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Local Top List

Top Local in YAH Global

Best Acai Bowl Honolulu Oahu

The Brazilian "super fruit" Acai berry has crossed the equator over to the North Pacific and landed on the Hawaiian Islands and within the hearts and diets of locals and all who come to visit. Acai bowls, when done right, are made from a brilliant frozen blend of Acai, banana, strawberry, granola, coconut and drizzled honey. They are in fast competition for becoming the most photographed Hawaiian island treat since shave ice yet won't weigh you down minutes after like a large Rainbow order from Matzumoto's. Instead, this natural energy-inducing antioxidant-packed bowl of goodness is considered the essential way to start a busy (work or play) day by many on Oahu.

Here are the Best Acai Bowls on Oahu


Haleiwa Bowls

67-92 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI

Haleiwa Bowls

In addition to having the best Acai bowls on Oahu, this roadside joint on Kamehameha has the best location (North Shore), best physical layout (palm thatched tiki hut), best staff (wide smiling local girls), best patio seating (wild chickens running amuck), and best regulars (celebrity surfers). Haleiwa Bowls is focused on one thing only - Acai bowls - so no other place on the island can compete with their perfectly blended, mountainous proportioned, and reasonably priced super bowl of super fruit.

Read more on Haleiwa Bowls


Sweet Home Waimanalo

41-1025 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI

Sweet Home Waiamanalo is another roadside Hawaiian country style establishment that deserves praise for its work with the Acai berry. This sustainable gathering place for 808 residents and windward travelers has gained national notoriety by a visit from Guy Fieri (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) but it didn't need the airbrushed stamp of approval under its neon chalked menu board to claim one of the best Acai bowls on Oahu. You can taste the locally sourced freshness with each spoonful of the Acai bowl at Sweet Home Waiamanalo, accented sweetly by fresh squeezed apple juice blended in and topped with a drizzle of natural island honey.

Read more on Sweet Home Waiamanalo


Aloha Table Waikiki

2238 Lauula St #2, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, HI

Aloha Table Waikiki Acai Bowl

One would not expect a back alley Waikiki Beach eatery that opens around noon to serve one of the best morning meals around. However Aloha Table Waikiki has always surprised those that walk up the stairs to dine on its second floor patio which basically stares at a blank wall. The Acai bowl at Aloha Table Waikiki is an unexpected delight, served freshly blended in a wide and deep bamboo bowl - perfectly filling yet so delicious that you wish it was bottomless. If more visitors knew about this Aloha Table offering the line-up at (frozen) Yogurtland on Kalakaua Avenue would not likely be so long each hot and sunny early afternoon in Waikiki.

Read more on Aloha Table Waikiki


Island Vintage Coffee

2301 Kalakaua Ave, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki, HI

Also on the second floor (but with a much better view!) and around the corner from Aloha Table is the biggest line-up one will ever find for an Acai bowl on Oahu. Island Vintage Coffee, a local coffee chain, is just as popular for its Acai bowl as it is for its Kona coffee specialty beverages (best espresso in Waikiki!). If you show up at the right (wrong?) time this Royal Hawaiian Center hotspot will have you waiting nearly 30 minutes for a bowl of blended Brazilian berry but it's worth it. If lines aren't within your tolerance threshold simply entertain yourself up and down Kalakaua Avenue until you see the queue ease up and you'll have a bowl in hand in no time.  As a chain establishment, you can count of the consistency of Island Vintage serving a quality Acai bowl every time so make this your regular go-to stop when staying in Waikiki when you have Acai on your mind.

Read more on Island Vintage Coffee Waikiki

Stay tuned for new additions to this Best Acai Bowls on Oahu list. The "super fruit" is sweeping the nation and new establishments will be offering their take on it over the months ahead. If you have discovered an unforgettable Acai bowl on your Oahu travels please send your recommendation to editor@YAHglobal.com to keep the taste test going.

How to Spend a Day on the North Shore Oahu

Ehukai Beach North Shore Oahu

This is a good place to start

The North Shore of Oahu is a thing of legend. Known as the ultimate escape from the crowded sunbathing and beginner surf lesson shores of Waikiki and the shopping bag clad tourist heavy sidewalks of Kalakaua Avenue and Ala Moana Boulevard, the North Shore is without high-rises and concrete criss crossing roads, minus the meandering coastal route of Kamehameha Highway. Keep the Country, Country is the mantra of locals but vistors are still welcomed with open arms as long as they play by the rules - relax, you're on island time. Correction, North Shore island time. There's a difference.

The pace is slower on the North Shore, even though the traffic can be too - a side effect of its laid back beauty being one of the biggest tourist draws on Oahu. Start your trek to the North Shore early but upon arrival pay no mind to the time and just go with the island flow.

The following is a full day itinerary to consider for a full 24 hours on the North Shore. Even if you're staying in Waikiki plan to spend one night on the North Shore so you can get the full experience. Arrive from a central Oahu position (H1W to H2N to Kamehameha) and save the half circle island tour portion for the way back in the AM the next day.

Here is our recommendation of how to spend a day on the North Shore of Oahu


Where to Eat on the North Shore

Start the day with a breakfast acai bowl under the palm thatched awning of Haleiwa Bowls. The staff is super friendly and the acai bowls are fresh, fruity, crunchy, energizing and are considered the best on Oahu - the perfect way to start the day on the North Shore.

Haleiwa Bowls Oahu

Haleiwa Bowls Acai Bowl

For those looking for a little more heat for breakfast then a stop for a Chorizo Breakfast Burrito at Cholo's Homestyle Mexican tucked into the backside of the North Shore Marketplace or for something more traditional (but always with a local twist) at Kono's Haleiwa on the Kamehameha facing portion of the marketplace.

