feeling adventurous try some of their tako (octopus) poke. Open Monday through Saturday 10am to 2pm and Sunday 10am to 1:30pm.
Sleeping Giant Grill
Their Ahi Wrap was voted “Best Thing I Ever Ate” from The Food Network . This laid-back environment features fresh ingredients, with reasonable prices, and great portion sizes. Located behind the Coconut Market Place next to Islander on the Beach Resort. Sleeping Giant Grill is open Monday through Friday 1pm to 8pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Poke on Kauai's North Shore
This little food truck made it on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins & Dives. It’s a great location with a fun environment and there are many options to choose from. Bring friends, so you can sample a few different flavors. Hanalei Poke open Sunday through Monday 11:30am to 4pm. Closed Saturday.
Family-owned and -operated for over 20 years, the Dolphin Poipu place is serving seriously “ono-licious” (really tasty) food. The vibe is hip, the fish is as fresh as it gets, and the menu has got something for everyone, including all you plant-loving folk. Open Saturday through Tuesday, Wednesday 12pm to 8pm, and Thursday and Friday 10am to 8pm.
Kilauea Fish Market
The food is served to-go but it’s healthy and fresh. There’s a pleasant outdoor seating area if you’re in the mood to eat straight away. Kilauea’s specialty is fish, but there are gluten-free and vegetarian options as well. We recommend the seared ahi poke salad that sits on top of local organic greens — it’s a nice change up from the regular old rice bowls. Open Monday to Saturday 11am to 8pm. Closed Sunday.