Roll the Dice and Win

Cover Story Features

January 18, 2015

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

When Hawaii’s choice for the best family dining partners with island residents’ favorite way to get to Las Vegas, local diners are sure to exclaim “Winner, winner, Zippy’s dinner!”

For nearly 50 years, local diners have come to rely on Zippy’s for great tasting cuisine at affordable prices, ever since founders Charlie and Francis Higa opened the restaurant’s first location in 1966. Five decades later, kamaaina and visitors alike are treated to 24 Zippy’s restaurants statewide, including establishments on Oahu, in Kahului, Maui and Hilo.

Zippy’s allows diners to come up aces via the annual Las Vegas Giveaway promotion, which runs through Feb. 16. With any purchase, customers receive an entry blank for a chance to win one of 24 grand-prize trips for two from Honolulu to Las Vegas via Vacations Hawaii’s Wide Body 767 aircrafts, along with accommodations provided by California Hotel & Casino, a popular downtown Las Vegas locale, which has undergone recent renovations. Appropriately, Vacations Hawaii serves Zippy’s cuisine for its premium-class travelers, including the ever-popular Zippy’s Chili.

“We like to think of Vacations Hawaii and California Hotel & Casino as Hawaii’s favorite way to get to Vegas, and, of course, Zippy’s is Hawaii’s favorite destination for casual dining,” says Kevin Kaneshiro, sales and promotions manager for Vacations Hawaii. “This is one of the biggest promotions we do each year. California Hotel also is one of the places in Las Vegas where you can get Zippy’s Chili.”

Zippy’s offers special menu options to coincide with its Las Vegas Giveaway. Spaghetti & Chicken Mixed Plate ($6.89 fast food, $7.89 dine-in, specially priced through Jan. 31 and available 24 hours) includes spaghetti topped with a choice of meat sauce or Zippy’s famous chili, along with fried chicken, garlic bread and macaroni salad. Patrons also may reach for Zippy’s Oxtail Style Turkey Neck Soup ($6.99 fast food, $7.99 dine-in, specially priced through Jan. 31 and available from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. while supplies last). The superb soup is perfect for Hawaii’s recent stretch of chilly days, and features cuts of turkey neck simmered in a tasty broth — similar to Zippy’s Oxtail Soup — and topped with choi sum and Chinese parsley, and served with a choice of white or brown rice; ginger is available upon request.

“Spaghetti & Chicken are two of our signature items; now customers can enjoy two of their favorites in one plate!” says Jeanine Mamiya-Kalahiki, marketing manager at Zippy’s Restaurants. “It’s very popular with our customers, and we like to feature it as a promotional item to keep our menu interesting.”

Just in time for the new year, Zippy’s also presents a host of value items and new menu selections that are sure to kick-start one’s dining experience in 2015.

Patty Melt Combo ($9.50 dine-in restaurant only) is comprised of broiled hamburger patties on grilled rye bread with slices of American cheese, grilled onions and Thousand Island dressing, as well as a choice of side.

Golden Chicken Orange Salad ($9.95 restaurant only, available through Jan. 31, served 24 hours daily) features sliced golden, crispy chicken atop a bed of Kunia aquaponic greens, Mandarin orange wedges, red onions, bacon bits and croutons, and is served with a sweet vinaigrette dressing. Zippy’s Asian Chicken Salad ($8.95 fast food, $10.30 dine-in) is an updated version of Zippy’s Oriental Chicken Salad; the Asian Chicken Salad includes sliced, grilled chicken breast, julienne-style cucumbers and char siu on a bed of iceberg lettuce and Kunia aquaponic greens garnished with fried won ton pi strips and fresh Chinese parsley.

Generations of diners have flocked to Zippy’s in pursuit of delectable desserts, and the eatery has created yet another masterpiece in Caramel Fudge Waffle ($7.25 dine-in restaurant only, available through Feb. 28 and served 24 hours daily). The decadent dish features a crisp, golden waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and macadamia nuts, all drizzled with hot fudge and caramel.

And diners may now quench their thirst with Strawberry Iced Tea ($2.05 regular, $3.30 large, dine-in only), a refreshing take on iced tea, which makes for a perfect option on a hot day in Hawaii.

“The Patty Melt always has been a diner’s classic, and we wanted to bring it back — the Zippy’s way,” says Mamiya-Kalahiki. ”

We wanted to add another flavor to iced tea, something that would provide our customers with options,” she adds, when describing the delicious strawberry tea.

Last year, Zippy’s was honored with a trio of commendations in Star-Advertiser‘s annual Hawaii’s Best People’s Choice Awards for serving up the “Best Family Dining,” representing the “Best Late Night Eatery” and offering up the “Best Bento,” the latter of which recognizes the iconic Zip Pac. Diners are reminded that prices may vary at Zippy’s locations across Oahu, Kahului, Maui, and Hilo.

Zippy’s Restaurants

Various locations across Oahu, Kahului, Maui and Hilo
973-0880 (main office)
Most locations open 24 hours
Note: Prices may vary by location