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Apr 11, 2012 01:55 PM

Lunch on east side of hwy.

We will be traveling from HNL up to Turtle Bay around lunch time. Any suggestion for lunch along the way. Have not found much on a search on the east side. We thought we would drive up on east and back down on west side a week later.

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  1. Without a doubt, Hee'ia Pier Deli & General Store in Kaneohe. So much buzz and publicity about this place and every thing is true. I have eaten there many times, sometimes I see their daily special (if it's fish you gotta go!) and jump into the car immediately to get there before they run out.

    21 Replies
    1. re: manomin

      Second Manomin's rec for He'eia Pier. Eating on the pier is very pleasant, but seating is limited, so if it is crowded, you could take your lunch containers to He'eia State Park...the little park on the hill just E or S of the the pier...and picnic up there with great views of the bay, the mountains, and the restored ancient fish pond.

      Second choice(s) would be the various shrimp trucks farther up the coast...plenty of references to them on other threads...but not much on views.

      1. re: manomin

        Thank you. Read some reviews and it sounds like just what we wanted. Now if I could wash it down with a cold beer.....

        1. re: parisbully

          You can, they sell beer and you wrap a brown paper bag around it while eating.

          1. re: manomin

            Perfect. Thanks. Going next week......

        2. re: manomin

          I would agree, even if one had originally planned to head from HNL directly over to the North Shore. Worth the trip.

          If one is set on the direct route, then I would hold off, until Hale`ia, and do Luibueno for some Baja-meets-Hawai`i Mexican.


          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Luibueno would seem to work well for their return drive "back down the west side," which suggests their intention of heading to Turtle Bay via Kane'ohe and Laie, and then back to HNL via Hale'iwa and central O'ahu. The OP should be aware, if they are not already, that there is no road connection around Ka'ena Point to the west side of the island.

            1. re: macaraca

              Luibueno sounds great for a meal when staying at Turtle Bay. We are traveling all the way up east side to Turtle Bay. And then back down to the airport for a 2 p.m flight on the west side. And, thank you for the info on the road connection. I have a great map from

              1. re: parisbully

                My favorite Luibueno dish is his fresh Scallop Plate. Don't go there expecting great Mex Street food. It's strengths are Seafood dishes.

                1. re: parisbully

                  just to help you avoid confusion while you are here the airport is considered to be on the south side of the island.
                  The west side is commonly understood to mean from Kaena Point to Kalaeloa
                  East Oahu is from Waikiki to Makapuu,
                  Windward is from Makapuu to Kahuku, although more commonly thought of from Kahaluu to Kahuku.
                  Kahuku to Kaena Point is North Shore, although the stretch from Haleiwa to Kaena is not always included when people refer to the North Shore.
                  Town means anything from the airport to diamond head.
                  and while central usually refers to Mililani/Wahiawa it can be interpreted to include Pearl Harbor, Ewa Beach, and Pearl City/Aiea.

                  not always clear, not always a consistent demarcation.

                  (and russkar is right on target, in fact don't expect "mexican street food" anywhere here)

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    Good points. It is closer to Baja meets Hawai`i, but that meeting is a good one.

                    Their wine list, while small, has some interesting, fairly-priced eclectic offerings, that pair well. Just do not let them serve your whites in a "frozen glass." [Grin]

                    Enjoy, and travel safely,


                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                      I am so totally confused now. I thought I knew where I was going. Leaving the airport, going across to east side. Traveling up to Turtle Bay. Staying a week and then going back down to the airport on west side. Seems so easy. So glad i have GPS.....

                      1. re: parisbully

                        No vehicle can drive around the NW corner (Kaena Point) of Oahu. It is a bird sanctuary, among other things. So, to drive to the airport from the North shore, everyone must drive down the central valley.

                        1. re: parisbully

                          Well, from the airport, the most direct route is over the "saddle, via H-1 to 99, to 83. That takes one to Haleiwa, on the way to the North Shore.

                          Which route did you intend to take?

                          There is more than one way to get from HNL to Turtle Bay.



                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                            Bill, I intend to take the H3 from the airport to 83. And then all the way up to Turtle Bay. Isn't that doable?

                            And then driving to the airport through central Oahu by your directions above, but in the reverse of course.

