Malasadas in Hawaii: where to find everyone’s favorite places around the islands
Everyone craves Malasadas in Hawaii and we all have our local favorite spots to enjoy around the islands. Sweet and sugary plain or more decadent with custards and tropical fillings, malasadas fill in that perfect sweet pupu or dessert. We share everything malasada with popular venues, the history and Hawaiian twist along with recipes if you want to try this on your own.
How did Malasadas come to Hawaii?
Malasadas, a popular Portuguese pastry, made their way to Hawaii through the influence of Portuguese immigrants who came to work on Hawaii’s sugar plantations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The story of malasadas in Hawaii is intertwined with the history of immigration and plantation labor. Portuguese immigrants, primarily from the Azores and Madeira, were brought to Hawaii in the 19th century to work on sugarcane plantations. These immigrants brought with them their culinary traditions, which included a variety of foods and pastries, one of which was the malasada.
Malasadas are deep-fried doughnuts that are typically coated in granulated sugar. They can be plain or filled with various fillings like custard, chocolate, or fruit. In Portugal, malasadas are traditionally made and enjoyed leading up to Lent as a way to use up ingredients like sugar, fat, and eggs before the fasting period.
In Hawaii, the malasada took on its own identity and popularity. It’s believed that the malasada’s connection to Fat Tuesday, also known as “Malasada Day,” contributed to its popularity in the Hawaiian Islands. Fat Tuesday is the day before the Christian fasting period of Lent begins, and it’s a day when people indulge in rich and fatty foods before the period of restraint.
Leonard’s Bakery, established in 1952 by Portuguese immigrant Leonard Rego, is often credited with popularizing malasadas in Hawaii. Leonard’s Bakery, located in Honolulu, is renowned for its malasadas and has become an iconic culinary destination on the islands. The bakery’s malasadas gained a following not only among the Portuguese community but also among the diverse population of Hawaii.
Over the years, malasadas have become deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture and cuisine. They are enjoyed at various celebrations, festivals, and gatherings, and many other bakeries and eateries on the islands have also embraced this delicious treat.
In essence, malasadas came to Hawaii through Portuguese immigrants who brought their culinary traditions to the islands, and over time, these delectable pastries became a beloved part of Hawaiian food culture.
Delicious Malasadas in Oahu
There are a few popular venues in Oahu, Hawaii, where you can find delicious malasadas along with other popular deserts and snacks. However, please note that the popularity of venues can change over time, so it’s a good idea to verify the current information before planning your visit. Here are some well-known places to find malasadas in Oahu:
Leonard’s Bakery: This is the iconic bakery that played a significant role in popularizing malasadas in Hawaii. Located in Honolulu, Leonard’s Bakery offers a variety of malasada flavors, including the classic plain sugar, cinnamon sugar, and filled options like custard and chocolate. They also have seasonal flavors.
Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery: Situated in Kaimuki, Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery is known for its unique take on malasadas. They offer both traditional and filled malasadas with creative flavors, and the shop has gained a strong following for their innovative offerings.
Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop: Found in Kailua, Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop is another place to enjoy authentic malasadas. They offer traditional malasadas as well as those filled with various fillings like custard and haupia (coconut pudding).
Liliha Bakery: While Liliha Bakery is famous for its coco puffs and other pastries, they also offer malasadas. Located in Honolulu, Liliha Bakery provides a different take on this Portuguese treat in their cozy and nostalgic setting.
Ani’s Bake Shop: Situated in Aiea, Ani’s Bake Shop is a local favorite for malasadas. They offer both classic plain malasadas and filled options, often featuring flavors like guava and lilikoi (passion fruit).
Big Island locations for Malasadas
the Big Island of Hawaii also offers various places where you can find delicious malasadas. However, please remember that the popularity of venues can change, so it’s recommended to verify the current information before visiting. Here are some places on the Big Island where you might find malasadas:
Tex Drive In: As mentioned earlier, Tex Drive In, located in Honokaa on the Big Island’s North Shore, is known for their “Malasada Puffs.” These unique filled pastries have become a favorite among both locals and visitors.
KTA Super Stores: Some KTA Super Stores on the Big Island offer malasadas as part of their bakery offerings. KTA is a local supermarket chain, and their bakery sections might have freshly made malasadas.
Buns in the Sun : This bakery in Kona offers a variety of baked goods, including malasadas. They are known for their classic malasadas as well as some creative flavors.
