When coming to Kauai, you must try all the local foods. While malasadas are not native to Hawaii, they certainly have become a staple. If you haven’t tried this Hawaiin donut before, you will want to try the infamous malasada before the trip is over.
What Is A Malasada? Let me explain a little more about the malasada to get your taste buds going. Imagine a fluffy airey Portuguese delight full of sugar. This treat was brought to our Hawaiian melting pot by our Portuguese brothers and sisters when they came to work on the sugar cane plantations.
This gem of a desert has since become a staple here on the islands. The malasada is fried yeast dough tossed in cinnamon and sugar. It can be considered a donut but without the hole.
In Hawaii we don’t stop there. You can find the traditional malasada in most bakeries, but special bakeries offer malasadas with creme. You can find malasadas on every island of Hawaii. Each island offers different takes on them. If you’re going to Oahu, we recommend you try the “poi” malasada.
Best Malasadas In Kauai
These are my favorite places for malasadas in Kauai. Each one of these spots sells malasadas and offers other items on the menu too. So if you want to start with the malasada and end with something else, you won’t go wrong with hitting up any of these joints.
We’ll start with talking about Passion Bakery, located in the Kinipopo Shopping Complex in Kapa’a. Brah you better get there early because when they open the doors, there will be a long line waiting to get in already.
On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, they serve up hot malasadas. I have waited up to 30 minutes in line just to get one. My very favorite is the matcha filled. Visitors can get malasadas regular or creme filled. There is a large selection of creme-filled choices, probably the largest on any of the stops.
You can go Hawaiian with a Lilikoi or Mango or get your chocolate fix with cookies and creme. Make it a malasada tour by driving down to our next stop.
Kilauea Bakery is one of my favorite places to visit. It sits in the historic Kong Lung Market Center. The center depicts thru a nice photo collage of what Kileua looked like back in the plantation days as well as post-plantation times.
It gives a little history of the area and the famous Kilauea Lighthouse. The buildings are original and preserved structures and serve now as a shopping center for all to enjoy. Kilauea Bakery is amongst one of the shops and a not to miss stop. They offer wonderful malasadas, both options as well as other breakfast items.
If you aren’t in the mood for breakfast, then check in for their pizza and have a malasada as post lunch or dinner dessert. The lilikoi lemonade pairs well with the regular malasadas. The best part is that you will find them open every day of the week.
If you’re heading thru Kapa’a and want to stop in at Island Craves, it’s a unique building that offers an array of options. Island Craves sits on the left-hand side and has a neat mural alongside the building, providing you with that fun beach vibe.
When you stop in for your malasada, go with a traditional malasada or choose a creme-filled one. I recommend you try the guava, and my choice is always the malasadas with creme. They even have a donut ice cream sandwich that may be a little more extreme than you what you’re looking for but worth a try. The store is open daily.
Kauai Bakery & Coffee
The Kauai Bakery & Coffee sits at the Kukui Grove Center and has been recognized in the past for having the best malasadas. You can’t miss it, since it will have a line of people almost a mile long. The unique bakery does take call-in orders, so you can try and call ahead to avoid the long wait.
They offer regular malasadas and those with creme filling, and they also have pies, cakes, and flying saucers for sale. Flying saucers are a Hawaiian favorite which consists of a closed toasted sandwich. Think of it as a “hot pocket” but much better.
You can enjoy a malasada for breakfast or shop a little and grab lunch to try a flying saucer and a malasada for dessert. They are closed Sundays and Mondays but open any other day of the week.
Aloha Sweet Delites
At any ABC store you can find the Aloha Sweet Delites malasadas. These malasadas are already packaged up for you and are great to take on the road. Use them for a quick grab and go meal when heading back home. It will afford you a little of the islands as you head back.
Even though you are getting them from an ABC store, you don’t need to worry as they are still very fresh and amazingly good.
I also have to give an honorable mention to Holey Grail. While this place isn’t known for malasadas, it does have a Hawaiian flavor. If you are up north and in Hanalei stop into it. It’s a small red donut truck that uses Taro as a base for all their donuts. This among other fresh ingredients, give them a deserved honorable mention.
If you plan on island hopping and find yourself enjoying a day in Oahu, go try Leonards Bakery poi malasadas. It’s worth the island hop to try one since their very moist and of course purple. Leonards is an experience all on its own. They have a rich history on Oahu, but the family originated from Maui and started in the sugar cane fields. They are also the original malasada bakery that first started selling these wonderful desserts in Hawaii almost 70+ years ago.
You can’t go wrong with any of the five stops above. Malasadas are a must try when in Hawaii. Grab a dozen different and have a taste test or stop in ABC for a grab and go energy treat when as you head to the beach or go hiking. You won’t be disappointed and will probably want to take some back home. If you really find yourself loving them like I do, Kauai Coffee offers an Apple Cinnamon Malasada coffee that is out of this world.