At a glance, the North Shore of Oahu emerges as a wonderfully green and verdant paradise if accessed by car from urban Honolulu, located roughly an hour’s drive south. It’s an incredible place to visit or live and also decidedly stunning in the visual sense. The beaches are beautiful and the somewhat difficult hiking trails found in the area are explored almost exclusively by intrepid, adventurous souls. This demographic seems to share something in common with those that go surfing during the largest of winter swells, often days in which high surf advisories have been placed into effect.
Little girl swimming on a body board at Waianae Coast in Oahu, Hawaii
When it comes to weekends and holidays, the North Shore does see an uptick in visitor traffic, and it is the harborside town of Haleiwa that attracts most of this crowd. Here you’ll find locally-owned boutiques and galleries that spotlight the work of artists from the surrounding region. Haleiwa, home to many restaurants, is also an ideal place to find a locally-prepared meal that you could easily bring to the beach.
A cluster of surf breaks, including some that are unrivaled even on a global scale, concentrate along one particular stretch of North Shore coastline. From the town of Haleiwa heading northeast to Sunset Beach lies a geographical hotspot, at least in terms of high-caliber surf spots, that is enthusiastically referred to by surfers as the Seven Mile Miracle. When the surf is up, which happens frequently during the winter months, the ocean here will be off-limits to all but the most experienced waveriders.
However, the summer months present a much more welcoming scene at some of the more popular beaches found along this stretch of coast. During this time, prominently from June through August, the surf enters a period of relative hibernation and optimal swimming conditions tend to prevail at places like Ehukai Beach Park and Waimea Bay. Summer is the perfect season for just about anyone to enjoy the inviting and calm waters that can be found along the North Shore, lunch included.
Below is a short list of the best places in and around Haleiwa for lunch grinds (“food” in Hawaiian slang) that you can bring to a beach along the famous Seven Mile Miracle.
66-250 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa
Kono’s can be found in the North Shore Marketplace upon entering old town Haleiwa from the direction of Honolulu. The place is known for its slow-roasted kalua pork sandwiches and breakfast bombers (aka burritos), so vegetarians be forewarned. Their sandwiches all come with a side of Maui Onion potato chips, so you’ll certainly be a happy camper once down at the beach.
Storto’s Deli and Sandwich Shoppe
66-215 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa
Do size up your appetite if you plan on tackling a whole sandwich from Storto’s. The sub-style sandwiches found here, each named after the likes of a North Shore surf spot, are large and piled high with toppings. Make sure to fix up the sandwich of your choosing with the papaya seed dressing for a unique and local taste.
66-200 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa
Found across the street from Storto’s, and tucked away inside a parking lot, you’ll find Waialua Bakery. The place serves up a number of vegetarian sandwiches and salads that use locally-sourced ingredients whenever available or in season. Waialua Bakery also features an assortment of bakery treats and tropical smoothies.
Pupukea Food Trucks
59-680 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa
There’s a considerable range of food offerings here that may make for a tough lunchtime decision. Fish tacos, sandwiches, and even plates of garlic shrimp can be found at the outdoor eatery across the road from Shark’s Cove. Despite the menacing name, the tidepools at Shark’s Cove are sought-after for snorkeling and even safe for children when the surf is calm during the summer.
59-024 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa
Ted’s is well known throughout Oahu for its flavorful pies (the chocolate haupia cream is a popular one), but the North Shore bakery and grill also features a menu of made-to-order lunch options. The plate lunch offerings include generous portions of local favorites such as chicken katsu and teriyaki beef. Ted’s is conveniently located right down the road from Sunset Beach.
With all of the good food and great beaches, the North Shore is a popular place for summer visitors, and it’s also where our most recent Oahu office location opened in 2017, near Haleiwa. If you are interested in Oahu real estate opportunities, or would like to know more about the North Shore lifestyle, please contact us. We’re happy to help.