Leonard's Bakery on Oahu is not a local secret anymore. A once quiet bakery sitting midway on Kapahulu Avenue, is now featured in many tourist guide books, and has become an Oahu attraction itself! All the attention and fame go to these little special Portuguese-style donuts called malasadas!
So, what’s all the hype about Leonard's Bakery and their malasada donuts? For one they are scrumptious, or as they say in Hawaii, onolicious!
Food fads and crazes come and go, but there is good reason
why locals and tourists line up for these delectable treats on any given day, rain or shine.
These Portuguese-style donuts are round with no holes, approximately the size of your palm, deep fried, and are deliciously fluffy and airy on the inside. They are freshly-baked and come rolled in plain sugar or are injected with exotic and tropical-flavored fillings.
There is also a "flavor of the month" that is usually not part of the permanent menu. There are lots of malasadas to choose from, so if you can't make up your mind, just order a mixed box of half-dozen or one dozen malasadas in all the different flavors! That's what we do :-)
We owe a little thanks
to the DoRego family that migrated from Portugal to Maui for an
opportunity to work in the sugar cane fields in 1882. But it
wasn’t until 1952, when their grandson Leonard & wife moved to
Honolulu, and opened the doors to their own bakery, not too far outside Waikiki.
Soon after opening their doors, Leonard’s mother suggested making a traditional treat for “Strove Tuesday”. Today these traditional malasada treats have become a staple phenomenon that we’ve come to love…and the rest is history!
How do you make an amazing treat even more awesome? If you
guessed rolling them in flavored sugars or filling the malasadas with
delicious, tropical-flavored fillings, then you guessed right. Don’t
get me wrong, plain hot malasadas are still wonderful, but the fillings turn it up a few notches.
Flavors for malasada fillings:
Flavors for malasada coatings:
Flavor of the month fillings:
Don’t feel too guilty if you walk out of the bakery with a dozen…most
folks do! They run $1.70 each for coated, or $2.10 each with filling.
There are a few other items at Leonard’s bakery that are
try. I like Pao Doce Wraps. These are Hawaiian sweet
are stuffed with Portuguese
Sausage and make for a good snack when you get hungry at some
point of the day. This sweet and savory snack is very satisfying.
& Coconut Turnovers, and Fudge Mac
Brownies are also quite tasty!
And you must walk out
with a large Pao
Doce which is also known as Hawaiian
If you are
unfamiliar, this soft semi-sweet roll is another must-have treat that
you can share by simply ripping it apart with the family and enjoy!
Visit Leonard’s Bakery early during your vacation, as
most likely want to return at some point. I usually get my fill when dining at nearby Kapahulu restaurants, including popular Rainbow Drive In.
The lines tend to get long as the day goes on, but they do move quickly. The owners and staff have streamlined their operation to help get orders out as fast as possible. While waiting, you can check out the merchandise if you're looking for a souvenir. They have t-shirts, hats, bags, and those cute Malasada Babies!
Parking is tough, both in their small
parking lot and the surrounding
neighborhood. You might need to let someone else run in
while you look for parking. Please be mindful not to block driveways or block traffic by double parking.
Order more than less, or you’ll find yourself standing
back in line
shortly after. I can guarantee that you will eat more than you thought you would because you will want to taste the different flavors!
Spend 4 to 5 hours touring hole-in-the-wall eateries located just beyond Waikiki.
Visit some of Hawaii’s gems, and learn a little culinary history, while exploring the different cultures that make up our island. Taste local favorites like Spam Musubi, Ube, Poke, Malasadas, and island plate lunch hits!
These are small-group tours, to help keep the experience personalized, so make sure to sign up early if interested. Book Aloha Food Plate Tour Now!
Towards the end of Waikiki, and just before Kapiolani Park, is
Kapahulu Ave. You simple travel up Kapahulu Ave towards the
freeway for about a mile and half, and it will be located on your right
933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu Phone (808) 737-5591
Open hours 5:30 AM to 10 PM Daily, 11 PM Closing Time on Fri & Sat
More at LeonardsBakery.com
There are a few Leonard Malasada Food Trucks that travel around the island, so keep your eyes peeled and you just might set yourself up for a treat while driving around Oahu. This Leonard's Hot Malasada Truck is usually parked in the Koko Head Marina Shopping Center. It's an easy stop on your way to Hanauma Bay or nearby Sandy Beach!
For decades Leonard’s has been the sole master of making malasada in Hawaii. And there hasn’t been any noteworthy bakeries of these Portuguese style donuts until now.
The Pipeline Bakery is located just 5 minutes away from Leonard’s in the Wai’alae town area. You’ll discover tasty versions of the hot malasada along with many other delicious treats.
The sugar-coffee & coco-rubbed malasada are worth trying, and make sure to taste their Coconut Haupia Ube Macadamia Nut Squares! Another must try is their Homemade Malasada Ice Cream- filled Malasadas…only available on Wed - Sun 2 PM to closing!
Open 7AM to 9 PM Wed - Sat, Sun 8 AM to 9 PM, Closed Mon & Tue
3632 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 738-8200, pipelinebakeshop.com
Forget the 1 hour drive to the North Shore for a Matsumoto Shave Ice, when you can enjoy the island treat right here in town.
Hawaiian shave ice has been
perfected over the years
at Waiola Shave Ice, and definitely worth a try.
Waiola shave ice
has a big
following on Oahu! Make sure to try
some of the exotic
tropical flavors…and always request a
scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom of your cone to make it
complete! Yes, the ice cream does magic to the experience...
7:30am to 6pm,
except open 10am on Sunday
Location: 3113 Mokihana St, Honolulu, HI (across from Safeway, off Kapahulu St)
Phone (808) 735-8886 Check out more Waiola Shave Ice reviews.
Too many amazing local Upper-Waikiki restaurants to choose from,
including Ono Hawaiian Foods
for obviously delicious Hawaiian meals,
Side Street Inn for great
comfort foods with an Asian flare, and a few
star plate lunch houses such as Rainbow
Drive-Inn –a locals favorite!
Open Daily 7 AM to 9 PM
Location: 3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, (808) 737-0177
& Aloha Shirts There's a
good chance you will
find the aloha shirt you've been looking for our of the 15,000 shirts
waiting for you at Bailey’s Antiques
& Aloha Shirts.
They have it all from Vintage to
They have the worlds largest collection of Aloha wear in the world.
Open Daily 10am to 6pm
517 kapahulu Ave, Honolulu - (808) 734-7628
Learn more at www.alohashirts.com