I spent 5 days in Oahu (4 full days, 2 half days which were my travel days). I feel like I visited A LOT of spots and hit many delicious foods spots. Here’s what I did!
There are 5 sections in Oahu: South Shore, North Shore, Winward Coast (East Side), Central Oahu and Leeward Coast.
My hotel was the Sheraton in Waikiki. It’s a beachfront hotel and is walkable to so many spots so it was convenient! We rented a Jeep so we were able to drive towards the East Side + North Shore on separate days! I definitely recommend to rent a car if you plan to explore around the island. It takes time to drive around!
South Shore: Waikiki Area (where we stayed!)
- Island Vintage Coffee – AMAZING taro bagels with ube cream cheese. I loved it as a small breakfast before our hikes. I also got a hojicha latte with oat milk (got this both visits). This spot has a HUGE menu and worth the visit. You’d definitely find something you like here!
- Kona Coffee Purveyors – this is a spot you NEED to visit. We stopped by this coffee shop twice. Their black sesame Kouign Amann and croissants are insane. I’m not even kidding! The pastries here are a must try. It’s walkable if you’re staying in the Waikiki area. Their lines are very long on the weekends so I recommend to go early in the morning when they open or not during peak hours! Anyways, it’s worth the wait 🙂
- Island Vintage Shaved Ice – heavenly lilikoi, tropical island and green island! Such a great way to end a dinner or night here in Waikiki!
- Sunrise Shack – I stopped by Sunrise Shack twice on my trip! Once in North Shore and once in Waikiki! I got the blue spirulina bowl here which was my dinner LOL It was AMAZING. I can’t wait to get back and get more one day. It’s in a hotel!
- Leonard’s Bakery – If there is one dessert/bakery I recommend you to stop by, this is it. The malasadas here are SO good fresh! I loved the plain, chocolate, guava and coconut. They also have rotating seasonal flavors so be on the lookout for that!
- Maguro’s Bros Poke – This was our first meal here upon arrival! It was THE BEST sashimi I had on the island. The poke was good, but not life-changing. Try the sashimi for sure here!! This was our first and last dinner.
- Ginza Bairin Tonkatsu and Yoshoku Bistro – This spot required a reservation! I booked it 2 weeks in advance. They don’t take walk-ins! They have AMAZING Kurobata Pork Tonkatsu which is life-changing. It melts in your mouth, is so juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside!!
- Musubi Cafe Iyasume – This is a great grab and go snack before hikes or at night after dinner! I love their classic spam musubi but also the avocado + egg combo.
- Liliha Bakery – They’re known for all their pastries but I only tried their ube mochi donut since I was way too full from dinner. The ube donut wasn’t just dipped in a ube glaze, but the dough was ube flavored! The insides NEED the flavor too to be considered good to me! Great texture and not too sweet 🙂
Marugame Udon Waikiki – Thought I’d recommend this spot in Waikiki since it’s SUCH a popular spot. I’ve been to the one in LA so I skipped out in Hawaii! There is ALWAYS a line to get in. People line up before it opens so they can eat there! That’s commitment and that’s when you know it’s good. They have handmade udon, savory bowls, tempura and more!
- Ala Moana Mall (shopping) – Came here for shopping on a day it was forecasted to rain/thunderstorm but turns out… the weather was great! Haha, it was still nice to stop by! There’s so many stores here include Aritzia, Madewell, Aesop, Apple, Lululemon, Aerie and even luxury brands like Cartier, Chanel and Gucci.
- Greetings, Aloha From Waikiki Wall – This wall mural is at Honolulu Coffee Company on Kalakaua Ave, across the street from the Hawaii Convention Center.
Address: 1800 Kalakaua Avenue · Honolulu, HI 96815
- Diamond Head (hiking): About a 1.6 mile roundtrip hike! It was a heavy trafficked hike but SO beautiful at the top. It’s worth it! There’s stairs involved and takes about 2 hours to complete.
Places to try next time: Brew and Foam, Yogurstory, Morning Glass and Coffee, Tonkatsu Tamafuji, Piggy Smalls, Uncle Clay’s Pure Aloha Shaved Ice, Nandings Bakery, Tantalus Lookout (for sunset)
- The Sunrise Shack – This was the first store I visited! I got the Matcha bowl here which wasn’t my favorite so I got the blue spirulina the second time. I love the portions of acai, granola, fruit and toppings. It all worked so well together! I loved this North Shore location because of the shack!
- Lanikai Pillbox – Kaiwa Ridge Trail – I could just sit at the top here and look out for hours. This was a more strenous hike. I’d say it’s a moderate level hike. It’s steep so going down will require you to squat a bit. There’s loose gravel and some more slippery parts of the trail but the views will make it worthwhile! It’s one of the more popular hikes here on the island!
- Lanakai Beach – This is where we stopped by after our hike! We got to cool down after a sweaty hike and enjoyed the warm beach waters! It’s one of my favorite beaches here so I recommend to stop by for a visit if you’re in North Shore!
- Haleiwa Town (shopping, lil’ cute town) – After the beach, we visited this cute town which has lots of random food stands and a mini shopping center with a parking lot! They have a Patagonia which sells “Pataloha” shirts which is super cute! A great place to find little souvenirs too 🙂
We also stopped by a beach on the drive back to Waikiki and caught the sunset!
Places to visit next time: Matsumoto Shaved ice, Books N Kimo, The Shack in Kailua, Kongs (pulled pork sandwiches), kaawa beach, sunset beach
Winward Coast: East side
- Sunset Walls – This is THE most beautiful spot to watch a sunset! I can’t get over it. It’s not a hike, but just a short walk to get to this spot. We came here out last two nights. The last night… i actually ended up slipping and hitting my head on the rocks 🙁 I got a mild concussion but thankfully it wasn’t worse! Overall, this is an amazing spot to watch the sunset. Just be careful since the rocks can be slippery at the bottom!
Places to visit next time: Waimanola Beach
That’s all I have to share of my recommendations in Oahu. I left some spots I didn’t really like out of this blog. Hope you enjoyed and it helps if you are planning to visit soon!
The list will be growing since I’ll be going back August 2022 🙂 WOOO.
If you have more recommendations, let me know!