The North Shore of Oahu is famous for its beautiful beaches and epic waves. Start the day off right with a yummy breakfast and give yourself fuel for your snorkel or surf session. Here are our favorite spots on the North Shore to start your day.
But wait, there’s more. We’re here to help demystify some of the unusual words you might see on menus like furikake, laulau and lilikoi — and explain which meat is being served and why. And possibly most importantly of all, provide the fun facts on the origins of local dishes.
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Coffee Gallery, located in the North Shore Marketplace, is committed to the craft of gourmet coffee roasting, these guys know how to brew a good cup of joe to get energized for a day in the sun. Start your morning off with one of their espresso drinks and add in a pastry, breakfast sandwich, or acai bowl with their housemade granola for the ultimate breakfast. Open 6:30am to 6pm daily.
Farm to Barn
As you drive into Haleiwa Town, you can’t miss this cute little red building in a farm field with picnic tables out front. Brunch is the name of the game here, and the menu includes keiki dishes, cold pressed juices, bagel sandwiches, smoothie bowls and vegan options. If you want to sit in the great outdoors and enjoy some breakfast or lunch bites with your loved ones, this barn has got you covered. Family-size trays are available for pre-order. Farm to Barn is open daily from 9am to 3pm.
This is the best little grass shack in Hawaiʻi — one that churns out creamy smoothies and abundant açai, granola or chia bowls all day. For a tropical twist, add poi (cooked and pounded taro) or papaya to your smoothie or bowl; botanical supplements include collagen peptides, matcha powder, spirulina and many more. Both coffee and tea are cold-brewed and locally grown too. Haleiwa Bowls is open daily 7:30am to 6pm. haleiwabowls.com
This classic greasy spoon had a cameo in 50 First Dates, the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore rom-com, but it’s a star among budget breakfast joints on the island, with big portions and low prices. Load up on loco moco with thick beef patties, buttermilk pancakes or Hawaiian-style French toast. Hukilau Cafe is open Tuesday 10am to 2pm and for dinner from 4pm to 9pm. Wednesday 6:30am to 8pm, Thursday and Friday for breakfast and lunch from 6:30am to 2pm and for dinner 5pm to 9pm. Saturday for breakfast from 7am to 11:30am and for dinner from 5pm to 9pm. Bring cash.
Island Vintage Coffee
Across from the landmark Matsumoto’s Shave Ice, the North Shore outpost of Island Vintage Coffee makes excellent Kona coffee drinks and bountiful açai bowls, laden with island goodies such as papaya, liliko‘i (passionfruit), banana, honey and haupia (a coconut pudding). For a purple pop to your morning meal, try the taro bagel. There are a few tables, but plan to take your breakfast to one of the nearby beach parks. Other locations in Waikiki and Kapolei. Open daily from 6am to 6pm daily.
You might call them breakfast burritos; here they’re called bombers, and these egg-and-potato torpedos in a flour-wrapped tortilla really are the bomb. Order one with savory slow-roasted kalua pork or Portuguese sausage to fuel a day on the waves; for something lighter, go for the Sprout—an “everything” bagel with avocado, cream cheese, clover sprouts, tomato and cucumber. Kono’s Breakfast is served 7am to 2:30pm daily. Note: There are also locations in Waikiki (Kapahulu Avenue) and Kailua Town (Merchant’s Row).
Raised by the Waves
Raised by the Waves is a plant-based, vegan-friendly, eco cafe is a favorite of north shore locals. Raised by the Waves has an extensive menu with veggie-friendly smoothies, bowls, sandwiches, and more all made from local or organic ingredients. Try their Spicy Vegan Poke bowl or for some sweet plant-based treats try the hapa milkshake or holoholo sundae. This is not a fast food joint, so sit back and relax in the sun or take a walk around the Sugarmill as you wait. Open Tuesday through Sunday 7:30am to 5pm.
The Country Eatery and Juicery
Located at the Kahuku Sugar Mill, Country Eatery and Juicery serves up a variety of organic juices, smoothies, wraps, salads, and breakfast sandwiches. A must-have is The Ultimate Veggie Burrito stuffed with peppers, roasted sweet potato, spinach, black beans, and other veggie delights. Open Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm and Saturday 7:30am to 1pm.
Famous for their pies and plate lunches. Located near some of the most famous surf breaks on the North Shore, Ted’s is a great place to grab some local style plate lunch if you’re in the mood for some hearty breakfast. Of course, pie for breakfast is always an option! Open daily from 8:30am to 6:30pm.
Wicked HI Cafe
These slushies are delicious, local honey is drizzled on top of your choice flavors which are fresh, tropical and just the thing to quench your thirst. Sourdough is the way to go, these guys have mastered it; they’ve got it going on. The pizza service starts at 11am but if you need breakfast, they’ve got you covered. The Brioche Waffles are da bomb. The breakfast bagel sandwich hits the spot, but if you’re in the mood for something lighter the caprese salad is it, you can always order a side sourdough pita and stuff it. Wicked HI is open Wednesday through Monday 9am to 6pm. Closed on Tuesday.