Hawaii has an exotic mix of food that seems out of place in the middle of the Pacific. Chicken katsu, spam musubi, and Hawaiian pizza are just some of the foods you can find. It might seem difficult to find all the ingredients to these tasty dishes after arriving home but with a little research, you can figure out if you can bring tropical treats from Hawaii to your home state.
What Can I Bring Back from Hawaii?
Hawaii is an island paradise and a popular vacation destination. Visitors to the islands can bring back souvenirs, but there are limits on what you can bring back.
Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture (HDOA) enforces strict restrictions on what tourists can bring back from Hawaii. The state has long fought invasive species that could damage its ecosystem, such as plants and animals that might be harmful if they were introduced to public lands or private property.
The HDOA’s rules apply to all visitors entering the state, including travelers coming from other countries. While some items are outright banned, others are allowed only under certain conditions and with documentation proving they’re legal imports with no risk of carrying invasive species or diseases.
- What Can I Bring Back from Hawaii?
Common foods such as coffee, macadamia nuts and chocolate are allowed for personal use in small amounts without restriction. Other food items such as fresh fruit and vegetables may be imported only in commercial quantities by licensed importers who have been granted permission by HDOA officials to do so. If you plan on bringing home any food at all from your trip, check with the HDOA before departure to make sure you’re within their guidelines for allowable quantities and types of food products.
Are You Allowed to Bring Coffee from Hawaii?
Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches and delicious food. You’ll find a number of cafes and restaurants in the state, but you may also want to bring back some of your favorite treats from Hawaii.
Before you head home, make sure you’re not breaking any rules by bringing food from Hawaii with you.
- Are You Allowed to Bring Coffee from Hawaii?
Coffee is one of the most popular souvenirs that tourists buy in Hawaii. If you’re planning a trip there, it’s worth noting that the state has strict guidelines regarding what can be exported out of the state and when it must be done. This is because Hawaii has been affected by coffee berry borer (CBB), which has decimated many crops in recent years. CBB is an invasive pest that attacks coffee plants and makes them less productive because they miss out on nutrients.
The good news is that CBB hasn’t yet been found on Oahu or Kauai, so all coffee grown on those islands can be exported freely without any restrictions. But if you’re visiting other islands where CBB has been found, only roasted beans or ground coffee can be exported at all — no whole beans or whole green beans are allowed out of these areas until 2021 at the earliest.
Hawaii Is Full of Many Wonderful Varieties Of Fruits And Vegetables.
Hawaii is full of many wonderful varieties of fruits and vegetables. Some are easy to find in your local grocery store, while others are harder to find but well worth the effort to track down in Hawaii’s supermarkets.
Here is a list of some fruits and vegetables that you can’t find anywhere else in the world:
Mango – The mango tree is native to India, but it was introduced to Hawaii by missionaries in 1813. Now there are more than 40 varieties of mangoes grown on Oahu alone!
Pineapple – Pineapples grow naturally on Hawaii’s Big Island, but they were brought there by early Polynesian settlers who used them for food and medicine.
Banana – Bananas are native to Southeast Asia, but they were brought to Hawaii by Chinese workers who were building railroads in the 1800s.
How Much Is the Food Tax in Hawaii?
The food tax in Hawaii is 4%. This means that if you buy a $100 meal, you’ll pay $104. The tax goes to the state and counties.
Hawaii has no sales tax (though there are a handful of counties that do charge a local “transient accommodation” tax).
However, if you’re visiting from another state or country and want to bring back some local food, this may be your only chance to taste the famous Spam or shave ice without paying extra for it.
The state of Hawaii puts a 4% tax on prepared meals and drinks that are not consumed at the restaurant. The state also has a 3% tax on prepared meals and drinks that are consumed at the restaurant.
Hawaii does not have any sales tax on groceries, but some cities do have a local option tax for groceries up to 1%.
Consider Taking Some Lovely Hawaiian Flowers Back Home with You.
You can easily find good Hawaiian food on the mainland. While you’re here, try the poke at Downtown Honolulu’s Ono Seafood, or the kalua pork and cabbage at The Pig & The Lady in Chinatown.
But if you want to take some Hawaiian food home with you, consider taking some lovely Hawaiian flowers back home with you. The luaus at Hukilau Maui are a great way to learn how to cook with local ingredients like taro and sweet potato. If you’re traveling solo or just want to travel light, check out our list of favorite things to do in Hawaii that don’t involve spending money or leaving the house.
You can also bring back one quart of alcohol (or more if it’s wine) from Hawaii. If you’re planning on bringing home more than one bottle of alcohol, make sure it is unopened when you arrive at your destination.
If you have any food allergies or restrictions, it is best to check before your trip to ensure there are no restrictions for the state or country that you are visiting. Don’t forget about Hawaii’s agricultural industry: honeybees and papayas are just two examples of what might be restricted in other countries but not in Hawaii!
Food items manufactured in Hawaii, in general, may be brought back to the mainland United States unopened as long as they are handled carefully. Taking care when transporting and storing these products is key to ensuring that they remain safe for consumption.