By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer

A lot of students on campus have long breaks in between their classes, whether they range from 2 hours, or even up to 6 hours. The majority will refer to these long periods of time as their lunch breaks, but eventually it gets tiring having to eat Subway or cafeteria food all the time. This is the perfect chance to go off campus and  explore new eating spots. Here are just a few places near KCC where students can purchase satisfying food for around $10-$20.


Chili’s Smoked Chicken Quesadillas is a great light meal to have with a hint of spiciness (Photo by Lexus Yamashiro)

15. Chili’s Grill & Bar (Kahala Mall, 4211 Wai‘alae Ave.)
Just outside of Kāhala Mall is the building with the big, red chili pepper on display; it can’t be missed. It serves a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, fajitas, and of course, chili. If dine-in isn’t really a convenience, Chili’s is able to accommodate the take-out option. To top it all off, items range in price from less than $10 to a maximum of $20. To make it more worth it, it’ll only take a 7-minute drive to get there, plenty of time to drive to and from the school to finish and enjoy a great meal.

14. Pioneer Saloon (3046 Monsarrat Ave.)
Like an advanced L&L, Pioneer Saloon offers a variety of plate lunches, even ramen burgers. Depending on the plate, the bill can come out to anywhere between $10-$20, which isn’t bad considering the portion sizes. It even accommodates those who prefer vegetarian or organic meals. If nothing on the menu is appealing, there’s always the specials of the day such as their “Organic Nalo Farm Okinawan Sweet Potato Croquette” to look forward to.

13. Hawaii’s Favorite Kitchens (3111 Castle St.)
Consisting of four restaurants in one, Hawaii’s Favorite Kitchens is the place to go to for a great variety of food. Starting with Rainbow Drive-In, it serves what it calls “Rainbowls” all for less than $7. The Original KC Waffle Dog offers the original waffle dog and waffle dog with chilli for less than $5. Hoku BBQ Chicken serves either a plate of chicken or by the bag. Poke Stop doesn’t offer pokeballs or potions to stock up on, but instead sells poke bowls and plates for about $10-$15. Then there’s Hawaii’s Favorite Kitchens itself, selling its famous HFK Mix Plate containing BBQ beef, Hoku chicken, and choice of poke.

12. Diamond Head Market (3158 Monsarrat Ave.)
If a chicken, beef, and meat all encompassing place is what students are looking for, Diamond Head Market would be the place to go to; even the salads have chicken or fish in them. Although some items are a bit pricey (mainly the hefty dishes), the majority of the items are less than $15. Like mentioned earlier, if it’s chicken, beef, and meat is what a student craves, the “Mixed Plate” serves a hamburger with onions and gravy, Char Siu, and Teriyaki chicken all for just $12.

11. Okata Bento (3616 Wai‘alae Ave.)
Well known for its bentos, Okata Bento also sells donburi, plate lunches, and sandwiches. All for less than $10, it has a great selection of food to choose from; expect to receive a good portion of food for a reasonable price. Also, look forward to having a laugh at the “Local-Style Medical Dictionary” and “Work vs. Prison” posters hanging along the wall while waiting for the food to be made. Just keep in mind that it’s cash only.

10. Sprout Sandwich Shop (1154 Koko Head Ave.)
Walk into the doors of the Sprout Sandwich Shop in Kaimukī and come face to face with a huge chalk board covered in colorful writing all over it. It serves a fairly good amount of choices for sandwiches along with sweet treats on the side. With all of the sandwiches selling for less than $10, the option of getting to add on more toppings and having the sandwich be prepared fresh or toasted is always available. For the vegetarians, ordering “The Sproutwich” would be the best option; it contains the famous vegan patty, BBQ sauce, fresh sprouts, cilantro-lime aioli, and tomato.

