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!
Where to Eat in Oahu
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
- Hours- 10:30am-5pm
Planning the rest of your Oahu adventure? Learn how to travel like a local on Oahu
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
** For other Hawaii adventures, check out the Ultimate Hawaii Guide
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.
Where to stay in Oahu
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Oahu it can get overwhelming with all the choices. If you want to stay on Waikiki, we recommened the Hilton Waikiki. If you are looking for some romantic getaways in Hawaii, there are lots of choices. For a great hotel on the North Shore, we recommend the Turtle Bay Resort. If you are looking for an airbnb, this one would be perfect.
What to Pack for Hawaii
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?
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Great tips! Glad you ate local. We recently visited Maui and Big island and had a blast tatsing Poke bowl, Lau lau, Saimin and shaved ice!
It’s been a dream of mine to visit Hawaii. Great to know they have such good food. Awesome post.
Awesome post. I lived in Maui for a few years and I’m not familiar with a few of these. Added them to my list for my next trip!
THese places look so yummy! I’d love to have that schedule of hiking, eating, and beaching.
I’m normally not a huge fan of seafood but I’ve found that seafood in coastal areas really is just better! The shrimp truck reminds me of home <3
Alice Chen recently posted…Itinerary: The Ultimate 7 Days in Beijing
Oh my word, I want everything on this list I didn’t think Hawaii could get more tempting but wow!
I love hunting down local eats while traveling! Bookmarking this for my (one day) Hawaii trip
As if we needed another reason to visit Hawaii, now there’s cute men like Leonard and Giovanni feeding you too?? Seriously, paradise!
Great guide and tips! Can’t wait to visit Oahu one day.
Eating hiking and beaching?! That sounds like a great trip to me! I could really go for that shrimp plate – yum! Thanks for the tips 🙂
I haven’t been to Oahu but this post makes it look really tempting!! Those malasadas look scrumptious.
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Little did I know how delicious Oahu cuisines are. These foods are tempting. Hawaii is very much recommendable.
Delicious! I haven’t been to Oahu yet, that should change. The Shrimp plate would be my first pick, but I’ll admit, they all looks worth trying… more than once.
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I was vacationing in Oahu a few weeks ago and stopped at Aloha Shrimp Truck in Hauula on the North Shore for lunch. It was out of this world! Incredible coconut shrimp, the best I’ve ever had! Fabulous lemon shrimp too. We enjoyed it so much we went out of our way to go there for a second time.