Are you looking for the best malasadas on Oahu? Then look no further! This guide has everything you need to know on where to find the best malasadas on Oahu.
If you’ve been following Borders & Bucket Lists for a little while, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a bit of a foodie. I created a two-part Hawaii food bucket list (here’s part 1 and part 2) filled with the most delicious treats and dishes to try in the islands. I go around the island of Oahu trying to find the best of the best.
I’m not going to lie. Sometimes I end up trying some pretty bad dishes (when I wrote a post on where to get the best poke bowls on Oahu, I tried some truly terrible poke before finding these recommendations). I’m not going to lie, I had to try some awful malasadas for this post as well. But my taste buds suffered so yours don’t have to. Here’s where to get the best malasadas on Oahu, Hawaii, according to a local.
So What Exactly is a Malasada?
A malasada is a Portuguese version of a donut without a hole. Traditionally, it is not filled with anything, but now it is quite common to find chocolate or custard-filled malasadas.
Well Obviously, I Want One. Now the Question is Where to Get the Best Malasadas on Oahu.
Leonard’s Bakery – The Tried and True Malasada
For as long as I can remember, if I wanted a malasada, I would go to one of the Leonard’s Bakery food trucks at Waikele Shopping Center, Pearlridge Shopping Center, or Koko Marina Shopping Center. (I was hardly ever near the actual brick-and-mortar bakery in Downtown Honolulu, but that was always known as the place to get the best malasadas in Honolulu.)
The process is simple. Walk up to the truck, order your malasada flavor of choice (the original is my favorite), and hand over $1.30 in cash. (You have to spend at least $5 to pay with a debit card or credit card, but honestly, it’s not that hard to do. That’s just four malasadas, and after you try one, you’ll probably want three more anyways.). Then, you’ll bite into the pillowy, warm malasada within a matter of minutes — or sometimes even seconds, depending on how busy they are. The light fluffy fried dough covered in small sugar crystals is just delicious.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous with the flavors, there are also malasadas coated with cinnamon-sugar or li hing mui (a red sweet and sour powder), as well as the custard, dobash (chocolate), or haupia (coconut) filled ones. (Just so you know in advance, dobash chocolate tastes a little different from the chocolate that you’re probably used to.)
Each Leonard’s Bakery location has slightly different hours, but there’s a good chance that they’ll be open when you want them to be. The latest any location opens is at 7 a.m. (and some open at 5:30 a.m.) and the earliest any location closes is 6 p.m. (and some stay open until 10 p.m.). Basically, you can get a Leonard’s Bakery malasada whenever you’re craving one.
Leonard’s Bakery was the undisputed place to get the best malasadas on Oahu, Hawaii. That is, until 2016.
Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery – The Up-and-Coming Underdog Malasada
On September 8, 2016, Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery opened its doors in Kaimuki – and became Leonard’s competition. After testing out literally more than 100 batches of malasada dough, the owners of Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery claim that they’ve found the recipe for the best malasada.
While the bakers at Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery decided to stick to the traditional malasada, in that they do not offer filled options, they learned to master it. They do offer different coatings, including classic (sugar), cocoa, coffee, and li hing mui. If you’re lucky, you might visit on a day when they’re offering one of their special flavors, like matcha (green tea), lilikoi (passion fruit), or guava. The price point at Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery is a little bit higher than Leonard’s Bakery: $1.50 – $1.70, depending on the flavor.
I do have to say, Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery’s malasadas come out just a tad hotter than those from Leonard’s Bakery. Is that enough to offset the lack of fillings? Or is traditional and unfilled the better route? Can we really name where to get the best malasadas on Oahu, Hawaii? I guess you’ll just have to try both and cast your vote in the comments below!
Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
But What If I’m Not Going to Oahu, Hawaii Anytime Soon? How Can I Try A Malasada?
If you’re not in Hawaii (or Portugal), your chances of finding a malasada are pretty slim. But you can make a batch of malasadas at home! For an amazing malasada recipe, check out Alana Kysar’s Aloha Kitchen cookbook! In it, she teaches you how to make the perfect malasada with step-by-step instructions. And you can make the variation that you prefer. While her recipe fills the malasada with lilikoi (passion fruit) pastry cream, you can also eat them unfilled or change up the flavors! It’s the best malasada recipe that I’ve been able to find.
In your opinion, where can you get the best malasadas on Oahu? Will you settle the Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery vs. Leonard’s Bakery rivalry? Or will you bring a new competitor into the mix? Let me know in the comments below!
