See also Dining Out Prices in Hawaii
Are you hearing horror stories about Hawaii food prices? Well, you have good reason to be concerned. It really is more expensive to eat in Hawaii than almost anywhere in the U.S. mainland.
The good news is that at places like Mcdonald’s and Subway your prices will normally be the same, and you can get inexpensive breakfasts and lunches at plate lunch places for $3 (two eggs, toast, slice of spam) to $8 (scoop rice, potato salad, meat).
(If you are looking for coupons for this type of food check the Hawaii entertainment book – best for Oahu and Maui)
Going to the grocery store is where you will run into sticker shock. I recently moved to Idaho after 14 years in Hawaii and I got sticker shock but in a good way.
I was actually taking pictures of the prices in the stores here and sending them to my friends in Hawaii in amazement because they were so low compared to what I paid in Hawaii.
Here’s some examples of the best prices you will find in Hawaii at an ordinary grocery store.
gallon of milk: $4.00 loaf of bread: $5.00 apples: $3 a pound blueberries: $6 for the tiny package whole watermelon: 90 cents a pound ground beef: $3.79 a pound bag of macadamia nuts: $7.89 bananas: $1.29 a pound lunch meat: 15 oz for $4.89 digiorno pizza: $8 ($6 on sale) brand name cereal: $4-$6 (or $7.49 if it’s the big box of Kix)
If you go to a farmer’s market, you’ll do a bit better on some stuff that’s locally grown. Try papayas and bananas and daikon and pineapples.
Even bottle water is priced a bit more in Hawaii. Definitely get this in the grocery store and not the ABC store if you can help it.
ground beef is actually a good deal in hawaii – that’s because the cows can be organically grass-fed, easily, all year round and because there are big cattle ranches in Hawaii.
You’d think bananas would be a good deal in Hawaii, but I can find them cheaper here in Idaho believe it or not.
For the most part, even though grocery prices are much higher in Hawaii, you’ll be able to find dining out prices similar to what prices are on the mainland. However, higher-end hotel restaurants can cost really big money. For example, breakfast buffet at the Hilton Waikoloa was something like $25 an adult. It was an absolutely awesome buffet, but costly.
Fast food dining prices: Very similar and frequently the same as the mainland. Many times the same specials are available in Hawaii – like Subway does have the $5 foot-longs, but the selection of foot longs may be different.
Informal Dining prices: here is where Hawaii shines – there are so many choices of restaurants available that serve a lot of good food, and authentic food. You can go to a plate lunch place or chinese or japanese or thai or hawaiian or something that serves a mix of all of this plus american … and get out of there for $7 to $10 an entree. Of course there are lower and higher-end restaurants with a wide variety of prices.
Chain restaurants: You know, unless you are in Honolulu, you aren’t going to have too many choices for chain restaurants. There’s no Chilis or TGIFridays or anything like that on most of the islands.
A discount coupon book that saves huge money on dining out for Oahu and Maui. If you click through to my Hawaii Entertainment Book Review, you’ll see some of the available restaurant savings if there are two of you (most of the coupons are buy one get one free). Most helpful is the dollar amount you can see on that page – it kind of gives you an idea of what you will be spending on entrees.
The book is marketed for Kauai and the Big Island too, but I recommend it the most for Oahu and Maui.