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Apr 7, 2010 08:51 PM

Oahu North Shore Meals...

Hello Hawaiian CHs!

I'm a Toronto CH who is very excited about my first trip to Hawaii, or more specifically, Oahu!

Thanks to all of your wonderful posts, I think I've got our meals in Honolulu covered (AW, 3660 on the rise, Roys, poke stop, hanks, Helen's and a few others).... which is where we are spending the first half of our trip.

Then we are up to the North Shore (turtle bay)... Asides from the shrimp trucks (which I plan to sample, compare and review), can anyone provide some good dining recommendations?
We would love to have some options.... Any cuisine, and a variety of price points would be wonderful!


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  1. Not a whole lot out that way -

    Best thing to do is to p/up something on your way out there. Lots to choose from in Wahiawa and Haleiwa (coming in from Pearl Harbor / west side of island). Or visit cuisine in Kaneohe - (coming in from the windward / east side of island)

    I haven't been out there in a while, so I apologize in advance if I have left out something new in North Shore area.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mech160

      "Cuisine" & Kaneohe are not necessarily related! We have some places that are good, El Mariachi (which hooray! is expanding into the next storefront for additional seating). Bob's
      BBQ literally down the block mauka from El Mariachi (BBQ cash only) but quite good
      the smell in the area is great! Sumo Ramen which is a small local chain always is good
      got me through a nasty case of sinusitis the past 2 weeks with their won ton ramen with lots of hot mustard. Or the mall has a new foodcourt which is really lovely the way they did the design and has some good places (I Love Country Cafe, Hot Dog on a Stick) and several others. Lots of people like Pah Ke's but I don't. Kin Wah gets lots and lots of funerals from the Hawaiian Memorial Park so their parking is always difficult. I have lots of friends who really like their food too but I've never been.

      El Mariachi
      45-1151 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744

      1. re: manomin

        Dean's Drive Inn is known for their teri beef and ahi cakes, popular if you do make it over Kaneohe way.

        Agree there is not much on the North Shore, Kua Aina for good burgers and the few places already mentioned. I really miss the old Sea View Inn, that was a great local spot for meals like their sizzling steaks and cold brews.

        1. re: curiousgeo

          You're right about Dean's, and don't forget it's cash only!

          Friday and Saturday there is a house that sells Pastele & Spanish rice off
          Puohala Rd. has anyone tried it? Smells good from the street!

    2. IMO, the best value for the money on the N. shore is Opal's Thai truck, in the hollow across from McDonald's. Great food, nice people.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joebob

        Thanks for the suggestions/advice...I must have missed that previous North Shore Post....

      2. We had a really great lunch at Grass Skirt Grill in Haleiwa last month. Small little joint where you order at the counter and they bring the food to your table (inside/outside). I had a plate of coconut shrimp (which came with a generous side of baby salad mix and a supah sweet slice of pineapple). The food was solid and the girls behind the counter were really friendly.

        Grass Skirt Grill
        66-214 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

        1. Probably too old to help, this was my North Shore review (read down, as the thread covers the whole trip):

          We're on the North Shore in mid-May, and will be trying the same locations, with one exception, will be doing Jamison's again, as Haleiwa Joe's was just not worth trying again - not one high point.

          Travel safely,


          1. Hi there, we stayed a weekend at Turtle Bay and had a great dinner at Lei Lei’s. There are only like four options there for dinner, but this one on the golf course was casual but really suprisingly yummy. We had to make reservations from the hotel it was really crowded.

            Last trip we ate at Haleiwa Joe's Seafood Grill, but I hear Jameson's is better? It (Haleiwa) did have really good burgers and beers if you are out for the day to explore beaches vs. staying at Turtle Bay. I thought their poke was only so so.

            62-540 Kamehameha HwyHaleiwa, HI 96712 (808) 637-6272

            Also we plan on trying:
            Ted's Bakery (Known for Hauipia pie, but good burgers too)
            59-24 mehameha Highway Haleiwa, HI 96712-9723, (808) 638-8207

            I have a bunch of others I pulled from other chow threads, but nothing I personally tried so ?

            We are going in May and staying one night in Waikiki before we fly back. Our dear friend who lived on Oahu for a few years says her fav place there is Hiroshi, followed by Chef Mavro. Here's what she said about Hiroshi

            Hiroshi - Okay, this is my absolute favorite restaurant in Hawaii. The upsides: The food ROCKS. Really, the best on the island in my book. Also, for the money, the quality is outstanding. One of the two Master Sommeliers in Hawaii is a partner in the restaurant. If he is there, which he often is, you can tell him the price that you want to spend on a bottle, and he will pull something magical from their cellar. The prices on wine here are exceedingly fair, and the selections are AMAZING. The MS is very partial to the Central Coast, and has many great selections that he has hand selected, and are impossible to get unless you are of his stature in the wine world. On top of that, he is a very unassuming and laid back dude. Their wine menu changes weekly, so if he isn't there, there will be lots of goodies to choose from.

            The downside: Atmosphere. It is in this weird place called "Restaurant Row". I believe that the space was once occupied by a restaurant that was owned by some of the actors from Magnum P.I.. Some of the stuff in the restaurant looks to be still from that era. Needless to say, the decor is pretty hideous, and does not at all reflect the quality of the food & wine situation. They have tried to fancy it up, but it's very "local style". Also, the place will most likely be filled with local people that are less than exciting to be around, but not really any tourists.

            If you are just looking for the best overall food an wine experience, this is the place.

            Chef Mavro restaurant
            1969 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96826

            Haleiwa Joe's Seafood Grill
            66-011 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

            62-540 Kamehameha Hwy Ste 1, Haleiwa, HI 96712