Honolulu Travel Guide
Ah, Honolulu. The capital city of the beautiful state of Hawaii. Like most other US cities, it has experienced a renaissance of sorts in recent years. Formerly industrial areas like Kaka’ako and the once-seedy Chinatown now abound with great options for dining. Kaka’ako also houses our favorites, coffee, craft beer, and chocolate. And yes, there are even some good spots in the ultra-touristy Waikiki. Here are our favorites:
These guys always have a single-origin coffee on and prepare it right. They carry Hawaiian coffees as well as other origins from great local and guest roasters. Located right near Lonohana and Village Bottle Shop in the Kaka’ako area of Honolulu.
Kona Coffee Purveyors
Located on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki at the back of the International Marketplace mall, this glistening coffee shop serves great single-estate, high-altitude Kona coffees. Nicely roasted to medium, rather than the typically dark roast Kona beans usually get. A bit pricier than others, but definitely worth it.
Tucked away inside a mall between two towers across from Waikiki Beach, Kai is a local roaster that carries several types of Hawaiian coffees including Ka’u and of course, Kona.
Beer Lab HI
In a strip mall near the University of Hawaii just north of Waikiki is Beer Lab HI, a fun spot to try their experimental beers. There’s always something interesting and new on tap and plenty of board games, too!
Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room
The best beer spot around. Located inside a mall with a few other cool spots in the Kaka’ako neighborhood of Honolulu. Long tap list and extensive bottle selection to choose from.
Honolulu Beer Works
Also in Kaka’ako, this brewery and tap room is big and busy, but worth a visit. They have an extensive list of drafts made with local twists – like coconut and citrus.
Lonohana Tasting Room
Set in a clean, modern space Lonohana’s retail store allows you to taste some of the best Hawaiian chocolate grown just an hour away on Oahu’s North Shore. Owner Seneca is friendly, knowledgeable and grows his own cacao, making him a rare grower-chocolate maker hybrid. Don’t miss this one.
Their main location is in Kailua. Driving over the Pali Highway from Honolulu to Kailua is worth it for the drive alone. The route offers spectacular views of mountain peaks and valleys below. Madre also has a location in Chinatown and a stall at the Saturday Farmer’s Market at Kapiolani Community College near Diamond Head just outside Waikiki. Try the All-Hawaiian Triple Cacao bar made of dark chocolate with cacao nibs and pieces of dried cacao fruit in it. Top notch.