Rainbow Drive-in


3308 Kanaina Ave.
Honolulu, HI

Notes: Rainbow Special (2
patty burger) $3.30, Boneless
Chicken w/gravy $6.50.

Price: $
Ambiance: Casual
Food: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
Tummy Points: 3/5

Rainbow Drive-in on Urbanspoon

Opened back in 1961, Rainbow Drive-in has long been serving various plate lunches in Honolulu. They pride themselves on serving generous portions of hearty simple food at reasonable prices and counting on sales volume. Food they serve is geared for workers and beach-goers in the area so it was all quick foods.

The ordering is fast and you feel very rushed since a line quickly forms behind but they didn’t rush us. The menu is on the wall behind the cashier with black pre-cut plastic letters on a lighted yellow board.

There’s only outdoor covered seating on contoured plastic chairs. Seating space is limited to a number of people were eating in the parking lot sitting on the curb. I guess they don’t need much since they’re called a drive-in and not a restaurant it’s not expected everyone sits there to eat.

NOM4727_smRainbow special burger didn’t look impressive at first. It was small with two patties that resembled what you’d get from Wendy’s. they tasted like beef from Wendy’s too. But what was different was the fresh onion and lettuce stood out as well as the sauce. They had a yellowy greenish sauce that wasn’t thousand island sauce but like a tartar sauce. I like that.

NOM4726_smBoneless Chicken w/gravy came out on a plate inside a paper box. Every plate lunch comes with 2 scoops of rice and macaroni salad. The gravy is very light and not salty. It doesn’t have too much taste to it but it got me wanting more. I’m normally not keen on macaroni salad but this was good. Macaroni was light on the mayo dressing and freshly prepared so it wasn’t soggy or overly cold. Rice came out hot and fluffy.

NOM4728_smThe breading is fresh, hand packed, and light. The amount of breading is about equal to the amount of chicken. I found out one of the reasons the chicken was so yummy. The chicken includes a thin layer of skin to keep the chicken moist and almost everyone loves eating animal fat!

The prices were reasonable for what you get. Everything is prepared fresh and come out warm. Unfortunately the drinks come in cups fille with 3/4rds of it ice but the syrup to water ratio was correct. Rainbow Drive-in didn’t strike me as amazing so I’d only recommend a visit if you’re in the area.


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