Hana Hou restaurant in Na’alehu, Hawaii. Photo by Elaine Johnson

How far would you travel for a good piece of pie?

If you answered 58 miles from Kailua Kona, plus a flight from the mainland if necessary, I'd have to agree with you. In the tiny town of Na’alehu near the southern tip of the Big Island, the unassuming Hana Hou Restaurant and Bakery serves up a macadamia cream pie that’s so good my son and I practically fought over our shared slice and had to order seconds.

Hana Hou Restaurant and Bakery’s Macadamia Cream Pie. Photo by Elaine Johnson

Baker Debbie Baji explained how she makes their best-selling pie. First, she smears salted macadamia caramel over the homemade crust (you can see it peeking out in the photo above). Then she adds a thick, rich macadamia pudding cream, a layer of homemade whipped cream, and finally, chopped roasted, salted macadamia nuts on top. And, yes, the nuts are locally grown.

Just thinking about the pie makes me sigh a happy sigh and long for another slice, though maybe all to myself this time.

“Oh yes,” Debbie agrees. “You cannot share that piece of pie! You need your own piece.”

Thank you, Debbie. I feel better knowing I’m in good company.

By the way, should you need something more solid before pie, Hana Hou makes a fine kalbi plate lunch from island grass-fed beef and serves a bottomless glass of lillikoi (passion fruit) lemonade.

Kalbi plate lunch at Hana Hou Restaurant and Bakery. Photo by Elaine Johnson

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