Jun 11, 2022
5 min read

A Foodie's Guide to Oahu

Belinda Kraemer
is a food blogger, world traveler (frequenting Oahu), and life insurance advisor. Travel and culinary adventure have been a huge part of her life from an early age, and they were driving factors in the creation of her blog, Beachside Kitchen. Beachside Kitchen is an outlet for Belinda to share healthy recipes along with some of her favorite places to eat and stay around the world.
Belinda’s passport holds stamps from some of the most amazing destinations the world has to offer. But when asked for one of her favorite travel spots, she’s quick to respond with Oahu, Hawaii. With its gorgeous beaches and unbeatable hiking, this island has grabbed her heart. From Haleiwa to Ko Olina, we talked to Belinda about her recommendations and got the inside scoop on where to eat, where to stay, and what not to miss.
Read on for her best island life tips!
For more from Belinda, follow her on IG 
Belinda Kraemer
Belinda Kraemer

What are your top three hotels or resorts in Oahu? What do you love about them?

Turtle Bay Resort
 – This is one of my all time favorites places to stay. It is absolutely gorgeous and feels off the beaten path, keeping you away from the tourist madness of being in Waikiki. 
They recently did an amazing remodel, and it feels like absolute modern luxury with incredible views and a fantastic pool. The location is also great because it’s about a 20 minute drive from Haleiwa, where the local food cannot be beaten. Farm-to-table, organic, healthy eats are endless on the North Shore. 
Marriott Ko Olina
 – This is another favorite that balances luxury and a more family-friendly experience. If you stay here, make sure to do a lagoon walk (or ten) to unwind and enjoy the area. The location is really great and within a mile walking distance to a lot of great restaurants and bars. It’s also close to great hiking and there are tons of awesome bike paths nearby. Bike rides or long walks along the path between Sunset Beach and Shark’s Cove are my favorite way to spend the day.
The Four Seasons Ko Olina
 – This hotel is gorgeous and provides the ultimate luxury experience while still having more of a local feel, laid back energy, and adventurous vibe. With a stunning adult pool and incredible food, here you will definitely feel like you are living the good life. 
Four Seasons Ko Olina
Turtle Bay Resort
Four Seasons Ko Olina // Turtle Bay Resort 

Where are your favorite places to eat in Oahu? What do you order there?

In Haleiwa 

Beet Box Cafe
 – A great spot for a healthy meal. Everything here is locally sourced and they have amazing burritos, green smoothie bowls, and breakfast sandwiches. Their baked goods are also not to miss. 
Farm to Barn
 –  Has a vibe that truly feels like a farm-to-table. You can eat outside on the lawn, the portions are large, and you will definitely get your veggies in! I recommend their breakfast burrito, harvest bowl, or their nourish bowl. 
Waialua Bakery & Juice
 – A hole-in-the-wall spot that’s super affordable, and all the breads are homemade. My menu favorites are the pesto chicken sandwich, roasted veggie salad, veggie burger salad, and the gluten-free monster cookie. I could easily eat here every day.  
Lei Lei’s
 – Try the seafood Caesar salad or the seafood cobb salad. 
Kaimana Shave Ice
 – Amazing shave ice that’s made with organic, homemade fruit juices. My favorite flavors are mango, guava, and pineapple. 
Fumi’s Shrimp Truck
 – A food truck serving up amazing spicy garlic shrimp and lemon pepper shrimp. 
Patio at Kaimana Shave Ice
Farm to Barn
Patio at Kaimana Shave Ice // Farm to Barn

In Ko Olina

Island Vintage Coffee
 – I love to stop by here for a breakfast plate and iced latte. 
 – I can’t get enough of their Mediterranean chicken salad. 
 – They have a great egg white omelet for breakfast, and if you go for dinner, definitely get the fish special. 
 – A local Hawaiian staple with a really fun atmosphere. The staff and servers make the overall experience fantastic, and the food is delicious. This is a more upscale dining option and absolutely a “not to miss”. My favorite dishes are the butter fish, seared ahi, and the ribs. 
Sakura Sushi
 – A great place to get high quality sushi at super affordable prices – you can ball out and still leave for less than $100 for a meal for two. I highly recommend the bluefin and salmon sashimi, the sakura 3 in 1 roll, and the ninja roll from their menu. 

Where can you get the best cup of coffee in Oahu? 

My personal favorite is 
Sunrise Shack
. I always get their bullet coffee, and their smoothies are really good as well. But the atmosphere here really makes the whole experience. It is located in the middle of a plumeria field, across the street from one of the most famous surf breaks in the world. The establishment itself really feels like a cozy surf shack, but it gives you the quintessential Hawaii experience as you watch the waves roll in with a cup of incredibly sustainable coffee in hand. 

What are the best workouts on the island? 

Hiking is my favorite way to workout and to get in touch with a local area when traveling, and Hawaii is no exception to that. Many of the hikes on Oahu are along pillboxes, which were WWII lookout spots, so you get some history and culture along with incredible views and a good workout. 
Oahu has so many beautiful places to get out and explore, but some of my favorites include 
Pink Pillbox
Waimano Falls Trail
Manana Ridge Trail
Pupukea-Paumalu Trail
Kammieland Trail
, and the famous 
Stairway to Heaven Hike

Where are the best beaches in Oahu? 

There are a few great ones that tend to stay a little less busy. Sunset Beach Park, Ehukai Beach Park, Chun’s Reef, Waimea Bay, and Kaewuala Beach are some of my go-to spots when I am trying to get out and enjoy the surf and the sun.
Best Beaches
Best Beaches

Any extra must-know tips for visiting Oahu?

Respect the locals and the land. Be kind to those that were there first. 
Tip well, shop/eat local, and most importantly be patient – we’re on island time here, so nothing is a rush.
Be cognizant of what you post on Instagram. You’ll find some beaches and hikes with local signs that ask visitors to kindly keep the locations off of social media. 
If you’re like me and want a more relaxed, local vibe when visiting Hawaii, avoid the hustle and bustle of downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.
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