7 Island Snacks to Bring Home as Gifts from Hawaii

As you pack your bags to return home from your Hawaiian vacation, bring back more than just memories and a suntan. Whether they're treats for yourself or presents for friends and family, these ono (Native Hawaiian for "delicious") island snacks and food gifts from Hawaii make for unique souvenirs you can't get anywhere else.


Food Gifts from Hawaii Reflect the Aloha Spirit You Experienced on Vacation

Hawaii's diverse food scene is influenced by a blend of cultures, including Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and other Pacific Islander cultures. Each group brought its culinary traditions and cooking techniques to the Aloha State. 

The result? A rich fusion of flavors using Hawaii's abundance of fresh, local ingredients like pineapples, coconuts, sugarcane, taro, seafood, and tropical fruits. 

This is what makes Hawaiian food and island snacks so special, and many of them are easy to pack in your luggage and bring home as food gifts from Hawaii. 


The 7 Best Island Snacks to Bring Home as Gifts From Hawaii


1. Macadamia Nuts

The first macadamia nut tree was planted in Hawaii more than 140 years ago, and mac nuts quickly became an island snack synonymous with Hawaii. Today, some macadamia nut farms — such as the Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company on the Big Island — have become tourist attractions in their own right.

Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts are the classic option but don't overlook the uniqueness of flavored varieties like honey-roasted, chocolate-covered, or garlic-seasoned macadamias. Some of the most famous macadamia brands popular for food gifts from Hawaii include:

  • Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts
  • Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company
  • Royal Hawaiian Orchards
  • Hawaiian Host


2. Kona Coffee

Renowned for its smooth, full-bodied flavor with hints of nuttiness, chocolate, and sometimes fruity undertones, Kona coffee is one of five special types of Hawaiian coffee everyone needs to try

The rich, volcanic soil and unique microclimate of the Kona coffee belt, paired with a boutique harvesting process — Kona coffee cherries are typically handpicked and then sun-dried, allowing for a meticulous process that helps preserve the beans' quality and flavors — makes this one of the best food gifts from Hawaii for coffee lovers. 


3. Pineapple Treats

Hawaiian pineapples are famous, and you can find various pineapple-themed goodies such as pineapple candies, dried pineapple slices, or pineapple-flavored treats.


4. Hawaiian Chocolate

Artisanal chocolates made with Hawaiian cacao are a decadent and delicious gift choice. Many people don't realize that Hawaii's lush climate makes the region ideal for growing premium cacao. 

Top choices include locally-made chocolate bars or truffles from 21 Degrees Estate — a family-owned boutique cacao farm located in Kahalu'u on the beautiful windward side of Oahu — and Lydgate Farms located near Mt. Wai’ale’ale on Kauai (the wettest spot on earth).


5. Hawaiian Sea Salt and Other Culinary Gifts

Gourmet sea salts from Hawaii, especially flavored varieties like black lava salt or red algae salt, add a gourmet Hawaiian touch to any dish. This is a great food gift from Hawaii for the chefs, foodies, and barbecue pros in your social circle. 

Other island snack ideas for foodies include:

  • Tropical jams and preserves made from Hawaiian fruits like passion fruit, guava, or mango
  • Bottles of authentic Hawaiian barbecue sauces or marinades to bring a taste of the islands to any meal at home, especially if you want to replicate popular local food like huli huli chicken or Korean kalbi beef


6. Li Hing Mui

This ubiquitous Hawaiian snack is traditionally made from dried fruits (such as dried Hawaiian mangoes or plums) coated with li hing mui powder, giving them a sweet, sour, and salty flavor. You can even find li hing mui-seasoned candies, crackers, and more. Kaimuki’s Crack Seed Store (1156 Koko Head Ave) in the historic, eclectic Kaimuki neighborhood, is one of the most renowned places to shop for these unique gifts.


7. Hawaiian Cookies

Buttery shortbread cookies, often made with macadamia nuts or dipped in chocolate, are a favorite among visitors.

Perched right in the heart of Waikiki, the centrally located Waikiki Resort Hotel is just steps from dozens of souvenir huts, coffee shops, and local mom-and-pop businesses where you can try and buy all of these island snacks and food gifts. Book your stay at the Waikiki Resort Hotel online or call us at 1-800-367-5116 to see why our location, friendly staff, convenience, and amenities give us top ratings among our guests.