As you stare out the window in awe of virtually everything you see pass by, one of the many striking features you may notice about the island of Oahu is the proliferation of food trucks.
Food trucks are a long-standing staple of the Hawaiian cuisine ecosystem, providing an amazingly diverse range of foods and some of the most authentic (and delicious) eats visitors will find anywhere.
Being the most populous/most visited island and the home of the state capital, Oahu is particularly rich in food truck options for you to explore and experience. Over the years, more than a few have grown to something resembling local legend status.
Here’s a guide to some of the very best food trucks you can find on the island of Oahu.
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Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
This is a bona fide classic bound to appear on virtually any list of Oahu food trucks.
Giovanni’s Original White Shrimp Truck is unmistakable, covered in countless autographs and handwritten good wishes from the legions who have visited the truck during its nearly 30 years of operation. One of the two trucks was even featured on a 2011 show Man vs Food episode.
Giovanni’s is best known for its definitive renditions of 4 classic Hawaiian dishes: lemon butter shrimp, shrimp scampi, hot and spicy shrimp, and (deviating slightly from the apparent theme) a jumbo garlic hot dog. Word on the street is the scampi is the finest of the bunch and the most popular menu item.
Both trucks are parked permanently on the Kamehameha Highway - one in Kahuku (56-505) and the other in Haleiwa (66-472).
Leonard’s Malasada Mobile
Suppose you've previously read our ultimate guide to malasadas. In that case, you may recall that Leonard's is arguably the most important (and inarguably the longest-standing) bakery in the entire history of Hawaiian malasadas. While visiting the 70-year-old original location is an experience we highly recommend, if you can't make it, one of their four trucks is a spectacular alternative method for getting your hands on this stupendously tasty treat.
Every truck location's days and hours vary. All the info you need to find the nearest Malasada Mobile can be found here.
When visiting a tropical wonderland like Hawaii, one of the principal attractions to crave is the incredible array of fruits, vegetables, and other naturally grown goodies. Ideally, you’d want to find these edible gems when they are as fresh as possible.
Visiting Haleiwa Bowls is among the best ways to do just that. Technically, their specialty is the acai bowl; but they also sell smoothies, coffee, and tea. You can find an assortment of refreshing treats here, all created from natural ingredients: strawberries, pineapples, bananas, pomegranate seeds, granola, a whole selection of botanical supplements, and much more.
Haleiwa Bowls is, not too shockingly, located in Haleiwa - on the Kamehameha Highway (66-030). They are open every day from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
Part food truck, part traveling magic act, Impossibles Pizza in Haleiwa is one of the few places you’ll ever see custom wood-fired pizza somehow appear from inside a truck.
How they do it is perhaps a wisely guarded trade secret, but make no mistake. This wood-fired pizza is 100% the real deal, and it is so delicious that regular visitors often boldly suggest not to visit any other pizza place if you’ve got a real hankering. Whether it’s Kalua Pig Pineapple, Jalapeno Artichoke, or your spontaneous invention, the pizza at this spot can sate your cravings more than any other.
Catch the incredible act that is Impossibles Pizza Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 3 PM to 8 PM. The truck will be found at 59-719 Kamehameha Highway.
Mike’s Huli-Huli Chicken
One of the most publicized food trucks in the state and the proud claimant of the title “best Huli chicken in Hawaii,” Mike’s Huli-Huli Chicken is our last (but not least) food truck on the list.
Mike’s was visited by Guy Fieri on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and appeared in an episode of Food Paradise as well. In addition to super-tasty chicken cooked over Kiawe wood, Mike’s also offers house-made sauces and seasonings that offer superpowers to any home chef.
Mike’s main truck is open 11 AM to 7 PM every day at 56-565 Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku.
Whatever you’re craving, Oahu has a renowned food truck nearby to blow your mind and quench your hunger. Mahalo and enjoy your meal!