Chinatown Cultural Plaza (Cheap Eats, Culture, Honolulu)
On the first day we visited this place seemed so mysterious (100 North Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96817). It was drizzling and foggy, the scent of incense cloaked the air. Few people, none who could answer our questions in English were wandering around, but it was pretty desolate. We wandered around the corners, up and down stairs; we didn’t even know the place existed until we got there. We were just looking for manapua from Royal Kitchen to snack on, but they were closed. It was really hard to find the specific storefront because it was on the perimeter and couldn’t be seen from the inside. We finally found a small directory on a wall (in English, score!) and figured it out. A lot of the shops seemed closed, but we still looked around intrigued at the many interesting statues. We didn’t leave empty handed as we popped in one of the open shops, the Regal Bakery. The place was big inside, modern and clean looking, and staffed by some young kids. I tried out mochi for the first time and it was pretty good. Jeff got some donuts and I took a bite of his guava one which had a real great crisp on the crust and a nice tropical flavor that really came through. He said the chocolate one was even better! Our next visit was on a sunny day and I knew exactly where to go, it’s funny how different the world can seem from a bit of sunshine. We had a great experience there and though it was a quick one it was very memorable because of the awesome food. It seemed like there was a plethora of restaurants and shops that might be fun to browse if you have time. It also seemed like a lovely picnic spot next to the canal with the checkerboard tables, and a great jump off point for exploring Oahu’s Chinatown. Parking is validate upon purchase if you enter the attached parking garage. This is a cool and affordable spot to grab a little lunch and explore.