When I travel, I’m always excited to find new, local coffee shops to try. I do my research ahead of time to try and find the best coffee shops but sometimes you stumble upon a shop, and something about it makes you want to go in. I had a decent sized list of coffee shops for O’ahu, some of them we didn’t make it to thanks to our time restraints. Most of the coffee shops we made it to were fantastic, and one I wouldn’t go back to. So, grab a cup of Joe and let’s get into the coffee shops I did visit.
Hideout Coffee at The Laylow
Located in the lobby of The Laylow, Autograph Collection, which happens to be the hotel we were staying in, this coffee shop opens at 4am every day and was the first coffee stop in O’ahu. The menu is small, just the basics here, but they do them very well. The Hideout uses Stumptown Coffee, which I’m a huge fan of. I got an Iced Mocha on two different occasions. It was delicious! The mix of Ghirardelli chocolate and Stumptown coffee was heaven! I’d say the Iced Mocha here easily makes my top 5 of any mocha I’ve had. The pastry selection is small, only 6 different pastries most with a Hawaiian influence are served here. The Mac Nut Sticky Bun looked heavenly but was sold out on the day I wanted to try it, so the only pastry I did try was the Cruffin-a croissant muffin crossover. It was pretty good for my first Cruffin experience. Flaky and moist like a croissant but in a muffin form. I would for sure get it again.
Address: 2299 Kuhio Ave. Honolulu, HI
Kai Coffee Hawai’i
This shop was not on my original list. As we were walking along Kalākaua Avenue, I saw the sign for Kai Coffee and felt the need to stop in and try something. This coffee shop is located in the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, they are open from 5:30am-10:30pm and use 100% Hawaiian coffee. Here you can grab a cup of coffee brewed using numerous different methods including; Pour Over, Aeropress and French Press. If drip isn’t your thing, they have espresso-based drinks, or you can get a frappe if that is more your thing. I’m a sucker for anything with mac nuts, so I went with an Iced Kai Latte, which is their signature mac nut latte. It was perfect and exactly what I needed at that moment. While I was waiting for my latte I looked around at some of the whole beans they had, the barista was kind enough to chat with me about some of the whole bean and different varieties, we even got a sample of a coffee from Ka’u. I’m wishing I took note of the name of it because it was terrific! So amazing I almost got a cup to-go. Even though Kai was not on my list, I’m happy we stumbled across it and that my need for coffee made me go in. I would definitely recommend stopping here while you’re shopping on Kalākaua Ave.
Address: 2424 Kalākaua Avenue #130 Honolulu, HI
ARS Cafe/Art Gallery
Is a cafe that offers homemade gelato and monthly art shows. I was excited to stop here on our walk back from hiking Diamond Head. The cafe is done in beautiful wood. They have a variety of pastries and other food options. ARS offers your basic espresso drinks, doppio, macchiato, latte, etc., as well as drip, cold brew, and teas. The barista behind the counter did not acknowledge me as I was standing at the bar waiting to order, it wasn’t until she was finished making drinks that she came over and asked what she could get me. It didn’t seem like she wanted to be there at all, she did say thank you as she handed out my drink, but that was where the pleasantries started and ended. I just got an Iced Latte, it was decent but nothing to write home about. I did like that they use sustainable cups and lids. We didn’t spend a ton of time here, just enough for me to get my coffee and go, to be honest, that was enough time for me. I don’t see myself coming back here. There are better coffee shops in Honolulu.
Address: 318 Monsarrat Avenue Honolulu, HI
Olive and Oliver
Located in the Surf Jack Hotel, this cafe is an Instagrammers dream! Which is how I found out about them, they are probably best known for their creative and cute paper cups. Every customer I saw was taking pictures of their drinks, most likely for “the gram.” The cafe is open daily from 7am-8pm, and the cute retail shop in the back is open daily from 8am-8pm They have a small pastry selection, and the menu is 9 basic drinks, 5 of which are espresso based, cold brew, and 3 tea options. I got an 8oz latte, and you better believe I took a picture of the latte art and the cup for Insta. The latte itself was pretty good, the espresso was expertly pulled and not bitter, the milk was aerated correctly, and the two played together nicely. I would come back, and recommend it to anyone who was looking for good coffee in Honolulu.
Address: 412 Lewers Street Honolulu, HI
Kona Coffee Purveyors- b. Patisserie
This coffee shop is the best of two worlds. Kona coffee and French pastries made fresh throughout the day. This coffee shop is a collaboration between Kona Coffee Purveyors and San Francisco’s b. Patisserie. The Kona coffee is high-quality single-estate Kona. They use a method called cupping to find the best of the best, and then their master roasters find the sweet spot for each variety, batch after batch. As soon as you walk in, the beautiful aroma of Kona coffee and fresh pastries fills the air. You have to walk past the pastries to order your coffee, and it is incredibly hard to pass up one of the freshly made pastries, so I didn’t. For my pastry, I went with a pineapple coconut almond croissant. Yes, you read that correctly and let me tell you, it was the best croissant I have ever had! It was buttery, flaky, and full of pineapple. I didn’t taste any coconut but the pineapple and almond more than made up for it. For my coffee, I went with a mocha. The mocha wasn’t overly sweet, it was quite subtle and played perfectly with the Kona Coffee, the milk was expertly aerated, and the latte art was on point. This shop was by far my favorite in Honolulu, and I wish we could have stopped here more, primarily since it was so close to the hotel.
Address: 2330 Kalākaua Ave., Ste 160, Honolulu, HI
There you have it, the 5 coffee shops I visited while in Honolulu. Like I said at the start of this post, there are a lot of shops we didn’t make it to around Honolulu and in O’ahu in general. That’s ok though, it just gives me an excuse to go back 😉
Have you been to O’ahu? If so, what are your favorite coffee shops? Have you been to any that are mentioned in this post? Let me know in the comments! Mahalo for reading!