Macky's Sweet Shrimp Truck: Shrimp Truck Experience
The shrimp trucks on Oahu's North Shore are legendary and should be on the list of food experiences for anyone visiting Oahu. I checked out local tourist information in choosing Macky's as one of the trucks we wanted to eat at. I had spent the day in Laie and took the bus to Haleiwa to the last stop on Weed Circle, which is a roundabout right beside where Macky's Sweet Shrimp truck is located. My husband came up to join me from nearby Schofield Barracks where he was working on temporary duty assignment.
Macky's has a covered eating area with picnic tables. We enjoyed watching the ever present island chickens seeking tidbits under the tables.
Their menu is larger and more varied than the menu at Giovanni's shrimp truck (which only has three options) and includes:
Butter Garlic Shrimp
Lemon Pepper Shrimp
Spicy Hot Shrimp
All orders come with fresh green salad and two scoops of rice. Everything is freshly prepared and there is usually a little wait after ordering while they prepare your meal.
There is a sink available for hand washing, which you want after peeling your shrimp. My husband used the porta johns nearby and I will just say you would probably prefer not to do that.
Favorite Dish: We both had the garlic shrimp and got a big pile of shrimp marinated in garlic and olive oil before being cooked. These shrimp are farmed on the north shore and are fresh, big and flavorful. The shrimp was accompanied by salad with dressing and two scoops of rice. The garlic shrimp has some of the garlic and oil spooned over the rice which makes it really flavorful and yummy.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
Zippy's: Best Local, Ethnic & American Fast Food
Zippy's is a franchise with a very extensive menu of delicious foods of many ethnic origins plus regular American fast food and all the local favorites. We actually chose Zippy's for our Christmas day mid-day brunch. The closest one to where we were staying also housed a Napoleon's Bakery, which locals assured us was the best of the many island bakeries. So we could get a meal and a wonderful pastry or slice of cake for dessert.
We liked being able to go in and get familiar favorites like burgers, fried chicken, or spaghetti, or to sample local fare that was new to us. On Christmas day we wanted to try Loco Moco, and knew we would find it there. We chose the mini pack and were satisfied for hours with brown rice topped with a hamburger patty, and beef gravy with a fried egg on top of it all, also with a scoop of Hawaiian style macaroni salad on one side. The full size has double everything. I can't even imagine eating that in one sitting...
The very large menu can be a little intimidating to take in, so I would recommend checking their menu out online before going so you have a better idea what you will want. There is always a line, this is a local favorite place to eat, so that is another idea, just peek in and peruse the menu while someone holds your place in line. They also have a rotating menu of specialty dishes so that is worth checking out online too before you go.
Favorite Dish: We loved the Loco Moco. I have been hungry for more ever since. I also tried Spam Musubi for the first time at Zippy's. That is a block of sticky rice under a slice of fried spam (locals are really big on spam) and wrapped in a strip of nori seaweed. It is basically supposed to be a snack, but I saved it for lunch and ate it with some fresh pineapple, and it was delicious and filling.
All the things we ate from the bakery were scrumptious, but my favorite was a flaky pastry with a chocolate center.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
L & L Hawaiian Barbeque: Fast Food-Local Dishes-Budget Prices
Our first encounter with L & L Hawaiian Barbeque was a quick dinner stop while stocking up at Walmart for our hotel room kitchenette. My husband's reaction to the menu in the familiar Walmart setting was, 'Honey, we're not in Kansas anymore!' That night we wanted to eat light and chose the Saimin noodles, mine with grilled Katsu chicken and his with the even more locally flavored addition of Spam. He doesn't like Spam and somehow missed that this was part of the dish billed as the 'Regular Saimin' Surprisingly, he really liked it and finished up with pleasure. My Katsu chicken was wonderful and filling without being heavy.