9. Fort Ruger Market (3585 Alohea Ave.)
In just a 3-minute drive or 6-minute walk from campus, you’ll stumble upon Fort Ruger Market. Serving either Hawaiian plates to sandwiches and even side orders, the majority of its items are less than $10. Since it takes cash only, it luckily holds an ATM machine inside, making it easier for customers to quickly make a withdrawal to buy that plate lunch fix for the day. The best Hawaiian plate to get would definitely be it’s Plate A: it contains kālua pig, lau lau, pipikaula, lomi salmon, and haupia for just $10.95

8. St. Louis Delicatessen (3147 Wai‘alae Ave.)
Feeling hungry and want at most 8 items in a plate lunch for a reasonable price? Saint Louis Delicatessen offers several different okazu to go. Its plate lunches hold from 4-8 okazu, all for less than $11. It even sells sides all for less than $6, allowing customers to buy other food or extras that already comes with the plate lunch. It accepts cash only, but at least people only have to worry about carrying less than $15 in their wallets.

7. South Shore Grill (3114 Monsarrat Ave.)
Although some of the prices for this food joint’s plate lunches are a bit pricey, there’s still a variety of food to choose from that’s being served here. Preparing orders from sandwiches to burgers, salads and burritos, and even “grinds on da side,” you’ll be satisfied with the prices being less than $10. It’s even good to check out its specials for the day every once in awhile.

6. Hokkaido Ramen (1108 12th Ave.)
Found at the corner of 12th and Harding is a small little Japanese ramen shop with selections that vary from ramen to curry, fried rice, cold noodles, and side order all for less than $10, including the regular plates too. As for the portion sizes, it’s filling and affordable for the amount that is given.


Tenkaippin Ramen, known for its specialty Kotteri ramen and broth, is worth a quick trip from KCC. (Photo by Lexus Yamashiro)

5. Tenkaippin Ramen (617 Kapahulu Ave.)
Found in a little hole in the wall, Tenkaippin Ramen offers a variety of ramen, cold noodles, yakisoba, fried rice, gyoza, and steak. Since it only allows dine in, it’s best to go during a two- or three-hour break to prevent rushing to and from school. When it comes to ordering the best ramen, go for its well-known specialty Kotteri ramen and broth; its savory flavors will leave one slurping all of the soup from the bottom of the bowl.

4. Kozo Sushi (4618 Kīlauea Ave.)
Looking to get that sushi fix? Sitting just a few steps away outside of Kāhala Mall, Kozo Sushi offers a variety of sushi, varying from hand rolls to makimono, hosomaki and nigiri, donburi, and even bentos. It is guaranteed that everything on the menu is $10 or less. Feeling generous and considering to bring some food back to some friends? Kozo Sushi offers party plates, with it’s smallest containing 30 pieces and it’s largest with 98 pieces (this is only if you can dish out up to $50).

3. Verde Kaimuki (3607 Wai‘alae Ave.)
In need of an upgrade from Taco Bell? Verde Kaimukī sells authentic burritos, tacos, salads, and nachos for less than $10. All of its lunch and dinner items allow its customers to choose what they would like as their choice of filling, whether it be steak, chicken, vegetables, and much more. Of course, if the main dish isn’t enough, there’s always the option to get some extras and/or sides. The one item that everybody goes for is it’s “Mexican Loco Moco” that’s covered in queso rather than gravy, and it’s just for $10.

2. Ono Seafood Products (747 Kapahulu Ave.)
Instead of a poke bowl, why not a “poke plate?” Although this place refers to its item as a pokebowl, Ono Seafood Products sells fresh poke on a warm bed of rice in a plate lunch container, giving a big portion for a reasonable price less than $10. If only one choice isn’t satisfying, there’s always the option of creating a combo bowl for just $0.50 more.

1. Rainbow Drive-In (3308 Kanaina Ave.)
Known to be the best place to sell ono local plate lunches, Rainbow’s is “da place to go.” All of its plate lunches on the menu are less than $10, including seafood dishes. Be sure to look out for specials of the day; they sell out fast. The best plate to get is, of course, the loco moco. For the price and portions that it gives, some may not be able to even finish because of how filling and ono it is.