Even on vacation, I can’t help but work a little. Like most people, it’s just hard to switch off completely. Luckily for me, my work is food. So when I recently went on a long-overdue family vacation to Oahu, Hawaii, I decided to eat my way through the less publicized foodie experiences and report back. I know, my life is very difficult. The island is filled with amazing dining options with fresh ingredients, so it was hard to narrow down it down. So I decided to just give you my 3 top unusual and fun foodie experiences on Oahu. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Tucked along the Route 83 on the North Shore of Oahu is the most divine foodie secret on the whole island… Kahuku Farms! This place is an unassuming gold mine of deliciousness. Taking full flavorful advantage of the fruits of nature, the farm creates the most delectable butters, jams, baked goods, and smoothies you will ever have the pleasure to taste. I am not exaggerating. I have literally eaten my way through some of the world’s best foods and I put the delights of Kahuku Farms in my top 10 eating experiences of all time! Go there and make sure to leave with a bag full of Kahuku Lilikoi Butter!
This one is specifically a wink and a nod to my fellow foodie parents! If you have ever traveled with children, then you know that the majority of your vacation is going to be catered towards them. For our first official family vacation with a toddler, we decided to make it a home-run by staying at Aulani. And you parents know the deal… if our 3-year-old is happy, then we’re all happy! Boy oh boy, was this the right decision. Like anything Disney, every single detail was impeccable and magical. I’m not going to go into all the amenities of the resort itself, but if you find yourself with the means then you need to stay at this heavenly location. But what I will break down for you are some of the delicious foodie experiences at the resort that will make the whole family (and your stomachs) happy.
Mickey Shaped Shave Ice
Never one to disappoint, Disney knows how to do treats! The Mickey shaped shave ice at Pāpālua Shave Ice was not only adorable, it was absolutely scrumptious. Choose from an array of tropical flavors like pineapple, coconut, and lilikoi, top with some sweetened condensed milk, and you have a heavenly poolside treat in paradise.
The Ka Wa‘a Lū‘au
There are few things I miss about my life before my daughter, but if I had to list one it would be fancy dinners. I pine for the days I’d dress up, enjoy a decadent meal out, and possibly even catch a show. Luckily, Disney has it covered with their Ka Wa’a Luau. Traditional Polynesian fair, cultural activities, and a stellar show where all ages participate. It was an absolute ideal fancy outing with a child under 10 years old. And I’ll admit, I was having such a wonderful time with my family getting traditional tattoos, learning to play the ukulele, and eating poi that I forgot to take pictures of the amazing food! So, you’ll just have to take my word for it and see for yourself.
Again, if you’re a parent of a young child then you know how important room service is on a vacation. Being a food writer and recipe developer, I almost cringe at the thought of mentioning dining-in options. But that’s how good Aulani’s room service was! It was some of the best food we had on the whole trip! Traditional Hawaiian dishes?! Mickey-shaped waffles?! Throw in our gorgeous ocean view and it was almost too much to handle. Damn it, Disney, you got me again! *Defiantly standing and giving an enthusiastic slow-clap*
Honorable Mention: Wailana Pool Bar & Lounge
Sure a poolside bar is fabulous, but a poolside bar that serves fancy lattes at 8am? Now that’s a parent’s best friend. For those of you who might not be following my drift, here’s how a beach vacation with a toddler goes…
5am: Good morning, mama! Want go swimming!
6am: Want go swimming!!!
7am: Ate my breakfast, want go SWIMMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8am: *Sun is up, pools are finally open, your kid is splashing with all the other toddlers, as you and 20 other red-eyed parents wait in line at the only poolside bar that serves coffee*
As if Hawaii wasn’t heavenly enough, in walks Leonard’s Bakery. Famous for their pillowy Malasada pastries, these little beauties are fried to perfection and melt in your mouth. The only problem is that you’ll need to track down one of these trucks on the island. But fear not, for you can find one of the locations here. So make sure you try all the varieties (Original was my favorite!), buy a few dozen, and enjoy these balls of fried dreaminess on a deserted beach… oh who am I kidding, you won’t make it out of the parking lot before you eat them all. But you’ll still be thanking me!
There you have it! My unusual and fun top 3 foodie experiences on Oahu. I’m actually pretty bummed that our trip is over and I’m back at work, but I figure that’s a good sign of a successful vacation. For more amazing foodie information, make sure to visit the Oahu Official Travel site. So tell me, what kind of food do you like to seek out when you travel?