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Eat This: Hawaii {Oahu}


Hawaii has amazing food. While my brain typically goes straight to the beach or sunshine when I have Hawaii on the mind — this last trip has me missing the food. I was lucky to have a recent transplant & avid foodie as my host. While we spent most of our time on the Windward side, there were some great finds on North Shore and the Honolulu area as well.

What to Eat on Oahu – 15 Tasty Things:

1. Lilikoi everything

Liliko’i is Hawaiian for passion fruit. After a while, it starts to feel like you could find something lilikoi flavored on any menu in Hawaii.
EAT: lilikoi pancakes at Moke’s Bread & Breakfast, 27 Hoolai St, Kailua HI 96734Save to foursquare

2. Plantation iced tea

A simple mix of iced tea and pineapple juice. Super refreshing.
DRINK: order it on the flight over (if you’re on Hawaiian Airlines)

3. Hawaii food trucks

Oahu has their share of food trucks. Along with the ubiquites shrimp trucks scattered around the island, there are plenty of places to get tacos or BBQ corn.
EAT: fish tacos at Camille’s on Wheels, Uluniu St, Kailua HI 96734 and HonoluluSave to foursquare

4. Former food trucks

Ok this one isn’t really a category. Opal Thai used to be a food truck on the North Shore and has since opened a stand-alone restaurant. When the owner asks if they can order for you, you just do as they say. Fantastic.
EAT: Opal Thai, 66-460 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI 96712Save to foursquare

5. Fresh papaya

A papaya a day keeps the… rain away?
EAT: fresh papaya from anywhere you can find it

6. Malasadas

While a Portuguese-type donut, malasadas are also a popular Hawaiian treat. If you’ve been to Honolulu, you probably know about Leonard’s Bakery, but there are a few more places around the island to get your malasadas fix too.
EAT: call in an order for malasadas at Agnes Portuguese Bakeshop, 46 Ho’olai St, Kailua HI 96734Save to foursquare

7. Smoothies

While you might be dreaming about drinking an alcoholic bevvy on the beach in Hawaii, smoothies are the best post-beach fix – especially if you’re spending a lot of your day being active in the water and/or sunshine.
DRINK: Ginger Ono smoothie (or the pictured gourmet smoothie bowl) at Lanikai Juice, 600 Kailua Rd, Kailua HI 96734 or new North Shore location.Save to foursquare

8. Hawaiian Shave ice

Ordering a shave ice is pretty synonymous with a North Shore visit. While there are shave ice stands all around the island, and the ‘recipe’ looks pretty standard, I’ve been told that it can be done wrong. Word to the wise.
EAT: shave ice at Matsumoto Shave Ice, 66-087 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa HI 96712Save to foursquare

9. Plate lunch

Unless you’re a plate lunch aficionado, you’ll probably order it once, deem it ok or good, and then move on to all the other amazing meals Hawaii has to offer. However, there are some superb plate lunch-style menu items at many restaurants.
EAT: tofu plate w/Okinawa sweet potatoes & bok choy slaw and mint hibiscus lemonade Sweet Home Waimanalo, 41-1025 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo HI 96795Save to foursquare

10. farmers market

The Kailua Farmers Market happens on Thursday nights in a local parking lot. You can call it dinner and shopping, but get there early or all the tasty dinners will be sold out.
EAT: Lilikoi cheesecake OnoPops at Kailua Farmers Market, 609 Kailua Rd, Kailua HI 96734Save to foursquare

11. Japanese department store food

If you’ve traveled in Japan, you already know the beauty that is the Japanese department store. Most department stories have a floor in the basement that is all food. And it’s not your typical food court. You’ll find delis, snack stands, sit-down restaurants, markets, desserts, beer gardens — you won’t go hungry and it’s a great way to save on food. So if you find yourself near the Ala Moana Shopping Center go take a look.
EAT: Osaka-style okonomiyaki at Shirokiya Department Store, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu HI 96841Save to foursquare

12. farm stands

When you make the drive around Oahu, especially in the North Shore area, you’ll find plenty of farm stands, to get fruit, smoothies, and lots of treats.
Eat: fried banana bread with ice cream at Kahuku Farms, 56-800 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku HI 96731Save to foursquare

13. fish

You’re in Hawaii, surrounded by miles and miles of open water — it’s kind of a given that you’re going to find amazing fish and seafood here. :) Butter fish, mahi, ahi… if you like fish, you’ll be happy with the options.
Eat: Thai red curry Mahi on green papaya salad & garlic mashed potatoes at Uahi Island Grill, 131 Hekili St, Kailua HI 96734Save to foursquare

