It might be hard to find a Hawaiian restaurant in Boston, but that doesn’t mean the city is completely devoid of island food. Several restaurants do serve Hawaiian or Hawaiian-inspired dishes in line with the fusion nature of cooking in the 50th state.
Malasadas are small Portuguese doughnuts popular in Hawaii thanks to Portuguese immigrants who came to work on plantations in the late 1800s. They’re also a specialty of Massachusetts: The Lowell Portuguese Bakery and Central Bakery in Peabody both have malasadas (or malassadas, the Portuguese spelling) on Saturdays, itaunas says. They’re also readily available further afield in New Bedford and Fall River, and at Portuguese cultural festivals throughout the state.
The raw tuna dish poke shows up at a number of places, like Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Blue on Highland in Needham, and AKA Bistro in Lincoln. lipoff says you’ll often see poke at Boston-area sushi bars.
lipoff suggests trying Moko in South Boston, where he’s spotted Spam musubi on the menu. And even though it’s not Hawaiian, Luther suggests giving the Filipino food at JnJ Turo Turo in Quincy a try, since “many of the flavors are similar.”
Other hounds say your best option for Hawaiian food involves sourcing fresh fish and a good recipe. “Go to New Deal Fish Market and pick up some sushi grade tuna,” suggests Bellachefa, who says the best tuna poke in Boston might be the one you make yourself!
Lowell Portuguese Bakery [Merrimack Valley]
930 Gorham Street, Lowell
Central Bakery [North Shore]
48 Walnut Street, Peabody
Blue Ginger [MetroWest]
583 Washington Street, Wellesley
Blue on Highland [MetroWest]
882 Highland Avenue, Needham
AKA Bistro [MetroWest]
145 Lincoln Road, Lincoln
Moko Japanese Cuisine [South Boston]
674 East Broadway, Boston
JnJ Turo Turo [South Shore]
143 Water Street, Quincy
New Deal Fish Market [East Cambridge]
622 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
Discuss: Will drive for Hawaiian food!
Photo of Blue Ginger’s tuna poke from Blue Ginger