Malasadas: A Culinary Must-Try During Your Visit to the Islands


When most people think of foods they absolutely have to try while visiting the Hawaiian Islands, they often focus on fresh fruit, seafood, or luau offerings. However, at Discover Hawaii Tours, we know no trip is complete without trying malasadas, or Portuguese donuts. People who have seen Elvis Hawaii movies or performances might be surprised to learn these donuts were one of the many things the King loved about the Islands. So what exactly are these treats, and where can you find them?

A Mardi Gras Treat Enjoyed All Year

Portuguese donuts consist of fried dough coated in sugar. Unlike regular donuts, they do not have holes or frosting, though they may be made with filling. Portuguese donuts offer the same sweet taste as donuts, but they have a more toasted flavor, and they are often served hot and crunchy. In many countries, including Hawaii, these treats are widely eaten on Fat Tuesday; some Hawaiians even refer to the day as Malasada Day. However, you can find people selling and eating these snacks on virtually any day.

Where Can You Find Them?

Several Oahu bakeries specialize in making traditional Hawaii donuts and more inventive variations. We recommend Leonard’s Bakery or Champion Malasadas, both located in Honolulu. Leonard’s offers fillings such as coconut and sugar coatings such as li hing, which is a dried plum powder used in many Hawaiian foods. Champion makes your malasada fresh to order and offers chocolate pudding filling with chocolate glaze. Other options that are less well known but still delicious include Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop on Oahu, Punalu’u Bake Shop on the Big Island, and Tex Drive-In on the Big Island.

Don’t Miss Out During Your Visit

Malasadas are just one local favorite that many visitors unwittingly miss out on. To ensure that you enjoy all of the foods, sights, and pastimes that residents and experienced travelers love, make sure to plan your trip with a company that has an extensive knowledge of the Islands. At Discover Hawaii Tours, we promise a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will make you feel like you truly know the Islands. Call us today at 808-670-3743 to learn more about our tours or reserve a spot.

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