14. Coconut

If you’re lucky to have a coconut tree in your backyard, karma says you should drink and eat all the coconut you can.
DRINK: young coconut

15. Poke

Poke is a raw fish “salad”. It’s usually an ahi tuna base, marinated in soy sauce and spices, and you can also get many styles like a spicier version or with different ingredients. The key here is fresh, fresh, fresh.
EAT: fresh poke from the deli at a grocery store, served with white rice

All photos by Olivia Raymer, except papaya: janineomg, okonomiaki: hirotomo, malasads: _e.t, poke: greggman

Have you been to Hawaii? What’s your favorite Hawaiian food?

Pack light and keep things simple.


If you have travel in your blood, check out the Indie Travel Manifesto.

You can help “define” indie travel by voting statements you agree/disagree with up or down. Please sign/share if it resonates with you.

My favs:

  • See yourself in the context of a rich and complex world.
  • Define your values and explore your beliefs; craft your own meaning for life.
  • Pack light and keep things simple.
  • Seek pleasure in simple moments and details.

I’m also a little obsessed with this color palette right now. My next project will might not incorporate Tangerine Tango — (Pantone color of the year). :)

I’ve Got A Golden Ticket


Things that feel amazing: clicking the “Buy now” button on a flight. Even if you’ve had a trip partially planned already, clicking “purchase” makes it official — you’re going somewhere, it’s a done deal. At which point you can yell “I’m going to [insert destination]!!!” (Some of us don’t stop yelling this every few hours for about a week)

So four days into 2012, I clicked the fateful “buy” button on a ticket to Hawaii for March! It feels good to be crossing a travel goal off my 2012 Goals list already, and I’m excited to be making my goal of working remotely for 1-3 months actually happen. What else is on my travel list this year?

2012 Travel Goals:

  1. Work remotely (not in Portland) for 1-3 months
  2. Sublet/Airbnb my condo for 1-2 months (see above goal)
  3. Try kiteboarding in Hawaii
  4. Apply to at least one new credit card for airline miles
  5. Travel to South America (Chile please!) or Portugal for 2+ weeks
  6. Visit a new island in the Caribbean
  7. Try couchsurfing
  8. Visit NYC, San Francisco, Boston or Savannah (essentially: another US city that I haven’t been to)
  9. Be a traveler at home: attend 12 new Portland things
  10. Go on a quarterly getaway trip with boyfriend (overnight or weekend trip in Oregon/Northwest etc)
  11. Take a “spontaneous” same-day trip (using HotelTonight etc)
  12. Take a digital sabbatical (no social media/email) while on a trip

What’s on your 2012 travel list?
Next up on my list, I need to sublet my condo in Portland for the month. So if you know of anyone who wants to see what it’s like to be a Portlander for a month (albeit not our best month weather-wise, but I still love my city!) in a cute little condo overlooking the river and on the Streetcar line, send them my way please!

Meanwhile, I’ll be hiking the Stairway to Heaven on Oahu. :)

2012? Chile!


Prompt #30: Where are you going in 2012? Why is that place great for indie travelers?

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” –Saint Augustine

I’ve become a little obsessed with Torres del Paine national park in Chile the last few years. It’s breathtakingly beautiful like New Zealand and I have yet to visit the South American continent, so South America is on my target list for the coming year.

2012: Chile & Torres del Paine National Park

Where are you going?

Today is the final day of the 30 Days of Indie Travel project. I had so much fun keeping up with the project (yes! I blogged every day in November!) and reading other bloggers awesome stories and experiences. Until next time…

Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing


Prompt #29: What does travel mean to you in one word?

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” –Helen Keller

adventure, freedom, learning, curiosity, fun, change, experience, happiness…

Adventure. The one word that best wraps up everything I love about travel is probably adventure… When you’re traveling everything is new… it’s an adventure. You have no idea what you might experience or discover in the next week, day, minute… it’s an adventure. Things are different and a change from regular routine… it’s an adventure. You have the freedom to do and be whatever you want… it’s an adventure. You learn new things rapidly and see that there are many different ways to do things and they’re not better/worse just different [squat toilets come to mind]… it’s an adventure. When you’re traveling you’re living in the moment, you feel super alive… it’s an adventure.

Life in general is an adventure.

What does travel mean to you?

Photo: super cute poster print by happydeliveries on Etsy.
Join the 30 Days of Indie Travel project and share your story.

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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