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10 Best Musubi Spots in Oahu


A graphic with two musubi cartoons and text that reads "One musubi is a snack. Two are a meal."

Musubi is one of those distinctly Hawaiian foods. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The most classic version is Spam musubi — a small block of rice, topped with Spam and wrapped in nori. But they come in so many different flavor combinations, everything from tuna, salmon, and roe to fried chicken, kimchi or poke.


Not only are musubi cheap and filling, but they travel well. Usually you’ll buy them individually wrapped and you can throw them in a bag to take on a hike or to the beach. It’s probably the most affordable snack or meal (especially by Hawaii standards).



Here are the 10 best places to get musubi in Oahu…


  1. Musubi Cafe IYASUME for classic musubi in lots of flavors.

  2. Got’z Grindz for unique flavors.

  3. 7-Eleven. Where locals go for musubi.

  4. Hoku’s Kahala for upscale Sunday brunch musubi.

  5. Pupu Grill Teppanyaki. The only place serving crispy musubi.

  6. Fukuya Deli for musubi with a bento box.

  7. Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering for musubi with some of the best poke in Oahu.

  8. Mana Musubi for hole in the wall musubi.

  9. Paalaa Kai Mini-Mart for musubi with fried chicken (and a Snow Puffy next door).

  10. Higoto Japanese Eatery for musubi and sushi cups.

 


The text reads "Musubi Cafe IYASUME for classic musubi in lots of flavors." The photo shows a close up of rows of spam musubi.

Musubi Cafe IYASUME

Classic Musubi in Lots of Flavors


Whether you’re musubi obsessed or trying it for the first time, head straight to Musubi Cafe. They’ve got 6 locations in and around Waikiki and they’re kind of the gold standard for classic musubi in Oahu. This spot isn’t just for tourists. It’s a local favorite too. They make all their musubi by hand (so expect a wait during busy hours) but they do have some premade ones ready to grab and go if you’re in a hurry.


They carry about 50 different variations of musubi and rice balls. The rectangular ones all include Spam plus something else (like unagi, omelet, bacon, avocado, etc). The triangular ones include a variety of fillings ranging from spicy cod roe, to plum, and fried chicken mayo.


Try the…

  • Teriyaki Spam Musubi

  • Avocado, Eel, Egg, and Spam Musubi

  • Breakfast Musubi (Egg and Spam)

  • Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)


Location: 6 shops in and around Waikiki


Here’s everything you want to know about Musubi Cafe.

 

The text reads "Got'z Grindz for unique flavors." The photo shows a close up of a row of thick musubi with unique fillings.

Got’z Grindz

Musubi With Unique Flavors


Got’z Grindz is a newer musubi shop (just opened in 2019) that already has a cult following for their unique flavors. They’ve got about 20 different types. When you walk into this little hole in the wall you can’t miss a big counter loaded with their most popular musubi and bentos, premade and ready to grab n go. You can also ask them to whip up anything you want from the menu.


It’s a family run shop so you’ll notice that some of the musubi are named after family members (like Mika, Miki, and Yumi who are the three daughters). Mom Masumi Goto honed her musubi making skills working at Musubi Cafe Iyasume. Everyone who works here is so friendly.


Try the…

  • Musubi Samplers if it’s your first time and you want to try a few different flavors.

  • Mommy G’s Musubi

  • Daddy G’s Musubi

  • Yumi G’s Musubi

  • Chicken Karaage

  • Frozen Creme Brulee. (FYI All their desserts are baked locally by a friend.)


Location: Kaneohe

Website: [No website]

Instagram: @gotzgrindz


Here’s everything you want to know about Got’z Grindz.

 

The text reads "7-Eleven. Where locals go for musubi." The photo shows a few musubi wrappe din plastic with the 7-Eleven loco on it and a bag of Maui Onion chips.

7-Eleven

Where Locals Go For Musubi


If you’re from the mainland you’re probably thinking “There’s no way I’d eat 7-Eleven musubi.” But 7-Elevens in Hawaii are on a whole other level, carrying all kinds of tasty local treats like POG slurpees, li hing gummies, poi mochi donuts, and manapua. In Hawaii, they even cater.


This is where locals go to get musubi. It’s even been voted Hawaii’s best spam musubi for over a decade.


Try the…

  • Teriyaki Spam Musubi

  • Deluxe Spam Musubi (with egg and furikake)


Location: All over Oahu

Instagram: 7elevenhi

 

The text reads "Hoku's Kahala for upscale Sunday brunch musubi. The photo shows a breakfast bento box filled with sushi, seafood, and musubi.

Hoku’s Kahala

Upscale Sunday Brunch Musubi


Hoku’s is the beachside restaurant in the luxury Kahala Hotel & Resort. It’s an upscale spot with evening tasting menus and killer ocean views. But if you come for Sunday brunch, you can try their fancy ahi poke musubi, with its satisfying crunch on the outside. Their brunch is served Teishoku style — a set meal where all the dishes are served together. So you’ll get to try everything on the brunch menu (which heads up, costs $90 per person). Pre Covid, brunch was served buffet style.


Definitely make a reservation (and ask for a window seat when you do).


Try the…

  • Ahi Poke Musubi (It’s served with their Sunday brunch.)


Location: Waialae - Kahala

Instagram: @hokusatthekahala

 

The text reads "Pupu Grill Teppanyaki. The only place serving crispy musubi." The photo shows a box with crispy musubi with toppings.

