Foodie Field Trip: 3 Underrated Spots in Wahiawā and Waialua
Get down on some serious Mexican eats at Barrio Café, peruse a magical meadery at Mānoa Honey and Mead and tuck into sweet and savory comforts at HI Pie.
We’re getting out of town to check out what’s hot and happening around O‘ahu this summer. The third episode of our new Foodie Field Trip series takes us along Wahiawa’s Kilani Avenue to Waialua with ‘onolicious stops along the way.
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Stepping into Barrio Café on Kilani Avenue is like popping a colorful bubble full of yummy smells. Rainbow chairs and Mexican celebrities complete a bold aesthetic while hinting at a fun (and huge!) menu. Barrio opens at the crack of dawn and has become the quirky neighborhood breakfast spot we wish we had in town. Along with bomb chilaquiles ($11.50), we dive headfirst into the Churro French Toast ($10) made with fresh bread from Kilani Bakery next door. Thick slices of the pillowy bread are crisply fried with a rich, custardy center, doused in cinnamon sugar and drizzled with Wahiawā’s Sweet Land Farm cajeta caramel. It’s not as sweet as it sounds, and it’s totally shareable with sides of loaded green chile cheese fries and juicy birria tacos dipped in earthy consommé broth.
Open Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., (808) 622-3003, 672 Kilani Ave., barriocafe808.com, @barriocafe808
Mānoa Honey & Mead
The moral of our journey through Wahiawā is: Don’t judge a business’ magic by its nondescript industrial cover. We drive up to find Mānoa Honey & Mead at the end of a residential-turned-industrial cul-de-sac on Palm Place. If you’re new to mead, it’s basically honey wine that is brewed with hops like beer. The folks at Mānoa also infuse it with the likes of berry tinctures, summer fruits and tiny bubbles. Owners Yuki and Erika Uzuhashi harvest honey from across O‘ahu, and often in collaboration with neighbor island farms. Each tree that the bees pollinate yields honey with different flavor nuances, textures and colors. At this tiny oasis, you can find everything from single-origin honey to jars infused with kava and chamomile and even a mead-based bevy for before bed. If you plan ahead, you can schedule a honey or mead tasting on their website.
See website for current hours, (808) 493-9081, 930 Palm Place, manoahoney.com, @manoahoneymead
They say that great things come in small packages. This applies equally to the cute little pink box home to HI Pie as well as the flaky parcels of love that Casey Burns and her team bake daily. With a cute outdoor patio and wispy spring flower bouquets (locally grown!) at the counter, HI Pie thinks about all the details and nails them. I didn’t score a grandma that made flaky pies from scratch growing up, but these pot pies make up for it. The classic chicken pot pie fills all the nooks and crannies of your tummy with creamy, savory goodness. Perfectly baked chunks of veggies in other versions invite you to step outside the box. Don’t sleep on their famous poi banana bread or better yet, have it topped with haupia maple butter and haupia ice cream.
Open Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 9 a.m., (808) 913-2008, 67-456 Goodale Ave., hipiehawaii.com, @hipie_ns
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