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Cheap Eats, Great Grinds

Indulging in decadent food on a budget

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Arvo Cafe

Arvo café offers refreshing drinks and meals that are aesthetically pleasing.

There are hidden gems amid the vast amount of expensive food chains. Among these are local food places that continue to serve without sacrificing quality or taste. You can find amazing food that fits your budget by exploring the streets of Hawaiʻi. Or, save yourself the time and view this collection of cheap eats and great grinds.


Marukame Udon

Japanese counter service udon restaurant

Yelp Rating: 4.5

Price: under $10


Downtown: Fort Street Mall, 1104 Fort Street Mall

Hours:  Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Waikīkī: 2310 Kuhio Ave. #124

Hours: Daily 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Do not let the long line stop you – it is worth the wait. As you draw closer to the udon noodles made and cooked before you, an array of tastes and toppings await. Udon with several side dishes makes for a satisfied stomach. With two locations on O‘ahu, in downtown and Waikīkī, prices start at $3.75 and can go up to $10. Selecting your broth and adding sides like kabocha or fried chicken, it almost feels like you are at a cafeteria, making your own dish. Takeout is available. However, the warm ambience and service of this restaurant gives the food life. Eating here is more than just getting a meal, it is an experience.

Itchy Butt

Korean food

Yelp Rating: 4.4

Price: under $10

Location: 1229 Keeaumoku St.

Hours: Sun. - Thurs. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Fri. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Despite the strange name, this Korean takeout restaurant serves large takeout bowls at a reasonable price, such as their delectable chicken bowl, containing rice and a mound of chicken with a mildly spicy mayonnaise sauce drizzle. If you are craving something a bit more Korean, try their bulgogi bowl. These bowls come with a drink of your choice and only cost $7. Itchy Butt is mainly known for their chicken. You can order a half box of chicken (about eight pieces) in one flavor for $12, or a whole box of chicken (16 pieces) for $22.  

Sweet Home Glad

Chinese-Asian fusion food

Yelp Rating: 4.5

Price: under $10

Location: 2671 S. King St.

This locally-owned family restaurant has a sampler menu with which you can indulge in various dishes or pupus for only $3.50, to share with your friends or eat by yourself. The chef’s specials usually cost up to $9. Sweet Home Glad also serves plate lunch style food.



Local food

Yelp Rating: 3.5 on average

Price: $10 - $20

Location: 22 locations on O‘ahu

Hours: varies by location

Next stop: Zippy’s. So goes the local restaurant’s catchphrase. At Zippy's, there is an abundance of local food to choose from, such as corned beef hash or their Zip Pac, which comes with fried chicken, teriyaki beef, fish croquettes, spam and furikake-sprinkled rice. You can find just about anything to satisfy your taste buds, with just the right portions and prices.


Coffee and toast

Yelp Rating: 4

Price: under $10

Location: 675 Auahi St.

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Sat. - Sun. 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

This Aussie-inspired café is located inside of a plant shop, Paiko, in Kakaʻako. The chic setting and healthy options here are sure to keep you coming back. Arvo is known for its famous salmon toast, that tastes just as good as it looks. There is a variety of toasts with many toppings to choose from. Additionally, they serve coffee and a unique iced tea.


Shimazu Store

Shave ice and halo-halo

Yelp Rating: 4.6

Price: under $10

Location: 330 N. School St.

Hours: Tue. - Sun. 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

This is a simple local spot for shave ice and halo-halo. Specializing in shave ice, they have been recognized by locals and tourists for their dessert’s smooth texture and incredible flavor with various toppings. The size of the shave ice is more than what you would expect for the price.