A special event, though exciting for everyone, can be a lot of work to plan. It’s important that everyone is well fed, in good company, and is well entertained. Though we can’t help you with your relatives or book you a DJ, we can offer some suggestions for what food you could serve.

A luau is a great themed party to throw with very specific menu items designed to feed a lot of people. If you’re preparing for a birthday, graduation, wedding, or reunion, a luau is the perfect theme. Check out the following meals and decoration ideas, and visit your local restaurant serving island-style food to get inspired. Visit Big Island BBQ in Liberty Lake today.

Natural Decorations

If you’re going for authenticity, pass on the plastic decorations and opt to decorate using real fruit, flowers, leaves, and other materials. Choose items like:

  • Bamboo placemats
  • Orchid, hibiscus, and bird of paradise flower arrangements and leis
  • Scattering seashells
  • Coconuts and pineapples
  • Palm leaves
  • Tiki torches
  • Tiki masks

These items are great for a more authentic Hawaiian vibe at your luau, and your guests will appreciate the sweet smells of the natural fruits and flowers. Keep an eye on your favorite local restaurant that serves Hawaiian and island-style food for more inspiration.


There are a lot of beverages you could serve at your luau. Coconut water, guava juice, and Arnold Palmers are a few great, refreshing, and non-alcoholic options. If you’re looking for something a little boozier, check out the suggestions below.

The Mai Tai may not have originated in Hawaii, but it’s recognized as part of the tiki scene for its tropical ingredients, making it the perfect cocktail to serve at your luau.


  • 1 ounce of light rum
  • 1 ounce of Jamaican rum
  • 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce of orange curacao
  • ½ ounce of orgeat (almond) syrup
  • ¼ ounce of simple syrup

Shake everything together with crushed ice in a cocktail shaker and pour into a glass. Garnish with a lime shell and mint sprig.

Another sweet and delicious cocktail to serve your guests is the Blue Hawaiian.

Use the following ingredients:

  • 1½ ounces of rum
  • ¾ ounce of blue curacao
  • ¾ ounce of creme de coconut
  • 2 ounces of pineapple juice
  • Ice cubes

Stir the ingredients together in a mixing glass until the liquid turns blue, then strain into a collins glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and pineapple wedge.


Most Hawaiian foods are very filling — especially the items on the main course. For this reason, we recommend something light for the appetizer, like edamame seasoned with olive oil, salt, and minced garlic. This will give your guests something tasty to snack on without filling up before you’ve served the entrees.

Main Dishes

There are a lot of well-known Hawaiian dishes that make for great entrees at parties. Since you probably have a lot of guests to feed at your luau, we recommend having a few.


Pronounced “POH-kay,” this dish is made with raw, cubed ahi tuna and mixed with soy sauce, seaweed, onions, sugar, chili pepper, sea salt, sesame oil, garlic, and fresh ginger. Poke can be eaten with mixed vegetables, rice, or by itself.


This main dish is made of salty pork, chicken, or fish. It’s wrapped with an inner layer of taro leaves and an outer layer of ti leaves — don’t eat the ti leaves! Traditionally cooked in an underground pit called an imu, you can opt to bake it in your oven instead.

Lomi Lomi Salmon

This is more of a side dish, but it has a lot of great flavor and protein to add to your meal. It’s a mixture of salmon, tomatoes, green onion, and regular onion. It’s chilled, salty, and makes any luau truly authentic.

Kalua Pig

No luau would be complete without a cooked pig. Kalua pig is salted, smoky, and shredded, but it’s not the same as pulled pork. If you’re not cooking your meals in a traditional imu, you can cook your pig in the oven and add liquid smoke to get the right flavor.


This is a dish that can be served as a main dish or dessert, but traditionally poi is served at a luau with main dishes so guests can mix in other savory flavors — try it with the kalua pig or lomi lomi salmon. It’s mashed taro root and has a fairly bland, starchy taste, so adding other flavors will help those who haven’t acquired the taste for it.


You can check out our list of delicious Hawaiian desserts, but if you’re throwing a luau, the best thing you can serve is haupia. This is a coconut pudding that has the consistency of jello. You can also bake it into a cake to mix flavor and texture.

Kulolo is another dessert option for your guests. It’s a pudding loaf made with grated taro, sugar, and coconut milk. It’s not too sweet and the lighter texture helps round out the heavy meal.


With these tips for your next luau, your guests will be asking you to host every party from here on out. Be sure to stop by your local restaurant serving island-style food for more inspiration for your menu, decorations, and maybe even some entertainment ideas. Visit your local restaurant in Liberty Lake, Big Island BBQ, to start planning your luau today.