You're in the town of some of the best shave ice in america so be sure to endulge an early day sweet tooth with a stop at world famous Aoki's (update: now in memorium) or Matsumoto's Shave Ice before making your way further into the country.

Matsumoto's Shave Ice

Matsumoto's Shave Ice w/condensed milk

As lunch approaches a great place to find yourself along Kamehameha Highway is at Shark's Cove where across the road is the like named Shark's Cove Grill. Order the Shark's Cove Breakfast (for lunch of course) or a Banana Protein smoothie for something light. Mid-day sweet tooth attacks should be spent at Sunset Beach's Ted's Bakery - home of the original Chocolate Haupia Pie (known on the mainland as coconut cream pie). Return to Haleiwa Town for dinner at Opal Thai for the best thai food on the island or at Breaker's Restaurant & Bar and hang with the local surfers there to refuel after a long day tackling the waves of the North Shore.


Where to Shop on the North Shore

Thankfully there are no shopping malls on the North Shore and hopefully it stays that way. But fret not shoppers because the North Shore's Haleiwa Town is home to unique boutique stores, art galleries, and surf shops that you won't find anywhere else. Polynesian Treasures in the North Shore Marketplace is a great place to grab an authentic (NOT Made in China) souvenir. Global Creations & Interiors down the road is our pick for some of the best home decor on Oahu. On that note you won't find a better wall hanging representation of the North Shore than at the Clark Little Gallery, one of the best photographers to hail from the islands and even a visit to browse the gallery is an attraction in itself. Grab something for the keiki (child) in your life at the Growing Keiki while groms and/or water sports enthusiasts will want to spend at least an hour navigating the jam packed full of product Haleiwa Surf & Sea.

Artist rendition of Global Creations Haleiwa

Artist rendition of Global Creations Haleiwa


Where to Play on the North Shore

The North Shore is one giant playground for beach front enthusiasts so you can't go wrong with turning off into any beach side gravel coated parking "lot". One point of interest you don't want to miss includes Laniakea Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, which is home to a crew of sea turtles that come to shore for day long naps. Laniakea is the only place on the island where you are practically guranteed to see a sea turtle relaxing in it's natural habitat.

Laniakea Beach Sea Turtle

A true local at Laniakea Beach

Another must see but better known site is world famous Waimea Bay, home to 30 foot monster waves in the winter. During calmer days you can climb "jump rock" (ignoring the "Do Not Jump" sign) and plunge with the locals into the warm waters belows. If you have some time on your hands and have the constitution for a hike then head up across from Waimea Beach to Waimea Valley to sacred Hawaiian grounds that lead to Waimea Falls.

Waimea Bay Jump Rock

Waimea Valley Sacred Site

Sacred heiau at Waimea Valley

Of course no trip through the North Shore is complete without a main event visit to Ehukai Beach to see the majestic Pipeline location and stage for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing final leg - the Billabong Pipemasters. If you happen to be in town between the middle of November into the ides of December you can catch one or all of the Triple Crown events. Haleiwa hosts the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Ali'i Beach while Sunset Beach is home to the Vans World Cup of Surfing, both preceding the aforementioned Pipemasters event. People from all over the world come to watch the gladiators of the sea battle it out on the North Shore's tumultuous waves - there's no sporting event on the planet like it.

Vans Triple Crown of Surfing North Shore Oahu

Billabong Pipemasters at Ehukai Beach Park

Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach

Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach

Reef Hawaiian Pro at Ali'i Beach Park

Spectators at Reef Hawaiian Pro - Ali'i Beach Park


Where to Mingle at Night on the North Shore

Until the last couple of years most of the nightlife on the North Shore consisted of sharing mai tai's at local eateries or bringing Kona Brewing Company Longboard Lager down to the beach with a few friends. Otherwise the best parties took place in the walls of the Volcom, Billabong, or other surf brand houses facing Pipeline and unless your party consists of just girls that meet a certain "criteria" the chances of being invited in are nil. But now regular folk have a chance to enjoy nightlife on the North Shore with the recent Turtle Bay Resort addition of Surfer, The Bar. If you happen to be on the island during the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing the Surfer Poll Awards have been slated to continue at Turtle Bay Resort and aired at Surfer, The Bar.

Surfer, The Bar at Turtle Bay Resort


Where to Stay on the North Shore

Until you make a friend or two on the North Shore with a pad you can crash at or the have the funds and luck of availability for a North Shore vacation rental your best bet is the only hotel on the North Shore - the Turtle Bay Resort. Turtle Bay Resort, considering all of its magnificent resort amenities is actually quite affordable compared to its South Shore counterparts. We often don't recommend beginners try the surf on the North Shore but you're protected by the reef and bay at Turtle Bay so it's also a great place to catch waves or learn for those that are more comfortable with the likes of Waikiki's mellow rolling waves.

Turtle Bay Resort North Shore Oahu

A view of Turtle Bay Resort


Leaving the North Shore

When it's time to pack up from your day on the North Shore in the next day AM you'll want to take the scenic route out to soak in the full coastal experience. If your headed west, towards Makaha or the Disney Aulani Resort in Kapolei you'll want to hit Farrington Highway but in the more likely scenario that you're headed back towards Waikiki's south shore then continue along Kamehameha Highway to the windward side (east) of Oahu where on the border of the North Shore in Kahuku you will find the Kahuku Food Truck Market - a great place to grab lunch and complete the North Shore experience.

Kahuku Food Truck Market

Grab a refreshing pineapple smoothie at Hawaiian Island Extreme at the Kahuku Food Truck Market


Ya'll come back now, ya' hear?