SEATTLE — The spirit of the Hawaiian islands can be just a drive away in Western Washington. Here are half a dozen ways you can eat, drink or experience the islands in King and Snohomish counties.
Hawaii General Store
Hawaii General Store in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood is transportive. You can shop authentic groceries, like sweet bread and crack seed, or pick up a fresh lei - they arrive from the islands every Thursday. And if you're adequately tempted, you can book a trip to Hawaii at the in-house tiki bar travel agency.
Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonades
Originally founded in Maui, Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonades expanded to its first location on the mainland in Kirkland. The menu features 20 different flavor combinations, made with fresh lemons, limes, fruit, and herbs – and every drink is served in a reusable mason jar.
Ono Poke, a family-run restaurant in Edmonds, serves the kind of food owner Steven Ono ate while growing up on Oahu - pre-made, marinated fish served in pans. The ahi is brought in from Hawaii every day, and a commitment to living pono - with purpose – is evident on a wall filled with post-it notes. Customers can donate $10, write a message on a post-it, and anyone in need can redeem the note for anything they want to eat or drink.
Head south to Kent for a generous bowl of saimin - the Hawaiian take on ramen - at Saimin Says. They also feature musubi - Hawaiian sushi - and lots of SPAM. The restaurant is a destination for island transplants, and co-owner Colleen Shoda’s broad smile is a reminder why Hawaii is consistently ranked the least-stressed state in America.
Cakes of Paradise
For Hawaiian desserts, Cakes of Paradise bakery in the Georgetown neighborhood has a long history of satiating sweet cravings. Generations of Mary Jean Buza-Sims' family turn vibrant island colors and flavors into 15 different cakes and pies - from passion fruit and guava to Chantilly - chocolate topped with toasted macadamia nuts.
Kaliki’s Hawaiian Shave Ice
For a cooler island treat, stop into Kaliki’s Hawaiian Shave Ice in Lake Stevens. Classic shave ice is made to order, using traditional syrups. They also serve authentic Dole Whip soft serve, and add a Northwest spin to the Hawaiian vibe by offering ice cream scoops inside shave ice orders.