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Island cuisine and Spam, Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ

Waikikie is located on Briarclift Rd, near Lavista.
Beth Robinette

As far as I know, there is just one place in metro Atlanta serving the food that President Barak Obama grew up with, Hawaiian cuisine. It’s been years since I’ve frequented the shops at this busy intersection of LaVista and Briarclift, so I was pleased to see that Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ was still going strong. First, I’ve not misspelled the name. They added an “e” on the end because “we needed a way to differentiate our name, while still paying tribute to one of the favorite Hawaiian Islands.”

The Sunday afternoon I visited with two friends, we weren’t treated to a ukulele band or island dancers but they often have entertainment. No worries, we were there for lunch of “local food.” When the first Polynesians arrived in the islands, there was little to eat. Each new group of settlers brought with them new combinations of animals and plants, eventually creating a unique cuisine. According to their website “Local Food is an East-West Pacific mix created in the 1920s and '30s by lunch wagon cooks and small stores and restaurants. Typical Local Food meals are lunch plates which consist of rice and meat covered in gravy, served with either salt seaweed or chili peppers, sesame oil or soy sauce. Also popular is Teriyaki, a sauce used to prepare all kinds of meat. As you can see, Hawaiian food is a unique cuisine created from a very diversified background.”

Most plates are served with 2 scoops of steamed rice and 1 of macaroni salad. I stick with the pig dishes here especially Spicy Pork or Kalua Pork ($7.29 each). This is also the only restaurant I can name that serves Spam. Yes, Spam. And it’s tasty! Try the Spam Moco (with 2 eggs and gravy, $6.29) or my personal favorite, the Spam Musubi (appetizer, 2 for $2.99).

Dining is casual with a central table perfect for large groups. Prices are extremely reasonable and portions sizes are large enough that I usually bring home part of my meal for later. Order and pay at the counter. Drinks are self-serve. They have a fine patio in front where smoking is allowed. If the parking is full in front, there’s more room behind the building

Waikikie Hawaiian BBQ
2160 Briarcliff Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

Tues – Thur, 11a to 9:30p
Fri – Sat, 11a to 10p
Sun, 11a to 9p
Closed Monday


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