June 16, 2017

Travel Guide: Quick and Dirty Guide to Waikiki

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1 & 2 Honolulu Coffee Company | 3., 4 & 5 Tommy Bahamas | 6 & 7 Kona Coffee Purveyors | 8 & 9 Marukame Udon | 10 The Street | 11 Maui Brewing Company | 12 House Without a Key | 13 Island Vintage Coffee | 13 Leonard's Bakery


The husband and I have now traveled enough times to Oahu and stayed in Waikiki to develop our favorite places to eat, drink, and shop. Actually, the husband been more than me, since he traveled to the island for work (I know lucky him!). So we (yes WE) compiled a list of our favorite places in Waikiki for you!

COFFEE

Kona Coffee Purveyors
330 Kalakaua Avenue, Space 160, Kuhio Street Mall Entrance, Honolulu, HI 96815

We found this place on most recent trip. It's at the entrance of the new International Market place on Kuhio avenue. It's a small shop that offers indoor and outdoor seating. This became our go to for morning coffee and pastries.
Heather Recommends: almond pineapple croissant, cold brew


Honolulu Coffee Company
2365 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

This place is just a must when in Waikiki. They a couple of locations (all locations here), but the one we typically go to is located right by the Moana Surf Rider. Sadly, I didn't know they had just opened a roasting center that people can tour. If you are a coffee person like me I would recommend checking it.

Island Vintage Coffee
2201 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

This is the husband's favorite place and it's easy to see why. They not only offer a lengthy list of drinks (including lattes like the Island Latte and none coffee blends like Taro Frappe) but a breakfast and lunch menu. Plus, the shop itself in the Royal Hawaiian Center is super adorable and offers a lot of great gifting options to bring home. They too also have a number of locations, check them out here.
Heather Recommends: Ice Coffee
The Husbands Recommends: Acai Bowl, Drip Coffee


EAT & DRINK

Tommy Bahamas
298 Beach Walk, Honolulu, HI 96815

So little off the hustle and bustle of Kalakaua Ave. you will find a quite calmer street that houses Tommy Bahamas, Hardrock, Bills, and my favorite surf shop HIC Surf. On the first floor you will find the Tommy Bahamas shop then on the second floor is the huge airy dining space with big windows, large bamboo ceiling fans, and beautiful colorfully art work on the walls. There is even a roof deck that looks out onto Kalakaua Ave. and has little beach with fire pits. The food here is amazing and so are the drinks. If you are looking for a more upscale with a relaxed atmosphere, Tommy Bahamas is your place. Or just come for cocktails on the roof.
Heather Recommends: Pina Colada, Coconut Shrimp, don't skip the butter with the bread


The Pig and the Lady
83 N King St, Honolulu, HI 96817

I have yet to go to The Pig and the Lady. This is a hugely popular place, that reservations are a MUST. Actually this place is so popular that the owners opened another smaller place call Piggy Smalls. Anyway, the husband has been here a couple of times and loves it.
The Husbands Recommends: Pho, and any daily specials - plus cocktails!


Yard House
226 Lewers Street, #l148, Honolulu, HI 96815

If you are a beer drinker, Yard House is a MUST. They have an extensive draft list including LOTS of local beers. One of my favorite things about the Yard House is that they let you taste test beers prior to having to actually buy a beer. Also they can help recommend beers to you. Also they have flights of beers which are called the 6-packs. They even have a "local six pack" with a variety of local beers they have on tap. This is always our first stop when we get to the island. I need my island beer fix, plus the food is spot on.
We Recommend: Truffle Burger (sub the regular fries with the truffle fries it's more $ but worth it), Kona Koko Brown

Maui Brewing Company
2300 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

New to us this trip was the Maui Brewing Company bar/restaurant. This place was in the same location as the stuffy Jimmy Buffet's. This place is HUGE and open...and lively. If you are looking for a quite affair you won't find it here. If you are coming for good brews and food then this is your place. They don't have flights yet BUT they do allow for you to try taste test two beers so the husband and I got two each to make a little flight of our own. We also split two apps and one entree (tapas style!). They even have a shuffleboard and foosball table in the back that you can play while you wait for a table or if play if your just boozing.
Heather Recommends: Pineapple Mana, Okinawan Tater Totes (they are taro tater totes!)
The Husband Recommends: Lahaina Town Brown, Fresh Mahi Tacos

House Without a Key
located at the Halekulani Hotel -- 2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

Halekulani Hotel is a five star hotel with beautiful dining and views of the ocean. Hands down, House Without a Key has the best Mai Tais and coconut cake. Whenever we are in Waikiki we go here just for the drinks and coconut cake. Plus, at night they typically have local music and hula dancing on the patio. So you get to enjoy a show, a drink, and the best damn coconut cake.
We Recommend: Going at sunset and getting the coconut cake and mai tai. If you are not dining in and just there for drinks and dessert, do tell them, they have seating on the patio (best view in my opinion) for those not dining in.

