Hawaii, aka The Food Tour. Part II North Shore

Next on the Hawaii (food) tour is the North Shore! After a few days in the busier area of Honolulu, the North Shore was a great retreat. There aren’t as many “popular” food options like in Waikiki, but there are definitely a few well-known stops; Giovanni’s, Ted’s Bakery, Matsumoto to name a few. Others tend to be a bit more stumble-upon than these guys that will appear at the top of your Yelp searches. Prepare yourself for more delicious looking pictures!

The first stop we made heading to the North Shore was the most exciting one for me yet. Somehow in my life, I have never had a fresh coconut. I love coconut flavored foods and coconut shavings on my froyo or in cookies, but witnessing the chopping of the top and drinking straight from the fruit itself has never happened for me. Until Hawaii. When I saw the fruit stand on the side of the road, I yelled “PULL OVER!!!” and almost made Dan crash. I got my coconut, took selfies with it, and saved only the last drop to share with him.

Finally, after about an hour of driving/happily staring out the window at the mountains and crystal blue ocean, we arrived in the North Shore. We stayed at basically the only hotel in the area, Turtle Bay, that is also where Forgetting Sarah Marshall was filmed. But more on the hotel later. Starving, I pulled out my phone and started searching for the must-visit places in this neck of the woods. They did not disappoint…

North Shore

  1. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck: Garlic shrimp plate lunch, served with not just 1 carb, not just 2 carbs, but rice, mac salad and a role
  2. Sunrise Shack: Start the day the healthy way (everyday)
  3. Banzai Sushi: Delicious sushi that you eat while sitting on the floor
  4. Hi BBQ: When you need a break from seafood
  5. Big Wave Shrimp: If just one shrimp truck isn’t enough. Also ft. on Guy’s DDD
  6. Matsumoto Shave Ice: It’s what you do in Hawaii
  7. Dole Plantation: Because dole whip
  8. Ted’s Bakery: Go for the pie, not the food

Now the details.

  1. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck: If you talk to anyone about shrimp in the North Shore, Giovanni’s shrimp truck comes up. It’s a typical plate lunch served with rice and mac salad. As you can see in the picture below, it’s garlicky and buttery and amazing. The one we stopped at is in an area with a bunch of other food trucks. The best way to do it is get one plate from each truck so you can try everything. But if nothing else, try Giovanni’s.
  2. Sunrise Shack: Our favorite morning spot was Sunrise Shack. We drove by it and saw a crowd so we decided to stop. It is literally on the side of the road (pictured below), but has a darling seating area. I was craving an acai bowl hard, but no point in driving back to Da Cove when this place exists! We went every morning that we stayed in the area, and ate with the friendly chickens roaming the yard.
  3. Banzai Sushi: I was really craving sushi on our first night in the North Shore. Trusty old Yelp told us Banzai Sushi was the place to go. There was a short wait when we arrived, so I got a chance to scope out everyones dishes as they were being served. The BFT special (big fatty tuna) was amazing, along with the 7 other rolls we got, wish I was kidding. Anyways, it’s was delicious and incredibly fresh.
  4. Hi BBQ: I wouldn’t guess Hawaii would be the place to get great BBQ, but this place raised the bar. Located in a food truck park, Hi BBQ had insanely tender ribs and brisket and of course served over white rice and with a Kings Hawaiian roll.
  5. Big Wave Shrimp: Luckily it wasn’t the same, but yes, another shrimp truck. I switched it up a bit and got coconut shrimp which is one of my favorites when it comes to shrimp. Big Wave did not disappoint, and they even provided a little side salad. Yay vegetables!
  6. Matsumoto Shave Ice: If there was one place Dan wanted to bring me, it’s Matsumoto for shave ice. We almost didn’t stay because the line was so long (again, this place is not a secret), but I had to try it! We got coconut cream, lemonade and guava, and I’d probably eat this everyday if I could.
  7. Dole Plantation: Yes, like the pineapples. We took a less-than-thrilling kiddy train tour through the pineapple fields (truly, less exciting than I’m making it sound), then got the famous Dole whip. Try to catch a demo on how to cut up a pineapple on your way out, but save your money and skip out on the train ride. 
  8. Ted’s Bakery: Conveniently located 2 miles from our hotel, Ted’s has amazing pies. In my own words, they’re pudding pies with a whipped topping, but I’m sure other people would say they’re something fancier. Ted’s is known for the haupia pies, but have tons of other flavors. We got three pies just so I could get sufficient sampling, otherwise how would I know if I should recommend it? They also have lunch and dinner food items on the menu, which I truthfully didn’t try, but have been told to skip out on those and stick with the pie.


I’m counting down the days to our next trip, which will be LA. Certainly not as beautiful as Hawaii, but the food options will do.

Thanks for reading and learning about out Hawaii adventures! Have you been to any of these places or have recommendations for my next visit? Leave a comment below, and if you liked this post, make sure you give it a 5-star rating! 🙂

xx Steph

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