Our second L & L lunch stop was in Laie on the north shore in a little strip mall shopping center with a plan for shave ice and ice cream afterwards at the nearby Angels Ice Cream shop, which is a favorite stop for the Obamas. (Michelle and the girls had been there just a few days before our visit.)
My husband had and enjoyed the Hawaiian barbeque beef plate lunch and I had a Kalua Pork sandwich with fries. I enjoyed both sandwich and fries except for the cilantro on the sandwich.
I was elated just now as I researched the website for this entry to find out there are several locations for the L & L in reasonable driving distance to our home here on the Puget Sound in Washington state! It's so nice to know we have a local place to go to enjoy Hawaiian cuisine here at home.
Favorite Dish: We really liked the Saimin noodles with any added meats. They are filling and flavorful with several good choices of meats for variety. I'd also like to try their Musubi. They make this with several meats. It is basically really big sushi with cooked meats, served warm. For example, a fried slice of spam on top of a generous brick of sticky rice wrapped in a strip of nori seaweed. Plate lunches are the ubiquitous local choice in Hawaiian local restaurants and L & L has a nice selection of those too. A plate lunch is rice, meat and macaroni salad.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
The Cheesecake Factory: Everybody's Favorite
It pays to plan an early dinner if you want to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. We arrived at 4:30, and there were folks waiting, but they must have been larger parties because we were seated within 5 minutes. However, the line was out the door soon after we were seated and stayed that way.
Service was good and the wait for food was average for how crowded they were and the type of restaurant this is. We had a gift card for $50 and we spent a little over $60 not counting the tip and not drinking anything but one soda.
My husband had a surf and turf type meal with shrimp and steak with seasoned mashed potatoes. He said the flavors were excellent, but we both felt the quantity of steak for the price was pretty scanty. I had a BLT with shrimp that was Amazing! It was a double decker on grilled bread. The tomato slices were thick, the bacon crisp, thick and full of flavor, and the shrimp were the huge local farmed shrimp. All this was held together with layers of finely shredded lettuce and ample slathering's of herbed mayo. I was glad I had only a small salad to accompany the sandwich so I had some room left for cheesecake.
We both loved the cheesecake, raspberry for my husband, and the Godiva chocolate for me. The layers of flourless chocolate cake, Godiva chocolate bits, chocolate mousse, and chocolate cheesecake needed the foil of the added mound of whipped cream to moderate the chocolate rush a little. It was in the league of the best desserts I've ever eaten. In future I would have either the sandwich or the cheesecake though. It was more than my tummy wanted at one time. (Or take most of the cheesecake home for laters...
The crowds added a high level of noise to the ambience of the lovely décor, especially that inevitable loud woman with the annoying voice and laugh that seems to be a part of every group of women friends dining together. Her brief trip to the ladies was welcome but too brief.
The dim lighting kept me from taking the usual food photo, but I will add one from their menu for the Raspberry truffle cheesecake.
After eating we walked just a bit down the block and cut through to the beach on the narrow alley where all the surfboards are lined up in rented storage. It was almost sunset, so we sat and enjoyed the sunset while we digested our yummy meal. It was the perfect finish to the day for us.
Favorite Dish: Can't pick between the Shrimp BLT and the Godiva Cheesecake. They were both Outstanding and hanging around in the back of my mind asking to be eaten again sometime..Thank goodness they have a Cheesecake Factory in our neck of the woods too.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
Cheeseburger in Paradise: Burgers With a Beach View
Cheeseburger in Paradise caters to the tourist crowd in Waikiki right on Kalakaua Avenue, the main beach drag in Waikiki. Located on a corner a block from McDonald's, the roofline harks back to the 60s. It is somewhat open air, with the walls open to the balmy outdoors. It has a sports type bar at the back with multiple big screens. The Billabong Masters surfing competition was one of the events showing on several screens when I was there.
