Where to Get the Best Malasadas in Hawaii
Malasada Day or Fat Tuesday started way back in the 1800s and is a tradition in Hawaii that now equates to long lines and satisfied stomaches. On the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, Catholics typically eat a fatty meal to prepare for fasting during Lent. Fat Tuesday has now become the busiest day of the year for most bakeries.
So in honor of Malasada Day, we're sharing with you our favorite spots to pick up a dozen or more hot sugary sweets!
1. Leonard's Bakery - Oahu
There's a reason why this old school spot always has a line out the door. It's the malasada most of us grew up eating. When they're piping hot out of the oven, Leonard's Malasadas are slightly crispy on the outside and deliciously doughy on the inside. You can get them coated with sugar, cinnamon or Li Hing Mui powder (pictured below) and they also come with a variety of fillings. Our favorite is still the plain sugar one, but we've tried almost all the other flavors and they're all awesome.
Leonard’s Bakery, 933 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, (808) 737-5591
2. KTA Bakery - Big Island
On Fat Tuesday, KTA makes a variety of fresh Malasadas with wacky and drool-worthy flavor combinations. They've got BLT, Lemon, Lilikoi, Banana Cream, Ube, Taro, and our personal favorite - Chantilly! The cream-filled Taro Malasada is also very, very good. Not all the flavors are available year round, but chantilly and taro are bakery staples.
Hawaii Island - Locations islandwide.
3. Tex Drive In - Big Island
Nestled in the sleepy town of Honoka’a, Tex Drive In is pretty much the only place to stop between Waimea and Hilo for a bite to eat and a bathroom break. Tourists and locals alike flock to Tex’s for their world-famous malasadas. Watch them being made through a glass window and marvel at the amount of dough that needs to be made to feed an army of hungry Hawaiians.Our favorite is Bavarian Cream!
Tex Drive In, 45-690 Pakalana St., Honokaa, Hawaii Island, (808) 775-0598
4. Punaluu Bakery - Big Island
Located on the southernmost tip of the Big Island, Punalu’u Bakery is a must stop if driving from Kona to the Volcano National Park. Their malasadas are rolled in confectioner’s sugar and are not as doughy as the ones from Tex Drive In, but you’ll have to try them both to decide which is your favorite. We love the apple and lilikoi filled ones!
Punaluu Bake Shop, 95-5642 Mamalahoa Hwy., Naalehu, Hawaii Island, (866) 366-3501
5. Kamehameha Bakery - Oahu
Get here early, like 3 am early or miss out! Their famous Poi Malasadas are to die for! Check out the video below to see how these awesome baked treats are made.
Kamehameha Bakery, 1284 Kalani St., Honolulu, Oahu, (808) 845-5831,
6. Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery - Oahu
Parking is always a problem in Kaimuki, but it's so worth finding a spot just so you can run into Pipeline. Their malasadas are to die for!! They're wonderfully crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. They also make a malasada with ice cream in the middle called a Malamode. ICE CREAM!! Unfortunately, these treats are only available after 2 pm., so plan ahead.
3632 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, Oahu (808) 738-8200
*Honorable mentions on Maui include the Sugar Beach Bake Shop in Kihei and of course Komodo Store and Bakery in Makawao. We haven't been to Maui in ages, but both these spots are recommended by our Snack Hawaii Ohana.