Hop on over

Cover Story

April 28, 2024

Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Breakfast Sampler ($21.49)

IHOP’s humble beginnings started on July 7, 1958, when Al and Jerry Lapin opened the first International House of Pancakes in Toluca Lake, California.

Five decades later, the restaurant has grown to become the leading family dining brand with more than 1,650 IHOP restaurants in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Internationally, IHOP has locations in the Philippines, Bahrain, Canada, Dubai, Guatemala, Kuwait, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

“Today, IHOP is the place where people connect over breakfast, enjoy study breaks, grab a bite before or after sporting events, and so much more,” says IHOP area director Darlene Balcita. “And no matter what menu items they order, there’s one ingredient that’s always constant — a smile.”

This week, we had the chance to speak to Balcita about some of IHOP’s delicious deals.

DO: Can you describe the ambiance and decor? Is there anything unique about it?

DB: IHOP offers an affordable, everyday dining experience in a warm and inviting atmosphere with friendly service. Wherever you sit in the restaurants, there should be something memorable about it. The brand’s restaurants are designed to pay homage to its roots and tradition while providing guests with modern dining experience.

DO: What do you love about each of IHOP’s locations?

DB: IHOP Kuhio and Waikiki are in town/city, whereas IHOP Airport, IHOP Pearl City and IHOP Hilo are countryside. Each (are) unique to where they are located.

DO: What are five of IHOP’s bestselling dishes?

DB: IHOP’s Breakfast Sampler ($21.49), which includes two eggs, two bacon strips, two pork link sausages, two pieces of ham, hash browns and two buttermilk pancakes. Our Strawberry Banana French Toast ($17.29) is also a popular option and comes with two slices topped with glazed strawberries, fresh bananas and powdered sugar. For a healthier option, customers prefer the Pesto Veggie Egg White Omelette ($21.99), which is a cage-free egg white omelet with sauteed mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes, nut-free pesto and avocado. It’s served with seasonal fresh fruits. Keiki love our Happy Face Pancake Combo ($9.99), which consists of a chocolate or buttermilk happy face pancake with a scrambled egg, a bacon strip and a pork link sausage. Meanwhile, a bestselling lunch item is our Classic Chicken Sandwich ($17.49). It comprises a grilled or crispy chicken breast with bacon, lettuce, tomato, four-cheese blend, avocado and buttermilk ranch on a grilled roll.

DO: What are some unique items that can be found on the menu?

DB: Our Loco Moco ($18.99), which comes with three eggs served your way on a Black Angus beefsteak burger patty atop a bed of steamed rice and beef gravy.

DO: Are there any current/seasonal specials?

DB: Our Pancake of the Month ($16) changes monthly. Currently, we have cinnamon apple pecan for the month of April. It comes with four buttermilk pancakes topped with cinnamon apples, dulce de leche sauce, pecans and whipped topping. The May Pancake of the Month is white chocolate Raspberry, which boasts four buttermilk pancakes filled with white chocolate chips, a raspberry topping, cream cheese icing and whipped topping.

DO: What’s your favorite dish on the menu?

DB: The Double Blueberry Pancake, which consists of four blueberry pancakes with blueberry topping and whipped topping.

DO: What experience do you hope customers take away when dining at IHOP?

DB: IHOP is a brand that masters the griddle and makes every moment matter — ultimately delivering on the brand’s purpose of spreading more joy to more guests every day. When our guests walk through the door, we want to put a smile on their plate, and we do that (by) providing exceptional service and delicious food in a great environment.

98-1254 Kaʻahumanu St, Pearl City, HI 96782 111 E Puainako St, Hilo, HI 96720

3269 Koapaka St, Honolulu, HI 96819

2211 Kūhiō Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815

1850 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best