The menu is targeted to the American tourist and less to authentic local food, with a nod to Hawaiian foods such as a fresh pineapple garnish and the Kalua Pork sandwich, which was my choice that day. Prices are on the higher end for Hamburgers, but the burgers are ample, nicely prepared and well presented. My Kalua pork sandwich was really, really good. The onion rings, which were described in the menu as being something unique in the world of onion rings were no different than others I have had, but were very good just the same. I saw most diners snap a photo of their food when it came, and I didn't resist that urge either.
I especially enjoyed gazing at the view of the beach and the passing crowds while I ate. This is a great stop if you want to immerse yourself in the touristy ambiance of Waikiki beach and enjoy a big yummy burger.
Favorite Dish: I had the Kalua Pork sandwich and would definitely chose it again, in fact I'm not sure I would ever get past it to try a burger. The meat was tender and flavorful and the sauce, slaw and bun enhanced the flavor of the meat perfectly. The onion rings were cooked just right but were nothing special or different than others I have eaten elsewhere.Related to:
- Family Travel
Haagen Dazs: Ice Cream Treats
Sometimes you just want a nice ice cream treat when on vacation.... During our last trip to Hawaii my wife and I were in the mood for ice cream and we satisfied this craving at Haagen Dazs. Everyone knows Haagen Dazs as it is a huge chain globally. They serve a variety of ice cream flavors, sorbets and yogurts as well as specialty coffees and shakes.
My wife wanted a chocolate waffle cone and I tried their cookies and cream milkshake. Prices are typical of the brand and the total was almost $15 for our items. Despite the gray appearance of my shake it was very delicious; I'd definitely get it again. My wife loved her chocolate cone but couldn't finish it all.
This is always a good place for an ice cream lover; whether you are young or old.
Keoni: Best Cheap Breakfast
This is a Thai/American restuarant with fantastic breakfasts but also serve lunch and dinner. I've been coming here since my first visit to Oahu and enjoy their large, tasty breakfast that don't break the bank. This is a popular place and often very crowded but I have never waited more than ten minutes for a table.
My most recent meal here was in January 2014 with my wife and our friends Bob & Barbara. We met here for breakfast before heading out for the day. As always the food was very good and a decent price.
Favorite Dish: I really recommend the breakfasts here. They are open all day and have Thai and American food for lunch and dinner but I have only been for breakfasts so far.
Lui Bueno: Best Margarita on Oahu
Mexican food in Hawaii? Not quite the first thing you think of when traveling to Oahu. We had lots of Hawaiian food and drinks while we were in Oahu. While driving on the north side of Oahu we found a Mexican restaurant that caught our attention. After many Mai Tai's it was time for something different. So Mexican sounded like a good alternative. We went to Luibueno's in Haleiwa. We were on our way to Waikiki after spending the afternoon in Waimea. I had a huge burrito that was very good. But the best part was the margarita. It honestly was one of the best margarita's I have had in quite a while. Mark and I each had a margarita. They were huge. Luckily I wasn't driving on this day so I could have a second one. But honestly you only need one!
Round Table Pizza: Good Pizza
Round Table Pizza is a chain place (didn't know it until after we ate here) with several locations in the Honolulu area. My wife and I first came here after a long day at the beach and were just looking for a quick easy bite to eat close to our hotel. The restaurant was down the block from the Hyatt; right next to Keoni's(awesome breakfast spot).
The menu posted on the street looked good so we decided to go inside. It is a nice sized restaurant with a large dining room with tables as well as bar seating. The place was really hopping and we managed to snag a nice table by the window. The menu has a large selection of pizza, appetizers, sandwiches and salads. If you prefer; you can create your own pizza by selection choice of crust, sauces, cheeses and a large variety of toppings.
A specific specialty pizza caught my eye; the Thai Chicken Pizza. I ordered this in a personal size with a pepsi. My wife chose a traditional cheese personal pizza with a pepsi. As we waited for our pizza we were able to people watch out of their large open windows and take in a football game on one of the many TV's throughout the place.
