It’s no accident that Kona coffee is famous around the world. Thanks to a tropical climate and agricultural efforts that span over 200 years, the coffee crop has blossomed into a thriving commodity. Here are 10 of the islands’ best cafés and coffee shops to try while you’re in Hawaii.
Café Kaila is all about brunch, with offerings such as fruit and bread, buttermilk pancakes, and cinnamon French toast. Widely popular, the café has won multiple accolades for its mouthwatering specials such as blueberry and bacon-infused waffles. Located on Kapiolani Blvd, the vibe is bright and sunny, so don’t be surprised when time flies by when you’re there.
This low-key eatery usually has a line out the door for their fresh acai bowls, pork adobo fried rice, and mouthwatering eggs benedict. A local favorite, Bogart’s Café is located conveniently on Monsarrat, just minutes away from Waikīkī Bay. Be sure to bring your cash for these meals prepared fresh daily.
The stylish coffee counter at Morning Glass coaxes early birds with its tasty lattes and homemade syrups. The first thing you’ll notice is the attention to detail. Baristas grind espresso at multiple times throughout the day, adjusting for humidity and bean type. Ingredients are locally sourced from O’ahu or the nearby islands and include tomatoes, bananas, liliko’i (passion fruit), mangos, papayas, Lehua honey, and even fresh beef from Kulana Beef on the Big Island!
Green World Farms
O’ahu’s first coffee visitor farm welcomes guests to its seven-acre triangular property near Wahiawā. Green World Farms nurtures around 2,000 coffee plants and roasts and serves its beans in a 3,000-square-foot warehouse. Its location on Kamehameha Highway is a refreshing detour for those heading to surf the waves on the North Shore.
The Curb Kaimukī
If you fancy yourself more of a refined coffee snob, head over to The Curb in Kaimukī, which plays with sophisticated brews. With a coffee lab, cold-brewed coffee on tap, and beans from names such as Intelligentsia, this café is for the coffee connoisseur. Treat yourself to The Oxymoron, a coffee-free frozen hot chocolate, or spruce up that latte with syrups infused with macadamia nut or lavender. Keep it healthy with soy, almond, or rice milk and organic espresso beans.
Learn why everyone’s making a fuss over the flat white—a latte with less foam—at this Australian-style coffeeshop, located in trendy Kaka’ako. “Arvo” is Aussie slang for “afternoon,” and the baristas whip up some amazing hard-hitters such as the Long Black (super-strong Americano) and iced green tea matcha. If coffee doesn’t suit your fancy, you can always order the crowd-pleasing food: smoked salmon toast, avocado toast, and matcha chia pudding.
Honolulu Coffee has been around since 1992 when the café scene was just beginning to erupt in Hawaii. From a small kiosk, it’s expanded into a healthy chain on Hawaii Island, Maui, Guam, and Asia. This café is the Kona bean at its finest, served French press or iced and sweet, as you like it. They even opened their own Honolulu Coffee Experience Center on Kalakaua Avenue, a café with an adjoining coffee museum.
Morning Brew Coffee House and Bistro
Morning Brew seems to have it all: Hawaii-grown coffees brewed by the cup, hearty breakfasts, and spacious sitting space. Swing by for the 100% single brew pour-overs from Kona, Waialua, or Maui, or mingle for a while to enjoy their Belgian-style waffles and vegan banana pancakes. Chill out with the wifi in this laid-back, colorful café in easygoing Kailua.
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