Cafe Haleiwa is the North Shore's answer to the quintessential family-run cafe in a small town. In this case, the small town is historic surf-riddled Haleiwa on Oahu's North Shore, and the family has been residents of the area for decades. Until late 2012, Cafe Haleiwa served only breakfast, closing for the day at 2 pm. Since then, they've added a dinner menu and are now open for dinner from 6 to 10 pm.
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Breakfast here is always good. In addition to standard morning fare such as eggs, pancakes and coffee, they also have a substantial Mexican breakfast menu. With surf-themed names such as the Breakfast in a Barrel (breakfast burrito) and the El Rollo, the Mexican breakfasts are the biggest draw.
Dinner is near gourmet, but with the low key surf-themed ambiance the casual feel is maintained. The menu is always changing with unique specials including Asian brined game hen with Okinawian mashws potatoes and baby bok choy or lemon-rosemary grilled lamb loin chops with creamy goat cheese polenta and sautéed kale. Appetizers include tasty dishes such as savory sun-dried tomato cheesecake served with greens and fruit, and it's bring your own beer and wine.
Beers and wines can be purchased next door at the adjacent wine shop and range form low-priced to expensive and rare. You'll need reservations for dinner on just about any night, and breakfast is crowded on the weekends. Explore the North Shore's beautiful beaches after breakfast or before dinner.