Aloha-Filled Food Stops Around Honolulu
Looking for Oahu’s local flavors? True Hawaiian food and produce is not difficult to locate. In a bind, the local L&L or Zippy’s will be close by for a quick eat. Or take a wander through the rain forest in search of your own fruit (just eat it before you leave the islands)!
310 Kamakee Street
Local Hawaiian Barbecue is easy to come by in the Islands. And, no fast food or plated lunch chain makes it easier to taste a bit of Island food than L&L Barbecue. Menu favorites include Kailua Pork and Hawaiian Barbecue Chicken. To try something new, there is Lau Lau (pork wrapped in taro leaf), Saimin (noodles and broth with choice of meat), Musabi (meat and rice block wrapped in seaweed), or Loco Moco (hamburgers, rice, gravy, and eggs).
1050 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA
It might be the middle of the City, and it might be at the major concert hall in Honolulu, but Wednesday evenings are typically reserved for the Ward (aka Honolulu) Farmers Market. Tents go up, and local food vendors and farmers display their products with music drifting through the air. This farmers market is a great place to pick up some produce for the kitchen, grab dinner on the go, or try something new and different - like flavored butter from the only dairy left on Oahu, or farm fresh macadamia nuts, or locally made ice cream.
3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
If you’re hungry for a deliciously carb-heavy Hawaiian plate lunch, why not go to Rainbow Drive-in and enjoy a meal fit for a president? It’s true: President Obama ate there as a kid and tries to make it back during his visits. Starting at 7 am, you can order up a big plate of mahi-mahi, eggs, and rice (or the omnipresent Spam). Lunch specials include loco moco, BBQ ahi, fried chicken, and chili dogs, with plenty of gravy poured over everything. Best of all, nothing on the menu is over $9, making this a rare bargain on a very expensive island. Stop at their shop next door for seasonings and souvenirs on your way out.
North Shore, Waialua, HI, USA
In the winter months Waimea Bay is a favorite surf destination and home to the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational competition. Eddie is a legendary Hawaiian surfer and the first lifeguard of the North Shore of Oahu. Eddie Would Go, T-shirts and bumper stickers abound, immortalizing the courage of this lifeguard that would swim out to rescue surfers when no one else would. The Eddie Aikau surfing tournament started in 1984, but in the 25 years running has only been held eight times due to the condition that waves been at least 20 feet high. We just happened to be there for lucky number eight as Waimea delivered an event of legendary proportions as waves of up to 50 feet rolled in for the 25th Anniversary. If you are in Hawaii...GO TO WAIMEA BAY! It is gorgeous, whether you’re hanging out on the beach or hitting the waves. We hiked to a sacred burial site located just up the cliffs from Waimea while we were there.
66 Kamehameha Highway
There are a lot of great places to eat in the North Shore town of Haleiwa but Kono’s is by far my favorite. Their menu ranges from banana macadamia nut waffles to breakfast sliders (the biscuits are delicious!) to wraps to Kalua Pig in a variety of preparations. And milkshakes, delicious milkshakes. Kono’s is known for its breakfast bombers - tortillas filled with egg, potatoes, cheese and your choice of filling. My favorite was the Haleiwa filled with Hawaiian pulled pork. They definitely fill you up and are perfect after a day of surfing on the North Shore. It’s located at the front of the North Shore Marketplace next to the Quiksilver North Shore Boardriders Club surf shop. It’s open only for breakfast and lunch. You can also eat for free on your birthday.