dine in hawai'i like the president

dine in hawai'i like the president

As you know, President Obama recently wrapped up his last vacation as President, with a trip to his home state of Hawai'i.  The Obamas have gone back to Hawai'i a few times since taking office, and since the Obamas are known to be passionate about good food, we thought it would be fun to do a little investigation to see where they've been eating while on Oahu. 

Rainbow Drive-In Mixed Plate Lunch.  photo licensed through creative commons

Rainbow Drive-In Mixed Plate Lunch.

photo licensed through creative commons

When visiting Hawaii, the President has been known to get a local-style plate lunch from the Rainbow Drive-In. We were recently in Hawaii, ourselves, and we loved the traditional "plate lunch"--an entree, a scoop or two of rice, and some macaroni salad or cole slaw.  And Rainbow Drive-In might be a good place to get one. They've been serving Hawai'i-style plate lunches for more than sixty years. And the President goes there!

Traditional Loco Moco   photo licensed through creative commons

Traditional Loco Moco

photo licensed through creative commons

The President has also been spotted at the popular 24-hour Oahu diner, Zippy's.  Zippy's is a Hawai'ian institution, winning lots of awards for their menu of Hawai'ian style breakfasts (eggs and spam, Portuguese sausage), plate lunches, burgers, salads, pupu platters, sushi and more. You could also get loco moco there.  Never heard of loco-moco?  Hm. Well, it's a plate of rice, under a hamburger patty topped with a fried egg and gravy).  If you've never had loco moco before, well, you should try it. Ever since our last visit to Hawai'i, we've been kind of obsessed with it.

On his last visit, the first family challenged themselves to an escape room experience at Breakout Waikiki, leaving me to wonder how, exactly, the secret service would allow the President of the United States to be locked in a room and forced to figure his own way out. Really? Well, after making it out of the game with his daughters, the President took them to Island Snow in Kailua. The store sells surf gear and apparel, but they also have a shave ice counter.  Shave ice (and it's "shave" not "shaved," by the way) is the local version of a snow cone, and if you're going to Hawai'i, you should really try it.  The Obamas are such frequent visitors there that they've actually named a flavor after him--The Snowbama. Ha!

The Obamas usually stay in Kailua, near what is my personal favorite beach on Oahu--Kailua Beach. They've frequently been spotted at Buzz's Lanikai, a steakhouse with a laid-back vibe (though Buzz's does request "Please. No tank tops after 4:30 p.m.").  The lunch menu has some burgers that look really great and for dinner, the options are more traditional--steak, crab and lobster.

Poi Bowl from Alan Wong's   photo licensed through creative commons

Poi Bowl from Alan Wong's

photo licensed through creative commons

Of course, since the Obamas are true foodies, they've been known to have some higher end dinners.  Alan Wong's is especially popular with the President.  He's dined there every year since taking office in 2008.  In 2011, the President ate at celebrity-chef restaurant, Morimoto's Waikiki, and he's been back frequently since then. On their most recent trip, they visited Vintage Cave, a luxury French-Japanese eatery with aa $295 tasting menu. Since having a New Year's dinner at Nobu Waikiki a few years ago, the Obamas have been back there a couple of times, too.

If you're planning a Hawai'ian trip, soon, and looking for ideas of where one of the most notable Hawai'ians eats, check out some of these places!

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