Foodies Guide To Oahu, Hawaii

Foodies guide oahu hawaii

One of my favorite parts about traveling is eating. I think they go hand in hand. I love exploring local eateries, trying the popular food that everyone flocks to, and even finding my own favorites.

The island of Oahu in Hawaii has no shortage of delicious food and cheap eats in Waikiki. When I was planning to return on this trip, I already knew of the places I wanted to return to and the new places I wanted to eat.

So without further adieu ..

Malasada’s from Leonard’s Bakery

It does not matter how long the line is – the wait is worth it. You are going to get fresh fried dough with your choice of sugar and a filling if you choose.

I wanted to taste a few varieties so I opted for 1 with sugar, 1 with cinnamon sugar and 1 with cinnamon sugar and custard filling. I AM OBSESSED. I would book a flight back right now just to get my hands on these again – this is a must do when visiting Oahu.



Luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel
I do believe going to a Luau is part of going to Hawaii. The food and the show at the Luau at the Royal Hawaiian are sensational. There are so many food options to please every palate.


Halo-Halo Flan




Chocholate-Coffee Tiramisu






Luau Fruits

Dole Whip – Pineapple Plantation
If you have been to the Disney parks you may already be familiar with this sweet treat. It is very hard to find in general but if you are in Oahu in the North Shore, this is the most delicious ice cream I have ever had. I cannot tell you how many ways I have eaten this but a few are: in a cone, as a float and even a sundae with all things pineapple. I have no favorite because they are all scrumptious – but I highly recommend it.

Pineapple is one of the best Hawaiian fruit options, so don’t miss this treat. 


Dole Whip – Dole Plantation

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

This place is an institution. Oahu and Giovanni’s are basically synonymous. One simply does not go to the North Shore and NOT eat here. Shrimp drenched in butter and garlic with 2 scoops of rice. The simplicity of the dish will blow you away with how well they make it.

Pro Tip: bring a bottled water or hand sanitizer to wash your hands because there is no where to do it there – it is a food truck outdoors.


Giovanni’s Shrimp

Mai Tai Bar

Located beachfront at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel – the Mai Tai’s here are legendary. Fun Fact: I drank one everyday that I was in Oahu – that good! I ate here a few times and the items that stood out were the calamari and the wings. Best wings I have ever had. If all you get from here is wings and a Mai Tai – you will be complete.


Mai Tai



Arvo Cafe

If you are like me, then you are a sucker for avocado toast and cappuccino art. Arvo cafe makes my soul happy. Think palm tree drinks, avocado toast and nutella toast with fruit and coconut. I would eat here everyday if I lived in Honolulu.





Island Vintage Shave Ice

Shave ice is the one dessert I keep coming back to Hawaii for. I found Island Vintage Shave Ice during my recent stay and it was a food cart 1 block up from Waikiki Beach by the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. I went with a tropical shave ice and it was amazing. TREAT YOURSELF.


Shave Ice

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  1. September 15, 2017 / 1:56 am

    Yes I can totally second masaladas, dole whip, and shrimp truck! The rest, I’ll have to try when I visit next!

  2. September 15, 2017 / 3:23 am

    YUM!!!! you have me wanting to book a trip to Hawaii 😉

  3. September 15, 2017 / 3:39 am

    Such a fun post to read! All of it looked great! Especially that garlic shrimp! 🙂

  4. September 15, 2017 / 7:14 am

    This post is everything. Hoping to go in January and each one od these looks incredible. Does Leonard’s have non-cream-filled too?

    • September 15, 2017 / 2:31 pm

      Thank you! And yes – you can get them with just sugar

    • June 23, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      I’m going to jump in and respond here as a local living on O’ahu and literally right NEXT to Leonard’s (yes, I know it’s dangerous!) 😉 Yes, Leonard’s also has non-filled options for malasads, which is the original. The haupia filled is my favorite! 🙂

  5. September 23, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    Everything look so yummy, I’m drooling over here!

  6. LaurieGayle
    June 6, 2018 / 1:34 am

    I’d throw in Bogart’s Cafe for their Acai bowl – had it EVERY morning I was there! Disappointed we missed out on Leonard’s Bakery tho!

  7. Jess Hieser
    June 30, 2019 / 9:21 am

    I went to Hawaii a couple years back but I didn’t try Leonard’s Bakery! I’ll definitely go there on my next trip there though because they look amazing.


    • eatlivetraveldrink
      August 5, 2019 / 8:51 am

      oh my gosh they are SOOO good

  8. Brooke of Passport Couture
    September 4, 2019 / 10:50 pm

    The custard-filled Malasada looks like perfection! Yum! Everything you showed must have been savory and sweet treats to enjoy.

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