Leonard's Bakery
933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Leonard's Bakery is a staple in Honolulu. When on a Oahu you have to stop here and get malasadas. What are malasadas? Malasadas are Portugese doughnuts without a whole. They are light and fluffy covered in sugar! I mean these things are balls of HEAVEN.


The Street
inside the International Marketplace 

The Street is a like a fancy cafeteria. It's a great place if you are with someone that wants different things or with a group. They have everything from poke to burgers. We came here twice for lunch first time both the husband and I got food from the International Smoke. I got the wagyu beef, mac and cheese, and potato salad. And of course a Hawaiian role. The mac and cheese and beef were both so good. The salsa they top on the beef along with the salt make the beef flavor pop. Plus, we both got a drink from Kai Poke. We were told it was similar to a Mai Tai and could get any liquor we wanted in it so of course with that we went with a rum...To both of us it was more of a margarita so go with a tequila. Second time we went the husband got Raman and I ordered from Maui Onion Burger. Since this place was still new Maui Onion Burger didn't have regular sized burger buns (they have two sizes regular and massive burger size) I opted for a chicken sandwich. Which was good. And got beers from the beer bar.
We Recommend: International Smoke, the Spam can drink from Kai Poke (with tequila!)


Marukame Udon
2310 Kuhio Ave #124, Honolulu, HI 96815

Another one of the husbands picks. This casual Japanese restaurant specializes in Sanuki-style Udon. You can't go wrong with any of the handmade cool or warm udon dishes. The husband's personal favorite is their Niku Udon: a traditional broth with a light fish and seaweed taste, topped with sweet beef and caramelized onions. Did we mention they're handmade noodles? Daily. Walk down Kuhio Avenue and you'll see the noodle-making process in Marukame's open kitchen. With nearly 6,000 Yelp reviews, you'll often see lines outside - especially around lunch and dinner. It's worth the wait, which usually isn't too long with fast moving lines and plenty of counter seating.
The Husband Recommends: Niku Udon with a soft-boiled egg and tempura

SHOPPING

The Refinery
Lewers Street between Kalakaua Ave & Kalia Road

Another new ones to us was The Refinery. This cute little general store has lots of little gems. Perfect little keepsakes to take home with you or give as souvenirs. This little shop reminded me of Brooklyn but filled with beachy themed items.

Greenroom Hawaii
International Market Place 2330 Kalakaua Ave. #294 Honolulu, HI 96815

If you are looking for different type of souvenirs this is the place. The Greenroom has lots of affordable prints and art work from local artist. The husband and I went home with four prints from artist from Nick Kuchar. Now we have a theme for our bedroom. I can not wait to get frames to hang our pieces.

HIC Surf Hawaii Island Creations
280 Beach Walk #105, Honolulu, HI 96815

My favorite surf shop in Waikiki is HIC. This store has all the surf companies like Hurley, Roxy, Viacom, etc. under one roof. Plus, I have been able to find items in this shop that I can't find in their individual stores. If you are looking for a Hawaiian themed top or some new swim suits come check out this shop first. I've always been able to walk into this shop and leave with something.

Malibu Shirts
2335 Kalakaua Ave

Don't be fooled by the name, Malibu Shirts specializes in vintage Hawaiian designs which offers something different to take home with you. This is a small shop that offers soft vintage tee designs...that even come with a story attached to the tag. I love that with Malibu Shirts you are able to take home a part of Polynesian history with you.

Honolua Surf
Hilton Hawaiian Village

Looking for a Hawaiian surf company? Honolua Surf is your place. They are named after the mystical bay found on the western part of Maui. Their focus is on those who spend their time at the ocean. This is the shop for authentic Hawaiian surf gear.

Honolulu Cookie Company
multiple locations

Yes Honolulu Cookie Company is super touristy...but the cookies are so good! Plus, seriously they make the perfect souvenir to bring back to the office or to your family. This is a must stop for the husband and I. We always buy for our offices and a box for ourselves. My favorite flavors are chocolate coconut and espresso.

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