I love traveling somewhere and eating like the locals do. We tried as best we could on Oahu to stay away from the tourist traps and hit some off-the-beaten-path spots for killer eats that you can’t get anywhere else. (Although we fully admit to having Starbucks breakfast sandwiches on multiple occasions.) If you’re traveling to Oahu, you’ve gotta check out some of these spots – we boiled the list down to our faves. Read on for recommendations and photos! xoxo
Psst — before you dive in, check these other Hawaii posts out as well! We’ve got tons of recommendations for food, travel, lodging, activities, shopping, and more.
- Travel Oahu // Things to Do
- Travel Oahu // Planes, Hotels, and Cars
- Things to Do in Kauai
- Things to Do in Kaua‘i with Kids (and a Packing List!)
- Kaua‘i Restaurant and Shopping Guide (with Kid Friendly Ideas!)
Marukame Udon. We stopped here on our first night in town for some freshly made udon noodles, and it was insanely delicious. The line looks long but moves really quickly, and it’s pretty affordable for a Waikiki meal. Get the kamaage udon or the niku udon and a few pieces of tempura. Yum.
Agostino’s Pizza. A perfect choice if you’re not afraid of adventuresome eating. Agostino makes his Sicilian-style pizza in a woodfire oven out of the side of a van in a parking lot. The place was packed but everyone was in a great mood because the pizza was so good. Our faves were the Veggie and the Agostino.
12th Ave Grill. A great spot for something slightly more upscale but not too fancy-schmancy. We totally skipped the entrees and split a bunch of sides and small plates, which I’d highly recommend. Don’t miss the scalloped potatoes!
Eat the Street. If you happen to be in town during this outdoor food truck festival, hit it up! It’s every last Friday of the month. There’s every kind of street food you can imagine, with music and entertainment. Best chicken pot pie I’ve ever had.
Leonard’s Bakery. When I heard that this place’s specialty was Portuguese donuts, I put it at the top of my list. Go and get a few malasadas and congratulate yourself for knowing what’s up. We loved the classic and the li hing.
Cinnamon’s . If you’re up for a morning drive to the east side of the island, head to Cinnamons! We heard they were famous for their red velvet pancakes, but we were bigger fans of the Portuguese sweet bread French toast. Seriously.
Food Trucks. If you find yourself on the North Shore, head to Haleiwa and stop at the food truck spot with Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. We split a plate of the shrimp scampi and never wanted it to end. If you eat there, be sure to save some room for the Snow truck. Snow is like Hawaiian shave ice but mixed with frozen yogurt. (Kind of a new obsession of ours.) Try the li hing mui flavor!
Fruit Stands. Keep an eye out for fresh fruit stands on the side of the road! Grab some fresh pineapple or a coconut. I was simultaneously fascinated and terrified watching the little old lady break open my coconut with a machete.