                            1. re: parisbully

                              OK, that would be one way. Going to Turtle Bay, we normally head across the Island, pretty much from HNL. However, we almost always drive around the Island back to Honolulu, for the several days on that side of O`ahu.

                              Basically, there are four ways to get from HNL to Turtle Bay. One is direct. Two are a tad round-about, and the third is an "Island circle," but lovely, albeit slow.

                              The H-3 is the only one, that does not expose one to a lot of options, until one has reached the Windward Side. Even the Pali has a few spots, before the upper reaches, and then, it gets back down to some neat local restaurants.

                              Thanks for the clarification. Now I understand a bit better, what you are doing, and where you are heading. That will help others, too.

                              Enjoy, and travel safely.


                              PS - over the years, I have done some reviews of the Turtle Bay dining scene. Once, it was horribly bleak, then expanded, then things changed.

                              Last trip (cannot recall if I did a review?), we greatly enjoyed 21 Degrees North, and also Ola and Lei-Lei's, at the golf course. What was once the Palm Terrace, and was last an Italian restaurant and a buffet, was not up to par.

                              Just got an e-mail, that a new bar has opened at Turtle Bay, but obviously, we have not experienced that yet.

                          2. re: parisbully

                            1. Turtle Bay is not on the East Side, it is on the North Shore
                            2. The Airport is not on the West Side, it is on the South Shore.
                            3. The most direct route from the North Shore to the South shore is through central Oahu. You can not get to the south side of the island by going around the west end. there is no road, hasn't been since at least 1970.

                            Hope that makes things easy. (no sarcasm intended)

                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                              I do understand all of that. I have a very good map. I guess I am having a difficult time putting my thoughts into words. Sorry for all the confusion I have caused...

                          3. re: KaimukiMan

                            some other north shore snacks for the week, if you got a car to cruise:

                            -papa ole's in hau'ula for my favorite loco moco > add grilled onion and mushrooms (also have decent plate lunch/hawaiian food as well) -- plus you should prob pop into tamuras next door for the good beer selection/prices...they'll also have some fresh island fish should you want to do some cooking.
                            -kahuku farms just opened a farm stand/cafe across the street from romy's shrimp shack along the kuhuku shrimp farms. everything they serve was grown there. had the veggie panini and it was quite good. but the grilled banana bread a la mode with caramel was rediculous. plus, great setting, they did a nice job.
                            -fiji curry and market in kahuku sugar mill. sounds like what it is. roti, lamb, curry, etc
                            -pupukea grill, truck near sharks cove - they do solid, fresh grub
                            -ted's bakery at sunset beach for pies..
                            -opal thai in haleiwa. guy had a successful truck for some time, just open a brick and mortar and its doing quite well, personally never been
                            -kahuku superette does good poke
                            -shrimp trucks, pick and try a few, giovanni's is the most famous (in kahuku and haleiwa)
                            -beet box cafe in back of celestial foods in haleiwa does good vegetarian
                            -get shave ice at the wailua sugar mill -- they make their toppings with all natural fruits grown up there (as opposed to most places that use artificially flavored syrups) ... try their wailua chocolate sauce (cacao grown in the back yard) on your shave ice mixed with a fruit topping. put ice cream on the bottom, condensed milk on top. hope that the middle aged hawaiian guy is there working the machine when you show, he has some serious touch and makes finer ice than anyone else that works there.
                            -paalaa kai bakery between wailua and haleiwa is supposed to be great...snow puffies.

                            enjoy, aloha....

                            1. re: fatstern

                              Opal Thai, Heeia Pier and Camille's on Wheels all recently filmed "Diner's Drive-In's and Dives." That's a great list of things you posted fatstern! I went on a tour and to the opening party of Whole Foods Kailua yesterday and they are going to have a really nice bar in the store "The Windwar Bar" with a wood burning oven serving pizza.

                              1. re: fatstern

                                and, since you'll be driving back to the airport and can detour through wahiawa, maybe consider Shige's Saimin Stand for a taste of the old school. fresh made noodles daily!

                          4. re: macaraca

                            Thank you. I had read the OP a bit differently, and that clarification makes perfect sense now.



                      2. Thank you all for the great recs and the directions. I will post a report when I get back