Did you enjoy reading this post on the best malasadas on Oahu? Are you hoping to try one on your next trip to the islands? Pin this post for later!
44 Replies to “Where to Get the Best Malasadas on Oahu, Hawaii – UPDATED 2022”
Oh this looks so nice! I really love Hawaii for the Stairway to Heaven hike, but I definitely need to pig out on the food too! Yummy.
Oh you’re such a rebel! Conquering that illegal hike lol.
oooo….this looks delicious! I’d love a chocolate-filled one, please 🙂 (& they are so cheap!!!)
That one’s delish (and they are!)
Oh my god you are killing me I have been dying for a good donut for 3 years now – here in Ireland and the UK the donuts are like lead. I want a truly fluffy US or Canadian style of donut even if it is Portuguese in descent…lol..
Lol I actually really liked the donuts when I went to Canada (I actually wrote about that in one of my Canada posts), so if that’s easier for you to get to, go for it.
Hawaii is a tad too far for me at the moment, so I’m gonna head to Portugal to find these malasadas!! They look amazing!
Ooh I’d love to try a malasada IN PORTUGAL! Let me know how it is :).
Malasada does sound interesting, but Hawaii is a long way off for me at the moment. Expensive to reach from the UK 🙁 Maybe one day!
One day it’ll happen :).
I have a sweet tooth so much so that it often gets embarrassing. I was out on a date a while back and meeting this same girl for a few months and she exclaimed “you love donuts, don’t you”. I nodded and kept on eating. So you know how I feel about the Portuguese donuts!
LOL that’s amazing!
YUM! once i make it to Hawaii I will definitely have to try this out!! Looks so good!!
Yay! Glad this has made it onto your Hawaii bucket list :).
I had no idea that this was something you could get in Hawaii! Wish I knew about it when I was visiting Portugal too!
I would love to try one of these in Portugal!
This looks super yummy! I have to be honest that I had no idea what a malasada was, but I am super down to try one!
Most people have no idea what it is, so don’t feel to bad :). So happy that you’re down to try one though!
Never heard of this, but I want one! Will pin for later when we visit Hawaii one day!!
Glad I added to your Hawaii bucket list :).
I really wish I knew about these when I was in Oahu and Kauai in April! They look delicious! Now I’m hungry and want to book a flight back…
Aw man! Just another reason to come back :).
What is li hing mui?! I’m intrigued! I thought I was a donut expert, but I’ve never even heard of a malasada!!
Li hing mui is a sweet, sour, spicy red powder that locals put on everything from fresh or dried fruit to shave ice to malasadas. I talk about it a bit more in my Hawaii food bucket list part 1 post.
Pinned for later! I have to say, the best malasada I’ve had is at the Sugar Beach Bake Shop in Maui. I love it with li hing mui powder. I’ve had Leonard’s, but looks like I need to try Pipeline next time I’m in Oahu. 🙂
Ooh I’m headed to Maui in a month, so I’ll be sure to hit up Sugar Beach Bake Shop. Maybe this post will need a bit of editing after that visit lol.
I love leonards bakery and malasadas! So good! Need to try Pipeline when we go back!
Yes you definitely do!!
I’m going there for my honeymoon! Will need to save this for when I go there in January!
Aw that’s so exciting! Snoop around the Hawaii section of my blog for more things to do while you’re here!
I hasn’t heard of malasadas before reading this! Like another commenter, it’s likely I will be in Portugal before I make it to Hawaii, so I will try one there 🙂
Let me know how it is in Portugal! I’m very curious :).
Yum they sound good especially the chocolate and custard filled ones!
Honestly, they are all super delicious lol.
Yummy. Makes me want to go immediately. Chocolate and custard
Yes you should definitely visit!
Those Malasadas look soooo tasty. I never tried one but I would definitely love to!
Glad I added something to your food bucket list :).
Excuse me while I drool… these look amazing!! I’ve always thought of Hawaii as being a natural paradise but it’s great to see there’s awesome food too 🙂
Oh yeah. We definitely have some awesome places to eat. It just takes a bit of time (and trial and error lol) to find them.
I WANT SOME! This looks so delicious, I can’t even contain myself haha. I’d most likely try the original – I’m not a fan of fillings. Cinnamon sugar? Yes, please!
A foodie after my own heart lol.
You got me at ‘donut’, this looks delicious! Being French, I love to discover new foods!