It’s my first time in Hawaii, so I wanted to highlight some of my favorite destinations on my trip to O’ahu. I’m a beer nerd, and my girlfriend is a foodie, so I’ll be mainly talking about the island’s breweries and trendy eats.

Marugame Udon – Udon & Tempura

This was the first spot on her list of places to eat, and Marugame did not disappoint.

Udon noodles are always a treat, and I tried the popular “Curry Nikutama”. This dish was served with sautéed beef, soft boiled egg, and savory curry beef broth.

The popular “Curry Nikutama” (front)

The curry beef broth tasted delicious, it had a nice kick, but subtle spice at the same time. It had to be one of the best udon noodles I’ve experienced.

Alongside the Udon, Marugame‘s tempura side dishes were excellent, and that’s when I discovered “Spam Musubi”.

I first looked at the dish, and asked my girlfriend in disbelief, “your really going to eat that?”. And ironically this became one of my favorite snacks during the trip.

Spam Musubi is a “snack and lunch food composed of a slice of grilled Spam sandwiched either in between or on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori in the tradition of Japanese onigiri,” according to Wikipedia.

You will see Spam Musubi almost everywhere you go when roaming on the islands. It’s a perfect snack for the beach, hotel, or just when on the go.

Waikiki Brewing

Waikiki Brewing
Photo Credit by Trip Advisor

The first brewery we stumbled upon was “Waikiki Brewing”. This was fitting because Waikiki was where we were staying.

One of the unique things that stood out to me from Waikiki Brewing was that they had beer cocktails.

I am a huge avid fan of beer cocktails. You get the best of both worlds: beer AND liquor.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize they had beer cocktails until after closing out with the bartender. I enjoyed some of the beers though on my beer flight.

Leonard’s Bakery

People waiting outside the famous Leonard’s Bakery

Leonard’s Bakery is a must if you’re in Waikiki. I had some of the best cream-filled donuts in my entire life.

“Peeking into the box of Leonard’s…”
Courtesy of Migrationology

There is usually a line out the door outside Leonards, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Leonard’s famous ‘Malasadas’, are Portuguese doughnuts that are “basically a pastry dough fried until the crust is golden brown, while the inside remains fluffy and light.” This bakery reiterates that they use the finest ingredients, resulting in a malasada with a “sweet toasted flavor, both crunchy and chewy.”

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck

Giovanni’s garlic shrimp with rice and macaroni salad.

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, thanks to word of mouth, is a local favorite on the island of O’ahu. We added to the list of visitors lining up to order from the original North Shore shrimp food truck, and it was definitely worth the drive.

The shrimp scampi I had at Griovannis was very fresh and flavorful. This food truck marinates a dozen shrimp in a secret sauceThe served with two scoops of rice all drizzled with a garlic lemon butter and caramelized chunks of tasty garlic.

Kahuku Beer Garden

The patio at Kahuku Beer Garden

While we drove up to Northshore and experienced Giovanni’s, we saw that Kahuku Beer Garden was just a minute walk from the shrimp truck. This beer garden was literally just off of Kamehameha Highway, featuring the historical Kahuku Sugar mill – where you’ll see tons of food trucks and places to drink including shaved ice and smoothies.

Kahuku Beer Garden is a great place to hang out after visiting the nearby food trucks or ordering food from the local Sugar Mill restaurant, enjoying. Enjoy the fresh hot food with some nice cold beer at the beer garden.

A nice, calming vibe inside Kahuku Beer Garden

Kahuku is also a bottle shop, and they have a great selection specifically if you want to try some of the local brew on the island.

Aloha Beer Company

An alluring atmosphere at Aloha Beer Company

Aloha Beer Company is a must-go for anyone visiting in Hawaii.

You’ll find Aloha Beer Company in the heart of Kaka’ako, located in Honolulu’s historic brewing district. This brewery and restaurant is just a great time to go with family and friends, including your dog.

Not all of the breweries and restaurants you could suspect are dog friendly, but Aloha Beer Co. is. Aloha even has a dog menu, and is a great place to bring your furry friend and hang out.

Aloha Beer’s patio
Photo Credit: Honolulu Magazine

I enjoyed a beer flight at Aloha Beer, but I was more so taken by the atmosphere and the delicious food. We devoured there delicious spinach dip and chorizo empanadas.

Aloha Beer Co. is also great destination for people in your group because they have fantastic cocktails. My girlfriend was raving about her elderflower gin & tonic, and it was crafted to perfection.

Maui Brewing

The entrance at Maui Brewing

My favorite brewery during my trip in Waikiki, O’ahu was Maui Brewing.

Maui Brewing, a brewery and restaurant, is actually the biggest bar in the state of Hawaii. The bar and taproom is massive; there is tons of space to hang out and overall, is just a beautiful atmosphere to be especially on an early afternoon.

Inside Maui Brewing

The bar staff gave me the best service since during my stay, and made me feel comfortable like it was my home. The bartender recommended their limited draft pour, “OMG hazy.”

OMG Hazy” at Maui Brewing

The OMG hazy was a very interesting fruity, hoppy combo that pleased your taste buds with tons of tropical flavors. It was a real tropical juice bomb, leaving you in awe with it’s extravagant fruit profile.

We really enjoyed their fish tacos; the quality, and freshness of the fish was just superb. You could just tell instantly after one bite that Maui Brewing also takes pride with their food.


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