Our pizzas arrived about ten minutes after ordering and were bubbling hot. We had to wait a few seconds before digging into our pizza to allow it to cool sufficiently. From the first bite; I loved my pizza. The flavors were amazing and the pizza crust was so thin and crispy. My wife loved her pizza and said for a non-New York pizza it was very good.
We left here happy and satisfied with our meal. We enjoyed it so much we came back later in the week for their lunch specials with our friends Bob & Barbara.
Margaritaville: Volcano Nachos
Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville is located in the Holiday Inn. As you ascend the escalator the bar is located to the left in the Surf Museum and the Restaurant is to the right. The bar is a nice size with plenty of seats. The bar is decorated with surf memorabilia such as old surfboards and pictures of "Duke".
The bar was pretty crowded when we arrived;so we chose to be seated in the dining area. My wife was not feeling an alcoholic drink so she went for the unsweetened iced tea while I had a Margarita (or two). We were hungry for lunch but really couldn't decide on an entree so we chose to share an order of their Volcano Nachos; a favorite appetizer of ours. It is a huge portion and can usually feed 4-6 people but there is only one size available so we had no choice.
The volcano nachos arrived in a massive heap of tortilla chips, cheese, beef, beans, salsa, guacamole and sour cream with jalapenos on top. Despite our hunger; the plate barely looked touched when our waitress came over to see if we needed anything. I did though take them to go back to the hotel fridge in case I wanted some a bit later.
Food and service is good here; typical of all the Margaritaville restaurants we have visited. I will always come back whether it's just for drinks or for a bite to eat.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
MAC 24/7: Good Breakfast
My wife and I wanted to find an early morning breakfast spot before we headed out for our Pearl Harbour tour. I googled and found Mac 24/7 located at the Hilton Hotel. The place was a short 5 minute walk from the Hyatt.
The restaurant is located on the lobby level of the hotel on the other side of reception. The hostess sat us at a nice booth and handed us some menus. This place looks like a small diner in appearance with booths lining one wall and a large counter with seating on the other. Surprisingly at 5am there were other people here enjoying some breakfast as well.
The menu had the usual breakfast offerings: eggs, breads, cereals, fruit, yogurt, french toast, pancakes, waffles and breakfast meats. We both chose to have bagels; I had cream cheese while my wife opted for butter. As for drinks; I ordered a Root Beer while my wife surprised me an ordered a Vanilla Shake.
The food came out rather quickly and we dug in. The bagels were quite good for non-New York bagels. I enjoyed my Root Beer and stole several sips of Liz's milkshake which was excellent in my opinion.
I'm glad we found a 24 hour option in Waikiki as one never knows if jet lag and time change might make you wake up at 3am looking for food.
Regency Club Lounge: A Nice Hyatt Diamond Perk
One of the perks I love about being Diamond Status with Hyatt is the Club Access. The Hyatt Regency in Waikiki's Club is on level three of the hotel and is a nice sized club. The club consists of a nice indoor space with tables, and couches. There is a terrace as well with tables, couches and a fire pit with a great view of Waikiki Beach below.
The club provides a nice breakfast in the morning as well as snack and drinks throughout the day and evening. This was a nice place to enjoy a good breakfast, pick up a snack or just relax with a drink. They have a large selection of self serve beverages such a sjuices, coffee drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. We enjoyed the juice machine in particular and loved making our own POG juice to enjo.
My wife and I found the service here to be excellent as was the food and drinks. I look forward to my next visit at this Hyatt.
Laniâkea Café: Excellent Pineapple Fried Rice
My wife and I had a long day of touring Pearl Harbour, the Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum and were in need of something to eat. Fortunately for us the Laniâkea Café was located in the Pacific Aviation Museum right at the end of our tour.
The cafe was a nice size with plenty of tables. The cafe is cafeteria style where you place your order at the register, pay for your order and are handed a number to place at your table of choice. Your food is brought to you when ready.
