Big Island Aloha Mix Food Truck, Naalehu

The Southernmost Food Truck in the USA, the Aloha Mix Food Truck, sits with six picnic tables in the owner’s grassy front yard right in the middle of the small town Naalehu on The Big Island of Hawaii.

As we deboarded our flight to Kona, the man in front of us was telling his seatmates about this as the best food on the island! The town of Naalehu is also famous for the Punalu’u Bake Shop right across the street from this purple food truck. Bring your appetite for some real treats!

Location:  95-5649 C Mamalahoa Hwy, Naalehu, Hawaii, between the southernmost point in the United States, Ka Lae, and Volcanoes National Park. It’s worth the drive.

Menu: Aloha Mix Food Truck serves Acai Bowls, Shrimp Plates & Steak Plates. Drinks include Smoothies and Kombucha. And all of it is Served with Aloha.

Thoughts: We were homeless the day we were flying home. We’d checked out of the hotel at noon for a flight that left Kona at 10:30 pm. So, a sojourn, part way around the island, for the “best food” loomed like a worthwhile adventure.

About an hour and a half south of Kona, the winding two-lane road (the Big Islanders call it a highway) meandered above the sea treating us to tall trees and flower-filled vistas. A little worried after we drove past the turnoff to Southpoint, I hadn’t seen a sign for Naalehu. It took a little more patience and about 10 minutes more driving and then, Naalehu appeared! 

Within a few blocks, we saw and passed the purple food truck, but did not see any parking. So, we turned back around and found plenty of parking in the small strip mall to the east. A short walk took us to the picnic tables and yard. We were starving by this time!

I assuaged that hunger with a Tropical Smoothie that included pineapple, banana, lilikoi with almond milk and mango nectar. It tasted like all the island favors we’d been enjoying all week. Of course, all the fruits are locally harvested.

The picture of the Surf and Turf ($25) on the side of the truck looked like it would satisfy us for the rest of the afternoon and it did. Right after we ordered, rain fell lightly and, fortunately, the umbrella over the picnic table shielded us from getting wet. And then, the rain disappeared and our name was called.

Served casually in Styrofoam containers, a large helping of medium rare New York Steak was sliced for easy eating, accompanied by a fresh green salad, Jasmine rice and four large shrimp. The steak had been seasoned and charred on the outside with herbs and salt and was tender and flavorful. The Garlic Shrimp were cooked to perfection in butter and garlic, tender, sweet and yummy. The rice and salad made it a well rounded, healthy meal. On the next trip, I will try the Lemon Pepper and Spicy Lava Shrimp.

The Aloha Mix Food Truck is not fancy, but it is a worthwhile adventure and well-spent afternoon. As we sat at the picnic table, watching the owner and his wife (when not cooking) play with their two small girls on the grass, any worries of the outside world disappeared. For an hour or so, we knew we were in paradise and were grateful to soak it in and enjoy.

Price Range: One of the best parts, most food in Hawaii is very expensive, but not here.

The menu is built around Shrimp and Steak and combo plates served with Jasmine Rice and Green salad. The range is $6-25. Fruit-filled Acai and Pitaya Bowls are $11 and $12. Smoothies are heavenly with five combinations at $7 each.

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Joeann Fossland
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