Chef Jesse Wykle is introducing Virginia Beach residents to a new beach-style cuisine with his Hawaiian-inspired snack shack, Aloha Snacks. Located at the former Beach Pharmacy at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Aloha Snacks serves up a fusion of Southern and Asian dishes enhanced by local Hawaiian flavors.
Aloha Snacks “feed the good vibes” with delicious fare, tropical colors and island-inspired décor. The deep blue floors and stamped tin ceiling create the illusion of being submerged in the ocean, complete with a plethora of tropical fish painted along the bar.
“After being in dining my whole life, I wanted to open a restaurant with a more relaxing atmosphere,” explains Wykle. “Hawaii is known for its laidback vibes.”
In whimsical white letters on a chalkboard menu is a list of Aloha Snacks’ highly-anticipated Hawaiian dishes. The pupus, or small appetizers, include a pineapple Spam musubi, fries topped with Li Hing salt and the famous, deep-fried Portuguese donut, the malasada.
“Most menu items are a contemporary play on Hawaii’s favorite foods,” says Wykle. He has reinvented several island staples such as loco moco, acai bowls, huli-huli sauce and more.
As a health conscious dining joint, Wykle has partnered with regional farms, including Cromwell’s Produce and Veg Out Gardens in Virginia Beach, to ensure that all ingredients used in the preparation of his dishes are as fresh as possible.
Aloha Snacks carries a variety of local craft beverages as well. Green Flash Brewery’s Sea to Sea serves as the snack shack’s Aloha Lager and is accompanied by brews from Young Veterans Brewing Co. Charlottesville winemaker, Michael Shaps, is Aloha Snack’s regional wine provider. The bar serves both Michael Shaps Wineworks’ 2014 Petit Verdot and 2016 Viognier.
Aloha Snacks is located at 501 Laskin Rd., Virginia Beach. The restaurant’s current hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 8 p.m.