North Shore, Oahu has some incredible and iconic food options in Hawaii. From food trucks, cafes, and diners. In the few days that we were on North Shore, we tried almost every possible food option. After all, food at these establishments was half the price of what we paid in some hotels, and twice more delicious.
So allow me to share the experience, along with my top recommendations.
Driving along the North Shore, you’re bound to notice lots of food trucks parked along the highway. Food trucks are synonymous with food options in the North Shore. I think we saw food trucks all the way along from Laie to Haleiwa, with a number of them concentrated at Shark’s Cove.
Food Trucks At Shark’s Cove
Right opposite the snorkelling area at Shark’s Cove’s is a plot of land dedicated to food trucks. It’s hard to miss given how many cars are usually parked along the road, and its colourful lights at night. Many food trucks also mean a lot of variety for visitors. From burgers to spicy shrimp, and fish tacos, there’s a food truck for everyone!
However, if I had to pick my favourite food truck from among the ones at Shark’s Cove, I’d have to pick Elephant food truck. With that, we come to my top food establishments in the North Shore.
1. Elephant Thai Food Truck
With its delicious, authentic Thai food, and sumptuous quantities, Elephant became our favourite food truck in the Shark’s Cove area. In fact, it was one of the two food trucks we revisited because we wanted to try more of their food!
What’s even better is that the seating area for the truck had a chilled, romantic vibe.
Speaking of food trucks, one of the most iconic food trucks on the North Shore is Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. There is no way that you’d want to miss eating at Giovanni’s.
2. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
We attended a block party on our last night in Honolulu where Giovanni’s was one of the food stalls. The food smelled amazing, and the line was super long. However, we resisted the temptation because we knew that we were going to visit the truck later on our trip.
Giovanni’s has two food trucks in North Shore, one in Haleiwa, and one next to Turtle Bay. We visited the one at Turtle Bay twice.
Giovanni’s shrimp truck has three items on their menu, and we tried them all. Each dish is equally delicious. For comparison, I tried the garlic shrimp at another food truck at Shark’s Cove. Giovanni’s was way, way better. Their flavours were strong, but not overpowering. The garlic was the perfect amount and didn’t leave us feeling sick for the rest of the day. And the shrimp, perfectly cooked.
Another restaurant that we visited and really liked was Seven Brothers in Laie.
3. Seven Brothers For Juicy Burgers
One night in Laie we ended up craving burgers. A quick search led us to Seven Brothers. Other than the juicy burgers on their menu, we really enjoyed the surfer vibe of the restaurant. Perhaps, it was only for that night but towards the end of the evening, a group of students from the university nearby took over the restaurant. Many of them performed and sang. It really was a lot of fun!
4. Cafe Haleiwa
Another diner that really stood out was Cafe Haleiwa in Haleiwa. We loved their breakfast so much that we ended up eating there twice. The second time was unplanned because our flight got delayed and it freed up our morning for some bacon and waffles!
Haleiwa is also home to the famous Matsumoto Shave Ice.
5. Matsumoto Shave Ice
Finally, here’s an establishment that I don’t have much to say about. There’s way too much hype around a concoction of ice and flavoured syrup. They do have some interesting flavours to choose from, but it didn’t really excite me too much.
Matsumoto is a general store that has a counter for shave ice. Perhaps they popularised shave ice because all along the North Shore you’ll notice signs for shave ice. Apparently, Matsumoto is the original.
Once we got there, the line was about 20 minutes long. So be ready to wait.
6. Ted’s Bakery
However, your quest for sweet stuff will not go in vain on Oahu’s North Shore. Drop by Ted’s Bakery (close to Shark’s Cove) for some delicious, mouth-watering cream pies. Personally, I loved Ted’s Bakery over Matsumoto.
7. Dole Plantation
And finally, don’t forget to visit the Dole Plantation for the best Dole Whip in the world! Dole Whip = pineapple ice-cream folks. The best, freshest pineapple ice cream in the world!
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