Top 10 Places to Eat on Guam

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While I was vacationing in Guam last month, a Hawaii friend stationed on the Navy base had asked if I could provide a list of my fave places to eat on the island. I couldn’t possibly list all my go-to’s, so I’ve compiled a list of my top places. You’ll find good food anywhere on the island, really. But I tried to list all the places that locals frequent because of the food quality, excellent dishes or authenticity.

CROWN BAKERY – Located in Mangilao. I usually don’t eat donuts, but I LOVE their plain glazed donuts! They’re better than Krispy Kreme. I promise. Go early in the morning after the kids go to school or in the afternoon. They make a fresh batch around 5 a.m. and at 4 p.m. daily. You won’t regret it.

MESKLA – a bit pricey (for Guam), but it’s authentic Chamorro cooking with a nice dining atmosphere. Order the tinala katne (it’s just like pipikaula) with red rice and chicken kelaguen (like ceviche). Don’t be afraid to order the “fiesta platter” because it comes with a lot of authentic Chamorro dishes (fried parrotfish, chicken kelaguen, bbq ribs and tinala katne). Explore the menu when you can. Don’t waste your time on the desserts unless the staff recommends a special dessert. $$

IZAKAYA KATSU / GREEN DOOR (locally known as Green Door – because, well, the entrance is a green door) – this is one of my fave hole in the wall restaurants on the island. Mostly locals go there because it’s hidden on the third floor of a parking garage in the Central Plaza building next to the Tumon Police Station. It’s a Japanese restaurant known for their tofu steak (you wouldn’t believe how tasty it is, it’s such a unique dish), chicken katsu, grilled saba and curry. $$

PROA – this is a friendlier, more American approach to island food. I like all the dishes on the menu. I can’t pick just one. You’ll find this in Tumon. $$

CHAMORRO VILLAGE – Best time to go is around 5:30 p.m. when the Wednesday Night Market begins. There are all sorts of food vendors (thai, Vietnamese, Chamorro, filipino, etc.). They’re all great, but I prefer to dine in at the little Chamorro restaurant with A/C. They have the best bbq ribs and chicken. Spacing is tight so try to get there early. $

LEMAI CAFE RESTAURANT – I just found out this place has closed! I’ll still include it since it deserves some recognition for being one of my fave places to eat on the island. Lemai Cafe is a mom and pop restaurant located on a breadfruit farm. I order their fried porkchops (I just realized this list has a lot of heavy, comfort dishes, but that’s really, the best part of Guam – comfort food!). I felt most at home in this restaurant. Only locals really go here, so enjoy the good, authentic food. It’s in between Barrigada and Tiyan. $

SAKURA KITCHEN – This is the cheapest place to get good Japanese food. They have so many yummy dishes. I love their fried garlic appetizer served with lemon and miso, miso salmon, shrimp tempura, sushi, udon, curry, chicken or pork katsu, and sashimi). Located in Tamuning. $

BAN THAI– Best thai food on the island. Best to go for lunch, since it’s only $13 per person all you can eat thai buffet. I love their tom yum soup, pad thai, fried chicken and fried banana lumpia (call ahead for banana lumpia – they only make it on certain days). Located in Tumon. $

PIKA’S CAFÉ – This café/restaurant is perfect if you’re craving something lighter but still maintaining a local flair. They have typical deli style sandwiches and salads but you can order some great unique and affordable local-ish dishes. Definitely one of my fave lunch spots. Located in Tamuning. $

PALM CAFÉ – Located in Tumon at the Outrigger Hotel. This is a higher-end place to go for Sunday brunch. Locals compete with tourists for a table on Sundays because the food is worth your money. My family comes here for special occasions. $$$

MICHELLE’S COFFEE SHOP – This is where I took my boyfriend for a local breakfast the first day he arrived in Guam. You’ll only see locals around here. It’s near a high school and just down the road from the university. It’s also in the heart of Guam, so residents stop by to read the paper while they chomp away at their Chamorro sausage scramble with garlic fried rice. It’s far from fancy, yet so comforting. $

I’m pretty sure I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the great things Guam has to offer. But definitely pay attention to the events listing in the local paper or online. They have great events like the Mango Festival in Agat and other local festivals with various food vendors and activities for families.

Is there a good Guam restaurant or eatery I’ve missed? Feel free to share it in the comments.

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Photos from art class

Wood carving of the head of Siwa, Indonesia, Bali, 1962

My art instructor, Quala-Lynn Young, asked us to take a photo of two items that we selected from the Lending department at the Honolulu School of Art. Prior to being used as instruments of inspiration, these items were displayed at the Honolulu Museum of Art and circulated around the world. The first item had to be of a feminine or masculine figure and the second could be anything that speaks to us.

I chose this intricate carving of the Hindu god Siwa (also known as Shiva) from Bali. I was first drawn to Siwa’s headdress and shoulder ornaments. I couldn’t help but stare at how glorious this figure was, with the feathery necklace and pointed panels of the headdress. How would this look in real life? A delicate deity with a little tower on top of his head.

The second item I chose was just as intricate as Siwa, it was this dried coral fan with lavender roots and jagged edges. The Lending department did not have much information on this piece, but it’s not surprising that it most likely came from the Pacific Ocean. Maybe for an islander, this isn’t something special, but it is no doubt beautiful and mysterious, with only a number to identify it. It could be from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the tiny islands of Micronesia, the Graveyard reef in Palau or maybe in our own backyard beach in O’ahu.

I was a bit excited about taking my DSLR to class. I thought I’d get some good photos of the details of my items. I kind of did. But one thing is for sure, I definitely need to upgrade my camera or invest in a macro lens. My Nikon won’t focus everything into one shot and that frustrated me. During last night’s class, we were required to take photos of our items because the Lending department could only lend them for a few weeks. I kept snapping away for a good shot of the details in the Siwa carving and the webbed fibers of the coral fan, but I could only focus on one thing. Maybe I should just upgrade the body.

Here’s the courtyard in the back of the art building. It’s kind of haunting and fascinating at the same time. This photo came out alright. It’s not as sharp as I’d like it to be, but it was late at night, after class and my eyes were droopy. Lights out!