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JUST THE FACTS

Bargain Hawaiian Eateries

June 07, 1998

It's no secret that dining out in Hawaii can be expensive. But there are budget restaurants.

Below, the top 10 "Bangs for the Buck," ranked by Zagat Survey reviewers, with excerpts from their comments and the estimated price of a dinner, with one drink and a tip:

1. Hamura Saiman Stand, 2956 Kress St., Lihue, Kauai; (808) 245-3271; $8. The "world's best saiman" (noodle soup), served in a hole-in-the-wall on a back street.

2. Kua'Aina Sandwich, 66-214 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa, Oahu; (808) 637-6067; $9. Also at 1116 Auahi St., Honolulu, Oahu; (808) 591-9133; $9. "Mouthwatering" burgers and cooked-to-order thin fries.

3. Kalaheo Coffee Co. & Cafe, 2-2436 Kaumualii Hwy., Kalaheo,Kanai; (808) 332-5858; $11. Coffeehouse serving "gourmet food that you'd pay five times more for elsewhere."

4. Maha's Cafe, Waimea Shopping Center, 65-1148 Mamalahoa Hwy., Waimea, Big Island; (808) 885-0693; $13. Eclectic fare and "excellent" service in a historic 19th century missionary house.

5. Hong Kong Noodle House, Chinese Cultural Plaza, 100 N. Beretania St., Honolulu, Oahu; (808) 536-5409; $9. "Celestial" but "simple" homemade noodles at lunch-only Chinatown Cantonese restaurant.

6. Duane's Ono-Char Burger, 4-4350 Kuhio Hwy., Anahola, Kauai; (808) 822-9181; $10. Rustic roadside stand with a "different variety of burgers" and the "best fresh fruit smoothies."

7. Kilauea Bakery & Pau Hana Pizza, Kong Lung Center, Kilauea St., Kilauea, Kauai; (808) 828-2020; $11. "Heavenly baked goods" and "the best pizza in the state."

8. Sam Sato's, Millyard Industrial Complex, 1750 Wili Pa Loop, Wailuku, Maui; (8081 244-7124; $10. Breakfast and lunch spot catering to workmen and serving "the best white bean manju (sweet cake) in the state."

9. Eggs 'n Things, 1911-B Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, Oahu; (808) 9490820; $11. "All-nighter" where the "omelets are huge," the "pancakes awesome" and "parking is a nightmare."

10. I Love Country Cafe, Ala Moana Plaza, 451 Piikoi St., Honolulu, Oahu; (808) 596-8108; $10. "Hefty portions" of "wholesome, low-fat fast food" with "no atmosphere."

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