Many kama`aina (residents of Hawaii regardless of Hawaiian ancestry; literally "people of the land")—including myself—leave the islands to seek new adventures and experiences while getting their college education. This, unfortunately, means leaving behind the unique culture, weather, and foods of Hawaii that we love.

The foods that most students from Hawaii miss the most are Poke Bowls and "Plate Lunch." Luckily, Manoa Poke Shop provides a well needed taste of home to the many kama`aina students studying in the Boston area.

Poke Bowls are a huge growing trend in the USA and around the world.

For students from Hawaii, this can sometimes make it even harder to cope with the distance from home, since most poke bowls outside of Hawaii are prepared very differently than back in Hawaii. Manoa Poke Shop, however, remains true to their roots and serves it up just how we like it.

Manoa Poke Shop's specialty is their mixed plate, which combines poke and plate lunches in a way that is innovative, but still feels very familiar to those needing that taste of Hawaii: your choice of two proteins with two scoops of hot white rice.

This base is accompanied by an ensemble of local Hawaiian favorites: macaroni salad, Korean fermented cucumber kimchi, a tossed salad of local greens, pickled carrots, guava vinaigrette, and crispy chickpeas, all of which elevate the eating experience and familiarity very nicely.

Their poke selection includes the standard Hawaiian favorite choices:

Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna) or Salmon served with a sesame shoyu or a spicy sambal kimchi aioli. They also have several other island favorites like Kalua Pig and their famous Fried Chicken, which has won them spots on Eater Boston's lists of the hottest restaurants in Boston, best fried chicken in Boston, and their favorite dishes of 2019.

To students from Hawaii, Manoa Poke Shop represents a lot more than a bowl of rice and fish.

Every couple of months, I make the short trek out to Somerville with some great friends from back home. Manoa has become a space for my friends and I as well as lots of other kama`aina students studying away from home to come together, escape the craziness of college life, and catch up while being surrounded by the people, music, food, and comforting atmosphere that we love and miss so much.

Manoa Poke is and always has been for its community. It definitely makes getting through the cold Boston winters a lot easier for us. And I always grab a pineapple cake and spam musubi on the way out

If you want to get a taste of some classic Hawaiian favorites filled with aloha, stop by Manoa Poke Shop!

Hours: Open from 11am to 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays