Ask anyone in Hawaii where you can get remarkable food and fabulous atmosphere coming straight from the shore in your beachwear, and you will likely end up at Haleiwa Joe’s.
Haleiwa Joe’s was founded in 1998 through a shared passion of Joe Lazar, Steve McGillin, and Moe Lerner and their love of the ocean, great food, and a desire to share the stoke.
The founders wanted to spread the aloha spirit through a shared dining experience that celebrated Hawaii’s surf legends with original memorabilia, menus boasting fresh, local ingredients, and staff members that are just as talented at swimming with sharks as they are serving Mai Tais.
The Haleiwa location overlooks spectacular surf, and has become a social and culinary cornerstone for locals and visitors alike. It’s famous for its Crunchy Coconut Shrimp, which is butterflied, dipped in mochiko flour and tempura batter, dusted with panko and coconut, fried, and served with plum and honey-mustard dipping sauces.
As operations manager Kila DeCosta explains, the dipping sauce is made with whole-grain and Dijon mustards, honey, tarragon white vinegar, and mayonnaise.
One of the restaurant’s signature desserts is Burnt Caramel Macadamia, which starts with sliced seasonal fruits on a plate, topped with a caramel made with sugar, water, and cream of tartar, heated just past golden brown for a “burnt sugar taste.” Two generous scoops of macadamia nut ice cream go right on top, along with another heaping of caramel.
In 2000, Haleiwa Joe’s opened a second location in Haiku Gardens on the windward side of Oahu. The open-air restaurant in this lush valley overlooks its own tropical garden and koi pond with a breathtaking view of the Koolau mountain range.