Shift Local Travel Edition: Oahu

Marc and I went back to Hawaii (for the second time this year) to celebrate a few things.  As we mentioned a couple of posts ago, one reason was to attend a wedding of one of my best friends from law school.   Another reason was to celebrate passing the California Bar exam and also my 29th birthday.  There’s definitely lots of reasons to be happy!



The last time we tried to do a Shift Local – Travel Edition post, I ended up just writing 1 review.  I think law school took over my life and time just passed by and it felt too late to keep working on that one.  So this time, I tried to take notes when we were in Oahu.

The first stop we made before going to our hotel is Helena’s Hawaiian Food.  Marc and I both really enjoyed the kalua pig and the lomi salmon with raw fish and limu.  Everything was pretty good though and we definitely got lucky because we came at a not so busy time – there was literally no wait time.  Helena’s definitely gained popularity with tourists since they were featured on Man v. Food and other shows.  What is also amazing about Helena’s is how friendly they are.  Elaine (Helen’s daughter) was so welcoming and took the time to make sure our visit great (see picture below, too bad it’s blurry 😦 ).

Elaine (Helen's daughter)

For a quick, low-cost and yummy hawaiian cuisine, you have to stop by Rainbow Drive-in.  We basically went there every morning for breakfast.


Another amazing local restaurant to check out was Side Street Inn.  Their portions were so big and we couldn’t finish what we ordered so we took them back to our hotel.  We still couldn’t finish the leftovers and I was so sad to throw it away before we went to the airport.   Yes it was that good!  Anything that says house special is a must-try (below is the pork chop and their famous fried rice).


We were also looking forward to shave ice.  When we were in Maui earlier this year, we just could not get enough of Ululani’s.  Our favorite shave ice shop in Oahu was Wailoa Shave Ice.  Our favorite combination of course was Melona and Coconut topped with the Snow-cap lots of Li-Hing powder.  Here’s a picture of me during our multiple visits to Wailoa.


For souvenirs, make sure you check out the local farmers’ markets.  There are several of them but the one we went to was the Kings Village one is on Fridays from 4-9pm.  We loved the coconut peanut butter made by North Shore Goodies.  Here’s a picture of our stash LOL:


Lastly, we highly recommend stopping by Wang Chung‘s for the most delicious drinks and some good ol’ karaoke fun.  Marc and I do not sing at all but the Wang Chung crowd and owner Dan made us feel so welcome.  Dan (pictured below with Marc and our friend Dennis) even hooked it up with a free drink and a beautiful lei after he found out it was my birthday.


What’s your favorite local establishment in Oahu?

Marc and Mari


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