No trip to Hawaii is complete without sampling a fluffy, hot and delicious malasada. Actually, why stop at one – they sell them by the dozen! A malasada in its’ simplest form is a “Portuguese donut without a hole”. It is a ball of slightly sweet, eggy dough deep fried until perfectly crisp on the outside and warm and tender on the inside. Fresh out of the oil, it is tossed in sugar. Some of the sugar melts into a sticky glaze, and the remaining crystals add a perfect crunch to every bite. You can also get malasadas that are filled with cream, chocolate, guava, coconut, macadamia nut pudding and more!
Malasadas were brought to Hawaii in the 1800’s by skilled laborers of Portuguese descent who came to Hawaii to work in the pineapple and sugar cane industry. Today, they are a treasured part of Hawaii’s local cuisine. On Oahu, the classic spot will always be Leonard’s Bakery. Their flagship location is right outside of Waikiki on Kapahulu Avenue, and they also sell an assortment of other baked goods and Portuguese breads. Just seeing one of their pink and white striped boxes makes my stomach growl!
If you select a rental car as your Day 3 activity of the Waikiki Premier or 4 Island All Inclusive Hawaii Package, I suggest making a quick stop at Leonard’s for a few malasadas to enjoy at one of your stops. On Hawaii Island, my favorite place to get malasadas is Tex Drive-In. Tex’s malasadas are denser than Leonard’s, but both are delicious! I recommend stopping at Tex Drive-In before or after a trip to Waipio Valley Lookout, since they are only 15 minutes apart.
No matter where you get malasadas, be sure to try this island favorite!