This Tiny Hawaiian Beach Town Is Hiding One of the Best Pie Shops in the World (Video)
Its population regularly swells as it hosts some of the top surfing events in the world thanks to its surf break along Ehukai Beach Park, better known as Pipeline, but its tight-knit locals manage to maintain their small beach town vibe. And one thing these locals know is that the North Shore is home to perhaps the best slice of pie you’ll ever taste in your life. Anywhere. Period. It’s at a place called Ted’s Bakery.
On each stopover in Hawaii, Ted’s is the first place I go. In fact, I dream of it while sitting in my house in California and sincerely debate buying plane tickets regularly just to go have a slice.
I was first introduced to Ted’s two years ago while spending a bit of time with the surfers competing at the Volcom Pipe Pro. Tai Vandyke, a Volcom ambassador, took me there personally after touting the pie’s greatness.
And man, was he correct. But before I tell you which slice is my favorite, let me back up a step and tell you more about Ted’s.
In 1956, Torojiro Nakamura, an immigrant from Japan, opened up the Sunset Beach store at 59-024 Kamehameha Highway in Haleiwa alongside his son, Takemitsu. The tiny shop acted as a grocery store servicing the few thousand people living in town. Then, in 1987, Takemitsu’s son, Ted, took over the store and opened the doors to his very own bakery named — you guessed it — Ted’s Bakery.
“We’re just thankful our customers and workers have been with us so long, and that our location continues to attract both locals and tourists,” Ted’s daughter and the bakery’s general manager, Torey Nakamura, told Hawaii Business in 2017 as the store celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Throughout those 30 years, the bakery expanded from selling doughnuts to other desserts, to plated lunches. A few years back it entered the wholesale market, selling its pies to grocery stores around the island, helping it become the beloved spot it is today.
“It’s a very demanding job. It’s a seven-day deal,” Ted told Hawaii Business. “We’re basically a 24-hour operation. We pay a lot of overtime and bonuses. Our pies are made fresh, so they have to be made overnight for delivery the next day.”
On that initial visit to Ted’s, Vandyke told me I wasn’t allowed to leave without tasting his personal favorite, which quickly became my personal favorite too — the Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie.
The slice of heaven comes with just the right amount of buttery crust, a thick chocolate mouse base, a towering mound of cream, and just the right touch of whipped cream on top. Biting into it is smooth, sweet, and cold enough to help you beat the Hawaiian heat.
So, next time you swing by Oahu, or are looking to plan your next vacation around the ideal slice of dessert, look no further than the North Shore and Ted’s. The views of the crystal blue Hawaiian waters partnered with just a bit of sugar will make this one sweet journey.