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Luau Dinner Show (Hawaii)

Personally, I am not a fan of dinner and show during travel. We did it in Havana (Cuba) to watch the performance of Buena Vista Social Club that combined with the dinner. I was not impressed by the food but Buena Visa Social Club’s performance was entertaining.  Dutchie was extremely popular during that night, he kept being invited to dance with the musicians. It was fun but I learned not to expect so much on the food quality.

The Hawaiian’s dinner show known as Luau, is a popular thing to do when visiting the Hawaiian islands. It’s origin back to the Hawai’ian royalty era in 1819 when the King Kamehameha II allowed women and men to share their meals together and the dish that usually only eaten by the royal family to be shared with non-royal people. The feast is later on called as Luau (luau means taro).  It was easy to reserve the Luau dinner. The offers are available online and you can also reserve the dinner when you are already in Hawaii, unless if you come with a large number of people or visiting Hawaii during the peak season – especially on the US-American’s holiday season. Luau dinner is very popular among the US-American travelers. I met travelers who had multiple Luau dinners, and they convinced me to go for it, at least for once in a lifetime.

The dinner was a great opportunity to explore Hawaiian traditional cuisine. At the beginning of the event, we were introduced by the preparation of Kalua Pork that cooked accordance to the Hawaiian’s style: underground oven or locally called as ‘imu’. The underground oven cooking of Hawaiian style is placing a whole pig over a fire in a pit lined with banana leaves and hot rocks, is covered with hot rocks, sand, and dirt, bake for a whole day and is removed at sunset for a community feast (source). It’s just that if you are a true vegetarian (true vegetarian here I meant that you do not eat the sea life like fish, shrimps etc.), the luau’s menu could be tough as there are mostly meat like fish, cows or pork. Do check the event’s luau menu first before reservation or just consider to attending the event just for the show, not the food.

Since there were plentiful of Luau dinner offers, I choose was the one that organized next to the beach with sea view. The location setting was adorable with a beautiful sunset on the sea as the background. There were stalls for children and teenagers to learn hula dance and as well some art exhibition stalls. The only downside was the plastic tables and chairs. It was uncomfortable to sit, oh well, it was only for a couple hours event!

The show during the Luau dinner itself was interesting and truly entertaining. There were numerous Hawaiian dances with narratives telling the history of Polynesia and Hawaiian accompanied by Hawaiian music. The show includes Hawaiian popular dances like Hula Dance, music, and traditional customs. The dances were captivating and colorful. It was ended by Samoan Fire Dance performance as you can see in this following video. Conclusion: don’t miss Luau when visiting Hawaii!


  1. Thanks for sharing Indah…raising our kids in San Diego, flights to Hawaii were very reasonable so we went over every couple of years and spent time on almost all of the Islands. In all that time, we have never done a luau….reading your post, I kept thinking why…looks like fun….then it dawned on me from your vegetarian comment (I am not a vegetarian), but we don’t care for pork and I am highly allergic to shell fish and the odds of any of our three girls having the same issue was always there (seems to be in the gene pool from my Mom’s side of the family). All of that said, I feel like we missed something special…great post and thanks for sharing!

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