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Downtown food spans the globe

by Kim P. Robson, staff writer


One of the perks of attending HPU is the diversity of food and cultures in the downtown area. The Fort Street restaurants are familiar to most of us so these are a couple of places that are closely unique, affordable, and, of course, unbelievably delicious.

The weather has become cooler and Hawai‘i’s winter is the perfect time to warm your soul with a bowl of hot noodle soup from To Chau. This hole in wall Vietnamese restaurant serves the best Pho, a clear beef broth served

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with rice noodles and sliced beef that you can order cooked or raw. The soup comes with a large serving of bean sprouts, a garnish of basil and lemon. This tiny restaurant almost always has a line. If you decide on lunch, make sure you have enough time because the wait can be as long as 45 minutes. To Chau at 1007 River St. is open from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. Order take out at 533-4549


On days when the body craves something heartier, such as a steak, mash potatoes, or even pot roast, try People’s Café. This lovely Hawaiian restaurant serves the tastiest kalua pig plate (smoked pig served with rice), pipikaula (smoked pork), lomi salmon (salmon marinated with tomatoes, salt, and onions), opihi (limpets rubbed with Hawaiian rock salt), beef stew, lau lau (steamed pork or butter fish wrapped in ti leaf), chicken/ squid luau (chicken or squid cooked with spinach and coconut), and haupia (creamy soft coconut dessert).

People’s Café at 1300 Pali Highway is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For takeout: 536-5789

If you crave Chinese, particularly noodles, try Hong Kong Noodle House. The signature dish is dry noodle that is slightly seasoned with oyster sauce and sesame oil, served either with roast duck, pig’s feet, char siu (sweet pork) and choy sum (Chinese steamed vegetables). They also serve wonton, duck or vegetables mein (noodle) in soup. Hong Kong Noodle House, at: The Cultural Plaza, on the corner facing River Street. 100 North Beretania St. It’s open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For takeout, call: 536-5409

If you are in the mood for Greek food, walk through 1132 Bishop Street building to Union mall where Leo’s Taverna is located. It’s heavenly dishes will satisfy both your taste buds and your wallet. Try the grilled Greek chicken plate served with rice, garlic sauce, pita, hummus (a dip made with chick peas), and Greek salad. The chicken and beef shish-kabobs (grilled meat), spanakopita (spinach pie), and Leo’s signature dish gyro’s (Greek sandwich served with grilled lamb, tomatoes, and lettuce) are all excellent. The Greek music adds to the experience and HPU students and faculty get a 10 percent discount: 1116 Bishop St. For takeout, call: 550-8443

These are just a few of the many good restaurants available in downtown. If you have a favorite restaurant, let us know. E-mail




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