Poke Bowls: My Top 5

Poke (pronounced poké) is one of my absolute favorite foods. Fresh, flavorful, and photogenic, i.e., Instagram worthy. A beloved local pupu (appetizer) when served over rice transforms into one of the best lunches you could possibly have. Here are my Top 5 fave poke bowls…

1 Ahi Assassins
If you’re lucky enough to find parking (located across from Puck’s Alley,) make your way up to the 2nd floor. This is the freshest, top grade ahi that I’ve ever had in poke. I like the Hawaiian style variety. Old-school. Inamona. Melt-in-your-mouth goodness…

2 Kahiau Jerky Poke & Provisions
New shop located in Chinatown. Always fresh, never frozen. Go for the Cold Ginger Ahi or Kahiau Special… or both. They even feature a Poke-of-the-Day. Poke Bombs are inari sushi cones topped with Spicy Ahi. Sells out fast.

3 Tanioka’s
While living in Waikele, this was my go-to place. Great quality fish and a ton of great menu items (fried chicken, salmon patties, tofu patties, etc.) I like their Onion Limu Poke. Check out their pop-up at Ala Moana Center for a limited time.

4 Off the Hook
Poke Market is across from the Manoa Valley Shopping Center (and next to Starbucks.) Fresh fish, great toppings, and seating. Really like their shoyu flavor…

5 Maguro Brothers
Find them in Chinatown inside the Kekaulike Market. Fresh fish, Kaisen-don, even King Salmon here. I really like their Hamachi Poke Bowl, flavored with soy and wasabi. Winnahs…

Also a big fan of Tamura’s, but I’ve never had a poke bowl there.

If you’ve only had poke bowls from Foodland, please try these suggestions. And lemme know if you have any recommendations. Always eager to expand my poke horizons…

Eat Oʻahu


Occasionally, out-of-town guests will hit me up for dining recommendations. Being a self-proclaimed foodie, I’m happy to oblige.

*  * * D I S C L A I M E R * * *

These recommendations are for visitors staying in Waikiki. As a traveler myself, I truly value convenience and time (i.e., I wouldn’t send someone to Tanioka’s in Waipahu just for a half-pound of poke.)


Duke's Waikiki
Duke’s Waikiki


Rainbow Drive-In Beef Cutlet


Kaimuki Superette Hapa Fried Rice
Kaimuki Superette Hapa Fried Rice

Ala Moana Center:


Highway Inn Poi Macnut Pancake
Highway Inn Poi Macnut Pancake


Zippy's Zip Pac
Zippy’s Zip Pac


Char Hung Sut's Ma Tai Soo
Char Hung Sut’s Ma Tai Soo

Honolulu Harbor:

Nico's Furikake Pan Seared Ahi
Nico’s Furikake Pan Seared Ahi


Helena's Short Ribs Pipikaula
Helena’s Short Ribs Pipikaula

Hawaii Kai:


Kahuku / North Shore:


Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck