Banán Hawaii is a popular soft-serve business on Oahu. They make dairy-free soft-serve (in many fun flavors like lilikoi, acai, and turmeric) from locally grown Hawaii bananas.
Banana soft-serve! Lilikoi (passion fruit) on the right. Olena (turmeric) on the left.
Imagine soft-serve but made from only bananas...
What Is Banán Hawaii?
Banán Hawaii is a banana soft-serve company started by four local boys (who met as high school classmates). They started with one food truck in Diamond Head in 2014 and now operate four locations across Oahu.
They sell only one item (soft-serve made from bananas). That one item is offered in multiple flavors (eg. banana + chocolate/acai/lilikoi, etc) and with many different toppings.
Inside the University Avenue location
Banana Soft Serve?
Yes! The four boys, "turn locally grown bananas into a dairy-free soft-serve!"
The soft-serve is clean and refreshing. It's full of flavor without tasting too "banana-y." This kind of light soft-serve is ideal for the Hawaii weather where we don't crave heavier dairy items as much (that's why shave ice is so popular!) It's also healthier than regular dairy soft-serve.
Bonus: did you know Hawaii is one of the few US states that grow bananas?
Papaya boats filled with banana soft-serve (greens on the left and acai and banana/original swirl on the right)
Where Is Banán Hawaii?
Banán Hawaii has four locations on Oahu island:
- Food Truck at 3212 Monsarrat Avenue - The original location, right near Diamond Head (perfect post-hike treat) and the KCC Farmers' Market. Outdoor seating only so bring a hat and sunscreen for those extra sunny days.
- University Store - This is the location I frequent most often. It's the biggest location with lots of seating. There is parking in the back lot or across the street. Great spot for meeting up with friends.
- Kahala Mall - This kiosk is right inside the center of the mall...along with lots of other great Kahala Mall eats. There's ample seating inside the mall.
- Waikiki Beach - This "shack" is centrally located in the Waikiki (right between The Cheesecake Factory and the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort). Grab a cup of Banan and then stroll along Kalakaua Avenue or on the beach. Best option if you're staying in Waikiki and don't have a car.
What To Order at Banán Hawaii
There is only one item: banana soft-serve.
But from that one item, you can pick multiple flavors and toppings (including puffed quinoa, shaved coconut, and lots of fruit), and preset creations. This is what I usually order:
Two flavors! Banana on the top. Greens (banana with ginger, mint, and spirulina) on bottom.
Cup (the small size) with two different flavors
Some of the flavors are paired/swirled together. If you pick two flavors that don't swirl, they will offer to stack the flavors on top of each other (like in the photo above). I like to get banana (the original flavor) plus another fun flavor. Flavor options include:
- Banana (original) - The original...just bananas!
- Acai - Bananas with acai
- Chocolate-Macadamia Nut - Bananas with cacao, macadamia nuts, and honey
- Greens - Bananas with ginger, mint, and spirulina
- Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) - Bananas with lilikoi/passion fruit
- Pumpkin Almond Spice - Bananas with almond spice almond milk
- Olena (Turmeric) - Bananas with olena/turmeric, ginger, and black pepper
P.S. Sometimes they have special/seasonal flavor, so don't forget to look out for those.
We have AMAZING fruit in Hawaii, so eat all the papaya you can. With the papaya boat, you get a half papaya (seeds scooped out) filled with your choice of soft-serve. It's always fun to add toppings.
The menu offers nine different "Creations," which are preset flavor and topping combinations. I like these Creations in particular:
- Guava Jams - Original banana soft-serve with pineapple, strawberries, and shaved coconut. All topped with guava jam.
- Lilikoi Cruzer - Lilikoi/passion fruit banana soft-serve with pineapple, strawberries. Also comes with puffed quinoa and shaved coconut. Topped with honey drizzle.
- Stairway to Heaven - Greens banana soft-serve with papaya, pineapple, sliced bananas, granola, and shaved coconut. Topped with honey drizzle.
Inside the University Avenue location
Banán Hawaii: Insider Tips
- There are multiple locations of Banán Hawaii (including one at Kahala Mall), but I like the one on University Avenue best because there's lot of room to sit.
- Most people don't know that you can have up to two flavors in even the smallest size (the $4 cup). Some of the flavors swirl together, others are layered on.
- The University Avenue location offers fresh pastries near the cash register, definitely get the poi-banana bread if you spot it ^_^
- Banan is part of the "Fivestars" loyalty program (a lot of Hawaii food places use this) - worth signing up on your first visit as they often have specials and discounts.
- Don't be shy about asking for samples before you commit to a flavor.