Hawaii's local food is a well-loved blend of native Polynesian cuisine and dishes of different cultures from those who emigrated there during the 19th and 20th centuries. One wildly popular contribution from immigrants is linguica, more commonly known as Portuguese sausage. The following guide explains this staple comfort food's backstory and typical restaurant preparation.

Origins of Linguica

Portuguese immigrants began emigrating to Hawaii in the mid-1800s to work in the sugar fields. By 1913, over 20,000 of them resided on the islands. They brought and shared many aspects of their culture, like the malasada and the ukulele. After introducing the Portuguese sausage to island residents, the food quickly became popular, becoming a local culture and cuisine staple.


Linguica consists of smoke-cured pork seasoned with garlic and paprika, giving it a delicious and unique flavor. Because it's presmoked, it's ready to eat right from the store. You can often find it in mild, medium, and hot varieties, so dishes using it can be tailored to your spice tolerance. Over time, Hawaii has developed a softer, sweeter, and longer style, different from traditional linguica. 

How It's Enjoyed Today

Nowadays, this classic item typically serves the purpose on a breakfast plate that bacon would on the mainland. A traditional platter served in most Hawaii restaurants and diners includes scrambled eggs, white rice, and warm slices of the sausage.

Another classic dish using linguica is the delicious and comforting Portuguese bean soup. One of the most popular recipes comes from Punahou School in Honolulu. They regularly serve upwards of 1,800 gallons of it for their school carnival every year.


Get a taste of essential local comfort food at Tasty Crust Restaurant in Wailuku, HI. They've been serving up Portuguese sausage, Spam, loco moco, and other island favorites since 1942. You can enjoy their famous pancakes at any time due to their all-day breakfast offerings, and like any diner, they boast great affordability and considerable portion sizes. Call (808) 244-0845 to learn more about the delicious menu available at this restaurant.