Those who have never left the contiguous United States for the turquoise shores of the 50th state might be unfamiliar with plate lunches, but in Hawai’i they’re a mid-day staple. Plate lunches originated in the 1880s as a hearty meal for workers on sugar plantations, and have since evolved into a go-to casual meal. A typical order consists of white rice, macaroni salad, and some variety of protein, which could be kālua pork, chicken katsu, Portuguese sausage, loco moco (a dish comprised of hamburger patty, gravy, and fried egg on rice), Spam, or something else. Thanks to Las Vegas’ large influx of Hawaiian travelers and locals, it’s easy to find plate lunches throughout the city at these Hawaiian restaurants.Read More
Where To Find Hawaiian Plate Lunches in Las Vegas
The Hawaiian tradition lives on in Vegas
1. Kau Kau Kitchen
Diners can opt for takeout or dine in at Kau Kau Kitchen, where plate lunch selections include loco moco, tuna egg patties, garlic chicken, and short ribs. The restaurant also offers combination plates and kālua pork quesadillas.
2. Aloha Hawaiian BBQ
Aloha Hawaiian BBQ mixes things up by offering alternatives to the classic white rice and macaroni salad sides. The plate lunch menu here includes shrimp curry, fried scallops, spicy chicken, and more with a choice of white rice or brown rice and macaroni salad or fries.
3. Kapuna Cafe
This popular Hawaiian breakfast spot serves lunch too. Diners can opt for full-sized or mini plates including kālua pork, meat jun, loco moco, and more. A mixed plate option includes teriyaki beef, barbecue chicken, and Korean beef short ribs.
4. Suha Bites Sushiburrito & Hawaiian BBQ
Suha Bites offers a special lunch menu from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day that includes barbecue chicken, loco moco, teriyaki salmon, and more for $6.75 each. Combination plates come with two proteins, two scoops of rice, and two scoops of macaroni salad.
5. Aloha Specialties
Located inside the California Hotel, a favorite among travelers from Hawai‘i, this sleek yet casual spot offers plate lunch options including beef broccoli, hamburger steak, and garlic chicken. Also on the menu, chicken or beef bowls with vegetables, noodles, Spam sandwiches, and musubi.
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6. Lulu Hawaiian BBQ
Lulu Hawaiian BBQ offers two locations and a nice selection of plate lunches. Diners can choose from more than 20 options including honey walnut shrimp, chicken katsu curry, spicy beef, roast pork, and Spam musubi, served with either one or two scoops of rice and macaroni salad.
7. Aloha Kitchen
All of the plate lunches at Aloha Kitchen are combination plates served with rice and macaroni salad. Diners can choose from teriyaki plates, a mixed plate of chicken, beefm and mahi or a savory and crispy kālua pork and katsu combination.
8. Pacific Island Taste
Las Vegas, NV 89104
This hidden gem near Fremont Street offers classic plate lunches with rice and macaroni salad. Protein choices include kālua pork, chicken katsu curry, mahi mahi, and a barbecue combination option. The restaurant also serves another Hawaiian favorite: ahi poke.
9. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
One of the most recognizable names in Hawaiian barbecue — based on sheer number of locations alone — has got to be L&L Hawaiian Barbecue. Here, diners will find combination plate lunches with options including fried shrimp, mahi mahi, scallops and beef, short ribs, and chicken. There’s even a conscious alternative for those who wish to forgo the rice and macaroni in exchange for more protein plus eggs.
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10. Island Flavor
Island Flavor offers the usual favorites such as kālua pork and chicken katsu, plus lesser-seen options such as fried poke and the catch of the day served with bok choy and lemon butter sauce. Diners can order plates with the standard rice and macaroni, or opt for salad, fries, vegetables, or fried rice.
11. Ohana Hawaiian Barbeque
Diners flock to Ohana Hawaiian Barbecue for a seafood and barbecue combination plate that includes fried fish, fried shrimp, and a choice of barbecue beef, short ribs, or chicken plus two scoops of rice and one scoop of macaroni. Other plate lunches include loco moco, hamburger steak, pineapple chicken, and chicken cutlet with brown gravy. Mini plates with one scoop of each side are available.
12. Island Sushi & Grill
Henderson’s Island Sushi & Grill is known for its Hawaiian brunch and generous happy hour, but the restaurant also offers plate lunches in both regular and mini sizes with rice and a choice of macaroni or tossed salad. Protein options include chicken eggplant, kālua pork and cabbage, pork cutlet with gravy, and garlic shrimp.