A Tropical Travel Blog
by Cate Lincoln

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Oahu is a foodie’s paradise, so if you’re like me and you plan your trips around eating (oh wait, that’s just me?), you’re going to be busy on Oahu! Oahu is home to a lot of “Hawaii famous” places as well as both iconic and trendy restaurants. So I’ve done a LOT of research, tried a lot of places, and asked plenty of others their favorites, and here are my picks for some of the best food on Oahu:

For a classic dinner on Waikiki…

Duke’s: This Waikiki institution is THE place for a nice sunset dinner.

For a Waikiki beachfront watering hole…

Mai Tai Bar: The original mai tai was created by the bar tender here more than 50 years ago. If you time your dinner and drinks right, you’ll have a great view of the luau at the Royal Hawaiian.

For the best breakfast in Waikiki…

Eggs ‘n Things: Be prepared to wait in line, but it’s worth it for their amazing pancakes.

For the best local food in town…

Helena’s Hawaiian Food: This is a true local joint but they’re so welcoming to tourists who find their way out there (very close to the Bishop Museum). The Rainbow Drive-In is also a don’t miss.

For the best shrimp truck…

Giovanni’s: Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck on the north shore is easily the most popular food truck in the area (and there are a lot of them!). Try the shrimp scampi.

RELATED: Not very familiar with Oahu? Read up on the lay of the (is)land and where to stay plus my favorite beach resorts, budget hotels, condos, honeymoon resorts, family friendly resorts, luxury resorts, and boutique hotels.

For the best pie…

Ted’s Bakery: This efficient bakery on the north shore has a whole bunch of goodies, but they’re most famous for their chocolate haupia (coconut) pie.

For the best breakfast in Kailua…

Moke’s Bread and Breakfast: The best lilikoi pancakes period. Boots and Kimo’s is also a favorite of mine. They’re famous for their macadamia nut sauce on their pancakes. Get there early or you’ll have a wait!

For the best shaved ice…

Island Snow: In Kailua, Island Snow is a favorite of the Obamas. Also, try Matsumoto’s in Haleiwa and Waiola Shave Ice in Honolulu.

For the best restaurant in Chinatown…

The Pig and the Lady: This trendy Vietnamese fusion restaurant is a super popular spot. Drop by for lunch, but you’ll want reservations for dinner.

For the best acai bowl…

Haleiwa Bowls: I could eat these every day. Just a little stand in Haleiwa on the north shore, you can add toppings to customize your acai bowl. They also make smoothies and cold pressed juice.

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For the best nice dinner…

Haleiwa Joe’s: The location in Kaneohe (Haiku Gardens) is one of the loveliest spots on Oahu. The food is delicious, and the atmosphere feels special but not pretentious. It’s a favorite spot with locals to celebrate special occasions.

For a nice resort restaurant…

AMA AMA: Located at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa, in Ko’olina, AMA AMA has such an amazing atmosphere and is right smack on the beach. Dinner is most popular here, but I love it for breakfast.

For the best dessert to go…

Leonard’s: Famous for their malasadas (Portuguese style donuts), you can grab them from their bakery in town or at one of their food trucks around the island.

For the best tiki bar…

Mariana Sailing Club: Surprisingly, you won’t find a lot of tiki bars in Hawaii. This one has a fun vintage atmosphere and serves dinner as well.

For the best live entertainment…

House without a Key: Experience live Hawaiian music and hula while having drinks and pupus (appetizers). They also have a dinner menu.

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For the best low key resort area dinner…

Monkeypod: Chef Peter Merriman’s Maui restaurant has made it to Oahu and the Ko’olina location is lovely. This two story open air restaurant is casual and trendy with amazing food.

Best fresh made lemonade…

Wow Wow Lemonade: I’m not sure if this is the only fresh made lemonade on the island (I’m guessing not), but it’s my favorite and I wanted to include it on this list! There’s a location in Haleiwa and Wahiawa. My favorite is the lavender blackberry lemonade!

Thanks for sticking around and reading this whole post! It’s always my goal to provide a TON of value to YOU. To that end, lately I’ve been packing my Instagram (@hula.land) FULL of content and adventures that you might want to check out. A lot of my post captions are like mini blog posts with travel info, I’ve got IGTV review videos for luaus and excursions, and helpful story highlights like grocery store prices and hotel reviews. Not to mention that my feed is pretty much the ultimate tropical eye candy! You can follow me here and share my account with your friends! Your support really helps me to keep this blog running!

Also, if you have ANY questions about planning your trip to Hawaii, you can join my free Facebook group here. I’m in there answering questions every day and there are 5000+ other friends who have a ton of Hawaii information to share!

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