Ted’s Bakery (Haleiwa, HI)

While the island of Oahu is one of the bigger, and the most populated, of the Hawaiian islands, at times it is a very small place. Indeed, once you get up to the North Shore, there’s not a whole lot of different dining options, and of the existing ones, there are just a few places that consistently get recommended, such as various Kahuku shrimp trucks. One place that gets an awful lot of North Shore recommendations is Ted’s Bakery, and it’s one of the more obvious stops on the Kamehameha Highway, so we decided to stop and give them a try.

Located a short walk down from Sunset Beach, Ted’s Bakery does a land office business on food for the beach crowd, particularly the surfers. In addition to being a bakery, they’ve got the classic menu of a Hawaiian joint: loco mocos, fried rice dishes, plate lunches, and burgers, and, actually, the food quality looks quite good. I’ll have to come back on another visit and try out the hot food menu.

But the reason we were at Ted’s was to try out their most famous item: the Chocolate Haupia Cream pie. As we first arrived here while we were still fairly fresh arrivals to Oahu, I had to go look up “haupia”: it’s basically a pudding made from coconut, and depending upon the use, it can be someplace between a thick creamy consistency (say, for filling malasadas) to a more gelatinous consistent for straight up eating, or, in the case of Ted’s, inclusion in a pie. That’s the chocolate haupia cream pie, with a layer of haupia between the chocolate filling and the cream topping, and it’s what both of us ordered, and ate at one of the outside picnic tables, marveling at how many people peel the stickers from the pie and apply them to the tables and the umbrella post.

I’ll have to say, the resulting slice of pie was interesting. As a slice of chocolate cream pie itself, this would have been a bit of a disappointment: the chocolate cream was good but a little more gelatinous and less, well, chocolately than I usually like. The crust was also denser and less flakey than my preference. But the inclusion of the haupia did really elevate things: this was a rich and flavorful haupia layer, with a really nice, smooth coconut flavor, and combined with the rest of the pie elements, made for a reasonably good slice of pie.

Overall, I’ll put Ted’s down as “slightly overrated”. The signature chocolate haupia cream pie is quite good, but compared to a lot of other foodstuffs available on the North Shore? I’m sure there are better options, but I can easily see why some people make stopping here a North Shore Tradition. But I will have to come back and some point and check out the rest of the menu.

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