Garlic Shrimp Dish
February 4, 2020
| by
Karen Fields

Oahu Things to do: Guide to Oahu Shrimp Trucks

When you visit Oahu, you will no doubt hear about the ‘Oahu Shrimp Trucks’. See this, Oahu Travel Blog article, ‘Oahu Things to do: Guide to Oahu Shrimp Trucks’ to learn all there is to know about this Hawaii phenomenon.

Oahu is known for its beautiful beaches, perfect weather and Shrimp Trucks on the North Shore…what?

Yes, it is true. The Oahu Shrimp Trucks are a well-known phenomenon that have only grown in popularity since first opening in 1993 and serving up the incredibly popular Garlic Shrimp Plate Lunch. Now over the past years, the popular Garlic Shrimp dish has found its way across the island and is served in Waikiki Food Pop-ups, restaurants and elsewhere

In this Oahu Travel Blog article; 'Oahu Things to do: Guide to Oahu Shrimp Trucks'  – we’ll give you the history of the Oahu Shrimp Trucks and try to determine why they are so popular.

History of the Oahu Shrimp Trucks:
In 1975 fresh water ‘Aquaculture’ began on the North Shore of Oahu to begin research effort as to the raising and harvesting of Shrimp, from ‘Shrimp Farms’ along Kamehameha Highway on Oahu’s North Shore and near the town of Kahuku. In 1993, Giovanni started, and stayed for a very long time with a lone, white mobile food truck, parked on the roadside but the town, Kahuku. They began serving a very simple, freshly made Garlic Shrimp Plate lunch that includes tasty, buttery Garlic Shrimp, Rice, Salad and sometimes Macaroni Salad.

Sounds simple right? So, what’s the big deal? All we can say is, ‘Try it.’ You will be telling all your friends about your fabulous trip to Oahu, the beautiful beaches, the amazing sunsets, perfect weather, and oh yeah, the best Shrimp dish you’ve ever eaten.

As North Shore became more popular with tourists, the number of wonderful mobile food trucks serving Garlic Shrimp grew as well.

Oahu is known for its beautiful beaches, perfect weather, spectacular sunsets...and Shrimp Trucks on the North Shore…what? Yes, it is true and you owe it to yourself to at least try 'Garlic Shrimp' if not on the North Shore, but at one of the many places serving this popular dish in Waikiki!

How popular are the Oahu Food Trucks?
When we enjoyed our first taste of Giovanni’s back in the late 1980’s the lines were long then…almost 4 or 5 people at a time!  On a more recent visit to one of the newer Oahu Shrimp Trucks in 2018, we went on a weekday, late afternoon and there was a line of 3 BUSES full of tourists filing off the bus and forming lines to enjoy the ‘Gold of the North Shore’ – Garlic Shrimp Plate Lunches.

Aren’t all the Oahu Shrimp Trucks the same?
While each of these Oahu Shrimp Trucks are serving primarily the same dish, Garlic Shrimp, there are differences in the tastes of the various dishes. So, guess what? You may need to try them all to choose the best Shrimp Truck for your taste.

There is a theory of ‘very aggressive’ competition between the families who own and manage the various Food Trucks, but it does not affect what is important – Garlic Shrimp. Today there are several Oahu Shrimp Trucks including; Giovanni’s Original White Shrimp Truck, Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp and Seafood, Macky’s Kahuku Sweet Shrimp, The Shrimp Shack, Romy’s Prawns and Shrimp Hut and Blue Water Shrimp.

Where are they located?
The Oahu Shrimp Trucks are located primarily on the North Shore between the town of Haleiwa to Punaluu but mostly near the town of Kahuku on the side of Kamehameha Highway. As you drive from Waikiki to the North Shore and as you get closer to the Shrimp Trucks you will see some of the Shrimp Farms in the fields that are used to raise the tasty critters.

Is it even worth the trip?
In our opinion, for a first-time visitor the answer is ‘yes’ if you can go on a weekday, earlier in the day to avoid the long lines. It’s just a thing to do that you will talk about when you return from Oahu. But, if you are just wanting to try the Garlic Shrimp dish, there are many places to enjoy this dish in Waikiki and Honolulu, where you can take the plate lunch to the beach and enjoy!

We hope this Oahu Travel Blog article; 'Oahu Things to do: Guide to Oahu Shrimp Trucks' has tempted you to at least try the now famous, ‘Garlic Shrimp’ when you visit Oahu. Whether you take the trip to the North Shore to try one of the originals, or if you take away a plate lunch to go and enjoy it on the beach – you will be glad you did.

If you have any questions about the Shrimp Trucks, or locations mentioned in this guide, please feel free to ask our Concierge for more information. 

Visit our Oahu Visitors Guide for more recommendations for all there is to do, see and experience when visiting Oahu.

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