Leonard’s Bakery on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu is a popular hole in the wall bakery. The line ups can become long for a taste of its most famed attraction — deep fried yeast dough resembling a Portuguese version of a doughnut without a hole — the malasada.
(Above: Box full of malasadas — cinnamon and regular.)
The malasada is a traditional Portuguese confection: deep fried and often coated with sugar or filled with all kinds of fillings. Traditionally, malasadas are eaten before Ash Wednesday or Shrove Tuesday, but today they’re enjoyed by anyone, anytime. We found Leonard’s Bakery by accident. The old school signage with bright, neon lights attracted vehicles off the streets and into the parking lot. People were leaving with pink boxes filled with what we later discovered was malasadas.
(Above: Leonard’s also bakes all kinds of confectionary goodies.)
The bakery is nothing fancy. It’s small, old, run down with pale pink decor. T-shirts with recycled advertising slogans and other swag hang on the walls. Images of dancing cartoon malasadas are scattered randomly throughout the bakery. Leonard’s also serves a wide variety of other baked goods: breads, pies, etc. But the rows upon racks of trays of ready to be packaged malasadas in the back are what customers want. The ladies at Leonards’s have a system to move the customers out quickly. One takes the order, the second takes your cash, and the third picks and boxes your fresh malasadas.
(Above: Got malasadas? You know you’ve made it when your food gets its own swag.)
We ordered eight to go, four of each: plain sugar and cinnamon sugar. The malasadas were fresh out of the oven, and hot. The doughnut-like treats were eggy good, but more dense and chewy, with a subtle hint of sugar or cinnamon. They reminded me of a giant Timbit.
The malasadas including taxes came to just under $5, which is remarkably inexpensive. They are nice as a treat, but having them every week would definitely add pounds to your belly, but Leonard’s Bakery is worth a visit despite the line ups.
Perfect for: An excuse to have a sweet treat every week.
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