In most pancake houses, chocolate chips, blueberries, maybe even pumpkin are about as exciting as the flavors get. But Hawaii takes its pancakes to the next level, with local fruits and flavors like mochi, lilikoi, mango and ube. On Oahu in particular, restaurants and cafes are continuing to create new and inventive versions of the traditional flapjack.
Juno Chung is the owner of eight Koa Pancake Houses on Oahu. These casual restaurants first opened their doors in 1988, and the business has been growing ever since. According to Chung, Hawaiians share a passion for pancakes
“This huge pancake trend started off in Japan, and over the years, a lot of Hawaii-based pancake restaurants began opening there – us being one of them,” Chung says. “And since the Hawaiian Islands have always attracted the Japanese market, that certainly created more momentum – and inspired a lot of breakfast restaurants to offer new, over-the-top pancake menus.