By Lisa Scontras
This article was originally published in the July/August Island Homes Collection magazine

Characterized by long stretches of secluded beaches, valleys rich in art, history and culture, this part of the island enjoys the simple pleasures in life. After a long day at the beach, a great meal with good friends, maybe a bottle of wine and a sunset is the perfect end to the perfect day. Whether it is Hawaiian comfort food, a hormone-free steak, some locally farmed shrimp or a plate lunch, food in these beach towns is as addicting as the beautiful scenery.

Kualoa Ranch

Beef lovers everywhere will be pleased to know that Kualoa sells its locally raised beef in various cuts, including New York Steaks, Tri-Tip, Teri Beef, Ground Beef, Tenderloin, and more. This beef is 100 percent grass-fed and produced completely in Hawaii.

Among the few Hawaii based beef producers, Kualoa Ranch cattle are all raised on the 4,000-acre property where they are free to graze in the 1,500 acres of pasture. The herd is primarily made up of a cross between Angus, Brangus and Hereford stock. The cattle are grass-fed, which produces leaner cuts of meat, lowering the fat content and providing a healthier choice.

Kualoa Ranch beef is:

  • Grass-Fed
  • No Antibiotics
  • Farm to table fresh
  • No hormones
  • Cattle are hand selected for best quality
  • Fuller flavored, great tasting
  • Locally raised on Oahu in a low stress environment

Premium Kualoa Beef is 100 percent grass-fed and raised right here at Kualoa Ranch. This beef is not shipped, so you must pick it up at the Ranch Reserve. Order online at

Aunty Pat’s Café

Ready for some good old fashioned home cooking? Aunty Pat’s Paniolo Café, also at Kualoa Ranch, is a great place to stop for some fresh Hawaiian style homemade cooking.

Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., and includes Kualoa’s special Kualoa Omelette or local style bacon fried rice with eggs.

Lunch, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., features a hearty ranch-style buffet of individual specials including Kalua pork plates and daily fresh island fish specials. Aunty Pat’s features its own locally raised grass-fed Kualoa beef, served up in delicious burgers with all the classic toppings.

If it’s a quick snack you’re craving, try Aunty’s special chocolate chip cookies or homemade banana bread or the signature warm banana-taro bread pudding with warm haupia sauce. Yum! Out back, you can get a view of the breathtaking Kualoa mountains while enjoying Kualoa’s own island style shaved ice.

Crouching Lion Bar & Grill
51-666 Kamehameha Highway, Kaaawa
(808) 237-8981

Crouching Lion Bar & Grill

This Oahu landmark has been a frequent stop for visitors and locals for 60 years. Delicious menu options range from fried calamari and coconut shrimp pupus, sandwiches, burgers and salads to steaks and seafood, along with a variety of tropical drinks, and local and premium wines and beers. Vegetarian and keiki menu options are available as well.

Originally built as a family residence in 1927 by contractor George Larson, the home welcomed many guests. The restaurant has continued the Hawaiian hospitality with the lanai and living room that serve as the ocean view dining room.

The lush mountain setting with oceanfront views is memorable. Open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and bar service until 2 a.m. on weekends, this longstanding Windward Coast beacon is also available for luau and private parties as well as weddings and other special events.

Uncle Bobo’s Smoked BBQ
51-480 Kamehameha Highway, Kaaawa
(808) 237-1000

Uncle Bobos Smoke BBQ

Using the finest ingredients, Uncle Bobo’s is famous for their special dry-rubbed meat smoked for hours with hickory and tropical woods. Their Original BBQ Sauce is loaded with onions and garlic, but not too spicy, and is out of this world amazing. Specialties include beef brisket, thinly sliced or pulled pork shoulder — each piled high on a French cottage roll and served steaming hot with homemade BBQ sauce.

Favorites from the menu include chicken katsu, garlic chicken, and a vegetarian portabello mushroom sandwich — all great summertime meals guaranteed to hit the spot.

For your next party, why not call Bobo’s catering service? Bobo’s is fully licensed by the Hawaii Health Department and insure quality and goodness. Located next to the Post Office and across from Swanzy Beach Park, Uncle Bobo’s is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, and closed on Mondays.

North Shore Tacos
54-296 Kamehameha Highway, Hauula
(808) 293-4440

North Shore Tacos

Craving Mexican food? These amazing tacos, made from your choice of sweet pork, chicken, fish or shrimp, flavor packed with green or red hot sauce — so darn delicious! And save room for the Tres Leches Cake, the flan or the mouse.

North Shore Tacos offers great food (always crowded), plenty of parking, and easy peasy to pick up a quick lunch on your island tour or for takeout to the next wonderful beach.

Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Papa Ole’s Kitchen
54-316 Kamehameha Highway, Hauula
(808) 293-2292

Papa Ole

Made with love, local favorites here include Loco Moco plate lunch, Kalbi ribs, fried noodles, Lomi salmon, Kalua pig, beef or curry stew, chop steak, teriaki chicken, poke, meat loaf, along with an amazing selection of sweet tooth favorites as well.

If it’s good old fashioned onolicious local food you are Jonesing for, Papa Ole’s recipes are sure to please. For breakfast, or after a day at the beach, stop in to Papa Ole’s Kitchen for a special treat.

Seven Brothers Burgers
Laie Shopping Center

Seven Brother Burgers

It is only fitting that in a small beach town community like Laie, the eateries there have small town beachy vibe as well. And Seven Brothers Burgers is part of the beach culture. If Hollywood was designing a beach town burger joint, this is what it would look like.

It is fun, clean, the food is excellent, the service is friendly, the crowd is young, the atmosphere casual, it’s bustling with activity, tables full of happy customers, families, locals and  visitors alike. And arguably the best burgers on the island. (Fries and milkshakes too.) Five stars through and through for Seven Brothers.

Open 11 a.m. to midnight, Mondays through Thursdays; from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays; and from 11a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays.

Kahuku Shrimp Trucks

Kahuku Shrimp Trucks

There’s a famous culinary happening along Kam Highway that you don’t want to miss. In fact, a recent episode on the Food Channel’s Man vs. Food Nation highlighted the North Shore shrimp truck scene. Shrimp trucks — each truck has a unique style and flavor when serving up these fresh crustaceans and no trip along the North Shore or Windward coast can be complete without stopping. Of course, there are some great brick and mortar restaurants along the way too. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp Truck
    56-777 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku
    Garlic shrimp is a staple in Kahuku, and the fresh from the farm shrimp at Fumi’s is as good as it gets.
  • Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
    56-505 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku
    Shrimp scampi, two scoops of rice — maximum garlic.
  • Famous Shrimp Truck
    56-580 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku
    Spicy shrimp and squid combo, coconut shrimp, buttery, garlicky.
  • Romy’s Kahuku Prawns and Shrimp
    56-781 Kamahameha Highway, Kahuku
    Harvested daily from their own farm, served “head on,” butter and garlic to da max.