– [Whitney] When you
think of food from Hawai’i, you probably think about
poke, kalua pig, and poi. And while those may be the
island’s most famous dishes, they definitely don’t
tell the whole story. To really eat like a local,
you’ve got to check out an iconic restaurant chain called Zippy’s. – It’s a diner with a twist. – I love Zippy’s. (laughs) – [Whitney] At first
glance, Zippy’s may seem like just another
average chain restaurant. So why is Hawaii so
hopelessly devoted to it? – It’s one of the most regional
chains I’ve ever been to. – I’m at Zippy’s you guys.
(employees cheering) – [Man] Sara’s favorite. – Fire! – [Whitney] The menu is massive, offering diner staples
like burgers and breakfast alongside the island comfort
food Hawai’i is known for. – In the 1800s, sugar cane plantations needed workers and found
them all over the world. So those workers came to Hawai’i, and they melded their food together, they created a local cuisine. You see it in saimin, which is our version of Japanese ramen, or oxtail soup, which has roots in Chinese culture, Puerto Rican culture, and
Filipino culture, all in one. Or Portuguese sausage, which
is sausage from Portugal. – Food in Hawai’i is really complex, and I had no idea that one chain could meaningfully try
to capture a lot of that. – I was wondering if I can
go Zippy’s with the boys. I promise I bring you chili! – [Woman] Okay, shoots. – Okay, I love you. Bruddah, we go!
– Yeah hoo! – [Whitney] Zippy’s is best
known for its famous chili, and the recipe is a well-guarded secret. The chain serves over 100 tons of the meaty goodness every month. While the chili is
traditionally served over rice, you can also get it over
a pile of spaghetti, or a loco moco style, with a
burger patty and a fried egg. – To me it tastes a little
bit creamier than other chili, a little bit thicker; it’s
almost like a sauce! (laughs) The Hawai’i version of a
bolognese or something. – Even if you’re in Texas, it
doesn’t taste like Zippy’s. – Well, so I lived in
Texas for five years. I absorbed some chili ideology that I think is against the Zippy’s chili. I liked it; it wasn’t like my favorite. – The chili might not be for everybody, but it is definitely
our chili from Hawai’i. – [Whitney] The family-owned restaurant was established in 1966, and now has 22 locations across the islands, most of which are open 24 hours a day. – People who visit Hawai’i,
they don’t necessarily think of going to Zippy’s first, but I would encourage them to go because they’ll see a side of Hawai’i that’s not in the tourist
board advertisements. – You will see a Zippy’s everywhere. It will be in neon and it
will beckon you to come, and it’s still a local secret in Hawai’i. – You know, you’ll just
see the real Hawai’i there.