Buro city guide: Waikiki and the North Shore
Hawaii feels like home to me - there is so much love on the island, it's infectious. You can be barefoot and eating from a food truck at Pipe one minute and 40 minutes later, find yourself shopping in Chanel.
I love Waikiki for the shopping and amazing dining experiences, but the North Shore offers a more laidback taste of Hawaii - think surfing and healthy beachside eats. It's a totally different vibe - shoes are optional; bikinis essential.
Top 3 coffee shops
1. Haleiwa Bowls, Oahu
I actually don't drink coffee so for me, every day on the North Shore is about starting the morning off with an acai bowl from Haleiwa Bowls, Oahu. It's a massive must and everyone hits them up to start the day off the right way.
2. Bills Hawaii
For those that need a caffeine fix, Bill Granger's restaurant, Bills Hawaii, serves up the best coffee in Waikiki - or so I'm told - along with Bills favourites such as the corn fritters or scrambled eggs!
Goofy is also popular with locals - here you can grab an amazing breakfast made from local produce and flavours.
When staying on the North Shore it's a completely different vibe to staying in Waikiki, so on the North Shore you would have the following (no shoes needed and bikinis expected):
1. Fresh pineapple dipped in sweet plums from the side of the road.
2. Fresh cold coconuts from the coconut lady opposite Pipeline.
Top 3 lunch spots
1. Fresh sweet corn from a food truck on the side of the road.
2. Ted's Bakery, home of the original chocolate cream pie.
3. Shaved ice from anywhere in Oahu.
Top 3 restaurants
Just down the road from Pipeline there's an amazing set-up of about 12 food trucks serving different menus. They are all amazing and worth going back every night to work your way around them all. But back in the main town of Waikiki, these are my three faves for dinner:
3. Buho Cocina y Cantina is a great Mexican place for lunch or dinner, it's on the rooftop and looks over the city, which rocks.
Top 3 cocktail bars
1. Lei Lei's Bar & Grill at Turtle Bay Resort, North Shore.
2. House Without a Key - catch an amazing sunset and local Hawaiian enterainment.
3. Duke's Waikiki - for when you really want to get the party started!
Top 4 places to stay
1. Turtle Bay Resort
On the North Shore, Turtle Baby Resort is the best because you are literally on the beach and you wake up to the waves breaking - and go to sleep listening to them too.
2. Billabong House
At Pipe - Billabong House is like being in Blue Crush and is actually where champions are made.
3. Halekulani Waikiki
Halekulani is the best hotel and a stone's throw to all the best shops in Waikiki. I love the spa here.
4. The Modern Honolulu
The ultimate in hotel chic, The Modern is my next favourite Waikiki hotel.
Where to shop
1. Ala Moana
This shopping centre has it all from all the international designers but it is full on, so best to go in the middle of the week and get a map of the centre and work out a plan. There's an Aztec shop on the exit level which has been there for over 40 years and it's a treasure chest of amazing finds.
2. Waikiki high street
I love the shopping on the main strip of Waikiki as all the major stores are flagship and the staff working in them are just divine.
3. North Shore
On the North Shore you can just drive and stop, drive and stop at heaps of local designers and great finds.
The best place for live music
At sunset each night at the Halekulani they play live music as the sun goes down and do a traditional hula, it is a must-see as it's absolutely breathtaking.
Top 3 places to hang out in winter and summer
I've done both summer and winter in Hawaii and to be honest there is no winter... it's 28 degrees and sunny all season. In winter the surf is up and Pipe is on so it's amazing to spend some time there watching the masters surf the biggest waves you'll ever see.
In summer, it's all about driving down the coast and just pulling over at whatever beaches you want to swim at and look out over paradise.
Top 3 tourist attractions you may not have heard of
1. Haleiwa Bowl
My sister discovered Haleiwa Bowls on Instagram and I can't rave about them enough!
2. The Aztec shop, Ala Moana
3. Ocean Dreamer
Ocean Dreamer makes traditional flower crowns and you simply have to have one while in Hawaii.
Where to buy homewares
1. Guava on the North Shore.
2. Ala Moana because it's like being in LA.
3. Urban Outfitters on the main strip of Waikiki.
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