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Solid Grindz (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Where to Find Hawaiian Food in Tucson

Updated May 31, 2024

From savory kalua pork to refreshing poke bowls, these restaurants bring the flavors of the islands to the Southwest, offering a delicious escape to paradise right here in Tucson. That’s right — here in the desert where saguaros roam and tumbleweeds challenge semi-trucks on the highway.

We’ve also included national chains in this guide since Hawaiian cuisine isn’t as easy to find in Arizona.

(Screen capture from "Cabali And The Tiki Mug Obsession")


Cabali is Tucson’s newest tiki bar located next door to The Landing at 8195 N. Oracle Rd. — there’s a “secret door” inside the restaurant that leads to the bar. Douglas “Fini” Finical, co-owner of The Landing and Fini’s Landing, has been collecting tiki mugs for years and they’ll have more than 1,000 of them on display inside the new bar.

Sure, they don’t serve food at Cabali but there’s plenty of seafood next door at The Landing.

a close up of a plate of food and a cup of coffee
Hawaiian Bros Island Grill (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Hawaiian Bros Island Grill

Brothers Tyler and Cameron McNie opened its first location in Belton, Missouri in 2018. The McNies originally come from the West Coast, but some Midwest friends from Kansas City inspired them to bring a version of their family’s Hawaiian grill restaurant here.

“The restaurant features a striking design and island vibe with a kitchen void of freezers, fryers, and microwaves,” the franchise owners said about the spot in Tucson. “The concept offers island-inspired comfort in the form of food Hawaiian plate lunches as well as sides.”

Jimmy's Pita & Poke on River & Orange Grove (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Jimmy’s Pita & Poke – University

The restaurant offers customizable poke bowls, hot rice bowls, pitas, salads, and more. For the base, customers can choose from white rice, brown rice, greens, or a combination of rice and greens. For protein, choose from tuna, salmon, yellowtail, crab, or shrimp with various seasoning options available. Tofu is also available. For vegetables, choose from more than 10 options, and for sauces, choose from nearly 10 options.

(Photo courtesy of Jimmy's Pita & Poke)

Jimmy’s Pita & Poke – River

After 16 years of operating on East University Boulevard, Tucson restaurant Jimmy’s Pita & Poke opened its second location on River Road in 2019. Although you can get your poke in a pita, the rice is so good that you don’t really need to make the switch. We dig the option to add jicama, which is a non-traditional topping choice but offers a nice bright crunch.

(Photo courtesy of Kahu Hawaiian BBQ)

Kahu Hawaiian BBQ

The restaurant quietly opened at Tucson Marketplace, which is over near Dave & Busters and the Cinemark movie theater. Before this new spot in Tucson, Kahu Hawaiian BBQ was serving out of its sole location in Phoenix. There doesn’t appear to be an official website for the chain but you can find their menu online — classic Hawaiian barbecue staples, Chicken Katsu, Crab Rangoon, and more.

a bowl of salad on a plate
Seared Ahi Salad at Kon Tiki (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Kon Tiki Restaurant & Lounge

A tiki bar with an island vibe and a menu that’ll transport you straight to the tropics. Can you believe they’ve been open now for 60 years in Tucson? Order their Seared Ahi Salad, the Monkeys and Birds — your choice of sirloin or chicken skewers marinated and charbroiled — or their much-loved Miso Salmon, and wash it down with a classic tiki cocktail. Plus, their weekday Happy Hour from 4 – 7 p.m. are a steal!

(Photo courtesy of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue)

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

The Honolulu-based restaurant chain opened its first Tucson location in January 2024, making it the third location overall in Arizona.

The restaurant is located at 4210 N. First Ave. and serves similar dishes found at Hawaiian Bros — plate lunches. The restaurant is quickly becoming a favorite on that side of town with menu items like barbecue meats, rice plates, and Spam Musubi.

(Photo courtesy of LemonShark Poke)

LemonShark Poke

LemonShark Poke was founded by guitarist Tobi Miller of rock band The Wallflowers and race car driver Richard Gottlieb. The Tucson location serves signature poke bowls and hot plates such as Sticky Pineapple Chicken, Chicken Katsu, and Coconut Shrimp. Small bites range from Potstickers to Spam Musubi.


a picture of food in a bowl
Poke Bowl at Pure Poke & Prep (Photo credit: Adam Lehrman)

Pure Poke and Prep – Grant Road

Pure Poke specializes in authentic Hawaiian poke — fresh-cut, high-quality fish that is cut into cubes and then tossed in housemade marinades made with authentic Aloha Soy.

Pure Poke & Prep (Photo credit: Adam Lehrman)

Pure Poke and Prep – Oracle Road

Poke bowl mix-ins can be added to your belly’s content and include purple cabbage, organic mixed carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, cucumber salad, avocado, edamame, ginger, green onion, jalapeño, mango, seaweed salad, maple-soy roasted sweet potatoes, wasabi, watermelon radish, and white onion.

Solid Grindz (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Solid Grindz Hawaiian Food

The Bang Shrimp dish on the menu is inspired by co-owner and head chef Tap Gaoteote’s mother’s garlic shrimp but it’s his own creation. He wanted a recipe that was easy enough to make in a food truck but would still deliver a flavor that people love. Also, try the Hawaiian Poke Plate at Solid Grindz. This simple dish features raw Ahi tuna, two scoops of rice, and is tossed with your sauce of choice, onions, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.

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