Oahu's North Shore is home to a flourishing food truck scene. There, on the outskirts of Haleiwa, a hui of food trucks—serving everything from garlic shrimp and jambalaya to Nutella crepes and acai bowls—lives in a parking lot shaded by large trees. Brightly colored trucks also line the highway in town and beyond, in Pupukea and Kahaku. With all these tasty, from-a-truck snack and meal options, you just might spend your entire North Shore trip outside.
Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
When locals think of North Shore-specific cuisine, deliciously messy garlic shrimp plate lunches invariably come to mind. Giovanni’s was one of the first food trucks on the North Shore and began operating out of a converted bread truck in 1993. (In addition to the Haleiwa adress listed below, Giovanni’s has a location in Kahuku, where you will find the other North Shore shrimp operators. That area is renowned for its freshwater aquaculture plots.) Today, it’s one of the most popular trucks in town. Even before you reach the scrawled-on white truck, you can smell the melting butter and sizzling garlic—shrimp’s perfect companions. The shrimp scampi is Giovanni’s mainstay menu item. Each plate comes heaped with 12 shrimp, ready to be peeled and eaten, and two scoops rice, drizzled in lip-smacking garlic lemon butter.
66-472 Kamehameha Highway • Giovanni's Shrimp Truck on Facebook
Dat Cajun Guy
Jordan Romano, better known as Dat Cajun Guy, is tearing up the North Shore food truck scene with his authentic Cajun comfort food more than 4,000 miles away from Louisiana in bustling Haleiwa. Want your North Shore shrimp with a twist? Order the fried shrimp po’ boy. Or, to sample everything Louisianan, get the hearty jambalaya, made with pork, chicken, beef, smoked sausage and vegetables. It’s everything you could want in a Cajun dish—plenty of meat, perfectly cooked rice and just the right amount of spice.
66-472 Kamehameha Highway • Dat Cajun Guy on Facebook
Can’t choose between sweet and savory? Then visit the Delice Crepes food truck in Haleiwa, where owner Jonathan Pajot can make both. Delice Crepes has set up shop in a dapper red converted Volkswagen van. Pajot makes his crepes the traditional French way, meaning savory crepes are made from batter of only buckwheat and water and sweeter ones are made with white flour. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, order the “Tahiti.” Nutella, strawberries and coconut are lovingly folded in a delicate crepe—you can even get it topped with whip cream or ice cream. A popular savory choice is the “Sunset,” with ham and cheese or the “Waimea,” turkey, cheese, tomato, avocado and vinaigrette.
66-470 Kamehameha Highway • Delice Crepes on Facebook
Lani’s Loco Moco and Plate Lunch
Eating a loco moco is a must do for all Hawaii visitors, whether it’s your first or fifteenth visit. (For the uninitiated, a loco moco is a classic Hawaii comfort food, comprised of a hamburger and fried eggs atop a bed of white rice and blanketed in rich, brown gravy.) Driving North down the main street in Haleiwa, you’ll come upon Lani’s bright yellow truck on the left side of the street, just before the Haleiwa Town Center. The food truck serves up a solid loco moco—as well as other local favorites such as kalua pig and Hawaii-style chili—here, and from their other location in downtown Honolulu. Their loco moco plate is large; expect generous scoops of white rice, two hamburger patties, two fried eggs and savory gravy. Warning: you might need a nap afterward.
66-235 Kamehameha Highway
Sharks Cove Grill
Sure, snorkeling isn’t exactly a strenuous workout. And, yet, even after a leisurely swimming session above the reefs of Shark’s Cove in Pupukea, you will be hungry. Good thing Sharks Cove Grill is across the street. The popular food truck is known for its skewers: fresh caught ahi, shrimp, steak or chicken. We recommend the ahi. Each plate is served with rice and a side salad. Even better? Shark’s Gove Grill serves smoothies, acai bowls and eggs and pancakes for breakfast, for those of you on dawn patrol.
59-712 Kamehameha Highway • http://sharkscovegrill.com/