The menu had a large variety of food; hot dogs, chicken, hamburgers and some local specialties. My wife wasn't super hungry so she ordered a small order of french fries. I on the other hand wanted something more substantial and went with the tasty sounding Pineapple Fried Rice.
I have to say this cafe impressed me. My pineapple fried rice was made fresh to order and incredibly delicious...it was one of the best meals I had on this trip.
Favorite Dish: The Pineapple Fried Rice.
Leonard's Bakery: Malassada Maddness
Leonard's Bakery is an institution in the area and known for their delicious Malassada. A Malassada is a Portuguese donut; basically fried dough without the hole. They come in different varieties such as sugar, cinnamon sugar and with fillings such as custard and jelly. They have flavors of the Month posted inside on the menu board. Yes, the bakery has traditional donuts, pies, cakes and cookies but we were here for the Malassadas.
I first heard of the Malassada from one of my wife's friends who was born and raised on Oahu. Funny how I had been here before and never heard of them... The bakery was a short walk from the hotel and we knew we were in the right spot when we saw the line...Whoa....this place is popular.
We decided to try a few different kinds: cream, cinnamon sugar, and jelly. Delicious doesn't begin to describe them...they are sort of a cross between a coffee roll and a zepole. I have to say I liked the cinnamon sugar the best. The fillings seemed to detract from the tastiness of the dough. We liked them so much we had to grab a box of them for the plane ride home. This place is a must if you are in the area...it's so worth it!!!
We recently returned in 2014 and enjoyed some of our favorite flavors; cinnamon sugar and cream filled. We arrived nice and early right after opening; so no long lines. I love how they are always so warm and absolutely delicious. They are a tasty treat and I always look forward to eating some more.
Duke's: Always Good Pizza & Drinks
Duke's is a popular bar/restaurant in Waikiki located in the Outrigger Hotel (downstairs from the Hula Grill). This place is massive with a large bar area; the Barefoot bar that has a large self seating table area as well as two wooden bars. The dining area is on the other side for "sit down" meals but you can still order foot from the bar.
We spent quite a lot of time at this place during our January 2014 trip. Previous trips to this place was just too crowded to find a seat so we gave up trying. We were here four times; 3 for the bar and once to eat. The bar menu has all sorts of drink offerings, wine, beer, mixed drinks and Tropical Specialties such as Mai Tais and Lava Flows. They also have a food menu with burgers, calamari, pizza and the usual bar food.
Twice we sat at the bar enjoying talking to patrons while enjoying some tasty drinks; Mai Tais and Lava Flows. Our third time we scored a nice seat overlooking the beach which was very nice while enjoying our drinks with our friends Bob and Barbara who flew in from Maui to see us.
I like this place when it is not madhouse packed and you can actually find a seat. Service here is very good and they make incredible drinks but definitely not cheap in price. I like that their Mai Tais are served in Glass Tiki Heads like they are at the Hula Grill upstairs. My wife loves the Lava Flows here and they have recently changed their formula so it tastes even better than before. The food we can't speak a lot about as we only have had their pizza but that was quite good.
I really love the location here and the view of Waikiki beach. Being in this hub of activity makes for some excellent people watching and the opportunity to meet all sorts of people. We met many people when sitting at the bar including a family from Queensland who were shocked we knew their town and had friends that lived there...it is a small world. It's a fun casual vibe here so it is definitely a great place to hand back with a drink. I will definitely return here on our next visit to Waikiki; which is already booked.
Favorite Dish: They make a great Mai Tai and Lava Flow here. We have only enjoyed their pizza but it is a nice size for sharing and very filling.
We stayed at this hotel with a 3 month old in December of 2011. We were the last one to check in...more
2417 Prince Edward Street, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, United States
Good for: Business
1277 Mokulua Drive, Kailua, Hawaii, United States
Good for: Families
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