Teruya’s Andagi has the best bentos on Oʻahu at amazing prices. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

Everyone in Hawaiʻi knows that bentos are a staple among local grinds. Whether it’s for the beach or a picnic, there’s sure to be a bento somewhere in the vicinity. Teruya’s, a family business located in Honolulu that has been serving Hawaiʻi since 1987, has the most well-balanced bentos at the best prices. 

There are four varieties of bento offered in-store, chicken karaage, shrimp roll, garlic chicken roll, and vegetable. Each of the bentos is $7.95, except for the vegetable bento, which is $8.95. There are also larger portions of the garlic chicken and roll set, which are $10 each.

My go-to bento is a tie between the chicken karaage and the garlic chicken roll. Mainly because I’m allergic to shrimp, but also because the sides complement the main portion well. Both bentos have small sausages, an assortment of bite-sized vegetables, and the best korokke.

Korokke is a Japanese croquette that is usually paired with fried chicken or salads, though it is definitely the highlight of the bentos. Nothing is more delicious than taking a bite of the tender chicken karaage and stuffing half a korokke in your mouth the following second. 

The vegetable bento is also a great option for vegetarians and it’s packed with flavorful nishime, korokke, and even an andagi. Nishime is a classic Japanese dish in which root vegetables are cut into intricate shapes and steamed. It is normally served on New Year’s Eve alongside soba noodles. As for the andagi, it is a deep-fried donut, though it is denser and less sweet than a regular donut. Andagi have also become a local favorite and they are best eaten fresh. If you’re hoping to snag one for yourself, be sure to go no later than 11am before they’re all sold out.

In addition to bentos, Teruya’s also serves donburi and sweets with a variety of choices. All of the donburi are $8.50 each and customers can choose from sukiyaki, shrimp tempura, garlic chicken, or Teruya’s oyako. I have not tried any of the donburi yet, though I plan on getting the sukiyaki next time I stop by. The sweet potato mochi is also one of my favorites, and I always end up buying at least two since they are only 80 cents each. Even if mochi isn’t your thing, the andagi are only $1 each and they taste great after a filling bento.

Aside from the location on 1104 Pensacola St., Teruya’s also participates in the Kaiser High School Farmer’s Market every Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. Store hours at the Pensacola Street location are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday. The store will be closed on Sunday and Monday until further notice. For updates to store hours or additional information, visit Teruya’s website here.

Overall, Teruya’s has a great selection of Japanese foods for everyone to enjoy. The flavors from each dish are just right and at least one of them is sure to blow your mind. Next time you’re in the mood for bentos or donburi, head on over and don’t forget to grab one of their sweets for dessert.