The History of Hawaiian Bros

Our story begins with  the flavors of Hawaii.

The History of

Hawaiian Bros

Our story begins with the flavors of Hawaii.

The beauty and wonder of Hawaii simply cannot be revealed in images and words alone. Because it is more than a destination. It’s a feeling, a way of life, a culture like none other—full of sights, sounds, scents and tastes found nowhere else in the world.

From their first taste of Hawaiian cuisine, founders of Hawaiian Bros, Cameron and Tyler McNie along with their wives Taryn and Megan knew they wanted to share the flavors of Hawaii with the mainland.  They also knew the food alone wouldn’t deliver the purest Hawaiian experience, so they centered their business around the value of Ohana (Hawaiian for “family”)—knowing the blending of community, connection and food would be the best way to honor the Hawaiian way of life.  

With reverence and commitment, Cameron and Tyler learned everything they could and were personally taught traditional Hawaiian recipes and cooking techniques used by native Hawaiians for generations. Only after they achieved food worthy of representing Hawaiian culture did they open the first Hawaiian Bros Island Grill in 2018.  They began by offering a Hawaiian comfort food staple: the humble Hawaiian Plate Lunch, an island favorite with a fascinating history.

Seared spam glazed in teriyaki being cooked on the grill

In the 1880s as Hawaiian pineapple and sugar plantations grew, so too did their workforce. Most of these laborers came from Asian nations with diverse culinary traditions.  The workers’ lunches usually consisted of leftover meat form the night before alongside rice. 

Hawaiian Bros restaurant exterior

By the 1950s, the plate lunch had grown in popularity and was popping up at roadside stands all throughout the island.  Today, the classic Hawaiian plate lunch consists of meat, two scoops of white rice and one scoop of macaroni salad. 

Today, the plate lunch remains an essential part of Hawaiian culture. It’s the beloved comfort food you eat with your Ohana. Young and old, rich and poor all come together to share in this Hawaiian staple.

Huli Huli Chicken lunch plate up close with macaroni salad, rice and a drink

Mahalo!