Two minutes south of Banzai Pipeline, just off the Kamehameha Highway, you’ll find a nondescript parking lot with a line of locals in faded swimsuits with sandy feet. They’re all waiting to place their order at the North Shore’s beloved poke institution—and Mark Healey’s favorite restaurant on Earth—the Pupukea Grill.

The easygoing food truck has “It’s Spicy” emblazoned on the front and serves up heaping piles of sashimi grade ahi and spicy tuna alongside farm fresh produce and smoothies. They’ve got a little shade structure out back with a wall covered in surf posters and photos—all signed with love notes from the world’s greatest surfers.

“Thanks for helping me throw spray! You girls rule.” “Powered by Pupukea Grill.” “Best ahi loco moco in the f*cking world!” All common sentiments scrawled across the collage of washed out blue. The truck’s location across the street from one of the best waves in the world gives them a steady flow of pros like Mark, Flynn Novak, Carissa Moore, and Kelly Slater, to name a few.

Started up in 2008 by sisters Dee Sakuoka and Janelle Sweet, the food truck has become an absolute North Shore staple, but it’s taken a lot of grit and long hours to get there. “When we first got started, we were young and naive and thought the food industry would be an easy way to start our own business together. Rude awakening. Failure wasn’t an option. So we worked seven days a week, 16-hour days, and made it work,” Dee says.

Over the years, their commitment paid off and the community showed up. “Some may see us as just another food truck on the side of the road. Nothing fancy. And we’re okay with that. But we like to think of ourselves as the neighborhood truck. It’s through this food truck that we’ve made many friends and had the pleasure of watching generations of families grow. It’s our life and how we connect with everyone. The community has supported us all the way and we love them for that.”

Today, the sisters are still working as hard as ever to serve their community—in fact, they hardly had time to respond to our interview questions due to booming business during the final days of the Hurley Sunset Pro competition. Of course, once things slowed down a bit, they followed up with a disarmingly thoughtful response.

If you stop by to explore their menu, you’ll discover a healthy twist on local favorites, inspired by their Hawaiian upbringing and travels abroad. “We try as hard as possible to get our food from local farms and fishermen so we change our menu seasonally to fit what’s available.” 

Several items take inspiration from customer cravings and suggestions (mostly from surfers), like Parker Coffin who asked for a banana-almond smoothie, claiming it made the perfect post-surf fuel. And so, “The Parker” was born—a blend of almonds, bananas, and sea salt—that now sits under the “Inspired by” section of the menu.

Current highlights include the fresh Pupukea pickled guava with lemon peel—and anything else with guava in it. “Our guava tree has just been going off this season. We’ve got guava jelly, guava crisp, guava butter mochi... We’ve had an incredible abundance of it.”

Mark’s favorite? The Local Bowl with purple sweet potatoes. But it’s hard to go wrong here—like one scribbled note says, “You girls got the best food on the North Shore.” Keep up with menu updates, hours, and community happenings over on their instagram @pupukeagrill.