If you like to eat, Oahu is the place for you. I swear the whole time we were there we were either eating, hiking, or visiting a new beach, which isn’t too bad of a schedule if you ask me. We stayed with our friends, so they gave us the “locals guide” to where to eat. There simply wasn’t enough time to truly try everything we wanted to try! These are our top 5 places to eat on your next visit to Oahu. Be warned: this list WILL make you hungry!
Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
We had heard from multiple people to visit some shrimp trucks, and the one that kept coming up was Giovanni’s. You can’t go to Oahu and not have some shrimp! So we headed to the North Shore and found ourselves waiting in line for some shrimp! It was lunch time so it was busy, but I have a feeling that there is always a line at Giovanni’s because its just that good.
There are 3 options for your shrimp: Scampi (which is garlic), hot and spicy, or lemon butter. If you don’t like shrimp, there is also a jumbo garlic hot dog. Between the two of us we got one scampi and one lemon butter. It took us 35 minutes to order and get our food, so a pretty normal time if you were sitting down in a restaurant. To us, the wait was worth it! The shrimp was fresh and delicious, with plenty of food to keep us satisfied. If you’re heading to the North Shore, stop at Giovanni’s for delicious shrimp!
All shrimp plates are $14 with 12 shrimps and 2 scoops of rice. Half plates available for $7
Koko Head Cafe
I don’t know if eating at Koko Head Cafe after burning 2000 calories hiking straight up Koko Head Trail was the reason we loved it or if it’s really that good. But either way, we’d go back in a heartbeat! We were starving after our hike, so our friends decided to take us to Koko Head Cafe. There was a little bit of a wait, but thats expected for a great brunch place. The cafe is an assortment of brunch items with some Hawaiian and Asian influences, like Portuguese sausage, dumplings, and poke omelets. Holy smokes this place is good! We love breakfast foods and this is the perfect blend of breakfast foods mixed with the Hawaiian style. Get the french toast! I’ve had a lot of french toast in my day but this was the best! Its a cornflake French toast with bacon and topped with cornflakes- so good!
Mostly reasonable prices, some things were little more expensive than expected, but it was good portions
Hours- Open 7am-2:30pm
Normally we wouldn’t be heading to a bowling alley for the food, but this was an exception. Yes, we made a specific trip to the bowling alley to eat! This is no ordinary bowling alley, Aiea Bowl has been on “Man Finds Food” and “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”. There was a long wait in the restaurant, so we sat at the bar (which is full-service). Locals have told us this is THE place to get boneless kalbi ribs so we listened and agreed. The best short ribs we’ve had. Also, the tasty chicken is delicious too! Don’t forget to grab dessert on your way out, with signature cakes, tiramisu, brownies, apple pies and more.
Hours- Sunday thru Wednesday 7:00am to 9:30pm, Thursday thru Sunday 7:00am to midnight
Located just outside Waikiki, this is the place to go if you want some poke while on the island. It’s a small little hole-in-the-wall place, but the poke is always made to order, with fresh ingredients. A poke bowl is a scoop of rice with poke, or cubed raw fish marinated in flavors, on top. If you love fish, you don’t want to miss Ono Seafood while on Oahu.
Hours- Monday and Wednesday to Saturday 9 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 3 pm
Malasadas are to die for! A malasada is a Portuguese donut without the hole. Leonard’s Bakery fries the dough just right, with a little bit of fluffiness on the inside. Available in original (just sugar) or cinnamon sugar, and also malasada puffs which include custard, chocolate, or coconut filled yumminess. Leonards also has other desserts inlcuding glazed doughnuts, pies, cakes, cookies and more. We missed these malasadas as soon as we got back on the mainland, and have been craving them almost daily!
There are 2 locations on Oahu: the original Leonards in Honolulu, and the Malasadamobile is set up in Waipahu
The malasadas are $1.25/each and the puffs are $1.60/each.
There are a ton other delicious places to eat on the island of Oahu, but these were our absolute favorite! We would go back to all of these places in a heartbeat. Were already making a list of other places we can’t wait to try next time. What is your favorite place that you’ve eaten on Oahu?