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Leonard's Bakery - a perfected malasada

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!

Leonard's Bakery Hot Malasadas

Leonard's Bakery Hot 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 :-)

 The Story of Leonard's Bakery

Leonard's Bakery

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!

Hot Malasada Flavors

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.  

Leonard's Bakery Malasadas Flavors

Flavors for malasada fillings:

  • Haupia (coconut cream)
  • Custard
  • Dobash (chocolate)
  • Guava
  • Macadamia Nut

Flavors for malasada coatings:

  • Cinnamon
  • Plain Sugar
  • Li Hing (candied plum)

Flavor of the month fillings:

  • Mango
  • Guava
  • Banana
  • Pineapple

  • Lychee
  • Lilikoi (passion fruit)
  • Peach
  • Blueberry
Leonard's Bakery Malasadas

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.

Beyond Malasadas

Leonard's Bakery Pao Doce Wraps

There are a few other items at Leonard’s bakery that are worth a try.  I like Pao Doce Wraps.

These are Hawaiian sweet bread that 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.

Leonard's Pineapple & Coconut Turnovers, and Fudge Mac Nut Brownies are also quite tasty!

Leonard's Bakery Turnovers

And you must walk out with a large Pao Doce which is also known as Hawaiian Sweet Bread.

Leonard's Bakery Pao Doce

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!

What you need to know!

Visit Leonard’s Bakery early during your vacation, as you will 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!

Malasada BabiesMalasada 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. 

Leonard's Bakery

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!

Honolulu Food Tour - Eat Like a Local!

Leonard's Hot Malasadas are irresistibly warm and delicious Portuguese doughnuts, coated in sugar and often filled with delightful flavors, providing a tasty and iconic treat in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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 an Aloha Food Plate Tour Now!

How to get there

Leonard's Bakery Sign

Towards the end of Waikiki, and just before Kapiolani Park, is Kapahulu Ave.  You simple travel up Kapahulu Ave towards the H-1 freeway for about a mile and half, and it will be located on your right hand side.

933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu   Phone (808) 737-5591

Open hours  5:30 AM to 7 PM Daily

More at LeonardsBakery.com

Leonard's Bakery Food Truck!

Leonards Bakery Truck

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!  You'll find other Leonard's Bakery Malasada Food Trucks at the following Shopping Center Parking Lots:

  • Waikele Shopping Center
  • Windward Mall Shopping Center
  • Koko Marina Shopping Center
  • Pearl Ridge Shopping Center

In the Area

Pipeline Bakery

Pipeline Bakery Malasadas

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

Waiola Shave Ice

Waiola Shave Ice

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.

Kapahulu Ave Restaurants

Rainbow Drive-Inn

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

Bailey's Antiques & Aloha Shirts

Bailey's Antiques & Aloha Shirts

Bailey’s Antiques & 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 brand new. 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

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