The Best Loco Moco in Hawaiʻi in 2022
See which loco moco topped our 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards.
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 is about as iconic as they come in Hawaiʻi. From mom-and-pop shops to local chain restaurants, you can always find a place and a reason to dig into a hearty loco moco. Like many of our Readers’ Choice categories, who makes the best sparks much debate. Here’s how our readers ranked the best in our 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards.
1. Zippy’s, Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi Island
Since opening on Oʻahu in the 1960s, Zippy’s has become a local institution and is now found on three islands. The beloved Hawaiian style restaurant chain is known for its hearty comfort food. The restaurant’s award-winning loco moco comes with juicy hamburger patties, steaming hot rice, thick gravy, two eggs and a scoop of macaroni salad. If you’re really hungry, get all of that topped with Zippy’s signature chili. Various locations, zippys.com.
2. Rainbow Drive-In, Oʻahu
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Rainbow Drive-In has taken top honors on our list for years with its signature loco moco. The family-run diner incorporates breadcrumbs into its beef patties to keep them moist and covers them with homemade gravy. Although it comes in second this year, the historic drive-in will always be a favorite spot for a carb-overload. 3308 Kanaina Ave., Honolulu, Oʻahu, (808) 737-0177, rainbowdrivein.com
3. Hawaiian Style Café, Hawaiʻi Island
Hawaiian Style Café is exactly what the name implies. Diners are sure to find local comfort food in massive portions. While the classic loco moco doesn’t fall short, why would Hawaiian Style Café stop there? The restaurant adds Spam, Portuguese sausage and link sausage to the traditional plate combo in the Big Mok, while Da Tita Mok swaps white rice for fried rice and adds a chicken cutlet. Waimea and Hilo, Hawaiʻi Island,hawaiianstylecafe.us.
4. Koko Head Café, Oʻahu
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Spearheaded by “Top Chef” alum Lee Anne Wong, Koko Head Café—now in a bigger location a walking distance from its former spot in Kaimukī—is known for its inventive twists on local breakfast classics, including the humble loco moco. The Koko Moko comes in a signature skillet, creating a crispy bottom-layer of rice. The hamburger patty is made with local beef and topped with mushroom gravy and tempura kimchi. The flavors come together in a loco moco you won’t find elsewhere. 1120 12th Ave., Honolulu, Oʻahu, (808) 732-8920, kokoheadcafe.com.
5. Café 100, Hawaiʻi Island
While the quiet town of Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island is considered the birthplace of the loco moco, Café 100 calls itself the “home of the loco moco.” Opened in 1949, the old-school drive-in is a Hilo fixture and is also known for offering more than 30 varieties of loco mocos. From Spam and chorizo to ʻahi and garden burgers, the list of loco moco is extensive. 969 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, Hawaiʻi Island, (808) 935-8683, cafe100.com.
Want to make your own loco moco at home? Check out this HAWAIʻI in the Kitchen video by the Fairmont Orchid.