Pupu Grill Teppanyaki

The Only Place Serving Crispy Musubi


You’ll find them every Saturday from 8am - 12pm at the Kaka’ako Farmers Market. They’re brand new to Oahu, just opened in 2021, and serve up a crispy musubi. They grill up seasoned rice patties right there, wrap them in nori, and top them with local ingredients. Most pull directly from Japanese or Hawaiian flavors with ingredients like ume shiso, mentaiko mayo, furikake, and poke. Others have some unexpected ingredients like gooey mozzarella that somehow still compliment the crispy rice.


Try the...

  • Tuna Mayo

  • Shiso Ume

  • Cheese Wrap


Location: Kaka’ako

Website: [No Website]

Instagram: @pupugrill


 

The text reads "Fukuya Deli for musubi with a bento box." The photo shows a togo box filled with fried chicken, poke, shrimp tempura, and musubi.

Fukuya Deli

Musubi Served With a Build-Your-Own Bento Box


Fukuya Deli is Honolulu’s longest running okazuya (a Japanese deli where you build your own bento box). They’ve been around since 1939. All the different dishes are behind a glass counter and you point to anything you want from an assortment of Japanese and Hawaiian dishes (including 5 different musubi). Everything is made fresh.


The trick is to first pick a starch (like musubi), then a mix of sweet and salty items. At the end, you’re charged by the item. Go as early as you can because they’ll sell out of the most popular items by lunch time. It’s a hugely popular local spot.


Try the…

  • Shiso Musubi

  • Shoyu Chicken

  • If it’s your first time, try one of the preset Bento boxes. (Each one comes with musubi.)


Location: University

Instagram: @fukuyadeli

 

The text reads "Tanioka's for musubi with some of the best poke in Oahu." The photo shows three rows of musbi wrapped in plastic.

Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering

Musubi With Some of the Best Poke in Oahu


Most people are here for their incredible poke (they’ve got a huge variety) but they also serve some solid musubi and plate lunches. This hole in the wall is totally under the radar of tourists but not locals. In fact it was a 2020 Honolulu Magazine finalist for best place to get poke in Oahu.


Heads up, the parking is terrible and the lines are long, but it’s worth it.


Try the…

  • Deluxe Spam Musubi

  • Ume Musubi

  • Cone Sushi

  • Karaage Chicken


Location: Waipahu (Near Pearl City)

Website: taniokas.com

Instagram: @taniokas

 

The text reads "Mana Musubi for hole in the wall musubi." The photo shows wooden shelves filled with rows of triangle musubi.

Mana Musubi

Hole in the Wall Musubi


Mana Musubi is a hidden gem, serving handmade musubi just outside of Waikiki. But just because tourists don’t know about it, doesn’t mean that locals don’t. In fact, they tend to sell out early every day (sometimes as early at 10am) so go early. You may even want to call before you go just to make sure they still have musubi.


Oh, and they also have brown rice or 10 grain rice if you’d prefer that. Heads up that there’s a $10 minimum to use a credit card.


Try the…

  • Baked Salmon Musubi

  • Spam and Egg Cake Musubi

  • Crunchy Ume Tuna Mayo Musubi

  • Custard Pudding Cup


Location: McCully - Moilili

Instagram: @manamusubihi

 

The text reads Paalaa Kai Mini-Mart for musubi with great fried chicken. The photo shows a pyramid of musubi rolls including their popular KimBop Musubi.

Paalaa Kai Mini-Mart

Musubi and Fried Chicken (With a Snow Puffy Next Door)


Paalaa Kai Mini-Mart is more of a liquor store than a restaurant. It doesn’t look like much from the outside (ok, it looks downright crappy), but inside you’ll find some excellent grab n go, like fried chicken (which is a big hit here) and musubi, along with snacks and beer. The KimBop Musubi is $4 which is a little pricey for musubi but it’s the one most people rave about.


The Paalaa Kai Bakery is next door if you want to grab something sweet to go along with your musubi. Their signature Snow Puffy is a mix between a donut and a turnover.


Try the…

  • KimBop Musubi

  • Furikake Spam Musubi

  • Snow Puffy (For dessert. It’s next door at the Paalaa Kai Bakery.)


Location: North Shore

Website: [No Website]

 

The text reads "Higoto Japanese Eatery for musubi and sushi cups." The photo shows a circle of different flavored musubi.

Higoto Japanese Eatery

Musubi and Sushi Cups


Higoto is known for their sushi cups but they’ve also got 8 different kinds of musubi. (What’s a sushi cup? It’s rice, fish, and some veggies layered in a cup — perfect for eating on the go or taking to the beach.) It’s a tiny grab n go bento shop and their musubi flavors run the gamut from classic (SPAM, salmon, karaage chicken) to unusual (like cheeseburger and beef sukiyaki).


Heads up, if they don’t sell out by closing, they offer 20% off at the end of day. (But they tend to sell out of their most popular stuff by then.) Check their Instagram to see if they’re doing happy hour that day. Some days they’re still really busy so they don’t offer discounts. And there are always lines, so if you want to skip them, try calling in your order.


Try the…

  • Mentaiko & Egg Musubi

  • Cheeseburger Musubi (Just for the hell of it.)

  • Miso Butterfish Musubi (This one was a special so not guaranteed they’ll have it.)

  • Miso Butterfish Bento Box


Location: Kaimuki

Website: [No website]



 


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