Tucked away about an hour north of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii is a popular café-ish spot known for their local Hawaiian fare and their hot and fresh donuts. I’m talking about Tex Drive-In. Also, when I say their donuts, I mean to stress their donuts. They call them malasadas—a Portuguese take on our beloved fried confections.
Though, malasadas are more like fried rectangles rather than the halos we all love. You can get them plain or with a variety of fillings. They’re made fresh at Tex with a big window that allows on-lookers to watch how the employees cut the dough and plop them into the fryer. Then, they cover them in sugar. And of course, fill them to the customer’s order, if desired.
Tex Drive-In is more of a drive-through + a small indoor + a large outdoor dining area. It’s an odd location as it shares the building with other touristy shops. In this way, I definitely understand the “drive-in” vibe.
It’s an easy to spot location with a bright green color adorning the building’s roof with plenty of parking. What Tex Drive-In does not supply, however, is a quick order. My family and I arrived at Tex a little after noon with a line about 20 feet long ~15 customers before us. However, it took a good 45 minutes to get through the line and another 10-15 minutes to get our order. It was a long affair… the things I do for donuts. (Though, to be fair, we also go lunch, but we came here for the donuts we heard from a tour guide.)
If you’re in the remote spot on the Big Island, check out Tex Drive-In for hot and fresh “donuts”. But if you want, get lunch, too.