Paul’s Place: Situated in Kona, Paul’s Place is known for its Portuguese cuisine, and they often have malasadas on their menu. It’s a great place to experience local flavors and enjoy a taste of these sweet treats.
Island Lava Java: Located in Kailua-Kona, this café and bakery is a popular spot for breakfast and pastries. They sometimes offer malasadas among their baked goods.
Punalu’u Bake Shop: Found in Naalehu, the southernmost town in the United States, Punalu’u Bake Shop is known for its Hawaiian sweetbreads and baked goods. While they are more famous for their bread, they might have malasadas available as well.
Please be sure to check recent reviews, social media, or local recommendations for the most accurate and up-to-date information on where to find malasadas on the Big island.
Delicious Malasadas in Maui
you can find delicious malasadas at several locations on the island of Maui. Keep in mind that the popularity and availability of venues can change, so it’s advisable to confirm the current information before planning your visit. Here are some places in Maui where you might find tasty malasadas:
T Komoda Store & Bakery: Located in Makawao, this historic bakery has been serving up malasadas and other baked goods for generations. It’s a beloved spot among locals and visitors alike.
Home Maid Bakery: Situated in Wailuku, Home Maid Bakery is known for its fresh malasadas. They offer both the classic plain version and filled options with various flavors.
Sugar Beach Bake Shop: Found in Kihei, this bakery is known for its sweet treats, including malasadas. They often feature different fillings and flavors.
Komoda Bakery and Deli: Not to be confused with T Komoda Store & Bakery, this bakery in Wailuku is also well-regarded for its malasadas. It’s a family-owned bakery with a long history on the island.
Café Kula: Located in the Grand Wailea Resort, Café Kula offers a variety of baked goods, including malasadas. Enjoy your treat while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
Donut Dynamite: While primarily a doughnut shop, Donut Dynamite in Wailuku sometimes features malasadas on their menu, often with unique and creative flavors.
Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread & Malasadas: Situated in Kahului, this spot is known for its banana bread and malasadas. It’s a small, local establishment that’s gained a positive reputation.
Remember to verify the current status of these venues and any new ones that might have emerged since my last update. Checking online reviews, social media, and local recommendations will help ensure that you find the best malasadas experience on Maui.
Kauai locations for Malasadas
Finding malasadas on the island of Kauai might be a bit more limited compared to the larger islands, but there are still places where you can enjoy these delicious treats. However, please note that the popularity and availability of venues can change, so it’s recommended to verify the current information before visiting. Here are a couple of places in Kauai where you might find malasadas:
Kauai Bakery: Located in Lihue, Kauai Bakery is known for its pastries and baked goods. They sometimes offer malasadas as part of their menu.
Hamura’s Saimin: While primarily known for their saimin (a local noodle soup), Hamura’s in Lihue also sometimes serves malasadas. It’s a local institution with a loyal following.
Kauai Coffee Company: While not a traditional bakery, the Kauai Coffee Company visitor center in Kalaheo might have malasadas available along with their coffee offerings.
Koloa Mill Ice Cream & Coffee: Situated in Koloa, this establishment offers coffee, ice cream, and a variety of pastries. They sometimes have malasadas on their menu.
Because the availability of malasadas on Kauai might be more limited, it’s a good idea to check local recommendations, online reviews, and social media for the most up-to-date information on where to find malasadas during your visit to the island.
Make your own Malasada
Can’t find malasada in your own neighborhood? No worries check out these easy to follow recipes below that you can easily do when you find a craving for these delicious hot and fresh pastries.
Check out these other food topics on the website
Conclusion to Malasadas in Hawaii
In conclusion, malasadas have established themselves as a cherished treat in the vibrant tapestry of Hawaiian cuisine. With their roots tracing back to Portugal, these delightful pastries arrived on the shores of Hawaii through the hands of Portuguese immigrants, who brought not only their culinary traditions but also their sense of community and celebration.
Hawaii embraced malasadas, infusing them with its own spirit and cultural significance. The tradition of enjoying malasadas on Malasada Day, a prelude to Lent, reflects the multicultural mosaic of the islands – a fusion of Portuguese heritage and the aloha spirit that characterizes Hawaii.
From Leonard’s Bakery on Oahu to local gems scattered across the islands, malasadas have woven their way into the hearts of locals and visitors alike. These golden-brown, sugar-coated delicacies not only tantalize taste buds but also symbolize the blending of diverse traditions that makes Hawaii a unique and welcoming place.