One of my favorite towns EVER. It’s tiny, quaint, and provides a little sparkle on the North Shore. There are a few touristy features about it, but I would argue there is just as much of a local community presence too.
We are about 20 minutes or so from town, but we pass through it anytime we are headed down south to Honolulu/Waikiki. I make sure to come here for a few crucial reasons, aka cravings from time to time…take notes!
My favorite lunch spot is a family-run cafe that epitomizes North Shore vibes the second you step in. Waialua Bakery is killer, bottom line.
- My go to’s are: the Teriyaki Chicken sandwich with a Wonder Bar for dessert. What is a wonder bar exactly? HEAVEN in baked good form. I don’t even know what is in it, if I’m being honest. It’s the perfect mix of coconut, chocolate chips, gooey cookie, etc etc. You just need to try one. My husband would opt for a smoothie..the Nutty Hawaiian to be exact. That consists of some peanut butter, milk and frozen yogurt/ice cream goodness. Bottom line, the Bakery is not to be missed if you find yourself in town for lunch. From the delightful staff to the healthy ingredients used, it is sure to be a ful-filling meal. Get it?
Hale’iwa has some of the cutest boutiques on the island. Ranging from kids clothing to handmade soaps to surf apparel and everything in between. Some of my go to shops are Bubble Shack Haleiwa…I am obsessed with their loofa soaps, ahhhmazing! My favorite store that if able, I would buy them out of business is SoHa Living. It is my first place to go for a birthday gift, and they have the cutest decor, trinkets, you name it. I have adjusted much better than I thought I would with living an ocean away from Homegoods. Sigh! There are four TJ Maxx on island, but that doesn’t count. It doesn’t compare. I know, I’m proud of myself too.
For dinner options, my immediate recommendation is Banzai Sushi…they cover everything from basic to specialty rolls, amazing salads, and can we talk about their COCONUT SHRIMP. It makes you loco, some of the best I’ve ever had, truthfully. Banzai doesn’t just do food right, they go above and beyond atmosphere wise. It is an open air restaurant that has a sort of tranquil feel upon entering. My favorite part is that they give you the option of sitting at normal tables, or seiza style which is a traditional way of floor seating in Japan. SO fun, and fancy!
Don’t get me wrong, there are other great establishments in town, these are just a few of my favorites. Some other great eatery options that I have been to are Haleiwa Joe’s, The Elephant Truck, Impossibles Pizza, and Uncle Bo’s Bar & Grill.
Now we’re only a few months in, so there are many places I still have on my Must Try List…they are as follows:
- Opal Thai
- Lui Bueno’s
- Sprout Sandwich Shop
I am a foodie, and love trying new things and places. This town has a piece of my heart, and I adore showing it off to anyone that comes our way. If you find yourself on Oahu, make sure to drive up North (no brainer) and drive through Hale’iwa! I promise you’ll love it as much as I do.
Ps. I always welcome new recommendations from anyone living on island 😉