66-082 Kamehameha Hwy, Hale'iwa
For a healthier option than Matsumoto, head across the street to the tiny little grass shack Hale’iwa Bowls. The North shore is home to a lot of farmers, and the locals who run the stand source their apple bananas and other fruits and vegetables locally. Big bonus: They also serve kombucha on tap.
Kailua Farmer’s Market
108 Hekili St., Kailua
The sheer variety of tropical fruits and vegetables grown in Hawaii makes their farmers markets incredibly special. The Kailua Farmer’s market is always filled with locals buying their produce for the week, picking through mangoes, kiwis, and several varieties of banana (we’ve heard that the apple bananas and ice cream bananas are particularly great). Make sure to stop by the Nalo Farms table to pick up some “Nalo greens,” a mix of salad and microgreens that are famous in the area—then look out for them as menu items in Honolulu.
66-250 Kamehameha Hwy, Hale'iwa
Surfing burns an awful lot of energy, so it’s not surprising that the North Shore is equipped with a few hearty breakfast spots. After a long morning in the ocean, locals go to Kono’s for breakfast burritos, pulled pork, and seriously good milkshakes. Not surprisingly, the pulled pork breakfast burrito, which combines all of their best dishes, is the must-order menu item (though brave souls should also try their Spam breakfast burrito—it's the equivalent of trying Vegemite in Australia).
933 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu
Hawaii native Leonard Rego is the son of Portuguese immigrants that first came to Oahu to work in the sugar cane fields. His namesake bakery is famous for malasadas, a Portuguese donut that’s a bit like a sugar donut without the hole. Look out for their food truck, which travels around the city.
1039 Kekaulike St., Honolulu
Chinatown’s Kekaulike market can be a bit grimy, but don’t let that deter you from seeking out Maguro Brothers, a sparkling clean stall in the back row that serves some of the city’s freshest fish. Brothers Junichiro and Ryojiro Tsuchiya were fishmongers in Japan, and here on Oahu, they’re at the market every morning picking out the best catches. Their stall serves poké, sashimi, and surprisingly great ramen, plus lots of fresh fish for home-cooked dishes. The must-orders are the spicy ahi tuna bowl and the maguro donburi, auction fish laid over nori, ginger, and rice.
Matsumoto Shave Ice
66-111 Kamehameha Hwy, Hale'iwa
Matsumoto is a North Shore staple. They’ve been in business for going on 70 years now, and the place is still family-run, still making their home-made flavoring syrup. The kids won’t forgive you if you skip it.
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