7 Spots for the Best Manapua in Oahu

Much like what New Yorkers have with pizza and bagels, Hawaiians are fiercely proud of manapuas.

These fluffy buns are a staple of local culture, and there are a few eateries that stand out as being the best places to get them.

There are many places to find these tasty treats all over the island, but these 7 spots are where you’ll want to be for the best manapua in Oahu.

1. Chun Wah Kam

A top contender for baked manapuas, Chun Wah Kam has been around since the 1940s and they’re still going strong.

This neighborhood joint is the perfect place to grab some manapua that perfectly encapsulates everything that Hawaii is all about.

The original Chinatown location became so popular that this humble noodle shop opened three more locations over the years and added manapuas to the menu.

The owners and staff believe that the key to their success is using quality ingredients that are locally sourced.

Fresh ingredients are used in every single batch, and it’s obvious that this eatery doesn’t cut corners.

You’ll find baked and steamed manapuas here, even vegan options. If you really have to limit your order to just one, get the baked one!

Aiea Manapua Oahu
photo by 'aiea manapua

2. ‘Aiea Manapua & Snacks

Aiea Manapua is a spot that many locals would probably want to keep to themselves, but that’s where this list comes in!

A tiny, hole-in-the-wall shop for quick bites that serves up some of the best manapuas outside of Chinatown.

Their most popular item is the classic Char Siu Bao, which is a soft and fluffy steamed bun that’s generously filled with fatty barbecue pork.

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous than your traditional manapua, try out their Shoyu Chicken, Spicy Sausage, or Black Sugar.

3. Honolulu Kitchen

The small plaza storefront may be unassuming, but it’s this lack of pretension that makes Honolulu Kitchen the perfect place to get some homemade Hawaiian goodness.

This hole-in-the-wall eatery is a favorite among locals, and their manapuas are no exception to the rule.

They have a wide variety of recognizable flavors like Char Siu, Kalua, Pizza, and Taro.

But better yet, Honolulu Kitchen has been serving up their own version of this island classic for decades, and the locals love it.

Deep-fried so that it’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – you’ll want to come back for more!

4. Royal Kitchen

Royal Kitchen makes only one type of manapuas, the baked kind, and they’re damn good at it.

It’s the best spot for baked manapuas, bar none, with plenty of fillings ranging from savory to sweet.

Located in Chinatown, this hole-in-the-wall eatery has been around since 1974, and it’s still going strong.

Once the manapuas are sold out, Royal Kitchen closes up for the day, so you’ll want to get there early.

Tip: Order the Kalua Pork; it’s highly recommended!

Steamed Char Siu Manapua from Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery
steamed char siu manapua photo by sing cheong yuan

5. Sing Cheong Yuan

Often hailed as one of the top places in Oahu for manapuas, Sing Cheong Yuan has a loyal following of customers who come back for more.

You can’t go wrong with their popular baked manapuas – these fluffy buns are filled with a variety of different meats, and they’re all top-notch.

Sing Cheong Yuan is a place where you’ll probably want to order more than one.

Located on Maunakea Street in Chinatown, this small, family-owned bakery is the perfect place to get your manapua fix.

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More Options to Consider

The following places are far from being at the top of any “best manapua” list, but will do in a pinch:

6. Island Manapua Factory

Located in Manoa, the manapuas at Island Manapua Factory are decent and it’s a convenient place to grab one if you’re in the area.

They’re not quite as good as some of the competitors; reviews are mixed.

Some say their manapuas are too doughy, don’t have much filling and not very fresh, while others say the opposite.

They’re not bad, just nothing special.

7. 7-11 Convenience Store

If you’re in a pinch and there’s nothing else that’s still open, 7-11 is a decent place to grab a manapua.

Their manapuas are not freshly baked, so they’re not as fluffy or soft as the ones from the other places on this list, but they get the job done.

You’ll find them next to the cash register at the front of the store.

They’re not as good as some of the places on this list, but they’re a relatively cheap alternative.

But Wait...

What’s this I hear about Char Hung Sut and Libby’s?

These two spots were once the king and queen of manapuas on the island but unfortunately, closed down in recent years.

The good news is that you can still find a good manapua at the places mentioned above.

If you’re in the area, support the local businesses and give them a try!