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An Insider’s North Shore Food Tour

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Every year I live out my Blue Crush fantasies by spending one week on the North Shore of Oahu—arguably the surf mecca of the world. The surfer-girl chick flick was based on an article by one of my favorite authors, Susan Orlean.

In Orlean’s portrayal of the life of real surf girls, she gets one detail absolutely correct when she reports, “Surfers are always starving. They had eaten breakfast before they surfed; it was now only an hour or two later, and they were hungry again.”

When I spend the week at Kelea Surf Spa, my schedule is usually as follows: eat, surf, eat, nap, surf, eat, yoga, surf, eat. I’m always hungry! Here’s my insider’s guide to some of the best food spots on the North Shore.

* North Shore locals wake up early for two things: waves, and the just-out-of-the-oven malasadas (sugar-dusted Portuguese doughnuts) from Ted’s Bakery. I usually make a second stop in the afternoon for a slice of the dangerously decadent chocolate haupia pie.

* Sharks Cove Grill sells healthy post-surf snacks like banana–peanut butter protein smoothies and fresh ahi kebabs out of a panel truck parked across from Pupukea Beach Park.

* The excellent fiery curries and spicy noodle dishes at Haleiwa Eats are worth the nearly guaranteed wait. The owners of the supertiny restaurant previously owned a Thai restaurant in Manhattan.

* I never quite understood the obsession with shave ice until I ordered it from Matsumoto in Hale’iwa. The snowflake-thin shavings are beyond refreshing after they've been doused in flavored syrups like lilikoi and coconut. Those with a sweet tooth can ask for theirs to be topped with condensed milk or ice cream. The shave-ice craze seems to slowly be making its way to the mainland. Maybe it will reach Hawaii-level proportions now that chef Laurent Gras has ordered a real-deal shave ice machine from Hawaii for his new restaurant, L20.

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