The Best Loco Moco in Hawaii in 2022
White rice, topped with a hamburger patty, sunny eggs, and smothered in brown gravy — and you have the loco moco. It’s a humble dish that’s about as iconic as it comes in Hawaii. From corner shops to local chain restaurants, you’ll always find a place and a reason to indulge in a hearty loco moco. As with many of our Readers’ Choice categories, the question of who is the best generates a lot of discussion. This is how our readers achieved the best results in our Readers’ Choice Awards 2022.
1. Zippy’s, Oahu, Maui, Island of Hawaii
Since opening on Oahu in the 1960s, Zippys has grown into a local institution and can now be found on three islands. The popular Hawaiian-style restaurant chain is known for its hearty home cooking. The restaurant’s award-winning locomotive moko comes with succulent hamburger patties, steaming hot rice, thick gravy, two eggs and a scoop of macaroni salad. If you are very hungryget all that topped with Zippys characteristic chili. Different places, zippys.com.
2. Rainbow Drive-In, O’ahu
Rainbow Drive-In, with its signature Loco Moco, has held the top honors on our list for years. The family-run diner adds breadcrumbs to its beef patties to keep them moist and coats them in homemade gravy. Despite taking second place this year, the historic drive-in cinema will always be a popular spot for a carbohydrate overload. 3308 Kanaina Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, (808) 737-0177, rainbowdrivein.com
3. Hawaiian-style cafe, Island of Hawaii
Hawaiian Style Café is exactly what the name suggests. Guests are sure to find local home cooking in huge portions. While the classic locomotive moco not coming up short, why would the Hawaiian Style Café stop there? The restaurant adds spam, portuguese hot dog and pair sausage with the traditional plate combination at Big Mok, while Da Tita Mok swaps white rice for fried rice and adds a chicken chop. Waimea and Hilo, Island of Hawaii,hawaiianstylecafe.us.
4. Koko Head Cafe, O’ahu
Under the direction of Top Chef alumnus Lee Anne Wong, Koko Head Café is – now in a larger space, just a few minutes’ walk from its previous location Kaimukī– is known for its inventive twists on local breakfast classics, including the humble loco moco. The Koko Moko comes in a signature pan that creates a crispy bottom layer of rice. The hamburger patty is made with local beef and topped with mushroom sauce and tempura kimchi. The flavors unite in a loco moco you won’t find somewhere else. 1120 12th Ave., Honolulu, O’ahu, (808) 732-8920, kokoheadcafe.com.
5. Cafe 100, Island of Hawaii
While the quiet town of Hilo on the island of Hawaii is credited with being the birthplace of the Loco Moco, Café 100 calls itself the “Home of the Loco Moco”. Opened in 1949, the old-school drive-in theater is a Hilo staple and is also known for offering more than 30 different Loco Mocos. From spam and chorizo to ʻahi and garden burgers, the list of loco moco is extensive. 969 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, Island of Hawaii, (808) 935-8683, cafe100.com.
Want to build your own Loco Moco at home? look at that HAWAIʻI in the Kitchen video from the Fairmont Orchid.
See all of our 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards winners in our latest buyable issue here. Even better, Subscribe to and have HAWAIʻI Magazine delivered straight to your mailbox.