“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas
Okay, so we’ve all heard the jokes and seen the memes involving people (typically woman) who just can’t decide what it is they want to eat. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me I usually have the hardest time decided where I want to eat when I’m traveling somewhere new and exciting. I know (for the most part) I only have one shot to make the going out, restaurant experience, worth it. We don’t have time to waste our time (and money) on blah food experiences. But have no fear… my post is here!
Food, food, food. It is everything. It connects us. It has the power to bridge the gap between cultures and communities. It is something that I enjoy to no end. So naturally I must share with you all my favorite places to eat when I am back home on O’ahu. There are probably a hundred+ places that I didn’t include only because I wanted to remain authentic and true to the places I have visited recently; The food and people and atmosphere that I can speak to in the past month of experience.
Here’s a quick, go-to list for my fellow travelers & vegetarians (don’t worry carnivores just about every spot has something for you too).
If you could give food a standing ovation after shoveling spoonfuls into your mouth in the most graceful way possible and not look like an insane person, this is it. Standing ovation, hands-down greatest ramen I’ve ever had.
Cream Pot is one of the cutest breakfast & lunch spots in Hawai’i. Giving you Matilda, Miss Honey cottage vibes with delicious food, the Cream Pot is your must stop breakfast shop.
The Other Side Diner
Vegan BBQ & Buffalo wings. Let me say that again, VEGAN WINGS! These are my most favorite things on planet earth and I’m in search of another place that can make these babies (have yet to find it).
The Other Side Diner (formally known as, Downbeat) is a 50’s style dinner serving both traditional and vegan options for the typical diner foods with pizzazz.
The Sunrise Shack
The bright & beautiful photos somewhat speak for themselves. This coffee, snack shack is exactly what the name says – a dose of sunshine.
The Sunrise Shack is located along the breathtaking coastal drive towards the famous North Shore. Opened by three local islanders in 2016, The Sunrise Shack prides itself on being a fresh, local, and vibrant one-stop-shop for joy & a little caffeinated pick-me-up.
I’m not a pie chaser, but if a Ted’s Bakery chocolate haupia pie was rolling down a mountain I just might risk my life going after it.
Thai Food Truck Express | AKA Orange Thai Food Truck
Okay, so the name doesn’t jump off the screen, but this is hands down the very best Thai food I have ever had. Let me give that statement a little more oomph… Thai food is my most-loved (go-to) cuisine. My husband and I have made it a travel tradition to eat Thai food on all of our trips – Thai Food Truck Express is the best Thai food I have ever had (*add dramatic claps and pauses between each word in that sentence). When I lived on island I would eat here once a week.
The owner, Tommy, is just a burst of happiness and kindness. With his food and attitude he makes me want to scream, “take my money!”
My favorite things to get: yellow curry, papaya salad, veggie spring rolls, Thai tea, and my husband loves the pad thai. (Mouth is watering just thinking about it all)
Aji Limo Truck
Sharks Cove, located on Kamehameha Highway (coastal drive towards North Shore) is one of the best snorkeling spots on island, and just a few feet across the way from snorkeling you will find some really awesome food trucks. One of my favorites is, Aji Limo.
Rajanee Thai Haleiwa
Nice little Thai spot located in the town of Haleiwa, North Shore.
Waimanalo Country Farms Lemonade
Waimanalo Country Farms is a 52-acre farm located in (you guessed it) Waimanalo, Hawai’i. This is a six generation run farm which hosts pumpkin patch, maze adventure, fall-fun in October and sunflower field excursions in the summer. You can grab yourself a jar of traditional lemonade from one of their many events or visit their booth at the Kailua farmers market every Thursday. The lemonade of my choice is the lee-hing strawberry.
This is a great place to stop after a brutal (but always amazing) hike of Koko Crater Trail.
Down to Earth
Okay, not technically a restaurant. Down to Earth is a vegan grocery that supports local, organic farms and vendors. In addition to selling produce, beauty, and other household products Down to Earth also has a deli style area where they serve-up delicious sandwiches. My favorite (aside from the two items pictured above) is the black bean beet burger which I typically get as a wrap with a “Kreamy Kale” smoothie.
That’s the end of the road for me. As I said, there are so many delicious places to eat when on O’ahu, you almost can’t go wrong. I know I’m leaving out some places that I love, but I can’t include everything. Just remember to support local when you can. 🤙